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Old 01-09-2017, 07:37 PM   #1
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Question Towing

Big question for the group. What does everyone prefer on towing, do you use a car dolly, or use the tow bar systems??


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Old 01-09-2017, 07:39 PM   #2
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Depends on your vehicle being towed. I tow my jeep with transfer case in neutral so I can four wheel tow. Anything four wheel drive needs all four wheels on the ground. Or your transfer case will be punished.


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Old 01-09-2017, 09:01 PM   #3
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AWD cars need to be all four up - as on a trailer. FWD cars can usually do two-up on a dolly.

After reading these forums, here's what I've come to as a conclusion:
- towing, in general, is a pain
- four down, (like Timbo's Jeep) is the least painful to use but you need a vehicle that can be towed four down and you spend money on tow bar, brake controllers etc
- two down dolly is maybe the least expensive but still a PITA. Can't back up; need to buy/store/maintain the dolly
- all four up trailer is also a PITA when it comes to expense and storing the trailer
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:04 PM   #4
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Also at the end of day my engine isn't taking a beating. But tires, brakes, axles still are. Keep that in mind when keeping track of maintenance timing.


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Old 01-09-2017, 10:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gesteff View Post
Big question for the group. What does everyone prefer on towing, do you use a car dolly, or use the tow bar systems??


2017 Jayco Redhawk 29 RK, FORD V10 chassis
Everything ON the trailer
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:57 AM   #6
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All methods have their advantages and disadvantages. All have acquisition expenses. Some vehicles can be towed 4-down (towbar) including a variety of AWD vehicles, some can be towed on a dolly (but many AWD cannot), most all can be put on a trailer with all 4 wheels off the ground. Some very low clearance vehicles may be difficult to put on a trailer unless the trailer has very long ramps. Regardless your preferred method, you need to make sure the trailer/towed vehicle combination does not exceed the RV's towing rating. A car trailer will likely be the heaviest way to go, performance and fuel mileage will be affected accordingly.

Towing with a towbar requires installation of the mounts to connect the towbar as well a method (wiring) to provide rear lighting. There are some wireless solutions now that can make that easier, I have not used any myself. There also are usually auxiliary braking installation mods needed in a vehicle drug around on a towbar. Dolly and trailer towing typically do not require any modifications to the "Toad" vehicle itself. One item I will stress regardless of tow method is proper brakes on the towed item whether it be a vehicle, dolly, or trailer. Brakes on a trailer (and a towed car is legally a "trailer") are required (over a certain weight) in almost every state and province. Most cars/SUVs will put you over the limit thus requiring brakes.

Also be aware some campsites have limited space and the campground may require you to put your dolly or trailer somewhere else. If you do have storage room at your site and it is a back-in spot, you may need to disconnect your dolly and manually push it where you will store it. May be okay when you are 30 and in good shape, probably not as easy when one is older!

Another item I consider essential is a TPMS on the RV AND monitoring the towed vehicles tires. Being alerted to a potential problem before a catastrophic situation occurs is always preferred! Many horror stories out there regarding tires that failed causing plenty of damage.

All said I have been a 4-down fan for years. I am on my 3rd Class C, all have towed my vehicles. I currently have a 2013 Ford Focus ST (6-speed manual) and a 2014 Ford Explorer Sport (AWD) I can tow depending on whether it is just the wife and I or if we have more of the family onboard. I have a Roadmaster towbar, Roadmaster EvenBrake auxiliary braking system, and a TireMinder TPMS monitoring my 6 motorhome tires and the 4 Toad tires. I have been very happy with how all of these items work.

Good luck in your decision, lots of choices and none of them are cheap!
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:28 PM   #7
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I use an ACME tow dolly pulling a 2002 Honda Accord behind a 2013 Jayco 31DS. Have had no problems so far. Just took a 1200 mile trip down I-5 including a couple of climbs to 4000 feet and subsequent descents. This was our first major trip. Dolly brakes worked well. Had to slow down to about 45 MPH on the climbs. Other than that I hardly noticed I was towing. I am a motorhome and towing newby. Used to pull a 19' Takena trailer with my 2007 Honda Pilot. Gas mileage in either set up has been about 8 MPG. Worse on climbing hills but still bearable.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:33 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum and thanks for the information.
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:19 PM   #9
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Essentially, you don't want to be spinning any automatic transmission at towing speed without the engine running. THis is true of some manual transmissions also, including the Jeep Wrangler, which is a great choice for flat towing (4 down on the ground). So, your driven wheels of the toad need to either be off the ground (on a trailer or dolly), or they have to be isolated from the driveline. In 4 wheel drives, this is often the transfer case that does this. In other vehicles, it's some other sort of driveline disconnect at the hubs or on the drive shaft. In 4wd and AWD vehicles, you don't want the front and rear axles turning at radically different speeds, because the two halves of the transfer case (or on the case of AWD, the differential device) will be spinning like hell in relation to one another and wearing out or stressing internal components. So, AWD or 4WD vehicles need both axles either on a trailer or on the ground to spin at similar speeds.

My Jeep Wrangler (2006) gets flat-towed with transfer case in neutral, manual trans in 4th gear and steering column unlocked with the key in the ignition. So far, so good. I took great care to wire the lights properly and to run a battery charge line from the motorhome 7 pin connector to the Jeep battery so the auxiliary braking system doesn't deplete the Jeep battery along the way.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:39 PM   #10
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My newer jeep I appreciate. No steering wheel lock and no key in ignition. It's great. Transfer in neutral. Trans in park. Perfect for towing.


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