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Pros and cons of using a tow dolly

by Tom Jones

Towing your car on a tow dolly vs towing with all four wheels on the ground is often a matter of debate, but it can also determine your choice of tow-behind car (or toad). Here are some of the pros and cons of using a tow dolly discussed by forum members.

  • Most cars with automatic transmissions cannot be towed with all 4 wheels down without damage to the transmission, or alternatively having a lubrication pump installed to keep the transmission lubricated. A few can be towed this way, but they usually require stopping periodically, starting the engine and running the transmission through the gears.
  • There is a minor inconvenience of loading and unloading the toad from the dolly, but the real hassle is dealing with the dolly at a campground. Many campgrounds just don't have the room and most that do will require you to park the dolly in a separate area.
  • Should you need to unhook at any time while en route, it will be a hassle to unload the toad, then unhook the dolly.
  • A tow dolly removes the strain on the car chassis caused by the baseplate when towing with all four wheels down.
  • No modifications are needed on the car transmission for pumping oil since the drive wheels will be on the dolly.
  • No supplemental braking system is needed on the car as the dolly has its own brakes.
  • Cars can be changed anytime without concern for towing.
  • Two tires of the car are not used while towing with a dolly.

Check our library for articles on installing tow bars and supplemental braking systems as an alternative to using a dolly.