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Old 02-15-2018, 12:54 PM   #1
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Tow dolly vs tow bar

I have a 2017 2800qs and am wanting to get a toad. I would like to hear from people using a dolly such as a demco kar kaddy ss. It seems most people are using tow bars ,but, a dolly allows a vastly larger car types to be used as a toad. Are there any other advantages of a dolly and is there a better dolly than the demco kar kaddy ss?
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:22 PM   #2
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I do both types of toad, or no toad, depending on where we are going, and who is going.

Jeep TJ, flat tow.
Acme Dolly for our "regular" vehicle.
Sometimes no toad at all.

Yes, the flat tow is a bit quicker to hook and unhook, but sometimes we need to bring our car. In our case, DW does not drive the Jeep (manual trans), nor can we take dogs and DD in the Jeep (not enough room in the back for two big dogs and DD), so sometimes we take the car. The Acme does not take more than a few minutes longer to hook or unhook, at least how I set it up (safety cables from dolly to car are vinyl covered cable, which loop through the car wheels). I can move the dolly by hand, and, if needed, can hook it to the car. At home, the dolly stands on end, against the house, out of the way. I can stand it up by myself, and have even done so at a campsite (strap to tree or RV for safety).

So my opinion is to pick the vehicle(s) you want to bring, within the limits of your RV (don't forget the weight of the dolly), and use whatever means needed. In the grand scheme of things, having the toad to fit your needs far outweighs the method of towing.

One caveat though. If you use a dolly, you are likely limited by the dolly tires, to 65mph. If you flat tow, then you are limited by the RV tires (probably 75mph). If you prefer to travel faster than 65mph (I normally do not, towing or not), then flat tow will give you more MPH before exceeding the tire safety limits (assuming proper inflation etc.).

Flat tow requires setting up a braking system, at least a break away, if not for the law, then for (what used to be more) common sense. Dolly can include a breaking system.

FWIW, I "grew up" with surge brakes, so both my setups are surge. I did setup an electronic controller, in case I have to tow someone else's rig, but it was a controller I already had for another purpose, since I was already running wire for indicator lights for the toads... (wire from toad brake light switch to led in cab).
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:39 PM   #3
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Acme tow dolly is what I use

I do not even know it is there unless I look in the rear view camera. Just make sure you do not forget it is behind you. Avoid u turns or backing up situations. You can back up a little with the tool provided to keep the surge brakes from activating. Always preplan your route when towing a dolly. The dolly tires are only 12 inch rims but are 10 ply load range E and good for 75mph.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:29 PM   #4
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I have just ordered the ACME EZE Tow Bar after research and inputs from this site. I am anxious to get it set up and head out to Oregon at the end of March. I am getting it because the toad I want to use is not compatible with 4 down towing and the cost of getting a tow set up. The ACME tow bar looks like the best solution for us.

We are new to the RV world and while taking our local shakedown trips we realized that we wouldn't want to go on a long trip without the flexibility of taking another car along.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:39 PM   #5
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We use a dolly for our Versa, Spousal Unit stated "If sumptin happens to that P.O.S., we'll leave it where it died"
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:56 PM   #6
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What Dp26 said.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:46 PM   #7
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I, too, thought long and hard about which method to choose. At the end I decided to tow 4 down mainly because I didn't want to worry about storing the dolly or having it stolen.
I use the Ready Brute Elite tow bar which once set-up is fairly easy to install and uninstall and it's stored in the back of the CRV.

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Old 02-16-2018, 02:39 PM   #8
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I tow 4 wheels down. My first Dinghy was a Wrangler and it simple and didn't even know it was back there. Now we tow a Chevy Equinox 4 wheels down. Easy and quick to hitch and unhitch. Personally I don't want to deal with a tow dolly at home or a campsite. Don't want to deal with strapping it on in the rain with muddy tires. If I get into a tight spot, quck to unhitch the dinghy and backup the motorhome. A dolly is get the car off, unhitch the dolly then re-hitch and put the car back on. I guess I'm too lazy LOL. MY VOTE 4 wheels down.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:02 PM   #9
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I have been using a karkaddy 3 for 5 years. Towing my Cadillac SRX behind a Sunseeker, Georgetown & now a pusher, in all cases it has performed very well. It handles corners very well and the surge brakes also are nice. I also like the 14” wheels. That said I have had cracking issues with the plastic fenders and had to replace fender lite housing. If I had to buy another dolly I would choose karkaddy.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C 47 View Post
I have a 2017 2800qs and am wanting to get a toad. I would like to hear from people using a dolly such as a demco kar kaddy ss. It seems most people are using tow bars ,but, a dolly allows a vastly larger car types to be used as a toad. Are there any other advantages of a dolly and is there a better dolly than the demco kar kaddy ss?
I've used both- Demco kar kaddy advantage as you have stated is more car choices- For me the disadvantages were loading- especially if wet and crawling under car to hook up safety chains I always worried about about straps on tires loosing for me- a real pain ! . Went with tow bars much easier to hook up and much higher confidence but still took some time.

Went to a 5er and never looked back.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:50 AM   #11
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We decided on 4-down towing even though a viable dolly was available a short distance from us.

Here is why we nixed the dolly:
1. Storage at home and on the road.
2. It requires another license plate.
3. We are not big fans of surge brakes.'
4. The front of the toad is elevated causing low ground clearance at the rear of the toad.
5. Should have a spare tire for the dolly.
6. Most important, the dolly has brakes on two wheels. Virtually all toads are designed to stop with brakes on all four wheels.

Our toad choice was a very low mileage 2012 Jeep Liberty 4x4. Easy set up, easy tow, good amount of room, and good safety features. DW was first opposed to any toad. Now, she refers to it as "my Jeep".

Four-down towing can be expensive. But so is a new dolly. I found a Blue Ox Patriot brake controller (less than a year old and still under warranty}, a Blue Ox tow bar, and the wiring umbilical on craigslist very reasonable (I would call it a gift). We had to buy a new base plate, a light kit and RVIBrake battery tender. It was a DIY project that saved a lot of $.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:23 PM   #12
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4 down or on a dolly

I tow a jeep Tj using am tow bar or I tow a PT Cruiser on a dolly. Personally I prefer the tow bar. Like others have said a tow bar requires less effort and I find it a little more forgiving on narrow roads
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:30 PM   #13
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I'll bet that most of us who now 4-down our vehicle, started out with a tow dolly... it's the obvious 'first choice' because it's a more 'known' way to pull a vehicle, ala 'uhaul'. Anyone can rent one, try it out, and see if it 'makes sense'. Or, like us, you can buy a car dolly, use it for some time, and then decide that it has drawbacks - sell it and set up a 4-down vehicle.

There's no right or wrong answer, everyone is different. Some don't want to think about 4-down towing because it requires an 'installed' special base plate for the vehicle to be towed, and it has to be a vehicle that CAN be towed 4-down. But, generally, the overall price is about the same, and most of us eventually realize that 4-down towing is just more convenient when a lot of traveling is in the future, with a lot of hooking/unhooking to think about. Also, no additional 'trailer' to store or find room for, or to register and insure.
But, some will consider the ability to tow almost 'any' vehicle with a tow dolly as a great reason to use this method. Others will own a tow dolly AND a 4-down vehicle with a tow bar system. Either, and all, are good choices.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:20 AM   #14
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I like the ease of 4 down. I think it is much easier than loading on a tow dolly, others will disagree, especially during or after rain when dolly ramps are wet. We always request pull through sites but they are not always available, removing dolly and manhandling around site to store is a major PITA IMHO. 4 down is more expensive and dollies give you much more flexibility of vehicles you can use. Good Luck!
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formerFR View Post
I'll bet that most of us who now 4-down our vehicle, started out with a tow dolly... it's the obvious 'first choice' because it's a more 'known' way to pull a vehicle, ala 'uhaul'. Anyone can rent one, try it out, and see if it 'makes sense'. Or, like us, you can buy a car dolly, use it for some time, and then decide that it has drawbacks - sell it and set up a 4-down vehicle.

There's no right or wrong answer, everyone is different. Some don't want to think about 4-down towing because it requires an 'installed' special base plate for the vehicle to be towed, and it has to be a vehicle that CAN be towed 4-down. But, generally, the overall price is about the same, and most of us eventually realize that 4-down towing is just more convenient when a lot of traveling is in the future, with a lot of hooking/unhooking to think about. Also, no additional 'trailer' to store or find room for, or to register and insure.
But, some will consider the ability to tow almost 'any' vehicle with a tow dolly as a great reason to use this method. Others will own a tow dolly AND a 4-down vehicle with a tow bar system. Either, and all, are good choices.

Well stated!
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:28 AM   #16
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I agree with formerFR. I started with a tow dolly but it was such a hassle to deal with. Not to mention that my Honda CR-V liked to put cuts on the tie down straps. Couldn't figure out how to get the straps over the wheel without rubbing on the struts which would cut the strap. It was capable of being towed flat so I set it up for that the next season and ditched the dolly.

I now tow a Wrangler flat and couldn't be happier. I will never go back to a dolly if I can help it. The dolly is really wide and runs almost wider than the RV so you really have to watch the turns. The Jeep or Honda run well within the width of the RV so it makes tight corners much easier.
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