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Old 01-14-2020, 12:12 AM   #1
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To Dolly or Not to Dolly

I have search and read a bunch of the threads listing to pros and cons of tow dolly or tow bar. Seems as though there is not a firm consensus.

Here is our situation:
There are a couple of cars that we could tow. The most likely candidate is our 2013 Civic automatic.

We were given a hand me down Blue Ox with a bracket for some sort of Kia. We thought we would use the Blue Ox and get a bracket for the Civic and one of the brake systems. Even with owning the Blue Ox, the total cost seems to exceed a dolly and I am stuck with using one car. Plus the bracket for the Civic is not bolt on. There is a bunch of metal and plastic modifications to be done. All of which I can do myself. It seems expensive and limiting.

So we started looking at dolly's. They seems to be more flexible in that we can put any FWD on it. And the have a brake system included. I have a place at home to store it. Are they trouble in the camp ground? So far about half of the camping site we have been in are back ins so I would need to disconnect the dolly. Easy to move by hand? Do they seem to tuck away somewhere so I don't bust a shin on it while at the site?

Right now I am thinking the dolly is the the easy button.

Do I have that right?
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:32 AM   #2
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Cool

We use a Master Tow dolly for our FWD Hyundai SantaFe. When we get to a campground with no pull-thru sites long enough to handle the MH and the toad on the dolly, we usually get the SUV off the dolly at the entrance of the campground (only takes about 3~5 minutes) We carry a trailer dolly like the one pictured in the back of the SUV, and we use that to maneuver the Master Tow once we get to our site. At home, we use a hitch on our lawn tractor to move the dolly to the back of our property and to bring it back to the front when we're loading for a trip.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:39 AM   #3
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The dolly may be the easy button but the majority consensus is for flat towing - less day-to-day hassle in connecting/disconnecting, storing, etc. But if you are up to the rigors of using a dolly it certainly does have the pro of toad flexibility.

We have our Sonic setup to flat tow but we also have a dolly for broken down car rescue (kids) and the ability to bring my wife's 2015 Honda CRV. I would much rather flat tow the Sonic.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:51 AM   #4
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We have done both dolly and now flat tow. Dolly is much cheaper with a brake equipped dolly running half the price of an installed flat tow system. You can tow multiple cars on the same dolly; not so with flat tow.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:01 AM   #5
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And then there's this thread:

North Myrtle Beach RV Resort and Dry Dock Marina
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Perhaps, but that "tow dolly" is a lot more than a simple tow dolly you can tuck under the rear of the coach.


We have used our Acme eze-Tow dolly for 4 seasons now. We've pulled 4 different cars with it. It easily tucks under the rear of our Axis keeping it out of the way when camping.

I usually take the car off right in front of the campsite and walk the dolly back before backing the RV over it (the dolly makes for a handy target/guide when backing up). The tongue of the dolly has a handle making it pretty easy to walk it around a campsite without needing something else to wheel it around.

On the whole we've been pretty happy with it.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:35 AM   #7
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There's no firm consensus because we're all different. What's right for you depends on more than just the initial cost. We drop our car almost every evening when we're on the road, so the flat tow setup has been worth the investment for us. We tend to keep our cars for a lot of years, which helps stretch out the cost. Your results will vary.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:08 AM   #8
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Some campgrounds wonít allow trailers or dollies on a site with a car and MH. They might have a lot or field where you can park it but that doesnít suit everyone. After weighing everything we opted to flat tow a Jeep Wrangler. Had to trade cars and find a somewhat reasonably priced Jeep (hard to do!). Even doing all of the installation myself we spent about $2500 to set it up. But itís all a one time expense and Iím glad we did what we did. My Jeep has a permanently installed brake system (Stay-In-Play) and it takes only minutes to set up to go. Plus Iíve always wanted a Jeep....!
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
Some campgrounds wonít allow trailers or dollies on a site with a car and MH. They might have a lot or field where you can park it but that doesnít suit everyone. After weighing everything we opted to flat tow a Jeep Wrangler. Had to trade cars and find a somewhat reasonably priced Jeep (hard to do!). Even doing all of the installation myself we spent about $2500 to set it up. But itís all a one time expense and Iím glad we did what we did. My Jeep has a permanently installed brake system (Stay-In-Play) and it takes only minutes to set up to go. Plus Iíve always wanted a Jeep....!

We also flat-tow a Wrangler behind our Aria 4000. The only disadvantage w/o a dolly is that you can't back up, so if you get stuck where you can't loop around (like me, 2 or three times!) you have to uncouple the TOAD, get your rig to a clear path then reconnect the TOAD.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:37 PM   #10
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We also flat-tow a Wrangler behind our Aria 4000. The only disadvantage w/o a dolly is that you can't back up, so if you get stuck where you can't loop around (like me, 2 or three times!) you have to uncouple the TOAD, get your rig to a clear path then reconnect the TOAD.
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I don'y knoe what "w/o" means, but you can't back up much with either a dolly or flat towing.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:37 PM   #11
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we tow dollied our car at first, but 'negotiating' with the straps, chains, driving it up on the dolly, and getting down on hands and knees in the hot sun, rain, and sometimes in less-than-desirable 'muddy' places, grew old pretty quick. Moving the dolly out of the way, or to another location is also aggravating at times, and having to remove your car, and detach the dolly just to back into a site is not always an easy proposition, as every campground or rv park is different, some very, very tight, and others with few places to 'park' your dolly.
But, there are certainly folks who do it everyday, and don't think twice about it. You can get used to anything, if you will, and if you don't really 'move' places that often, it's just fine. If you find yourself traveling cross country and needing to disembark your vehicle almost at every stop, though, you may find out that it is one of those 'chores' you wish you didn't have to deal with.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:20 PM   #12
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Im for the simpler is better method. Flat tow. The added cost only hurts for a. It but the convenience is everyday you travel. You have a car that works thats the biggest part of it.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:40 PM   #13
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If you go with the dolly, opt for electric brakes versus surge. The surge brakes can cause issues on long, steep, downhill runs. The dolly tries to run underneath the MH so the brakes apply...and they hold the entire time down the incline and possibly overheat.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:53 PM   #14
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Flat tow is the way to go....at least for me.



Hooking-up and unhooking takes less than 5 min.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:32 PM   #15
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If you go with the dolly, opt for electric brakes versus surge. The surge brakes can cause issues on long, steep, downhill runs. The dolly tries to run underneath the MH so the brakes apply...and they hold the entire time down the incline and possibly overheat.
Had a Master Tow with surge brakes for over 5 years. Towed through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina a bunch and never had an issue like you mention.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:33 PM   #16
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For some added flexibility with what we'll be taking with us: We'll be trailering our Toad.
If we only decide to take the golf cart along: it easily gives us this option.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:33 PM   #17
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For some added flexibility with what we'll be taking with us: We'll be trailering our Toad.
If we only decide to take the golf cart along: it easily gives us this option.
Bob you donít count as your Toad is a Tadpole....😜
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:40 PM   #18
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a few times with our HAULER trailer we were asked most politely if we could park in the storage lot free of charge.


at one state park, they put a tag on it so the park rangers knew whose it was and they let us lock it up at the boat ramp area. no problems


but i have seen campgrounds that have policy to park the bigger ITEMS in storage lot or other parking to make the sites look less cluttered. its usually a none issue



now we use a tow bar and the edge,



as afar as getting a FREE tow bar and plate. I would sell it for scrap. PEOPLE are weird and you never know how it was used or abuse. IMO its to much of a risk of loosing a vehicle to go free wheeling down the road.


we use blue ox and patriot aux brake on the edge
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:45 PM   #19
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Bob you donít count as your Toad is a Tadpole....😜
You're right about that!
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:51 PM   #20
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You're right about that!
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