Dolly vs. Flat tow

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Well-known member
Jul 26, 2006
I've read what's in the library on the Dolly vs. Flat tow subject, looking for some more opinions.  I'm leaning toward dolly because of initial cost and less wear and tear on drivetrain of the toad.  What are you guys using and why did you choose that over the other?



Watching folks having to deal with a tow dolly at numerous campgrounds was all it took to convince us to flat tow.  Additionally, we tow a Suburban and didn't want/need the additional weight of a dolly. Our prior experience flat towing cars were added confirmation that this was the way to go for us. Other folks may have different experiences and different preferences.
Excuse me for butting in, but I am interested in this, as well.

It is my understanding that you can only tow a front wheel drive car, on a dolly, as the rear wheels would still be on the ground.  If so, then might as well tow a rear wheel drive vehicle, four down. Do I have this right?

Ray D
You can tow a rear drive car on a dolly by loading it backwards.  If you meant you can't tow a front wheel drive car four down, that is absolutely false.  We've towed our Honda Accord for over 70,000 miles four down.
We have a 93 Ford Explorer that can't be towed four-down. But, like Tom, having seen people trying to deal with their dollies in campgrounds, we decided to forget about dollies and go toadless until we get something that can be towed four-down.
I can only speak about a dolly.. We have towed coast to coast and had no problems.. Yes you do have to plan your stops.. But.. It worked well for us.. We pulled a ford windstar van.. We got good at loading and unloading in record time..heheheh ;D Long story about this but a good one...  8) I would not hesitate to get one...
I said, "can only tow a front wheel drive car, on a dolly,"

Badly stated. I should have said, "using a dolly, can only tow a front wheel drive?"

Backward, on rear wheel drive?  Is that done? Bet that looks funny! Steering/tracking problems?

Ray D
To me, any dolly looks funny, but yes, I have seen cars and vans towed backwards on dollies.  I was just glad it wasn't me that had to load and unload them.  With so many towable vehicles to choose from, I can't see the need to ever use a dolly.
What is it that people are struggling with at the campgrounds?  Is it just backing into the site with the dolly back there?  To me that isn't a big deal for no more places than we plan to take a toad right now.  Maybe later in life we will be taking one more often but for right now we'd only be pulling into campgrounds with a toad 3-4 times a year.  I can get a dolly for $500 and need nothing else, but to flat tow I'm looking at $2000 and a bunch of work to get it set up.
I called Honda regarding my 2000 Honda Accord and my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid.  I was told that the Accord could be towed 4-down but the 2003 could not.  I asked if any modifications could be made to the Hybrid regarding a "pump" but was told, "no".

What would be the reason the Hybrid could not be towed 4-down?  I had read that the addition of a (transmission???) pump solved some problems.  I am very weak in this regard.
We haven't driven anything but Lincoln Town Cars  for many years and have probably towed one backwards fornearly 100000 miles over the last 30yrs or so.  Still have a dolly but load them in a 24 enclosed trailer now.  Tight fit but it does work. ONly problem I found bad about a dolly is tight turns and backing up. Both NO NOs.  Other than that  You don't even know it's back there.  Lots of remarks on the CB tho.  Look at the Lincoln going backwards down the highway and pushing that MH.  Heck after those remarks, I've even had police get on a ramp to see what was going on and then raise heck with the truckers for steering up their curiosity.  Just do what you got to do to get er done and let everyone else do it their way until you find a way to satisfy you.
Does the Hybrid use regenerative braking?  That could prevent it from being towed 4 down.  When in doubt, the authority is Remco.  They will tell you if a vehicle can be towed 4 down and if it needs any modifications.
dave95.1 said:
What is it that people are struggling with at the campgrounds?  Is it just backing into the site with the dolly back there?

Dave, on arrival at a campground the car is unloaded, the dolly unhitched, then the dolly is manhandled to whatever space is available. So many times I've seen folks struggling to manhandle the dolly to some space that's a long way from their coach. In some campgrounds there just isn't space for the dolly at all. If that's not a problem, go for it. It's just not for us.
Sometimes you see people trying to shove part of the dolly under the coach whilst leaving room for the toad to park. Or they park it on the grass until the cg management tells them to move it. Of course, sometimes the space is big and everything works out just fine.
Ned said:
Does the Hybrid use regenerative braking?? That could prevent it from being towed 4 down.? When in doubt, the authority is Remco.? They will tell you if a vehicle can be towed 4 down and if it needs any modifications.
  Thanks, I will check out Remco after this posting.  Yes, the Hybrid uses regenerative braking, as I believe all hybrids do (I'm guessing on this).  With the trend toward more and more hybrids this "problem" will increase in numbers.
Ned said:
? When in doubt, the authority is Remco.? They will tell you if a vehicle can be towed 4 down and if it needs any modifications.
  I looked at the Remco sight but couldn't find a list that gave me information on a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid.  It's probably there, I just failed in my effort.
Thanks for the replies.  Hopefully my last question didn't come across as argumentative(sp?) because that was not the intent.  I agree that long term we will probably look into flat towing, but we're just getting started in this game and if the main issue is at the campground then the dolly seems to be the way to go for us right now.  I have the NASCAR race on DVR and am going to go watch it now, so you all have a good what's left of the weekend.
Didn't see it as argumentative, just questioning, which is a good thing.

Enjoy the Nascar race...just ended.
dave95.1 said:
Hopefully my last question didn't come across as argumentative

Not at all Dave. I saw it as you intended. But you did ask for opinions  ;D
I believe the Honda Hybrid has a Continuously Variable Transmission rather than the usual Honda automatic that is known to be towable.  I don't know that there is any major technical reason it could not be towed but Honda has never Okayed like they did the other transmission.  And Remco probably doesn't see enough marke demand to do the engineering and testing needed to develop a solution.

Honda has changed policy and no longer sanctions towing 4 down on its newest vehicles, so they aren't likely to volunteer any information about how to do so.
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