To tow or not to tow

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Aug 18, 2005
I am new to RVing and purchased a 37'Dutchstar diesel pusher. I would like to bring a vehicle with me for a drive around and don't know what method is best.
What are the pros and cons of:
- trailering
- using a dolly
- towing with all four wheels on the ground

Which metohd is best and why?

Thanks to all that answer

Ric Bolivar ( brysondrive )

As far as I'm concerned there is only one sensible way to tow and that is four wheels down.  Trailers and toe dollys are just a big bother plus extra weight.  Four Down is the only way.

Oh did I mention the more experienced RVers will be towing four down.
I originally used a tow dolly because the minivan I owned was not easily set up for towing. When I bought a '94 Blazer, I set it up for towing with four wheels down. I haven't looked back since. It is the only way to go IMHO. I recently picked up a Tracker. This vehicle is a popular set up for towing.
Our toads were built with all four down, I would leave them there. ;D
I was going to go with a trailer, however after talking it over with some folks here bought the needed haredware (A fraction of the price of a trailer) to tow my 92 lumina APV 4 down... And I"m glad I did.

Only one real restriction on 4-down towing... Don't back up

Same restriction applies to dolly tows

And for, I suspect, 90+ percent of the motoring public... To trailers (it does not apply to me with a trailer)

(In fact it does not apply to me with a dolly either, as I have proven with a bit of help from U-Haul (their dolly)

I have not found the don't back up restriction to be a problem to date... Just pull the pins, lock in the axel, and drive the towed

OH, One very STRONG suggestion.... BRAKES:

Requrired in most all states in fact (texas being the exception and then only if the towed is under two short ton (4000 lbs)

#1 towed vehicle braking system by far is the M&G  This is an air system, if your motor home has air brakes or air over hydralic it uses the existing air and controller, if not they provide an auxurally compressor.  Limits: It will not fit on all vehicles and it's hard to remove
(It would not fit, for example, on my lumina)

#2 is the Unified Gear "Decelerator" system, this is an all electric pedal puller, you install it and leave it there, You do not remove it when driving the towed, just unplug from the tow vehicle.

Some folks like the Brake Buddy (It's a pedal pusher) but this has a box you have to remove every time you drive, and of course, can forget to replace when you tow, in which case it does no good at all.

Way down the list is another system (which is a lot like th brake buddy but is porportional,,, It tends not to work well on many vehicles due to power limitations... Suggestion is to avoid it)

I really like my Unified Gear system though
The dolly might be the answer for some, but we "tour" most of the time and so we might stop at 4 or 5 parks in a week's time. A dolly needs paring space, as does the toad, and many campsites simply don't have enough room. As an earlier poster commented, the veteran motorhomers seem to favor 4 down and it's our happy choice as well.
I have been mulling this over since we bought our Phaeton last April.  I talked to the dealer and his quote was approximately $1600 to setup our '95 Ford Explorer 4 down.  I can buy an excellent trailer for less than that (granted, not much less) and tow any vehicle I have.  I weigh that flexibility against the ease of towing 4 down and I'm just not sure which way to go.
Billy & Donna,

Go with the 4 wheels down option.? You will really regret the hassle of finding extra parking space for the trailer at camp grounds and REALLY REGRET THE DECISION the first time you have to climb any sort of mountain grade pulling all that extra weight of the trailer.
Add the cost bof licensing should your choice be a trailer....and then concern for the trailer brakes. The trailer doesn't reduce expenses and, indeed, is just "one more hungry mouth to feed".
Then there is at least one KOA campground that will charge you for a second space if you need a place to park the trailer if you take the car off  while your there.  Probably others too.
Consider the weight of the Explorer I would guess 4000 LBS plus and the weight of the trailer needed to safely carry the 4000lb Explorer you will be adding a lot of unnecessary weight using a trailer which is going to result in some penalty in fuel milage.

IMHO Four down is the ONLY logical way to go.
We don't have a motorhome but I have noticed the few that still use the dolly sometimes have trouble fitting everything on their sites.  I've noticed this at places like KOAs and state parks.  I am sure RV parks that cater to the Big Rigs have ample room but if you stray from them this is something to keep in mind for when you aren't towing.  A long motorhome, a tow vehicle and a dolly may not easily fit on your site, especially if you hope to utilize your awning also.
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