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Old 04-19-2019, 09:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Raleigh
Posts: 33
Toad - Wheels down vs Dolly

Seems like getting a Toad fitted with tow bar etc is rather expensive. More so than I was expecting.

I think I can get a Dolly much cheaper.

Anyone prefer Dolly towing vs 4wheels down?

Pro's/ Con's?

FYI....I'm not very handy at these kind of thing...so DIY installation is a non starter.

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Old 04-19-2019, 10:10 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Akron
Posts: 2,566
Some user's choice comes down to the car they have to tow; some can't be flat towed and either have to be dollied or trailered. Some AWD vehicles can't be dollied, it is 4-down or trailered. Some cars neither dollies nor 4-down is possible and a trailer is the only choice. So vehicle choice is an important starting point.

Having said that, if you do dolly be aware it requires one to get down to secure the wheels to the dolly, not fun if weather/ground conditions are poor. You also have to consider where you will store the dolly at your home base, and even at some campgrounds. I have been to a few that would not allow you to keep your dolly at your site, they had a separate area where it had to go. Even if you can keep it at your campsite, unless you are in a pull-thru spot count on pushing it around by hand since they don't back up well!

And speaking of backing, you cannot back up when attached with a dolly or 4-down since they do not behave like a traditional trailer. They jackknife and you risk serious harm in seconds.

There are many points to consider, I suggest lots of research amd asking questions is a good start!

Rob R.
Akron, OH
2014 Seneca 37TS
Toads: 2019 Ford Edge ST or 2013 Ford Focus ST
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:52 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mesa
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by Kinggartk View Post
Seems like getting a Toad fitted with tow bar etc is rather expensive. More so than I was expecting.

I think I can get a Dolly much cheaper.

Anyone prefer Dolly towing vs 4wheels down?

Pro's/ Con's?

FYI....I'm not very handy at these kind of thing...so DIY installation is a non starter.
Hmmm where did you get the quote to put the tow gear on the Toad? The folks who sold me our first class C wanted a thousand bucks to put the brackets and stuff on my Colorado pickup. Plus they were booked up and could not get it done for two months.

So I contacted a local body shop. Figured those guys take the plastic pieces (most front ends are nearly all plastic) off of cars and trucks all the time, they have the right tools, and since the stuff is truly bolt on they could do it quickly. Cost me 215 dollars last June, and took less than a day.

So try a body shop.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:26 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Kennewick
Posts: 331
I was quoted between $3800 and $4500 to set my Cherokee up to tow 4 down. I went with a ReadyBrute and Blue Ox tabs on the Jeep. Did the install myself in a day and a half. Total cost...less than $1500 plus my time.

You are right in that it is expensive to go 4 down. Just the parts will be $1500-2000 (ready brake doesn't use a traditional brake unit) so if a dolly is cheaper, I can see the appeal. In my case, I could not tow my Jeep on a dolly.
2016 Jayco GreyHawk 31DS
2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Toad.
SE Washington State
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:14 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Lansing
Posts: 128
My thought process on this. First I considered a trailer for my motorcycle and a toad. Didn't gain much with a 10,000 trailer you lose 3,500 lbs for trailer weight so you're down to 6,500 cargo. My motorcycle weighs about 1,000 and a small jeep about 3,200 which gets me to 4,200 which means I have about 2,300 lbs of cargo left in the trailer. However, the tongue weight on the trailer would be 1,000 to 1,500 which means I pick up between 800 and 1,300 lbs net. All this for having to store the trailer away from my site and having another vehicle and 4 more tire to manage. I passed.

Next came the dolly. Not as bad as the trailer from a management standpoint but it's still 2 more tires to manage and like the previous poster said, many times it can't stay at your campsite and you have to crawl around on your hands and knees to hook up. Again I passed.

What have decided to do is to get a tow bar ($1,000), a brake package which is integrated with the tow bar, a bracket for the truck ($500-600) and a driveline disconnect ($1,000). It will all cost about $3,000 with wiring and so forth but I'll do the installation myself.

Just my thought process and why I'm going with flat towing.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:40 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Panama City
Posts: 426
I use a Demco KarKaddy SS and tow a 2017 Highlander. I am very satisfied with its performance and have 10k miles on it with no issues.

Some important notes:

Something has to provide steering. If your Highlander is like mine, it has a push-button start and hence a motor driven steering lock that can not be overridden. Therefore, with my Highlander, I needed a steerable dolly. The KarKaddy SS has a 12 degree steering capability and has performed with no issues. Also the SS model has the collapsible tow arm which makes it very nice for storing it in my garage. Surge disc brakes also work fine. I bought mine used and was not able to find one until late in the RV season (October). I just kept searching on KarKaddy SS and finally one showed up on eBay within a 6 hour drive. Jumped on it. I also purchased the stone shield and a spare tire. The stone shield does a very good job and installs/de-installs easily.

Never had any issues storing at campsites. If space is tight I just disconnect and collapse the arm and can push most of the dolly under the rear of the Seneca (I've had to do this once in 35+ camping stops). Hooking up is not that big of a deal. Otherwise I like to say it's "plug and play"...drive your vehicle up on the dolly, strap the tires, hook up the safety chains and go. No telemetry, extra wiring, worries about battery drainage, engine starts every 300 miles, front-end mods, etc.

Be glad to answer any other questions anyone might have.

2017 Seneca 37FS
2016 Toyota Highlander
Kar Kaddy SS
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