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Old 05-26-2015, 09:33 PM   #1
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Please educate me on tow dollies

I want to tow my 2013 Honda CRV behind my Sunseeker. I am considering a tow dolly or towing flat. It seems a tow dolly is cheaper but then I have to deal with it when not in use. So for those have done both, what are the plusses and minuses of each method?

Also, I assume the dollies need brakes? Do they have electric brakes like most other trailers? I assume I would need to get a brake controller installed as well? Is the Ford chassis pre-wired for the controller?

Thanks.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:33 PM   #2
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I'm not sure, but I don't think you can tow an all wheel drive with a tow dolly. Maybe yours is a fwd. if it is, I know there are some dollies that have surge brakes, which would make it pretty easy. We have a 2001 crv and flat tow it. We use a blu Ox bar with a patriot brake system. I bought them barely used on Craigslist.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:11 PM   #3
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We just bought a 2012 CRV AWD to eliminate the tow dolly. We have used a dolly to tow a PT Cruiser for a couple of years. Check your car's specs.

Dolly - if you have a front wheel drive car, the start up costs are less and you have car flexibility. Many tow dollies have brakes, either electric or surge. We selected one with surge brakes so we we didn't have to mess with the controller wiring. Hookup is not hard but we have to crawl under the front of the car to install the safety chains. Cost was $1,200 for a used Demco Kar Kaddy SS.

4-down - once you invest in the setup, hookup and disconnect are easier (no direct experience other than watching others). Our setup costs will be about $4,000 for parts and labor, including some wiring in the MH.

Conclusion - either works, it really depends on your car and budget.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:50 AM   #4
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The Ford chassis is prewired for electric brake controls if you end up going that way. I installed a brake controller but use it for pulling an ATV trailer as my tow dolly has surge brakes. Tow dollies usually take more effort to hook up the car but if you do a lot of towing put less wear and tear on the car as pretty much all the systems except the engine are still being used on 4 down. Also we don't even tow unless the trip is more than several hours. It's just simpler and easier for my wife to just drive it. Stops or getting gas is less of a hassle without something under tow and you can't really back up with either method.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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Dealing with the tow dolly is a royal pain in the butt once you try to stow it. We towed our HHR with a Blue Ox tow bar and never had any problems. Which ever way you go you're going to need extra braking. Surge on the dolly or something like brake buddy for four down. It's much cheaper and safer than prematurely wearing out your motorhome brakes.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:48 PM   #6
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The biggest disadvantage of a tow dolly to me is if you get caught somewhere and have to unhook to turn around. Huge process compared to unhooking your toad and temporarily hanging the cables on the MH bumper.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:33 PM   #7
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Tow Dollie

I have an eze tow tow dollie with hydraulic disc brakes which requires no wiring or braking device for my CR-V (I pulled a 2007 and now a 2014 CR-V). The dollie is all welded construction and weighs only 500 lbs and comes with sure grip metal ramps, an extra wheel and tire, and LED lights. I modified the safety chain hookup that now only takes a minute to hook and unhook without getting under the car. I pull with a FR Georgetown XL 377 and traveled 10 states without any problems. Keep the straps tight, the steering wheel unlocked, and the emergency brake disengaged. Cost around 1,600 to 1,700 plus shipping. Weight capacity is 5,000 lbs allowing the ability to pull most any front wheel drive vehicle.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:35 PM   #8
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Tow dolly will let you tow any front wheel drive vehicle and is very convenient for that. We didn't know what we were going to tow so it worked for us. Much more of a pain loading vehicle especially in the rain. Ramps get wet and difficult to get vehicle up on dolly. You only want pull through sites with tow dolly. You don't want to unhook and push dolly around before backing in a spot. You can move a tow dolly around but mine was fairly heavy and a pain. My 4 down setup cost $3000 that included brake system. It only takes a few minutes to hook up or unhook. I won't go back to dolly but to each their own. Many newer vehicles that used to be 4 down capable are now not, be sure to do your homework. Good Luck!
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:48 PM   #9
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rparker, I have the same dolly. Love it, well built, light and easy to use. Loading a Honda Fit is a snap. What modification did you do to safety chains? They're the worst part of loading. Still can unload in less then 3 minutes.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rparker3040 View Post
I have an eze tow tow dollie with hydraulic disc brakes which requires no wiring or braking device for my CR-V (I pulled a 2007 and now a 2014 CR-V). .
That is the dolly I am looking at if I go that route.

Thanks.
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