RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 

Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Tech Forums > Towing | Hitches and Toads
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-27-2020, 03:27 PM   #1
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 23H
State: Virginia
Posts: 70
THOR #19277
Honda Civic on a dolly

I have a 24' MH on an E450 chassis.

I'm thinking about getting a tow dolly to pull my 2016 Honda Civic Touring Sedan. It weighs a little under 3000 lbs.

Can I use a dolly without brakes?
If I do need brakes, will they need to be electric, or could they be surge?

The drive train of my Civic is still cover under the 5-year factory warranty. I'm guessing that does not include the rear axles. If I tow this vehicle for long distances with the rear wheels down, will the rear wheel bearings need any extra maintenance?

I'm hoping that the odometer cable is connected to the front wheels. It would suck to have to disconnect it when towing.

I hear everybody complaining about how difficult it is to back up with a toad. I pull a 4000 lb boat with my SUV. Wouldn't this be about the same thing? In the SUV, my backup cam is worthless because it looks right into the bow of the boat. But, in the MH, I should be able to see over the toad.

What am I missing?
__________________

__________________
Wiley1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2020, 03:35 PM   #2
Site Team
 
EA37TS's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,822
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
I have a 24' MH on an E450 chassis.

I'm thinking about getting a tow dolly to pull my 2016 Honda Civic Touring Sedan. It weighs a little under 3000 lbs.

Can I use a dolly without brakes?
If I do need brakes, will they need to be electric, or could they be surge?

The drive train of my Civic is still cover under the 5-year factory warranty. I'm guessing that does not include the rear axles. If I tow this vehicle for long distances with the rear wheels down, will the rear wheel bearings need any extra maintenance?

I'm hoping that the odometer cable is connected to the front wheels. It would suck to have to disconnect it when towing.

I hear everybody complaining about how difficult it is to back up with a toad. I pull a 4000 lb boat with my SUV. Wouldn't this be about the same thing? In the SUV, my backup cam is worthless because it looks right into the bow of the boat. But, in the MH, I should be able to see over the toad.

What am I missing?
Yes, you must have brakes. From the Virginia code:

"Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar, chain, or coupling to a towing vehicle other than a farm tractor or a vehicle not required to obtain a registration certificate and having an actual gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in § 46.2-1067 and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent."

For tow dolly it is the combination of dolly and car that make up the gross weight.

Backing a boat is not the same as backing a dolly and car that have the rear wheels of the car and the dolly wheels trying to go in different directions. Then again, you can do anything the wallet can afford.
__________________

__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (Toad)
FMCA - F432054
EA37TS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2020, 04:42 PM   #3
Axis/Vegas Enthusiast
 
JamieGeek's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 9,180
THOR #1150
Odometer cable is typically connected to the transmission if there is one at all (many modern cars use a hall sensor now and still in the transmission).

Brakes can be either electric or surge your choice. You'll find many opinions about each and each has its plusses and minuses.

Our dolly has surge brakes (https://cartowdolly.com/). There isn't much you do with them they either work or they don't (ocassionaly have to check the brake fluid and/or the pads to make sure they are ok). The dolly comes with a cam to disable the surge brakes if you are trying to back up--something you do very very rarely (as Dave mentions: There are two pivot points making backing difficult: The hitch, and the front wheels on the dolly).

You may also want to consider the car+dolly: Does the steering lock on the Civic when it is "off" (and key-out)? If so you may want a dolly with a turntable instead of a fixed one like the cartowdolly one (The https://www.mastertow.com/towdollies dolly has a turntable so you don't have to unlock the steering).

If you can't lock the steering you may want to opt for the fixed dolly.
__________________
2014 Thor Axis 24.1
2018 Chevy Bolt
blog - https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/
JamieGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2020, 07:28 PM   #4
Site Team
 
16ACE27's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
Posts: 5,382
THOR #7035
Is your car a manual transmission? If so it can be towed 4 down, otherwise you will need a dolly.

But even if you tow it 4 down, if you follow the procedure in your Owners' Manual it will not accumulate mileage.
__________________
Ted & Melinda
2016 ACE 27.1
2016 Chevy Sonic Toad
2020 Chevy Colorado Z71 Trail Runner Alternate Toad
16ACE27 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 09:48 PM   #5
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 23H
State: Virginia
Posts: 70
THOR #19277
Quote:
Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
Yes, you must have brakes. From the Virginia code:
"Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar, chain, or coupling to a towing vehicle other than a farm tractor or a vehicle not required to obtain a registration certificate and having an actual gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in § 46.2-1067 and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent."
For tow dolly it is the combination of dolly and car that make up the gross weight.
So, if I could find a tow dolly that weighs under 250 pounds, and a car that weighs under 2750 pounds, then I wouldn't need brakes? Heck, right now, I'm over by less than 250 pounds.

I find it ridiculous that the tow vehicle is not considered in that equation.

If I'm towing that combo with a Honda CRV, I would darned certainly need dolly brakes. But, I'm thinking about using my E450 which can stop my little Civic like it isn't even there.

But, nobody ever accused the state gov'ment of being logical or smart or fair.
__________________
Wiley1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 10:55 PM   #6
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 23H
State: Virginia
Posts: 70
THOR #19277
Quote:
Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
Backing a boat is not the same as backing a dolly and car that have the rear wheels of the car and the dolly wheels trying to go in different directions.
I just watched a guy demonstrate the MasterTow dolly here:


This is the same dolly I am considering. I found this video very good and very informative. I can see now why backing up a dolly could be a disaster. That thing wants to jackknife in every direction. No wonder everybody hates tow dollies.

What I don't understand is why the front wheels of the car are allowed to "articulate" on the dolly. What would happen if the car was locked down in a fixed position without any rotation function in the dolly? On a tight turn, the outside rear wheel of the car would need to travel faster than the inside wheel. Same with the dolly. Why isn't that OK? Isn't that what you get with a 4-down tow? It would certainly make backing up easier.

Come to think of it, the only time I ever back up my 24' MH is to get into my driveway or a back-in campsite. On the road, we can almost always find someplace wide enough to perform a U-turn. The trick would be to avoid getting yourself into any situation that required backing up.
__________________
Wiley1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 11:10 PM   #7
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 23H
State: Virginia
Posts: 70
THOR #19277
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Brakes can be either electric or surge your choice. You'll find many opinions about each and each has its pluses and minuses.
Our dolly has surge brakes (https://cartowdolly.com/). There isn't much you do with them they either work or they don't (occasionally have to check the brake fluid and/or the pads to make sure they are ok).
I'm leaning toward surge brakes. My boat trailer has surge brakes so I'm used to hearing that loud BANG when stopping and starting. I like the idea of NOT having a complicated electric brake controller under the dash.

I'm also used to hearing my trailer tires skid along the pavement when backing up. No big deal. That can usually be avoided by backing up gently so the surge cylinder isn't actuated. If I had a cam, I would probably not even get out of the car to set it in most cases.
__________________
Wiley1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2020, 12:00 AM   #8
Site Team
 
16ACE27's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
Posts: 5,382
THOR #7035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
I just watched a guy demonstrate the MasterTow dolly here:


This is the same dolly I am considering. I found this video very good and very informative. I can see now why backing up a dolly could be a disaster. That thing wants to jackknife in every direction. No wonder everybody hates tow dollies.

What I don't understand is why the front wheels of the car are allowed to "articulate" on the dolly. What would happen if the car was locked down in a fixed position without any rotation function in the dolly? On a tight turn, the outside rear wheel of the car would need to travel faster than the inside wheel. Same with the dolly. Why isn't that OK? Isn't that what you get with a 4-down tow? It would certainly make backing up easier.

Come to think of it, the only time I ever back up my 24' MH is to get into my driveway or a back-in campsite. On the road, we can almost always find someplace wide enough to perform a U-turn. The trick would be to avoid getting yourself into any situation that required backing up.
The articulation of the front of the car/dolly has nothing to do with the trailing tires and wheels.

The car/dolly combo wants to go straight
The MH is dragging it around a corner by the dolly tongue.
The dolly wheels will scrub sideways.
The stress on the front wheel straps will stretch them, loosen them, and eventually cause them to give way.

I leave it to you to consider the consequences.
__________________
Ted & Melinda
2016 ACE 27.1
2016 Chevy Sonic Toad
2020 Chevy Colorado Z71 Trail Runner Alternate Toad
16ACE27 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2020, 02:23 AM   #9
Site Team
 
EA37TS's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,822
THOR #1469
We used a Master Tow with surge brakes for 5 years. It’s an excellent tow dolly.

Click image for larger version

Name:	08591F27-372E-4479-8A81-867F426CCB15.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	306.8 KB
ID:	25372
__________________
EA37TS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2020, 09:22 PM   #10
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 23H
State: Virginia
Posts: 70
THOR #19277
Quote:
Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
We used a Master Tow with surge brakes for 5 years. It’s an excellent tow dolly.
Still got it? Want to sell it?
__________________
Wiley1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2020, 10:18 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 2,340
THOR #6411
Quote:
Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
We used a Master Tow with surge brakes for 5 years. It’s an excellent tow dolly.
Agree - I had mine for 4 years and tow 3 different vehicles depending where we are going and what we plan on doing. The cost new was less than $1,700 with a spare.
__________________
Jim & Roy Davis
2016 Hurricane 31S
1961 Rampside in tow
Beau388 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2020, 06:26 PM   #12
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 36.2
State: Illinois
Posts: 44
THOR #12796
In my experience , Surge brakes actuate when backing unless you have a solenoid valve to lock out with 5 pin connector for wiring. Your boat trailer probably has this feature, many car dollies do not.

I have actually had the one bolt that holds a surge brake coupler together break due to dolly wheels getting stopped by debris on interstate highway. I'm glad my break away cables held. One advantage to electric brakes is more than 1 bolt and no sliding connection in the coupler like surge brakes.
__________________
16Pal36.3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2020, 06:55 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 2,340
THOR #6411
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16Pal36.3 View Post
In my experience , Surge brakes actuate when backing unless you have a solenoid valve to lock out with 5 pin connector for wiring. Your boat trailer probably has this feature, many car dollies do not.

I have actually had the one bolt that holds a surge brake coupler together break due to dolly wheels getting stopped by debris on interstate highway. I'm glad my break away cables held. One advantage to electric brakes is more than 1 bolt and no sliding connection in the coupler like surge brakes.
Actually the Master Tow dolly has a slot in the surge coupler to stick in a 5/16" common screwdriver which locks out the surge brakes. if you plan on backing up.
__________________
Jim & Roy Davis
2016 Hurricane 31S
1961 Rampside in tow
Beau388 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2020, 08:38 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: '17-Vegas 24.1
State: California
Posts: 1,156
THOR #13362
As discussed in other threads...
Uhaul rents one type of Tow Dolly nationwide.
They all have NO Brakes.

A few years ago...there was a lawsuit regarding an accident of a vehicle pulling a Uhaul Tow Dolly. The NO Brakes was part of the lawsuit.
I think they settled out of court.

Today, Uhaul still rents Tow Dolly’s without brakes.

So it’s always entertaining to read all the discussions on this and other RV forums about Toads & Tow Dolly brakes vs no-brakes.

__________________
'17 Vegas 24.1
Fallbrook, CA
taylorbob1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 03:57 PM   #15
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 23H
State: Virginia
Posts: 70
THOR #19277
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
As discussed in other threads...
Yes, entertaining.... but I'm confused.....

We get berated when we dredge up old threads.
And we get berated when we start new threads on old subjects.

What is a user supposed to do?
__________________
Wiley1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 04:18 PM   #16
Site Team
 
EA37TS's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,822
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
Still got it? Want to sell it?
I sold it last September. Put it on a local bulletin board and had a bidding war between three people. Sold it for 300 more than asking to a guy that flips cars.
__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (Toad)
FMCA - F432054
EA37TS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 04:30 PM   #17
I Think We're Lost!
 
Bob Denman's Avatar
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 17,814
THOR #8860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
Yes, entertaining.... but I'm confused.....

We get berated when we dredge up old threads.
And we get berated when we start new threads on old subjects.

What is a user supposed to do?
Do whatever you feel most comfortable with!
Let's face it: you can't possibly keep everybody happy ALL of the time...

about those brakes: get some!
In a panic-stop situation: you'll use every bit of them!
__________________
Good Sam Member 843599689
Current coach: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
Bob Denman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 06:39 PM   #18
Site Team
 
EA37TS's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,822
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
Yes, entertaining.... but I'm confused.....

We get berated when we dredge up old threads.
And we get berated when we start new threads on old subjects.

What is a user supposed to do?
Do exactly what you are doing and ask your questions. If someone does not like it they can ignore the thread.

This forum's purpose is to assist all members in their quest for knowledge regarding RV'ing and the use and care of their Thor Industries rigs.

If the question applies to a an old thread the thread can be resurrected with appropriate a questions. If it's a new question to an old topic ask and it shall be answered by someone willing to help.
__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (Toad)
FMCA - F432054
EA37TS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 06:53 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Missouri
Posts: 155
THOR #9178
I am on the 5th year with a Stehl dolly

No issues at all towing an Escape

Sometimes I tow a F150 4 down depending on the trip

The Stehl handles the mountain passes very well without overheating the brakes

The left tire on the dolly sticks out a bit past the Tuscany 42GX so I can see it without having the camera on

The main thing towing a dolly is stopping and tightening the straps
__________________
lwmcguir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2020, 11:01 PM   #20
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 23H
State: Virginia
Posts: 70
THOR #19277
Perhaps I can get another question answered that may seem obvious to some people.
After all, its my thread, so I can hijack it, right?
.
Why do people go to great extremes to avoid using a tow dolly? (such as rushing out to buy a Jeep). Put another way, what makes 4-down towing more preferred?
.
It seems to me that backing up a 4-down Jeep would present the same difficulties as backing up a tow dolly.
.
When you tow 4-down, you're wearing out 4 tires (instead of 2) that are presumably more expensive than trailer tires.
.
4-down towing requires an attachment to the frame of the toad, but a dolly can tow nearly any front-wheel drive vehicle without modification.
.
I haven't even begun to think about how to rig brakes on a 4-down vehicle.
.
So, why does everybody hate dollies and love 4-down?
__________________

__________________
Wiley1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 02:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
×