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Old 02-15-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
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Tow Dolly or Rent A Car ?

2014 DS31 2015 Honda Odyssey

My dilemma is whether to buy the famous ACME tow dolly so we can take the Odyssey along or rent a suitable vehicle when needed. How much of a hassle is fueling and parking with a toad ? Some places we plan on going might not have rental cars.

If you have wrestled with this, I'd like to know what you ended up doing.

Thanks

Dave
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:13 PM   #2
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I would consider a inexpensive third vehicle. We shopped around a found a great 02 Saturn, the Hyundai Elantra is also a good buy. These sell for about 2 to 3 grand. A good dolly will be 1,500.00 plus. just a thought
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:37 PM   #3
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Another idea, I thought about it but that's all I could do.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:20 PM   #4
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Toad setup highly dependent on what you pull it with, weight of your unit loaded for travel, hitch rating, etc. Odyssey plus dolly would require a lot of space in the campsite.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renman View Post
2014 DS31 2015 Honda Odyssey

My dilemma is whether to buy the famous ACME tow dolly so we can take the Odyssey along or rent a suitable vehicle when needed. How much of a hassle is fueling and parking with a toad ? Some places we plan on going might not have rental cars.

If you have wrestled with this, I'd like to know what you ended up doing.

Thanks

Dave
Bottom line, do you have experience towing a trailer? If not, there will be a 'learning curve' but lots of us tow toads and trailers and have few problems with fueling and parking. During the learning curve, lots of problems can be avoided by 'Think Ahead' and 'Don't Backup'.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:59 PM   #6
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Dave, I looked up the weight of the Odssey, depending on model it's about 5,000 lbs empty. Hitch rating for you is 5,000 lbs. Car plus dolly exceed hitch rating. Might make a difference in warranty or insurance if you have an accident. I'm conservative and would prefer being within the limits. I have driven dolly and now tow 4 down. Storing dolly was a pita otherwise there was no notable difference IMO. You can't really back up very far with either set up. Tow dolly may be a bit longer than using tow bar.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:02 AM   #7
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Rent a car.. you may find you will save enough in fuel to pay for the rental.. then add the cost of buying the dolly..
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:39 AM   #8
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We've done both...

It all depends on where you're going...

If you're going wilderness camping, towing a small 4 wheel drive toad on it's wheels is probably the way to go.

We finally decided that we could rent a LOT of cars for the 20+ thousand dollars that it cost to buy/maintain a toad, and the gear involved in towing it. Also, pretty much forget backing up when you're towing... you REALLY have to think and plan ahead when you're towing so you don't get into an uncomfortable situation, like removing a gas pump with the toad.

I didn't need the stress of towing any more, so now when we get to the campground, we call Enterprise, they come and get us, and for less than a hundred dollars for a week, we have a no hassle and no maintenance way to do our visiting and sightseeing.

Remember, everyone's situation is different, and this is just what works for us!

Happy and safe camping!!
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:08 AM   #9
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Renting is not an option for most of the places we go, state parks, COE parks, out in wilderness areas 50 to 100 miles from the nearest car rental agency. But there may be small towns for grocery stores and sight-seeing nearby. And many areas we visit are out of cell phone signal range, so I couldn't call for a rental from my campsite. I bought a third used car (2008 Saturn Aura $7500) for flat towing because I didn't want to modify my new cars with base plates and braking system, or get road dirt and stone chips on them. The Saturn, while not a great car, has not had any mechanical problems and I don't care if it gets some minor damage although it has not had any yet. The braking system is SMI, under the hood and no box to put in front of the drivers seat, only a power switch to activate/deactivate it.
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:46 PM   #10
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Rent the car AND tow it along.
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