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Old 03-23-2017, 08:38 AM   #1
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Flat versus Dolly towing

What a great forum here at Winnebago. I appreciate all the responses I have received and made the decision to go for flat towing viruses dolly towing. More expensive and more attention to the towed vehicle but what to do with the dolly when not in use was a factor. Now the last decision is braking system. So far I'm leaning towards the invisi brake system, $899.00. Any thoughts or better advice? Thanks, Chuck:
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:53 AM   #2
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FWIW by the time you by a brake setup, towbar and base plate I think you will find a dolly is cheaper. Even better, if you change vehicles it's more or less free with a dolly but not with a towbar because you need at least a base plate. If you go used there are a lot more used dollies at even lower cost and not much of a fit issue.

That said, I do not care what you use. Just the misinformation.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:22 PM   #3
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I think he said he knew it was more expensive to set up for four down towing but the deciding factor was what to do with the dolly when camping. I agree I prefer tow four down. I used the brake buddy for braking it worked well for me!
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:33 PM   #4
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Tow dollies are easy to move. Even my wife can easily move ours around. We roll it as far under the RV as possible. It's not in the way. They also make a model that will fold up really small, so you don't have to unhook it. If you are in a long enough pull-through, you don't have to unhook or fold or anything.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:38 PM   #5
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:04 PM   #6
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I think he meant 'versus' or 'vs.' for short.

What made the decision for me was watching other RV'ers struggling with their tow dollies, in fair weather or foul, vs. the four down method. Some of those dollies seemed really bulky and heavy. I decided the 4 down system was much easier to deal with. Especially during foul weather. After watching someone having to unstrap, and then a couple wet days later strap a very muddy set of tires back on the dolly finally made up my mind. What a mess that was with that mostly clay mud. The guy looked like he needed a shower before he got back in his rig. His wife sprayed him off with a hose before he got back in. Not something I'd want to deal with. And because I spend lots of time in Oregon, with it's famous rains, that was a consideration.

JMO.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:17 PM   #7
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I bought a dolly for my first coach 10 or 12 years ago. We didn't own a car that was towable and I couldn't afford to trade. I hated it. I never tore up anything but it was just a matter of time. Its cheaper but I can think of no other advantage.

If cheap was on the table, we wouldn't be in this sport.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:15 PM   #8
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Chuck, I can recommend SMI braking products. I've had the SMI 4-wire brake since 1999 and still use it today after two motorhomes and two different toads. If I was buying one today it would be the "Stay-n-Play" which works with my hydraulic brake system. If you have a DP with air brakes, then you'd get the Air Force One.

I've been to rallies where SMI engineers present seminars and have been impressed by the knowledge and experiences.

Another aspect is how often you tow. If you're working and make one campout a month and 3 wk vacation a year, then a brake box up by the peddle is ok. But if you're fulltiming or taking months long trips, then an easy system like SMI or Invisibrake is the way to go.

Happy Trails,
Bill
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:24 PM   #9
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Replacing my "brake in a box" with the SMI Stay-in-Play is one of the best RV decisions I have made. Plug in the light cord and done.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
I think he meant 'versus' or 'vs.' for short.

What made the decision for me was watching other RV'ers struggling with their tow dollies, in fair weather or foul, vs. the four down method. Some of those dollies seemed really bulky and heavy. I decided the 4 down system was much easier to deal with. Especially during foul weather. After watching someone having to unstrap, and then a couple wet days later strap a very muddy set of tires back on the dolly finally made up my mind. What a mess that was with that mostly clay mud. The guy looked like he needed a shower before he got back in his rig. His wife sprayed him off with a hose before he got back in. Not something I'd want to deal with. And because I spend lots of time in Oregon, with it's famous rains, that was a consideration.

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If the wife can hose you off, she can hold the umbrella.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:06 AM   #11
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To answer your question, Invis Brake, Brake Buddy Stealth and the SMI Stay-in-Play Duo are all of the same type which will let you use it with any MH. This is a great advantage if you think you will be getting rid of your current MH in a few years. Basically these are stand alone units. They have there ups and downs along with any other type of unit. One advantage is that you don't have install anything every time you go to use it. Just plug into the MH, hook up and go.
The install can be long and tedious and require a charge line from the MH, this is due to having to remove power from the battery of the Toad to flat tow and/or due to the discharge rate of the battery while powering the brake system.
You will still also need park/turn and brake lights n the toad and some of these systems use the info from the MH to actuate them so they take that into account to some extent.
You just need to choose which one will suit you better.
Do some looking here in the forum to see of complaints and issues with each.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucksterfxw View Post
What a great forum here at Winnebago. I appreciate all the responses I have received and made the decision to go for flat towing viruses dolly towing. More expensive and more attention to the towed vehicle but what to do with the dolly when not in use was a factor. Now the last decision is braking system. So far I'm leaning towards the invisi brake system, $899.00. Any thoughts or better advice? Thanks, Chuck:
There was a lot on info here a while back about an issues with the Invisibrake. I don't recall exactly what it was but you may want to search this site and check it out.

I installed the SMI Stay N Play system and it has worked great for the past 3 years.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duner View Post
Chuck, I can recommend SMI braking products. I've had the SMI 4-wire brake since 1999 and still use it today after two motorhomes and two different toads. If I was buying one today it would be the "Stay-n-Play" which works with my hydraulic brake system. If you have a DP with air brakes, then you'd get the Air Force One.

I've been to rallies where SMI engineers present seminars and have been impressed by the knowledge and experiences.

Another aspect is how often you tow. If you're working and make one campout a month and 3 wk vacation a year, then a brake box up by the peddle is ok. But if you're fulltiming or taking months long trips, then an easy system like SMI or Invisibrake is the way to go.

Happy Trails,
Bill
Just a note here.

I started out setting up my gas unit with a stay n play and later I switched over to a DP and the stay n play works fine with my DP.

Obviously had I started out with a DP I would have opted for the Air Force One.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:43 AM   #14
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I tow a Jeep Wrangler with my Itasca Ellipse and use the Invisi Brake system. Very quick and easy connect/disconnect and no problems in four years of use. Initial installation in the Jeep required several hours at the dealer and a charge line from the coach which was very simple. I am very satisfied with the system.
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