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Old 11-22-2017, 11:53 PM   #1
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Dinghy Towing

As I await the delivery of my Seneca, I need to consider a safe Dinghy Tow.
Any opinions on "dolly vs flat tow".
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Old 11-23-2017, 05:44 AM   #2
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Dinghy Towing

First welcome to the forum lots of good information from people who have have tons of experience.

Flat vs tow dolly vs trailer
Flat
+ Easy set up and disconnect, +nothing to store or move around.
-cost slightly higher requires set up on vehicle
-finding flat towable vehicles getting harder every year
-can not back up easily
Dolly
+works on almost all front wheel drive vehicles
+relatively cheap
-have to store unit somewhere. Not to bad some fold and some can be tipped up
- requires moving ramps, aligning car properly,securing car with straps and then crawling under and installing safety straps.
- not pleasant unloading or loading in the rain or on mud.
+units with built in brakes require no set up time.
Trailer
+easy load and unload
+little or no wear on vehicle
+can be backed up easily(provided the person driving knows how to back up)
+ can use trailer for extra toys
- takes up a lot of real estate
- storage and moving can be difficult

I have the acme car dolly. Simple and inexpensive About $2k.
Shunt disk brakes so no controller.

My only issue is the safety chains. I hate going under the cars to snap on the chains.

I got mine as I have several front wheel vehicles that I tow. We use the Seneca to take the kids to college in NC and tow their cars with us

If I had my dream set up it would be a flat tow pickup.


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Old 11-23-2017, 07:18 AM   #3
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We flat tow a Chevrolet Traverse. It works well and is easy to set up. My next vehicle will be a pickup with a cap on the bed. I had this when towing a trailer and regret daily that I do not still have it.

Dolly towing only works with front wheel or I guess all wheel drive vehicles.

Trailers for putting vehicle on work and allow you to back up when towing. However, we watch people struggle constantly trying to figure where to put the trailer when staying someplace.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:02 AM   #4
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I have done all 3 methods RVermont has called out for similar reasons he mentioned (moving kids around), and I have settled on flat towing of my personal cars. As he mentioned you often have to "do" something with the trailer or dolly unless you get a pull-thru spot every time. If you have a back-in spot you may have to just "muscle" a dolly around since it is unlikely you will be able to back it into a campsite with the Seneca. With or without a car loaded dollies never seem to go where you need them to when backing. And in some campgrounds I have stayed, dollies or trailers had to be left in a lot. They were not permitted to be left at the individual campsite for what are likely "aesthetic" reasons. If one has a physical limitations, pushing a dolly around might be quite challenging.

Something regarding flat towing - you will also need a braking system for whatever dinghy you tow. Even with a Seneca despite their size, since most frequently it is the law and it only makes sense to be able to stop the combination more safely and have breakaway protection in the event of a major failure.

As RVermont also mentioned it does seem toad selection is becoming more limited, lots of vehicles are AWD and none I have seen can be dolly-towed since rolling just one axle will ruin the drivetrain in short order. So they either go on a trailer, or be flat-towed if the manufacturer allows it.

Another item to consider is whether a particular vehicle needs to have anything "done" to it before flat-towing. Some vehicles need to have one or more fuses pulled each time, but there may be work-arounds (aftermarket switch kits) that make that easier. Some, like my Explorer, have to be idled before towing to circulate the transmission fluid, and stop and do that again if the tow exceeds a certain time or mileage limit.

Many who tow find actual four-wheel drive vehicles (that have transfer cases) the best flat-tow solution since the drivetrain can be effectively disconnected. And many manual transmission vehicles also are easily towable by putting the transmission in neutral. And there may be other automatic transmission vehicles that can be towed with a driveline disconnect system or an aftermarket transmission lube pump, but if it is a new vehicle say goodbye to any driveline warranty if you do that!

I have been very satisfied with my two current toads, my Roadmaster tow bar, and Roadmaster Even Brake auxiliary braking device. Done all the bracket and wiring installations myself saving quite a bit of money in the process. And it is easy to hook up and disconnect when we travel, with the towbar folding up nicely on the back of the Seneca when not in use.

Good luck in your quest!
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:00 AM   #5
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The Jeep Wrangler is the most popular toad vehicle. Easy to set up and tow.
I like the toad. Hook up the braking system and tow bar and your set.



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Old 11-23-2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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I flat tow a Jeep Wrangler. I hook up my Demco tow bar while wife hooks up RVI-3 brake inside the Jeep and puts the transfer case in neutral and we are ready to go in under 2 minutes. Same process when we arrive at campground. I was really surprised how easy it is.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S View Post
I flat tow a Jeep Wrangler. I hook up my Demco tow bar while wife hooks up RVI-3 brake inside the Jeep and puts the transfer case in neutral and we are ready to go in under 2 minutes. Same process when we arrive at campground. I was really surprised how easy it is.
Most rigs that you see out on the road with a Toad - are jeep Wranglers... If you get the ones that are set up right - all you need is supplemental brakes and a good brake controller installed on the Seneca.

For us... our Toyota FJC is not "flat" or "dolly" towable... we have to have it
all wheels up - and we have gotten used to it. Our trailer hauls other toys along with our full size 4x4 and allows us to roll down the interstate with a different level of confidence at 75 MPH. We don't get blown around when Semi-Trucks come to pass us.. and we don't have as many things to go worry about going wrong with a supplemental TOAD tow bar / braking system. along with our RV, our trailer has TPMS on the tires and that gives us an instant update on pressure and temperatures.

And the best part... since we Wheel with a lot of hard core folks that are in the offroad racing circuit... we have a way to haul a lot of stuff - along with our own toys.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:47 AM   #8
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One other thought. If you go with a dolly or trailer get your towed set up with a trailer hitch. While the dollies are fairly easy to move a short distance it makes it much simpler if you can tow it to move it to storage or even taking it in for service. Most shops donít like them sitting around their yard.


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Old 11-25-2017, 06:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVermont View Post
One other thought. If you go with a dolly or trailer get your towed set up with a trailer hitch. While the dollies are fairly easy to move a short distance it makes it much simpler if you can tow it to move it to storage or even taking it in for service. Most shops donít like them sitting around their yard.


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X2
We use our Toad to move our trailer... some parks are real tight, don't have room in the park for your trailer or dolly - but love to charge you to store your dolly in a back lot....
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:37 PM   #10
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We flat tow a 2003 Jeep Wrangler. We've seen a lot of people struggle to put their car on a dolly and a lot who had nowhere to put that dolly if they needed to.
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