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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > 2 wheel dolly or flat tow?

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PNW_Steve

Pacific Northwet & cold

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Posted: 05/11/19 05:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Big_steve wrote:

PNW_Steve wrote:



I started with a tow dolly. It served it's purpose but could be a pain to deal with.



Besides kneeling in the dirt or mud, what made it a pain?


An additional piece of gear that needs a place in the campsite.

It's like having a third vehicle to take care of.


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CA Traveler

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Posted: 05/11/19 05:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, Buy a used dolly and decide what to do when you get the next car.

2014 was the last year to flat tow a CRV. Some cars cannot be dolly towed, check your current CRV and the next car.

Flat tow setup with tow bar, lights and aux brake can be expensive but used equipment and DIY can offset the cost.

We flat towed a 04 CRV for 14 years. Bought the Jeep used fully set up for flat tow, approved by DW. But then DW didn't want it as a daily driver - so bought her a different car... Hence the Jeep was the most expensive flat tow EVER. [emoticon]


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Bob


JaxDad

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Posted: 05/11/19 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m the ‘odd man out’ I guess.....

I travel a LOT, over the course of a year, probably more than once a month, and Toronto to Florida probably 4 times a year. My average trip is 7 to 10 days.

I’d NEVER drag a car behind.

On a recent trip to Florida for an air show, a buddy who always brings a toad 4 down came along for a ‘boys trip’. He was VERY surprised that I not only wasn’t taking a toad, I flat out refused his offer of his.

When we got there and a nice young man arrived a few hours later with a shiny new Mercedes SUV rental car he got pensive.

When he found out that that rental, delivered to us, and ours to use for 3 days was going to cost $135 ($$45/day) and that was likely considerably LESS than the added cost of gas to drag a toad 3,000 miles round trip he was dumb-founded.

On many trips I never even get a car, when I can’t get a ride but need one, Uber, Lyft or a taxi is just a couple of dollars.

wa8yxm

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Posted: 05/11/19 05:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok first there are 5 types of cars
1: Can be towed 4-down by adding a aux braking system and tow bar system *nice)
1: Can not be towed 4 down AS DELIVERED but can be modified (I drive one)
3: Can not be towed 2 down (yes they make those)
4: Can not be towed 4 down PERIOD
5: Can not be towed with out special procedures even if towed on a trailer or flat bed tow truck (I will not name these but the "Special procedure" can be as simple as flipping a switch.

REMCO TOWING USA (delete spaces add dot com) is the expert on what can and not be towed. NOT the final word but odds are they will know. Go to their store and enter your car's vital stats (Year make model engine tranny F/R/4/A wheel drive and the like

Then see what they say.

Now 4 Down is by far easier.. IF YOU CAN DO IT.


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gbopp

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Posted: 05/11/19 05:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

REMCOTOWING.COM

FWIW, not all manual transmissions can be flat towed.

Beverley&Ken

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Posted: 05/11/19 08:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What year and what driveline in your CRV;
"Thinking of towing a Honda CRV behind a class C. CRV is wife's everyday driver, and will likely be replaced within a couple of years"
Our 12 CRV AWD can NOT be towed on a dolly, only 4 down (or on a trailer). Newer ones after 2014, with the new CVT transmission canNOT be towed behind a MH, either 2 down Dolly, or 4 down.
As for older models with the 4wd designation (as opposed to AWD), is a different storey again.

Ken


2006 Winnebago Outlook 29B E-450.
2012 Honda CR-V AWD
Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar and Brake Buddy Vantage.

Bobbo

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Posted: 05/11/19 09:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used a dolly for 3 years while I had a car that could not be flat towed. Then I bought a new car that can be flat towed, and flat towed for 7 years. I would do either one again if the need arose, but flat towing is, hands down, my preference. Given the option, I would not do anything but flat tow.

If you are thinking of replacing her car in the next couple of years, and you will be getting a car that can be flat towed when you do, it might make financial sense to go ahead and replace her car now, and set the new car up for flat towing. Buying a dolly is $2,000 to $5,000. If you do flat tow in your future, you would be lucky to get half of that back on selling the dolly.


Bobbo, Linda and the furry kid (45 pound rescue)
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Deb and Ed M

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Posted: 05/12/19 07:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've done it all: flat-towed, dolly, no toad and rent-a-car. Since we have a used-car dealership, we constantly switch cars. Since most smaller cars are front-wheel drive, the dolly ($900 used) is the easiest solution. Its drawback? Ed invariably is on the ground on his back hooking up the all-important dolly-to-car safety chain. Its pros: lets us decide at the last minute which car we will bring along.

We flat-towed a couple of Wranglers. Hookup is easy (and "cleaner"); but there's still the "fiddling around" setting up the Brake Buddy, etc. Once you have the setup, switching the toad is just a matter of having new mounting brackets installed - but some brackets need to have the bumper cut for openings, etc. I did the math one year before we went to Florida for a few weeks: the small loss of MPGs by towing still was cheaper than renting a car; plus having a car available at the drop of a hat is pretty handy.

I do agree with Bobbo - maybe getting a new car now for your wife/specifically chosen to be a good toad, would be the best (cleanest) solution?

CA Traveler

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Posted: 05/12/19 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I initially had a box brake and installation/removal became a chore. Less of a issue if I was a snowbird with a few long trips/year but that is not our style.

The Invsibrake requires no hookup, no switch or anything. The Air Force 1 has a air hose to connect. Both require significant installation for a second car.

Light installation for various brake systems is basically the same for different cars.

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 05/13/19 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You didn't mention the year of your CRV but if it's 2015 or newer the question is moot. You can't tow it 4 down. Now if it's 2014 or older you are in luck as it's probably one of the most common cars that folks tow 4 down behind an RV.

As someone who has done both 4 down is not only easier, it's exponentially easier. We had a dolly with our civic because I had no choice. HUGE pain. Not only is it a pain to load the car it was almost impossible not to mention dirty to load when it was wet. I once cracked a piece of the Civic's lower body work when it slide sideways trying to load in the snow. After a few miles you have to stop to tighten the straps, you have to find a place to store it, some CG's won't let you store it on site, it can be heavy to move around, it's another set of wheels and hubs you have to maintain etc. Most folks that use dollys say it's not that big of a hassle and I say they are kidding themselves as it's usually the only option. Sure they have their merits but in no way does it compare to the ease of towing 4 down. If all cars could be towed 4 down dolly's would cease to exist. We tow our CRV 4 down, we use a ready brute elite tow bars with the integrated surge brake. I installed the blue ox base plates myself but I am fairly handy and have a lot of tools. Took about 4 hours - taking my time.

Hooking up is sooooo simple and quick. Per the CRV manual you have to let the car idle for 3 minutes and I am usually hooked up and waiting on that 3 minutes to expire with a minute to spare. 2 cables, one wire and 2 pins - done. I could probably do it in less than a minute. I will never go back to a dolly if I didn't have to. I'd actually probably stop towing and rent a car.

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