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Old 01-23-2020, 10:21 AM   #1
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Which do you prefer

Towing dolly vs flat tow. Hello , Iím trying to decide which procedure is best. I have towed trailers all my life, But I have not towed a vehicle. I just purchased a 2019 Ranger to tow behind my Class c.
Which do you prefer and why? Also which brands of equipment do you prefer. Thanks Pete
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:52 AM   #2
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First off can your Ranger be flat towed?

Than you need to look at how much you want to spend for towing a vehicle behind your class c.

They each have there +/- as far as I am concerned. Such as where do you store the car dolly at the campground and or when you are at home! For flat towing you do need to buy a tow bar, mounting hardware for the tow bar to the vehicle and an auxiliary braking system for the tow vehicle. To name just a few considerations when towing a vehicle behind a motor home.

My neighbor just purchased a new class c motor home and than found out his cars could not be flat towed. So, he went out and purchased a new 2020 Honda Civic manual transmission vehicle so, this car could be flat towed.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:13 AM   #3
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Flat tow or Dolly

Looking for info on towing new Ford Ranger. Flat tow or Dolly ? Which do you prefer and why?
What equipment ( brands) works best
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:25 AM   #4
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Take note, if you havenít already, that according to the Dinghy Towing Guide, only the 4WD version of the Ranger is flat towable.

https://webcontent.goodsam.com/motor...inghyGuide.pdf
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BehindBars View Post
Take note, if you havenít already, that according to the Dinghy Towing Guide, only the 4WD version of the Ranger is flat towable.

https://webcontent.goodsam.com/motor...inghyGuide.pdf
Adding difficulty, if not flat towable and rear wheel drive, it is probably not towable on a dolly either. I have a Ford PU and the same dilema.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:24 PM   #6
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Talking Your Choice

My experience has been with a tow dolly. If I had it to do over I would Flat tow because I've had so many problems with a tow dolly such as having to put it somewhere while you're where you're at. If you are not exactly lined up right it can wear your tires and before you know it you've ruined a set of tires. In tight turns you run the risk of the dolly fenders gouging the side of your tow vehicle.I had a lot of lighting troubles too. I just had constant problems with mine. I sold my MH and went back to a FW.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:25 PM   #7
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I have towed with a dolly and am now flat towing a 2013 Honda CR-V. Flat towing is so much easier, less work hooking up and less dirty for you. You won’t regret flat towing
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:39 PM   #8
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I agree Completely. If I had it to do over, There would be no question that I would flat tow.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:53 PM   #9
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I prefer flat towing. With a Ranger a dolly is probably not an option, flat or trailer are probably your only choices.

Make sure your ranger is tow-able 4 down or flat towing may not be an option either.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:15 PM   #10
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I have been towing a front wheel drive VW GTI for 3 summers now. Never had any problems. Only inconvenience is going under the car to install safety chains, especially when the ground is hot during summer time. Otherwise, tow dolly is just fine.

The only reason I am thinking on switching to FLAT Tow now is because my car is giving me headaches lately with repair cost. Since we need to get a new towed vehicle, we are considering FLAT towing the next vehicle we pick.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:18 PM   #11
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Flat tow every time!
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:34 PM   #12
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Flat tow hands down. 2 min 30 seconds to hook up. Less than a minute to unhook. No worries finding additional area to park tow dolly. Cost of tow bar setup for flat tow probably less than dolly setup.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:37 PM   #13
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Two Summers ago I dolly towed a 2018 GTI on an Acme tow dolly. One of the ramps kicked out and did $2000 damage to the front end. Replaced the car with a Kia Forte 5 manual tranny and flat towed last Summer. Much less hassle IMHO.

Flat towing does seem to reduce fuel mileage somewhat. I went form the 13s to the 12s with my FR MBS when I went to flat towing.

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Old 01-23-2020, 07:48 PM   #14
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I use a dolly and likely will switch to flat towing this summer. Here's why:
  • The previous comment about getting the car dead center is spot on. With some dolly's, like my 2019 Acme EZE Tow Dolly, the car also needs to be centered left-right on the dolly within 1/2" or the strap winches will be offset (because the winches are required to be bolted down and do not slide side-to-side). It has taken me as many as six times to get the car centered. When your partner says "You need to move the car 1" to the right", well, that's about impossible to judge so you try and try again and the stress levels climb.

  • If I do happen to nail it the first time it still takes a total of 30 minutes to pull the tools out, add the straps, check the straps to assure they're not chafing on the shock towers, add the chains, and put the tools away. If I have to relocate the car multiple times it's about a one hour job. In dry, warm weather...

  • You need to stop after the first couple of miles to tighten the straps because they will loosen no matter how hard you crank them down initially because the straps stretch.

  • Taking the car off is faster, maybe 20 minutes. "Off" includes putting everything away including the dolly, not just removing the car from the dolly. Unless the dolly is not absolutely centered on the motorhome. Why? Because one of the safety chains will be pulled tight so you can't get it off. So far I've been able to really crank down on that strap to get the tire pulled forward a bit to take the tension off the chain. So far.

  • The weight of the dolly gets added to the weight of the car when looking at your hitch limits. If you have a 5,000 lb hitch as most if not all Ford F53 chassis's do, that can be a big issue. The Acme EZE Tow Dolly weighs about 350 lbs but I've seen some that weigh over 600 lbs.

  • Because the dolly also adds a significant amount to the hitch tongue weight I cannot add a dual receiver adapter to hold a bike rack. With a flat tow there is no tongue weight if the tow bar is level.

The main downside to flat towing are it's more expensive than a dolly due to the baseplate and installation, the tow bar itself, the supplemental braking system, etc. You may need to replace a car, like I will. There also are scattered reports of people using "always installed" braking systems like the InvisiBrake having their car brakes come on by themselves when driving the car due to a braking system defect.

A dolly like a flat tow cannot be backed up if you get yourself into a "situation". Would you rather disconnect the flat tow in five or ten minutes or the dolly in 20 or more minutes while traffic is piling up behind you. Then consider the time getting the toad reconnected.

FWIW,

Ray
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:53 PM   #15
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I dolly towed for 2 years and now have towed 4 down for 6 years. I will never go back to a dolly. 4 down is easier but does cost a little more. Back in sites are challenging with a dolly. 4 down can be extra costly if you change toads often. Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:03 PM   #16
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have a tow dolly and it only take me 2 min top to on hook and about 10 min to hook up
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:02 PM   #17
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Dolly Tow

We bought a used Master Tow 77, intending to use it with our 2008 Prius. When we first tried to load the Prius, we discovered that the front end of the Prius appeared to be too low slung to fit on the dolly. That gave us the needed excuse to trade the Prius for something else. We ended up with a 2018, front wheel drive, Kia Sportage.

The Sportage fits on the tow dolly just fine. Towing is smooth behind our 2008 Sunseeker with its Ford E450 chassis. Everything tracks pretty well around corners and turns. Obviously you canít get into tight spots without a clear exit strategy; you canít back up.

We are getting better at hooking everything up, loading and tie down. It takes 15 minutes or so; a little less to unload.

I can drag the empty dolly around by hand reasonably well on level ground.

Hope this is helpful.

Gregg
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:43 AM   #18
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Flat tow '16 Chevy Equinox AWD behind 32.5' Tioga, coast to coast. No problems. A friend tows '19 Equinox Frt.WD., others tow GMCs, Jeeps. All Auto Trans. Check the owner's manual under "Dinghy Towing" for your vehicle. Safe travels and Happy Trails!
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:39 PM   #19
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Flat towing

We flat tow with our FR 2401W a Fiat 500 manual. Easy hook up, 10 min max and the same for disconnect. (even less if we leave the bar on the car just to park) We use the RVi system. Works great and always have the hub and tablet charged prior to hook up.
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