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Author Topic: Flat tow or toad?  (Read 6150 times)

1PlasticMan1

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Flat tow or toad?
« on: December 04, 2015, 10:19:25 AM »
We recently completed our "maiden" voyage with our new coach towing a 2008 Chrysler T&C on a Master Tow Dolly with a surge brake, along the coast of New England.  All worked well, except the half hour or so to load or unload the T & C when arriving/leaving the campsite.  When I look at some of my neighbors at various campsites that are flat towing, and are hooked or unhooked in less than ten minutes, I get rather envious.  Also, my tow dolly is difficult to manually move around, due to the weight.  I have been researching flat towing and am somewhat overwhelmed by what is necessary to tow a vehicle - ie disconnect negative terminal, turn on acc ignition, transmission in neutral, additional pump to pump transmission fluid etc.  I didn't see any of my fellow campers doing this, but also did not ask them when I watched them connect their vehicle as I didn't know about that.  I have the 2015 Guide to Dinghy Towing which addresses all of these procedures.  So still don't see how my flat towing campers got away so quickly.
Know flat tow vs. tow dolly has been heavily addressed, but would like to see more current information.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

steveblonde

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 10:26:15 AM »
only some vehicles can be flat tows - yours is one of them

this is a great website
http://blueox.com/recreational-commercial-flat-towing/ for general info

for your specific vehicle

http://blueox.com/products/baseplates/bx1980-chrysler-town-country/
cheers
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 10:29:05 AM by steveblonde »
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Larry N.

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2015, 10:39:46 AM »
Quote
I have been researching flat towing and am somewhat overwhelmed by what is necessary to tow a vehicle - ie disconnect negative terminal, turn on acc ignition, transmission in neutral, additional pump to pump transmission fluid etc.  I didn't see any of my fellow campers doing this, but also did not ask them when I watched them connect their vehicle as I didn't know about that.

Not all toads require such things. My 2015 Jeep Wrangler requires putting the transfer case in neutral to tow (with transmission in PARK). That's it. The old 2003 Wrangler I used to have added a key in the ignition turned one click away from on, to release the steering wheel lock. Of the items you've listed above, many toads don't require them all, so what you saw depends on the specific vehicle. Of course there are also plenty of vehicles that cannot be flat towed (or even on a dolly), such as my 2007 F-150 4WD Lariat w/electronic transfer case shifting.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
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vmax1

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2015, 11:26:17 AM »
Flat tow.

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2015, 12:03:03 PM »
Like Larry, my Jeep Wrangler is ridiculously easy to connect/disconnect (flat/four down tow).  There is no messing with the key, steering wheel lock, battery cables, etc.  Ten minutes is a long time, thirty minutes is unthinkable (to me). I timed my routine once - less than 5 minutes to connect (which included driving the Jeep into position) and less than 2 minutes to disconnect (and be ready to drive away).  Obviously, it is not a race so speed is not terribly important - unless you get pinned in a spot that requires you to disconnect to back up so the traffic jam you caused can clear.  :o

Good advice on the tow guides.  Some people pick a car by how it feels/drives/looks - some buy it for how easy it is to tow.   ;D
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures

Kevin Means

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2015, 01:40:53 PM »
We tow my wife's Acura MDX four wheels down, and it only takes about five minutes (or so) to unhook - maybe a few minutes more to hook it up. It takes less than a minute to install/remove the auxiliary brake and flip a switch to keep the toad's battery charged while driving.

Our MDX doesn't need a driveshaft spline or auxiliary transmission pump to tow it, so we don't have to mess with any of those things. Bottom line is, once you get the hang of hooking up and disconnecting, it goes pretty quick.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
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zmotorsports

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2015, 03:19:29 PM »
Not all toads require such things. My 2015 Jeep Wrangler requires putting the transfer case in neutral to tow (with transmission in PARK). That's it. The old 2003 Wrangler I used to have added a key in the ignition turned one click away from on, to release the steering wheel lock.

This is EXACTLY why you see so many Jeeps as toads, Larry nailed it, they are extremely easy and convenient to flat tow.

It usually takes me about 3-minutes to pull mine up to the back of the coach, attach the towbar, hook up the electrical, roll out the Tow-Defender netting, put the transfer case in NEUTRAL, lock the door and hit the road.

Upon arrival at our destination it takes me longer to roll up the cables, Velcro strap them and install the cover over my Sterling tow bar than it does to actually disconnect the Jeep.  Still I would say in the 3-minute range.

Now if we decide to take the Harley and tow the enclosed trailer, it takes me about a half an hour to load the bike, Jeep and secure everything.  Upon arrival at our destination about 20-minutes to unload the trailer.

Flat towing is definetly much easier than towing on a dolly, a flatbed trailer or enclosed trailer but depending on the vehicle may or may not be an option for everyone.

We traveled with some friends years ago who had a tow dolly and I could have the coach setup, Jeep unhooked and be sitting in my lawnchair sipping on my Pepsi while he was still fiddle-farting around with his dolly (that probably didn't sound quite right). ;D

Mike.
2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness
2008 Haulmark Edge 26'
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
FMCA# F315002

1PlasticMan1

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 03:28:32 PM »
Thanks, all for your responses. 
Steveblonde thanks for letting me know I can flat tow the T & C.  Did not see any Chryslers in the 2015 DINGY TOWING GUIDE, so assumed that it was not flat towable.  The word "assume" was my downfall. Called Blueox and they confirmed that I can tow it, and let me know what I needed. 
Anybody want to buy a Master Tow Dolly with surge brake with about 3,000 miles on it?
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

ArdraF

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 03:44:21 PM »
If you have a 2008 vehicle you have to find the towing guide for that year, not 2015.  And, you're right, you can't assume anything!  We've towed a Geo Tracker, an Acura MDX, and two Jeep Grand Cherokees and none of them involved using all the stuff you named.  Once set up with the base plate and electrical and/or air connections, it's much easier than you think.  With our current Jeep, it takes a minute or two for me to put the auxiliary brake in place.  Meanwhile Jerry is hooking up the front cables.  When finished he goes through the specific gear movement to Park in our case, locks the doors and off we go.  All in less than 10 minutes.  It's not rocket science but every tow vehicle is different so you have to learn the appropriate routine for what you own.  Four-down towing is significantly easier.

ArdraF

« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 05:11:49 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
:D :D

garyb1st

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2015, 04:23:14 PM »
You should look at the Remco site. http://www.remcoindustries.com 

Their info suggests the 2008 T&C is only towable with a lube pump kit.  That's a $1495.00 item which does not include installation. 

Just because a company sells a tow bar for a vehicle does not mean it can be towed 4 down without other modification. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

1PlasticMan1

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2015, 04:53:57 PM »
Person at Blueox that I spoke to told me that I would need the lube pump kit and suggested I look at Remco for same.
Thanks again.
Love the RV forum! ;D
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2015, 05:52:41 PM »
The T&C minivan does indeed require modification with a transmission lube pump to tow 4-down, and that is quite pricey.

With some experience, I think you will find the time to get it on/off the dolly will decrease substantially - I would guess something like 15 minutes to load it and a bit less to unload.

4-down towing should not take more than 5 minutes to hook-up or disconnect if you have top-line (most convenient) equipment and maybe a bit more with the less elegant tow bar and brake systems.
Gary
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Stephen S.

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2015, 08:59:01 PM »
This is why I'm glad I prefer manual transmissions in my cars.

The '02 VW Beetle with stick shift just needs to have the trans left in neutral and the key in 'acc'.

I actually had the car several years before I bought an RV.
Stephen S.
===============
'99 Winnebago Chalet
2002 VW Beetle
2007 Yamaha TW200
Home town: Mableton, GA

bucks2

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2015, 09:08:09 PM »
Depending on how you set things up for towing, pulling fuses or disconnecting the battery cable can be as easy as flipping a switch. Setting up the toad brakes can be as easy as connecting a quick connect air hose and a caribiner for the breakaway switch. My electronic transfer case can be switched to neutral so that's just a turn of a knob.

So when setting up a toad think about how easy you want it to be and then do those things necessary to make it happen. Some folks with rigs identical to mine, take a wrench and physically remove the battery cable each time. Mine is set up with a latching relay which only requires a flip of a switch.

Flat towing, for us, is the only thing we'd ever consider. Moving a tow dolly around, finding a place to put it, and hooking it up isn't even a consideration.

Ken

zmotorsports

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2015, 10:04:28 AM »
This is why I'm glad I prefer manual transmissions in my cars.

The '02 VW Beetle with stick shift just needs to have the trans left in neutral and the key in 'acc'.

I actually had the car several years before I bought an RV.

You should be very careful making blanket statements like this to someone just starting out flat-towing and asking advice.  Many, if not most, vehicles with manual transmissions manufactured in the past 10-15 years CANNOT be towed by merely putting the transmission in neutral.

The reason being is many of the newer transmissions are not lubricated by the splash lubrication system of many years ago.  They have an actual pump in them and the pump is driven off either the input shaft or the countershaft, so with neither the input or countershaft turning and the output shaft turning the transmissions are not being lubed.

Another reason to research and give your toad due diligence prior to causing yourself a major repair and costly one as well.  The towing guide put out by FMCA is the best place to start. 

Mike.
2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness
2008 Haulmark Edge 26'
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
FMCA# F315002

1PlasticMan1

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2015, 06:02:26 AM »
Thanks again for your valuable input.  Love the Forum!
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

John From Detroit

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2015, 06:34:59 AM »
For many of us the decision to flat tow or trailer (IT's still a towed) is very easy.

I can tow 4,000 pounds
My original tow was 4,000 pounds flat.  I had no overhead for a trailer
My current towed is \2500 pounds  I could dolly it  but not trailer it without going over

But after years of flat towing.... And occasional dolly towing  And even a couple of times full trailer towing.

I'm not going to give up 4-down flat towing.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

garyb1st

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2015, 07:19:55 AM »
Are there any downsides to lube pumps and drive shaft disconnects?  I'm thinking mechanical failures of related systems, not the inconvenience of connecting/disconnecting. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

BLAKDUKE

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2015, 07:35:31 AM »
Contrary to my fellow travelers opinion,  TOW DOLLY, TOW DOLLY, TOW DOLLY.  The response from other will be "I've towed over xxx thousand miles and have not had it happen", my response is, it only takes once.  I will NEVER flat towed, because I do not want to travel with the worry that the tranny in the toad will crumble into skatyategabillion pieces.  With a two dolly that is one worry you will NEVER have.  I have a friend who has  less than 60k miles on his Jeep, flat towed and he needed a new transmission.  No thank you.  Yes a two dolly is a bit more work.  I am 73 and have more itis's and ism's than you would imagine, and yet I will suffer what ever pain is necessary rather than the pain to my wallet in paying for a new transmission.  I have not even looked to see if ether my PT cruiser or my wifes Nissan Juke is flat towable, do not want to know.  As I said just about everyone out here who flat tows will tell you that it has never happened to them.  Most likely true.  However the only ones that can foretell the future are us tow dolly people.  We will NEVER scatter a transmission.

Now you have the other side of the debate
Choose wisely grasshopper.

ALK   
Al Kahl
2000 CruiseMaster by Georgie Boy DP

garyb1st

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2015, 08:14:32 AM »
Blakduke, Do you have any info besides your friends experience to support your concern.  If we buy a Jeep it will only be so we can flat tow it behind our motorhome.  If this is a legit concern, I'll continue to tow the HHR or look into trailers and tow my old SUV.  Can't even use a dolly on that one.  It has good ground clearance and limited slip differential so, while not 4WD, it's a capable vehicle.  It's also a luxury SUV and a joy to drive.  Difference between pulling on a trailer and new Jeep, probably $35,000.     

As an aside, the transmission in my 2005 Ford F250 went south after 27,000 miles.  It's not towable and I never towed it.  I also never towed anything with it before its failure.  Shit happens. 

Personally I think it's impossible to mass produce a defect free product.  Guess the tranny problem in my Ford was just dumb luck.  Unfortunately it was my dumb luck.  Thankfully, it was covered under warranty and served me well for the next 80,000 miles.  That's when I pulled a small trailer.
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

zmotorsports

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2015, 08:16:12 AM »
Are there any downsides to lube pumps and drive shaft disconnects?  I'm thinking mechanical failures of related systems, not the inconvenience of connecting/disconnecting.

Is the possiblility of a failure there, yes.  It is a mechanical and electrical system so there is not way to guarantee there won't be a failure.  Is it commone, no.  I will say that the driveshaft disconnect is a bit tempermental to reconnect.  We have a friend who had one installed on a Ford Explorer and when hooking up to tow, the disconneting was simply pulling a lever to disconnect the driveshaft and it was ready to go.  Upon disconnecting the toad and getting ready to drive the splines were a bit touchy getting lined up to re-engage the driveshaft coupler.  Sometimes this required me helping him to rock or push the vehicle to get it to re-connect.  Not a huge deal but I thought it worth mentioning.

Mike.
2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness
2008 Haulmark Edge 26'
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
FMCA# F315002

zmotorsports

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2015, 08:25:52 AM »
Blakduke, Do you have any info besides your friends experience to support your concern.  If we buy a Jeep it will only be so we can flat tow it behind our motorhome.  If this is a legit concern, I'll continue to tow the HHR or look into trailers and tow my old SUV.  Can't even use a dolly on that one.  It has good ground clearance and limited slip differential so, while not 4WD, it's a capable vehicle.  It's also a luxury SUV and a joy to drive.  Difference between pulling on a trailer and new Jeep, probably $35,000.     

As an aside, the transmission in my 2005 Ford F250 went south after 27,000 miles.  It's not towable and I never towed it.  I also never towed anything with it before its failure.  Shit happens

Personally I think it's impossible to mass produce a defect free product.  Guess the tranny problem in my Ford was just dumb luck.  Unfortunately it was my dumb luck.  Thankfully, it was covered under warranty and served me well for the next 80,000 miles.  That's when I pulled a small trailer.

You answered your own question there.  Your truck had a transmission problem and it was never towed.  Mechanical failures happen, plain and simple.

To respond to Blakduke's concern, if that is his concern no one will change his mind.  He has an opinion impressed in his mind based on someone close to him's experience.  None of us will change that because the experience is personal to him.  I get that.

That said, the fact that your friend had a transmission problem in a Jeep while towing tells me one thing, he did not put the transfer case into neutral properly because if he had the transmission would never have been turning in the first place.  The transfer case is what de-couples the transmission forward from the front and rear axles, period.

To base a decision to not flat tow (a Jeep of all vehicles) doesn't make any sense to me but again, we are not going to change someone's personal experience.  I have flat-towed Jeeps for well over 100k miles in the past 20+ years now of and probably another 40k in our trailers, never to have had any negative experience as well as any of the friends we have traveled with.

My uncle lost a transmission in his older Ford Bronco II but that was because he forgot to put the transfer case in neutral and headed down the highway.  Was it costly, yes.  Human error plain and simple and he didn't blame anyone or the vehicle, just himself.

I think you have gotten many sides of the proverbial coin in this discussion and there are many more discussion just like it.

Bottom line is there are some vehicles that are more easily flat-towed than others and your end goal on what you want in a toad needs to be taken into consideration before making a final decision.

Mike.
2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness
2008 Haulmark Edge 26'
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
FMCA# F315002

NY_Dutch

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2015, 08:31:36 AM »
Are there any downsides to lube pumps and drive shaft disconnects?  I'm thinking mechanical failures of related systems, not the inconvenience of connecting/disconnecting. 

Drive shaft disconnect problems are usually due to either dirt buildup or misadjustment, both relatively easy fixes usually. Transmission lube pumps are a one time installation, and require no additional hookup procedures beyond flipping a dash mounted switch in the coach. All power and control of the pump comes from the coach via a standard 6-pin cable that also feeds the brake/directional lights. The dash control also has indicator lights and an alarm that warn of any pump problems in the rare event they occur. In the unlikely event there is a pump related failure, the transmission does not instantly self-destruct, but you are instantly warned of the failure, allowing plenty of time to pull off the road and take any needed corrective action.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 08:38:19 AM by NY_Dutch »
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2015, 08:32:37 AM »
In the case of Jeeps with a manual transfer case, the trans is completely disconnected if you initialize it properly (tx case to neutral, trans to park). Not a concern!

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

JDOnTheGo

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2015, 08:35:22 AM »
Wow - well said Mike!!

May also be worth noting that "Jeep" is the manufacturer - there was no mention of the model on which the tranny failure occurred.  I understand that the older Cherokee was also easy to tow four down (but have no experience).
JD - Full timer out west
1998 MCI 102 EL3 Revolution | 2010 Wrangler (daJeep) | 650 Watts Solar
My Adventures

garyb1st

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2015, 08:49:29 AM »
Mike, Dutch and Ernie, thanks for the info.  Helps with the decision going forward.  I'll have to have my wife read this stuff if we get a Jeep.  My ADD and impatience usually gets me in trouble.  At 72, I should be beyond the impatience thing.  Unfortunately, my ADD seems to be getting worse with age.  That or Old-timers Disease.  ;)   
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

NY_Dutch

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2015, 08:54:17 AM »
Gary, as a fellow "72'er", I know exactly what you mean! I think, well maybe, anyway, what were we talking about?  ;D
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

1PlasticMan1

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2015, 01:15:08 PM »
Gary, thanks for your input.  I am also in my 70's, 76 to be exact, and have a knee going south on me.  I could probably live with using the tow dolly, and get it down to 20 minutes or less change over.  I am more concerned about the times when I have to move the tow dolly by hand, it is heavy, and I have to lean over considerably as I can only lift the tongue so far or the ramps will drag on the ground.  Thanks again all, for the feed back, think I will try the flat tow on the T&C to see how that works out.  Realize that the base plate, wires, tow bars and lube pump plus installation will cost over $2,500.00, but once I found out that I didn't have to purchase another car, trading in a perfectly good Land Rover that I love, and would have taken a considerable hit on, feel this is the way I want to go.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

zmotorsports

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2015, 01:52:39 PM »
Please post back afterwards as I think it would be helpful to anyone else reading this that goes through the thought and decision making process.  Many times people don't check back in and report after a major change and we never find out their true opinions.

Thank you.

Mike.
2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness
2008 Haulmark Edge 26'
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
FMCA# F315002

garyb1st

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2015, 03:24:53 PM »
Please post back afterwards as I think it would be helpful to anyone else reading this that goes through the thought and decision making process.  Many times people don't check back in and report after a major change and we never find out their true opinions.

Thank you.

Mike.

X2, I'm thinking of doing that with our Infiniti SUV.  It's 15 years old but has a lot of life left in it. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

driftless shifter

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2015, 08:29:14 PM »
Another vote for tow dollies, Any front drive car you purchase, within the weight limit is towable, no additional expense! no new lube pump for a different application no new base plate. We all know the trailer plugs are prone to malfunction and you lose trailer lights or electric brakes or something, woe to the toad when the lube pump wire fails. Then there's the procedure that has to be followed for transmissions that can be flat towed, Pull this fuse, or flip that switch, start it cycle the gears just so, repeat every so many miles or hours. With a dolly drive it on, chain it down check chains 1/2 hour out and whenever you stretch your legs, I also thump all my tires at the same time. I spent the money once, less than what I've seen spent on a flat toad rig, and it will out last a couple different toads. If money wasn't part of the equation, I might go flat tow, but a dolly is way cheaper in the long run. As far as moving the dolly by hand I don't, one of my toads had a hitch so I parked it that way. I have no hitch on my current toad, drive thrus I pull in too far, drop the dolly and back up over it. For back in spots I just back it in drop it and back up a couple more feet. They aren't that hard to back up just don't let them jack around very far. I have been pulling trailers for many years so maybe it just seems easy to me.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2015, 09:56:57 PM »
...woe to the toad when the lube pump wire fails...
Just to be clear, there is no "woe" in the unlikely event of a lube pump failure. An alarm sounds and a red LED lights up instantly in the coach, and you have plenty time to safely pull off the road before any transmission damage occurs. If the problem is a simple loose plug, then the fix is obvious. If the fix is not obvious and easily done, you have two options; if a co-pilot is on board, just unhook the toad and have the co-pilot drive it normally until you reach a location where further diagnostics and repairs can be performed. Or if there's no co-pilot, just reach in, start the engine, and continue on to the location. I'll just add that in nearly 50,000 miles towing two different toads, I have never had to use either option.

What are the options when a tow dolly looses a wheel bearing? Or a basket strap fails? Or a platform pivot fails? I've seen all of those occur over the years, but I've never seen or even talked to anyone that has had a Remco lube pump fail.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2015, 10:27:40 AM »
If convenience and minimal physical effort is the top priority, then flat tow is the way to go. I don't think a dolly is a terrible pain, but it does involve some extra work and may be a nuisance is some campgrounds.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

bucks2

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2015, 10:48:15 AM »
And the extra maintenance of packing wheel bearings, repainting chips, and two extra tires to buy, along with straps and the extra effort to check them at every stop. (like those terribly bothersome tag axles. I hear people that don't have one complain about how expensive the tag axles are to maintain every so often)

Really doesn't make a difference, if you want a dolly get one. You'll find a way to make it work or you'll not take your toad on some trips or maybe even stop travelling altogether. If you flat tow and have to eat ramen noodles for 2 months to pay for it you'll resent the cost and be unhappy with it. Find a method that works for you after you think about what you really want to do. Trying a dolly and then changing to flat tow is an expense you don't really need.

KEn

driftless shifter

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2015, 11:21:24 AM »
Toads can lose wheel bearings too. I use chains instead of straps. The pivot point is less likely to fail than an electric pump. The dolly would have to be very old or high mileage. A dolly is a one time expense that can tow multiple vehicles without added expense every time you obtain a new toad. A brand new dolly can be bought for less than most flat tow accessories, about $1500, you can find them used for half that. Most states you don't have to even register them. Like anything else mechanical take care of it and it will take care of you.

Here's a link to a blog that lays out pros and cons between the two quite nicely.
http://www.rvlove.com/2015/08/11/faq-pros-cons-tow-dolly-4-down/#sthash.8ykrLG4a.dpbs

This is a legitimate question, not a poke in the eye.
 Will the warning light, for the pump, still work if the pig tail snags and fails?

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2015, 11:53:52 AM »

This is a legitimate question, not a poke in the eye.
 Will the warning light, for the pump, still work if the pig tail snags and fails?

Bill

Yes, Bill, the alarm does sound in that situation, just as it sounds if you switch on in the coach without plugging in the cable at all. And if the cable is connected, but you forget to turn on the control switch in the coach, the alarm also sounds when you turn on the ignition switch.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

BLAKDUKE

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2015, 05:27:03 PM »
To the original poster:

Based on all of the posts in this thread, I think you have all of the major opinions from both sides of the discussion.  Each one is firmly convinced that their way is the right way to go. None of us can tell the absolute best way to go, you have to decide for yourself.
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
Al Kahl
2000 CruiseMaster by Georgie Boy DP

1PlasticMan1

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2015, 07:50:04 PM »
Well, I have gone 180 degrees after starting to add up what it would cost to flat tow the T & C. - $3,500.00, and at this time can't justify it.  Also, have a lifetime warranty on the drive train, and putting a external lube pump on the tranny may kill it, as the manual states "RECREATIONAL TOWING FOR THIS VEHICLE IS NOT RECOMMENDED".  "NOTE:  If the vehicle requires towing make sure all four wheels are off the ground."  Have been practicing more with the Rover towing the Tow Dolly in the driveway, and I can get it pretty much where I need it to expend very little physical effort to connect to the coach.  Also, have been practicing with loading/unloading the T & C on the Tow Dolly and feel that I'm down to 20 minutes or less. Will be going around the country come March, so should get a lot of practice and will probably rethink when the trip is over sometime in June.  Amazing what $3K + will do to your thinking.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

deloni

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2015, 08:12:38 PM »
Does flat towing reduce gas mileage on RV and increase tire wear on towed vehicle?
(newbie RV'r here)
Would love to have my little '08 Elantra w/me  :)
Homebase: Florida, The Sunshine State
Love you bro, "RoadHog" 8/18/57-5/15/15

Mavarick

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2015, 08:25:14 PM »
Yes to both questions. All towing reduces your mileage to the Rv somewhat and flat towing will increase tire wear as compared to what is on the odometer of the toad. I purchased a CRV like most because it is very simple to flat tow and I needed a vehicle for around town. I have now toed the CRV more miles than what is on the odometer and am considering tires this next season. My CRV causes a loss of app. 1 MPG vs. my 18' enclosed trlr I used to tow which would kill my MPG by 1-2 easy depending on my loaded weight. Everything has a price but I much prefer the CRV 4 down over anything else I have considered. I also found the best price for tow bars and Air Force one by asking for a package price through PPL  http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv_parts_rv_accessories.htm 
I did all the installation so can't compare labor on that, good luck.
2009 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43 QRP
Powerglide Chassis, 425 Cummins, Allison 6 Speed
2010 CRV - Blackhawk 2 - Air Force One
2002 Heritage Classic
Washington State

driftless shifter

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2015, 08:29:42 PM »
Well, I have gone 180 degrees after starting to add up what it would cost to flat tow the T & C. - $3,500.00, and at this time can't justify it.  Also, have a lifetime warranty on the drive train, and putting a external lube pump on the tranny may kill it, as the manual states "RECREATIONAL TOWING FOR THIS VEHICLE IS NOT RECOMMENDED".  "NOTE:  If the vehicle requires towing make sure all four wheels are off the ground."  Have been practicing more with the Rover towing the Tow Dolly in the driveway, and I can get it pretty much where I need it to expend very little physical effort to connect to the coach.  Also, have been practicing with loading/unloading the T & C on the Tow Dolly and feel that I'm down to 20 minutes or less. Will be going around the country come March, so should get a lot of practice and will probably rethink when the trip is over sometime in June.  Amazing what $3K + will do to your thinking.

Wait a minute! Your NOTE: says all four wheels off the ground for towing! Is this car all wheel drive? If so a dolly won't work! You will fry something very expensive if you use a dolly. You need a trailer or another toad. Any cheap, front wheel drive car will do. Think of used front drive cars that have between 100 and 150 K miles on them.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

1PlasticMan1

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2015, 08:32:22 PM »
NOTE: says all four wheels off the ground for towing!  This is verbage from my owner's manual.  My car is front wheel drive.  Sorry for the confusion.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

garyb1st

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2015, 09:42:35 PM »
NOTE: says all four wheels off the ground for towing!  This is verbage from my owner's manual.  My car is front wheel drive.  Sorry for the confusion.

My Infiniti SUV is 2 wheel drive.  Manual says it's only towable on a trailer.  I've heard that some folks with rear wheel drive vehicles simply back onto the dolly.  Anyone successfully towing a vehicle that way?
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

zmotorsports

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2015, 09:53:49 PM »
Yes to both questions. All towing reduces your mileage to the Rv somewhat and flat towing will increase tire wear as compared to what is on the odometer of the toad. I purchased a CRV like most because it is very simple to flat tow and I needed a vehicle for around town. I have now toed the CRV more miles than what is on the odometer and am considering tires this next season. My CRV causes a loss of app. 1 MPG vs. my 18' enclosed trlr I used to tow which would kill my MPG by 1-2 easy depending on my loaded weight. Everything has a price but I much prefer the CRV 4 down over anything else I have considered. I also found the best price for tow bars and Air Force one by asking for a package price through PPL  http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv_parts_rv_accessories.htm 
I did all the installation so can't compare labor on that, good luck.

Maverick, I remember seein quite a few posts a few years back where you were commenting on towing your enclosed trailer.  Do you now not tow the trailer any longer?  Just curious.

Mike.
2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness
2008 Haulmark Edge 26'
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
FMCA# F315002

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #44 on: December 10, 2015, 07:54:51 AM »
After all of the discussion, go to an RV park and count. You'll find 4 down at 8 to 10 times as many as the dollies.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #45 on: December 10, 2015, 08:26:26 AM »
Quote
I've heard that some folks with rear wheel drive vehicles simply back onto the dolly.  Anyone successfully towing a vehicle that way?

Don't even consider it!  The car front end design makes it chancy at best and prone to disaster, both mechanical and collision. Yes, a few people do it. And other downright crazy things as well.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

garyb1st

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #46 on: December 10, 2015, 08:41:24 AM »
Don't even consider it!  The car front end design makes it chancy at best and prone to disaster, both mechanical and collision. Yes, a few people do it. And other downright crazy things as well.

Thanks Gary. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

Mavarick

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #47 on: December 10, 2015, 06:53:54 PM »
Quote
Maverick, I remember seeing quite a few posts a few years back where you were commenting on towing your enclosed trailer.  Do you now not tow the trailer any longer?  Just curious.

Mike, when we were going to MC shows (building choppers) I could haul up to 5 Harleys or 4 customs in that enclosed trlr. Now we pretty much travel just like everyone else so since we have 3 rescues I tow a CRV instead of the trlr. This way we can take the dogs when we leave the Rv park etc. The trlr was ok but I would prefer towing 4 down unless I had something really special that I wanted to put in the trlr. A couple of customs qualified as something special! ;)

2009 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43 QRP
Powerglide Chassis, 425 Cummins, Allison 6 Speed
2010 CRV - Blackhawk 2 - Air Force One
2002 Heritage Classic
Washington State

zmotorsports

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Re: Flat tow or toad?
« Reply #48 on: December 10, 2015, 07:41:27 PM »
Mike, when we were going to MC shows (building choppers) I could haul up to 5 Harleys or 4 customs in that enclosed trlr. Now we pretty much travel just like everyone else so since we have 3 rescues I tow a CRV instead of the trlr. This way we can take the dogs when we leave the Rv park etc. The trlr was ok but I would prefer towing 4 down unless I had something really special that I wanted to put in the trlr. A couple of customs qualified as something special! ;)

Great.  Thanks for the reply.  I too generally tow 4-down anymore but we still tow the trailer when we want to take the Harley and the Jeep especially if we are not hop, skip and jumping around from campground to campground and have a single destination in mind.

I agree, 4-down is much easier and convenient.

Mike.
2003 Monaco Dynasty Baroness
2008 Haulmark Edge 26'
2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
FMCA# F315002

 

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