Toad on a flatbed

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spdracr39

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Jul 14, 2016
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So we love our car and are looking at a class A. Our car cannot be flat towed or towed on a dolly only trailered. I am looking for real world experience with the pros and cons of this. We are not full time yet but are preparing for that in a few months.

Biggest questions are :

How easy is it to back up a 16' trailer with a 41' rig ?

How difficult is it to find campgrounds with a place to store the trailer?
 

SpencerPJ

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Backing a 16' trailer with a 41' rig.  Oh my, most are doing good backing up without a trailer.  The dynamics are not the same as backing a Travel Trailer or 5th wheel with a pickup. 
Campgrounds usually have a place to store a trailer, in their overflow lot.  Again, backing around with a 41' rig, will be challenging, not to mention if the campground is crowded, it will be near impossible.  Again, the 16' trailer will need to be of a kind that you can maneuver around, manually.  I guess a question is, why can't you tow a car with a dolly?  I understand if it's a classic or high end that you prefer not to.
 

WILDEBILL308

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FORT WORTH TEXAS
Having to use a trailer adds a whole additional level of challenges and difficulty to traveling with your RV. I have used a dolly and now tow 4 down. I have never had to use a trailer but we have some people in one of our clubs that use a trailer. Having watched them fight through the problems was plenty for me.
Problems like parking. Yes you can find some campgrounds with long enough pull thrus that are long enough that you are ok. If not you have to park the trailer some place that may not be easily accessible with the coach. If you might need the car you have to unload the car park the trailer, unhook from the trailer, go back to your spot and setup. Now when in the morning or when you leave you have to tear down your site, maneuver back where the trailer is, hook up the trailer, load the car on the trailer and secure it, get ready to hit the road. Lots of work for an overnight stop. 
Now a lot of this is going to depend on your physical ability.
You say you plan on going full time. Perhaps it is time to upgrade to a car that can be towed 4 down before you do.
Any questions just ask. 
Bill 
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
IF you "Flat tow" you can not back up. If you dolly tow.. Well I've backed up but it's not recommended (And it was not easy)  but on a full trailer.. You can back up. How easy it is when the tow vehicle is double the length of the trailer I can not say. and it will make a difference as to where your rear axle is (Diesel or gas Motor Home)  the DP's will be easier to back.  But alas I can only say it will most likely be easier for me than you and for my brother than either one of us.. but he's a professional.
 

HueyPilotVN

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Lake Havasu City, AZ
spdracr39 said:
So we love our car and are looking at a class A. Our car cannot be flat towed or towed on a dolly only trailered. I am looking for real world experience with the pros and cons of this. We are not full time yet but are preparing for that in a few months.

Biggest questions are :

How easy is it to back up a 16' trailer with a 41' rig ?

How difficult is it to find campgrounds with a place to store the trailer?

I will give you my perspective on using a trailer for the car while full timing.

I was pretty much full time for about 35 years and went thru an evolution of different rigs and methods of taking a car along. 

I started out towing a 16' flat bed trailer and eventually ended up towing a 30' Stacker trailer.  Everybody has different ideas and desires about what they want in their setup. 

If you full time then your rig is your base camp and home and it is only normal to want it to work best for you.

There is an old thread on here about why I chose to tow my cars in an enclosed trailer.  The pictures on the first page are on Photobucket but they are also posted later in the thread as attached pictures at a lower data size.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,84991.msg768280.html#msg768280

Here are my answers to your two questions.

For me it is not that hard to back up a trailer, just take your time and get some practice.  The best solution is to try if possible to use pull thru sites or parking spots.  If you get into the mind set of a commercial trucker you can plan your way out of a situation ahead of time so that you can minimize backing up.

There are campgrounds and parking sites all over the country that you can find.  A good resource is the "Big Rigs" directory.  After years of traveling I had discovered places for most anywhere I roamed.  IN a pinch while traveling you can usually park at a rest area, truck stop, or other large lot. especially out west.
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
I have a Top Hat brand 18 ft metal deck car hauler trailer that I have towed with my crew cab F250, but never with my motorhome.  In  general it is fairly easy to back much easier than my small 8 ft lawn mower trailer as it is much less prone to jack knifing while backing.  If you are interested in buying it, I have been thinking about selling it as I rarely use it any more, it is in good shape, but could use new tires due to tire age, I am in western Louisiana.  I hope this comment is not a rules violation, I don't intend it to be an ad, as I have not decided for sure that I want to sell it.
 

Back2PA

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Isaac-1 said:
I hope this comment is not a rules violation, I don't intend it to be an ad, as I have not decided for sure that I want to sell it.

It's not a rules violation as long as it's not a commercial ad. If you get to the point where you are certain you want to sell it, place an ad in the "Private for Sale" section after reading the note about ads.
 

Old_Crow

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Tom's Place, California
If you do decide to go the full trailer route, it might be worth your while to have the toad set up with a hitch, so that in a pinch you can use the toad to move the trailer around if you have to.  Even a Miata with a hitch can tow a car hauler for short distances around a campground.
 

Broke Boater

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Brentwood, Northern Kookafonia
Old_Crow said:
If you do decide to go the full trailer route, it might be worth your while to have the toad set up with a hitch, so that in a pinch you can use the toad to move the trailer around if you have to.  Even a Miata with a hitch can tow a car hauler for short distances around a campground.
This, My wife's Forester is only rated for 1500 lbs towing, my 16' steel deck flatbed weighs 2200 lbs. I've use the car many times to move the flatbed around on our property,,,gregg
 

WILDEBILL308

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FORT WORTH TEXAS
I have to smile when I hear people trying to justify their decision to tow a trailer. "I might have to back up". I have had to back up exactly 2 times in the last 7 years. Both times I was towing 4 down. It takes about 2 min to disconnect the car so I can move it out of the way. So the OP should put up with all the problems and challenges of towing on a trailer, just in case he might have to back up some day.
Bill 
 

grashley

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Western Kentucky
Bill, I agree, but as I read the initial post, the car CAN NOT be towed 4 down.  This could be a RWD (sports) car or an AWD vehicle.  My 4WD truck with electronic shifting can not be flat towed.  My choice would be to get a car that could be towed, but they said they LOVED this car, soooo....
 

RedandSilver

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Aug 25, 2016
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spdracr39 said:
So we love our car and are looking at a class A. Our car cannot be flat towed or towed on a dolly only trailered. I am looking for real world experience with the pros and cons of this. We are not full time yet but are preparing for that in a few months.

Biggest questions are :

How easy is it to back up a 16' trailer with a 41' rig ?

How difficult is it to find campgrounds with a place to store the trailer?

My "rig" is 40ft and my trailer is 16' with a 3' V Nose and from the back of the trailer to the ball nose it's 22"
Overall I'm about 65' long when hooked up.  How easy depends on how much you practice, the more practice the easier it gets.
I'm in a spot now that I will have to back out of as there are too many trees to drive around.

I'm not worried about backing up as I can just see a little bit of the fenders on the trailer when it's straight.
I have to go around a little corner one way and then the other way to be able to leave the park.

In some places I have been able to leave the trailer attached and then remove the motorcycle(s) and park them
along side the rig.  Other times (Like the next place I'm going to) I will have to disconnect the trailer but it will still
be on my spot - just off to one side.

It sounds like you don't have the MH yet but you know it's going to be 41' ???
And you know the trailer will be 16' ???
That seems small for some reason.

What kind of car do you have?  Can/could the car move the trailer?
I've seen that setup before - because sometimes the trailer can't stay with the rig and the easiest way is to
tow it to storage with your vehicle.  Once I had someone with a pickup truck move my trailer for me, so that's a possibility too.

My trailer is enclosed.  An enclosed CAR trailer is more money and weight vs. an open trailer.
However an enclosed trailer is going to keep the vehicle much nicer than an open trailer which is likely to get
nicked up not only from your RV but from passing vehicles and Semi Trucks on the roads.  So pros and cons I guess.
An enclosed trailer also can keep it safer as no one knows what's inside (unless you advertise) which I would never do.
Also an enclosed trailer can hold other stuff like tool boxes and a lot of other stuff that might not fit in the MH. And last but not
least it keeps the sun, rain and or snow off the vehicle so it will arrive much cleaner then on an open trailer.
You can probably tell I'm a fan of the enclosed trailers - but I've seen a lot of open trailers with cars on them, but it's your call .......
 
 

WILDEBILL308

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FORT WORTH TEXAS
grashley said:
Bill, I agree, but as I read the initial post, the car CAN NOT be towed 4 down.  This could be a RWD (sports) car or an AWD vehicle.  My 4WD truck with electronic shifting can not be flat towed.  My choice would be to get a car that could be towed, but they said they LOVED this car, soooo....
Yes but life is about compromise and doing things to make life easier not harder. When I started I had a 2005 Camry that couldn't be towed LOVED that car, a 2008 Silverado that couldn't be towed without modification, a 2012 civic that I towed on a dolly. Now have a 2014 CR-V that I tow 4 down.
The OP talked about going full time. 4 down is much, much, much easier than dealing with a trailer.
I love the "it keeps my car cleaner" comments. What you don't drive it in the rain? If your car gets dirty take it to a carwash or to a shop and have it detailed. That is a sad excuse to have to put up with a trailer. 
Bill
 

RVRAC

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I think backing up will be easier.  However, many of the campgrounds will be difficult for the combined length in my experience.
 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
My first year out west I towed a 6x12 v-nose trailer, with a 35' gas coach.  Not the easiest set up and we only did it one season, sold the trailer, the motorcycle and towed our car.

As to towing a flatbed trailer with car on, yes it can be done, but at what cost to you in convenience.  You Loose your car.  Must be a Prius, and yes these have to be trailered.  If going full-time, then too keep the car, whatever it is, you will need to trailer.  As you can see, it is done, but not a popular option.

Good luck in your quest.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
Much depends on driver skill and experience, but backing a relatively short trailer (16 ft) with a long wheelbase coach is no picnic. Especially with limited visibility of what the trailer is doing. A  longer trailer would actually be easier!  Some will find it impossible except for a few feet; others may cope OK.

Some parks won't have enough space onsite for a 16 ft trailer and may require it be placed in an aux parking area. And a 16 ft trailer is not easily movable so you need a hitch on the car to shuffle it around.

I'd avoid a full trailer or dolly towing unless it was the only solution to a combination of needs. Somebody said life is full of compromises and this is a prime example.
 

spdracr39

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Well we decided. Our car could not be towed flat or on a dolly. I did not want the hassle of a trailer so we traded it for an Equinox. Life is about compromises and this is just one of those that had to be made. I am certain it won't be the last. Thanks for all the input !
 
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