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Old 11-06-2015, 01:07 PM   #1
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Towing & Hitch advice

I am new to the RV world and purchased a 2015 ACE 29.3. Can anyone tell me what set up do I need to tow a car? I am thinking of pulling a honda element. If not maybe some set up that I can carry a small motorcycle or electric bikes?

Trying to figure out all my options for a week long trip. So far we have only done 2-3 day trips.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:14 PM   #2
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The easiest thing you can do for week long trips is rent a car (yeah it costs $$ but so does towing setups). We did that the first year before we got our dolly.

Other than that you can either:
  • Get a full trailer
  • Get a dolly
  • Flat tow
It looks like Honda won't let you flat tow the Element. Thus you could either use a Dolly or trailer. There are pluses and minuses for either (Trailer more $$, Dolly slightly more complicated to setup, Trailer takes more room to store, etc.).

There was a long thread about this very subject not too long ago...
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:01 PM   #3
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Yes we thought about car rental but if you go to a remote location its tough. We are planning a trip to Letchworth State park in NY next summer and there isnt really a car rental place close to the park.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:20 PM   #4
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Fist off welcome....

The best is flat towing , but because I buy new cars every few years I went with a tow dolly. Look at your situation and research if your car can be flat towed (usually has a section in owners manual about how to tow.) then decide what's best for you.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:31 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum.

You mention the Honda Element as being the possible towed vehicle.

The only Honda that can be flat towed for 2015 (according to the FMCA Towing Guide) is the Honda Fit with manual transmission.

If you want to Tow a Honda Element you may have to do so on a dolly.

For 2014 the only Honda that could be flat towed was the CRV.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:46 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the great information. I guess I will look into a couple of electrical bikes.
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:54 AM   #7
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We tow my 2004 Harley Davidson Softtail Springer on a small trailer. I got mine as a kit from Harbor Freight and have around $400. in it. I have only used it one time for a trip about 100 miles from home but it pulls just fine. Jim.
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:40 AM   #8
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set up to tow w/o Brake system

I went to my local Reese's trailers to check on price to get my 08 Envoy set up to tow 4 down by my '16 Vegas. With wiring, base plate, and Blue Ox tow bar, he estimated $1,700. Is that ballpark reasonable? He also stated that 95% of the setups he does, he doesnt install a brake system. comments?
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:19 AM   #9
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I recommend getting a brake device of some sort. I've already had a few stop conditions that made me glad more than just the Axis brakes were working to slow things down. Consider the risks of not having one.
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Old 11-25-2015, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billnagle6900@gmail.com View Post
I went to my local Reese's trailers to check on price to get my 08 Envoy set up to tow 4 down by my '16 Vegas. With wiring, base plate, and Blue Ox tow bar, he estimated $1,700. Is that ballpark reasonable? He also stated that 95% of the setups he does, he doesnt install a brake system. comments?
You may want to contact your state motor vehicle department for clarification. I see conflicting info for North Carolina. One area says there are no laws for cars being towed behind a motor home. Another says anything that is being towed behind a vehicle weighing more that 4000 lbs and has a weight of over 1000 pounds must have a braking system. With a curb weight of close to 4600 lbs that is a lot of weight to be pushing that Axis when you are trying to stop.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bikegolfgirl View Post
Thank you all for the great information. I guess I will look into a couple of electrical bikes.
Electric bikes are a great mode of transportation! I've built a few that would cruise at 35mph and could hit 40 for short bursts when desired. I built them for a 10 mile commute using a single battery. Two batteries in parallel provided about 30 mile range, though as a primary use configuration a single pack design for range would be best.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:14 PM   #12
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The Honda Element was discontinued in 2011, so this must be an older Honda we are talking about here.

I'd check, but as I recall, many 2WD Hondas with automatic transmissions could be flat towed provided a special routine is followed to lubricate the transmission. Manual transmissions are normally towable (would check that also). All-wheel-drive or 4WD Hondas may not be, and can not be put on a dolly at all.

For small motorcycle or electric bikes, there are racks or lifts that can haul the bikes/motorcycle off the rear bumper. Depending on bike weight and motorhome cargo capacity, I would think that may be preferable over a trailer -- although may cost more than a small trailer.
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:54 PM   #13
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I don't tow a toad, so others that do might want to chime in -- but -- research if the vehicle requires the ignition switch to be in the accessary position to unlock the steering. And if so check about toad battery drain. Like I said, I'm clueless in this area but I have done some reading about flat towing a toad.
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:53 PM   #14
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Had my goldwing on a lift that worked great it could handle 1400 lbs. So they are out there.
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:13 PM   #15
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A car in tow is a trailer and few are less than 3000 lbs. Trailers require braking systems especially for the event of a break-away. Unlike a lot of trailers which when disconnected will drop to the ground and stop. A car in tow has four wheels and is designed to coast with minimum resistance.

Not have a brake system for a four-down towed car isn't a matter of misreading state codes, it is a matter of morality. A run-away disconnected car can easily kill someone.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:56 AM   #16
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I'm looking at Blue Ox and Brake Buddy Brake systems. What do you use?
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:20 AM   #17
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We use Blue Ox tow bar and adapter plate and a Blue Ox Apollo brake system (similar to Brake Buddy)
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Old 11-26-2015, 02:04 PM   #18
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I don't understand the "run-away" concern between towing four-down without brakes and typical towing on a dolly. If a car became disconnected from a dolly it could also be in neutral and have no brakes, hence could become the same type of missile. I trust safety chains are there in both cases to prevent a run-away.

That's not to say brakes are not a good idea for other reasons, like shorter stopping distances.
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Old 11-26-2015, 02:30 PM   #19
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The states don't say if you have safety cables, you don't need brakes. Any trailer over 3000 lbs, or 1500 lbs in a lot of states, needs break-away brakes. That is why surge brakes are not offered as much any more because they did not meet the break-away requirement.

Safety cables are important. But in most cases, the safety cables are attached on the same hitch mount as the ball or tow bar. A failure of that attachment point, will let loose of both things.

As for a dolly/car combination, the dolly can disconnect from the tow vehicle but the tongue will tend to drop to the ground and cause a halt. That doesn't remove the requirements for brakes for the dolly as the dolly is rated for weight with the car loaded.
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Old 11-26-2015, 03:42 PM   #20
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I'm referring to a car coming off a dolly, which seems more probable to me than a tow bar disconnecting or breaking in two. In either case that would have to occur PLUS the safety chains fail.

The problem for me is knowing that no matter how much is done in the name of safety, more can still be done. The legal braking requirement, whatever it may be, seems like a good place to draw the line on what is acceptable as a minimum.
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