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Old 05-05-2019, 07:10 AM   #1
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Trailer towing information questions

Kind of felt like a tennis ball. Bouncing back and forth at to what or how to tow a vehicle on the back side of the coach.

Our current vehicles are not 4 wheel down towable. The future may hold plans for a new F150 that could be, but for now I am looking at the options below.

First option was to purchase a tow dolly and pull my 2018 Focus ST. Nice light weight choice. But, if we have any of the grandkids along for an outing the back seat leg room is pretty tight. Other negative is that a tow dolly is a one trick pony in that it serves one purpose only. Other than that is sits doing nothing but taking up space.

Option 2 would be to 4 down a new vehicle purchase like a Jeep in the past. I just can't get excited about buying a new car right now. We both like what we are driving as every day vehicles.

Option 3, purchase a car hauler/trailer. Nothing fancy, but this would allow the choice of towing either the Focus ST with plenty of room to space. Or tow the Taurus SHO which offers much more interior room than that of the Focus ST. Plus car hauler trailer can also serve other trailering duties if needed unlike a tow dolly.

So it would appear that I am going to go with the 3rd Option and start looking for a car hauler trailer. This is where I could use your impute.

I'm not looking for fancy, more function.
Any pro or con as to wood floor over metal flooring?

What is the best length to look for? I am thinking 18' to 20' deck.

Do I need to be concerned with the length of the trailer tongue? A longer tongue may offer more turning radius I am guessing, but will the standard tongue length work without issues?

Is having the forward end of the deck corners angled as opposed to being a simple straight width standard deck going to cause any problems in tight turns. I don't have any desire to have the forward corner of the trailer deck make contact with the rear of the Berkshire body.

So if you would share your thoughts with me, please.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:07 AM   #2
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I have never towed a car trailer behind an RV so I cannot attest to any problems associated with that setup. However, when I have hauled a vehicle on a trailer, I prefer using a wooden vs metal simply because the metal is slippery, especially when wet.
A few other advantages to a wooden deck that I like is that the boards can easily be replaced, adding additional anchors can be accomplished with basic tools, if the need required you can screw a cleat, stop or item to the deck and rain water easily drains through the deck and does not pool as much.
As for clipped, rounded or square corner at the nose of the trailer. I think that is going to be mostly personal preference or a preferred look. I have never caught a trailer corner with my TV but if I were turning that tight, a spotter is always a good idea.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:38 AM   #3
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a trailer is really the 'worst' of the options, though it's for sure that some do it... the issue is 'what' to do with the trailer when you are at rv parks or campgrounds, and not in a pull-thru site long enough for all of it?
It's a lot of trouble, especially compared to 4-down towing, which I believe you Focus is capable of, even though it may not have the 'back seat' room you'd like.

A tow dolly is another consideration, but like a trailer, you must always contend with the 'loading and unloading' of it, and also 'where' to move/park it when you are at back-in sites. Some are not so easy to move on their own, and some of us have had them before and quickly grow tired of the requirements and the 'not so easy' moving of them, though, again, many, many folks use this because it's probably the simplest option.

My Fiesta and Focus have both been towed over 50,000 miles each - 4 down with our Blue-Ox Alpha tow bar.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formerFR View Post
a trailer is really the 'worst' of the options, though it's for sure that some do it... the issue is 'what' to do with the trailer when you are at rv parks or campgrounds, and not in a pull-thru site long enough for all of it?
It's a lot of trouble, especially compared to 4-down towing, which I believe you Focus is capable of, even though it may not have the 'back seat' room you'd like.

A tow dolly is another consideration, but like a trailer, you must always contend with the 'loading and unloading' of it, and also 'where' to move/park it when you are at back-in sites. Some are not so easy to move on their own, and some of us have had them before and quickly grow tired of the requirements and the 'not so easy' moving of them, though, again, many, many folks use this because it's probably the simplest option.

My Fiesta and Focus have both been towed over 50,000 miles each - 4 down with our Blue-Ox Alpha tow bar.
I'd be concerned about tongue weight. I only have about 500# for a trailer so I'd not be able to use a car hauler with a load and keep axle weight within specs. I tow a Jeep (19 years now) and it works great for me.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:01 PM   #5
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Keep it simple

IMO, FormerFR has very good points. I know I'd quickly get tired of dealing with the "where do I put the hauler" situation. Even loading and unloading would be a nuisance. Towing 4-down seems the cleanest and most hassle-free of all your choices.

I'd sell one of your other vehicles and get a Jeep. Fully-functioning car and also opens up many more exploring opportunities, should you desire.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:47 PM   #6
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The Focus is listed as 4 down towable, with the exception of the Electric and the ST Focus. Neither of these are listed as 4 down toad-able.

Have heard that it has to do with the ride height of the ST and the 6 speed transmission is of a different design than that of the rest of the Focus line.

As mentioned above, I do foresee a new F150 crewcab in my 4 down towing forecast. But, until I sell my 5th wheel I will hold on to my 2013 F350 CC dually diesel. Heck, it only has 56K miles on it. That and well, after writing that check for the new Berkshire I need some recovery time before that next big ticket item.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:54 PM   #7
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jonrjen,
There has to be someone different in every crowd, and that's me!


I have a 20' aluminum trailer that I haul my extra vehicle behind my motorhome. I like it because I can easily back up! On my recent trip back to WI from AZ I parallel parked my rig 2 different nights. I'm 65 ' long.
I towed my Silverado once (because it was too heavy for my 6,000 lb trailer) to AZ and back, but prefer using my trailer and a lighter vehicle.
Yes, you I can hook up to my Silverado easier and quicker than loading a car. Yes, you have a trailer to park somewhere and it can be a nusiance but not a big problem. I hauled my jeep to Alaska and back with no problems.

The biggest problem I see with pulling a trailer behind a RV is some people just can not back up a trailer. I've been in the RV world for 25 years and I've seen some very ugly happenings with some people trying to back up a trailer. If you want any more personal comments, please send me a private message.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:25 PM   #8
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Not so fond memories...

erninet, you reminded me of in the past when I'd occasionally pull a car hauler behind an extended van. I had a helluva time backing it up - mainly, I guess, because I only did it occasionally. Everything seemed backward to my intuition. However, I've seen some folks do it with ease. Guess it just takes some getting used to, and operating without overthinking, kind of like a typewriter.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:50 PM   #9
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Weight of towing affect fuel consumption and climbing hills. So even with a light weight trailer and 3000# car you are hauling more than a 4 down option weighs...then there's that extra leveraged weight on the rear with a heavy trailer.
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