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Old 01-29-2018, 11:49 PM   #1
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Tow dolly

What is the difference in towing flat vers dolly?
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:19 AM   #2
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Well there is the obvious: On a dolly the front wheels are up on the dolly and four down has all four wheels down.

Are you looking for cost differences? Difficulty differences? Ease of towing? hookup? pros vs cons?

Towing four down:
  • All four wheels down
  • Easy to hook up and go
  • Costs can get expensive (far cheaper to DIY some of the installation)
  • Can't back up
  • You'll want a braking system (to be legal in many states)
  • May require additional wiring (to hook up some rear brake lights)
  • Limited selection of vehicles can be towed four down (although Jeeps are very popular four down toads)
  • More $$ to setup for different vehicles (each vehicle will need its own baseplate)

Dolly towing:
  • Most front wheel drive cars can be dolly towed
  • May be cheaper than four down (a wash if you install your own baseplate for four down)
  • Longer connecting/setup time (have to pull up on dolly, setup straps, crawl under for safety chains, etc.)--I usually can get ready to go in 15-25 minutes
  • Can't back up
  • No special setup for the car being towed (we tow either of our two cars--both front wheel drive)
  • Dolly usually has its own brakes
  • Dolly usually has its own brake lights (although people often add brake lights to the rear of the toad for greater visibility)
  • Have to store dolly when camping (the one we use fits under the back of the coach somewhat)
  • Have to store dolly when not camping (ours stays at the storage lot with the RV)
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:34 AM   #3
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dolly

I just traded my suv for a new nissan rogue. I will be using a dolly now.
What brand is a good buy? Thanks for the info it is a big help.
Glad to here that they tow about the same,hook up time is ok as I am retired and need something to keep me occupied
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post
I just traded my suv for a new nissan rogue. I will be using a dolly now.

What brand is a good buy? Thanks for the info it is a big help.

Glad to here that they tow about the same,hook up time is ok as I am retired and need something to keep me occupied


Ewok, we tow our Nissan Versa with a dolly. We also own a Rogue but couldn't use it with the dolly because it is AWD. Not sure if the Rogue has a FWD version but hopefully in your case that is what you have.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:28 AM   #5
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dolly

I made sure it is fwd only not the awd model. Thanks for the reply.
I just need to find a dolly now, I do have about three months to hunt one down.
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:06 AM   #6
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We made the switch from towing 4-down to a dolly. The dolly can be less expensive, just the cost of the dolly (as opposed to the tow bar, the baseplate, the wiring harness and/or lights and braking system.) It may take a little longer to accomplish for each trip but it is also not very difficult. We have a Master Tow dolly with surge brakes. Our FWD Cherokee (and our Renegade before it) all travel well and we don't really ever feel them behind us. Once strapped down, we secure the steering wheel (since the dolly has a tilting pan) and lock the doors and off we go, watching it in the rear view camera.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:57 PM   #7
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dolly

has anyone used the roadmaster dolly that has steering wheels and not the fifth wheel type?
Most that I have found are of the fifth wheel design,that is the whole plate pivots. the roadmaster the wheels turn like a car the plate is stationary.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:04 AM   #8
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We went from using a ACME Tow Dolly to flat towing. We like the ease of the flat tow and feel that the car is more secure. I liked the ACME dolly, it's light and can store standing straight up in the garage, taking very little room. It has surge breaks, which I liked, but you can't back up with it, but I wasn't planning on backing up with a dolly anyway. My only complaint was that it didn't have a wheel pan for the front tires to sit in, instead it sits on a metal bar. I had to keep checking the straps. It did take around 15 minutes to hook up, had to crawl under the front to hook up the chains, which wasn't fun when it was wet outside. Flat towing is more money, but the ease of hooking up and not having to keep checking on it while driving makes it worth it IMO.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:10 AM   #9
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ACME Tow Dolly here too--and still am using it. Dippytwo's point about the ACME is that, with surge brakes, when you attempt to back up you'll engage the surge brakes making backing up even more difficult (they do give you a way to lock out the surge brakes but that is more for when you're pushing the dolly around empty).

Note that you really can't back up with any toad towing system aside from a full on trailer.
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:15 AM   #10
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I have about 9000 miles on my Acme tow dolly. Works great and is easy to load and secure. Jerry
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:18 AM   #11
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I mention that you can't back up with the tow dolly, I should have also mention that you can't back up while flat towing either.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:50 PM   #12
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dolly

I have been looking at lot of them and will probably use one with the 5th wheel bed and electric brakes. We travel to a rv park then sit for about a month before moving. There are a lot of them out there,the one I am looking at is built by Master tow.
Thanks for all the info you all have been a help.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post
I have been looking at lot of them and will probably use one with the 5th wheel bed and electric brakes. We travel to a rv park then sit for about a month before moving. There are a lot of them out there,the one I am looking at is built by Master tow.
Thanks for all the info you all have been a help.
For electric brakes, you will need a separate brake controller (if you don't already have one.)
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:06 PM   #14
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dolly

I have been looking at the controller's ,my rv has the wires already just need a controller. Too many choices .
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post
I have been looking at the controller's ,my rv has the wires already just need a controller. Too many choices .
That's why we liked the surge brakes... always there and nothing extra to hook up.
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