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Old 11-16-2013, 07:54 AM   #1
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Dolly towing 2009 Toyota Corolla

Has anyone out there towed a Toyota Corolla on a dolly? I am new to RVing and want to tow my 2009 Corolla behind my Itasca 31KE, So far anything I have discovered on this topic says I cannot flat tow this car so I plan on dolly towing it. Any input as far as experience and what to be careful of would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runaway View Post
Has anyone out there towed a Toyota Corolla on a dolly? I am new to RVing and want to tow my 2009 Corolla behind my Itasca 31KE, So far anything I have discovered on this topic says I cannot flat tow this car so I plan on dolly towing it. Any input as far as experience and what to be careful of would be greatly appreciated.
First let me say Welcome to the forum.com

I think you are correct about not being able to tow the Toyota 4 down. Not many, if any, of the Toyota cars are. That leaves you with a choice-either trade for a different toad, or use a dolly. While I think using a dolly is a royal PITA, it is also likely to be your lowest cost alternative. Many, many RVers use them, and for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the cost of the base plate, tow bar, and supplemental brakes you will need to tow 4 down.

The negatives for using a dolly are the hassel of getting the car on/off and straped down, plus finding a place to park the dolly when not in use. You may want to shop for a used dolly to give that a try before looking at the other option.
Good luck and safe travels,
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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We have used a dolly for more than fifteen years with no problem. We just bought a new Demco KarKaddy III and tow our 2012 VW Passat Diesel on it. As far as a PIA, I can have the car loaded and on the road faster than my friends can hook up their tow bars and brake buddies. The only downside is getting under the front end to hook up the safety chains.

With a dolly you have surge brakes and no need for the brake buddy. Also the dolly has lights and there is no need to interrupt you car wiring to hook them up. There is also no need to have the tow bar equipment installed on your car, and you can trade cars and have no need to get them tow bar ready.

We purchased a new tow dally a couple months ago and after looking at several brands we stayed with Demco. The old on had served us well. We let it go with the old MH when we sold it.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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I understand my car can be flat towed...but I still use a dolly and I can load my dolly in the same time or less than my friends who flat tow...finally my car does not have to be modified to ride on the dolly, it rides up high away from possible rock strikes, and it does not rack-up any miles on the lower drive line of the car.

If the OP goes with a dolly, just a few points to be aware of...

Steering: there are 3 ways that dollys are made to allow turns -steering pan (like all U-Haul dollys) - steering dolly axle (just like the front of your car) - fixed pan (relys on the car's front wheels pivoting to make turns, just like flat towing a car)

Brakes: Not all dollys come with brakes. If it does, then there are electric brakes (controlled by a separate electrical control box in the drivers position of the RV) and surge brakes (fully automatic self contained hydraulic system on the dolly).
Then brakes can be of 2 types - disc (best) and drum (older tech, but still work well).
Brakes are a really good thing to have on the dolly.

Ramps: Can be fixed, movable or removeable. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

After that, dollys are all pretty much the same with an axle, frame, and tow tongue. They all strap the car down with web straps, they all have a ball hitch, and they should all have safety chains to keep the car on the dolly in case of web strap failer (very rare).

I have an Acme EZE-Tow because they come with disc surge brakes (standard), has a very low unloaded weight if you ever need to move it around, is of all steel construction, and is very affordable.
Car Tow Dolly -The Lightest and Toughest Tow Dolly For All Car Towing Needs - Acme Car Tow Dolly Company

Best luck
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:22 PM   #5
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This probably won't help you much, but I too, started out by towing my '08 Corolla on a dolly. The straps came loose twice, dragged on the ground (I did check the straps at rest stops and I had safety chains, from the car to the dolly). I had some trouble at some camps, as to what to do with the dolly, after I disconnected. Some parks towed the dolly, to their storage lot.

I finally got tired of all the aggravation and traded it for an '08 Saturn and sold the dolly. To me, towing, 4 wheels down, is the only way to go.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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Thanks for the ready input. I will take all suggestions under advisement and let you guys know how I made out on our next trip with the Corolla on the dolly. wish me luck. Thanks again
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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Best luck on your venture...just a suggestion, rent a U-Haul dolly for a short trip to see if you generally like or hate it.

U-Haul dollies are very strong and heavy, but will give you a general idea...I rented 3 times before deciding to buy a dolly. None of the U-Haul dollies I ever rented had brakes. For heavier cars, they require renters to get the car carrier (full trailer). But some here believe U-Haul dollies have brakes, so please share about the experience if you do it.

Best luck
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:59 PM   #8
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We've used a tow dolly for years. We've pulled the wife's car (Lexus RX350) and mine (Pontiac Grand Am) all over the place. Our tow dolly is a Master Tow, and it has electric brakes. I highly recommend you make sure that whatever you get has some type of brakes as you are adding thousands of pounds of inertia to your rig when you get moving. You'll appreciate having help getting it stopped.

You can get new ones, but there are a LOT of them used out there. I got mine from an add off of Craig's List for $900.

When using one, pay attention to the condition of your straps. They do occasionally need to be replaced. And watch the tires too. I can't even feel what the tow dolly is doing behind the MH. If it blew a tire, I wouldn't feel it. Pay attention to proper tire pressure and tire age.

If you ever pull the dolly with no car on it, it can be an experience. They generally do not pull very well in that situation, and bounce a lot. They'll jerk a midsize car around a surprising amount.

Make sure you address the spare tire issue, and while you're at it, make sure you have a jack and a lug wrench that fits if you ever need to change the tire on it.

Good luck!


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Old 11-16-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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I had a 2010 Corolla, used a tow dolly several times. A bit of a pain but not so bad. I did use tow blocks to just get it up on the ramps and not scratch the grill. I started using a Liberty as tow. But I did see where Remco made a trasmission pump for my 2010.. That could be another idea..
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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Remco makes products that modify vehicles so they can be towed 4 down

Lube Pump for Corolla
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