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Old 12-30-2019, 11:18 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by jhedges View Post
I would like to tow one of these, but a tad pricey.

https://vanderhallusa.com/venice/
I like the Slingshots...
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:47 AM   #42
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What are some of the other benefits of having the toad as opposed to renting a car?
Not every area you go to will have UBER or a rental agency.
Toad is the way to go..........dolly is not.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:03 PM   #43
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We tow a Jeep Cherokee, a Wrangler before that. We set up camp, and cruise the area for 1-4 weeks depending upon what there is to see. Occasionally, thee RV is in the shop, a half day, or a couple of days, having our car gave us the escape needed while the work was being done. (what do you do with the dolly then?)

When we got started, we ruled out a tow-dolly, as it seemed it would get in the way when camped. In our travels we see lots of folks with tow-dollies, but they are a hassle to deal with at some campgrounds.

But its what works for you, good luck.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:41 PM   #44
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Not understanding why people are laying on the ground using dollies....... Tested behind my truck which I may tow instead....

Now have wider straps with 2 hooks 4 the back...
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:38 PM   #45
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Also if your dolly is fitted with surge brakes, then you cannot back up at all.
Fortunately this is not the case. There are several options to temporarily lock out the surge brakes:
1. A hole being the sliding coupler is standard on many surge brakes, and a pin thru that hole prevents the coupler from sliding to apply the brakes.
2. A clamp or chain Vise Grips just behind the sliding coupler disables the Surge brakes
3. A solenoid operated by the reverse light circuit (easy to apply and a 5 pin flat connector will have this wiring) locks out the hydraulic system so no pressure to the brakes.

I have well over 100,000 miles towing trailers with surge brakes and a back up lock out.

One can argue that there is a also a valid reason to put electric brakes on a tow dolly in that you can control braking from the RV--and that is required in a couple of states as well as at least one Canadian Province.

We have owned RV's almost constantly since 1962. The first time we had a Toad (Towed) was 30 years later when we went full time for 5 years in 1992. All towed vehicles were towed 4 down. That required a Remco pump, and we had one failure of the pump, caused by a road gator (tread) which disrupted all of the wiring caused some minor damage to the front of the "towed". We now use a mesh over the Blue Ox tow bar to prevent that. (This case the tread had just been thrown, and we could not avoid running over one of the pieces because we were "Boxed in".) We have also. had one flat in the "towed"--and again this is prevented by monitors.

When doing Alaska for 6 months, we did carry a small on and off road motorcycle on a hitch carrier, and it was very worthwhile, in that we could go where even jeeps would not go.

We have not been without a "Towed" in the last 27 years, even after we were not full time. The exception is when we go to New Orleans, where it is cheaper to Uber or Lyft than park your car in the French Quarter or just a few days for a destination park.

I believe that you miss out on a lot of the best part of RVing (unless you just want to sit in one park and play games, use only their facilities--and we don't, even though I am 83.)

The exploration of the byways, and crossroads, is where the real "America" is. We explore that with the RV, and now are also exploring the navigable rivers of the Eastern USA by trailerable power boat. The out of the way shops, towns and even "tourist" places off the beaten path is how to see the heartbeat of America!
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:32 PM   #46
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Every time I read the next thread I get a little more muddled. Please don’t misunderstand I appreciate all the input. The thing that muddles me is that our car is a 2003 Nissan Sentra that just turned 40k miles. So now I’m thinking about storing it and not just selling. As you all know, a dependable, low mileage car is hard to replace. But the vote seems to be somewhat in favor of flat towing.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:10 PM   #47
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I use my toad at least once a day, just for routine stuff. I have a Master Tow dolly with surge brakes towing a Kia Soul, works really well for me and doesn’t take up much space, rental would be way outside my budget.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:21 PM   #48
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I use my toad at least once a day, just for routine stuff. I have a Master Tow dolly with surge brakes towing a Kia Soul, works really well for me and doesn’t take up much space, rental would be way outside my budget.
We have the same dolly. Likewise, rental is far too expensive for any length of time...

If I had approx. an extra $4k to spend I would by a nice flat tow setup, installed...
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:54 PM   #49
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Here is my take on the question. As you ride down the interstate and observe that most RVs have a toad, and most of those are 4 down you have a good idea of the answer, at least for most. The fact that you will be full timing reinforces that point.
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:34 PM   #50
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I have read that flat tow is easier than using a dolly but no way I could justify buying a different car. Thanks, though.
I started on the road full time in 2005. I used a tow dolly till 2014. I was never happy with it. No mater the weather or ground conditions, parking and retrieving the dolly was never fun. The more you relocate the more quickly it becomes very tiresome. You need to line up the car correctly on the deck, strap the front tires down and make certain that everything is working correctly with the setup before rolling. Many more things to gor wrong when using a tow dolly than flat towing.

Sell your car privately. Buy a good, used 4 down replacement. I love my 2014 CR-V. Can't tow after this model year.

Bottom line: Knowing what I know now, I would have gotten rid of my new Scion xA instead of trying to accommodate it with a tow dolly.
Happy trails and Happy New Year.
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Old 12-31-2019, 07:18 PM   #51
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I started with a motor scooter on a rack. I loved it but sudden change in health said "car". So, I sold the scooter and rack and researched cars that could be flat-towed. I bought a 2009 Mini Cooper for $3,500, tow rig was <$1k and it's been terrific. My biggest concern in towing was "what if I have to back up?" (and well all make a wrong turn, sooner or later). I can literally disconnect my flat tow in less than 2 minutes and conecting is only a minute or 2 longer. I realize that someone with a car they love might need to get a dolly but if you're going to get another car, shop for ones that will allow flat towing. You will never be sorry.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:35 PM   #52
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CarpeDiem, you mentioned going full time but I don't believe you ever indicated what type of full timing, i.e. visiting friends and relatives, seeing all of the National Parks or a combination of both. I don't believe Uber or renting would be an option in Yellowstone. I've flat towed all over the US without problems. I just returned from a trip with some traveling friends of ours. He towed a dolly. All campgrounds don't accommodate the MH, toad, and dolly in a single space. And his dolly did not fit under the MH when parked. He'd have to drive the MH to a drop off point in the campground, unload the car, and unhitch the dolly before he ever got to the camping spot. On the reverse, sometimes it took him an extra half hour to drive to the dolly, to hitch the dolly to the MH, then drive the car onto the dolly and strap down both tires. Longer if it were raining and/or cold. Regardless of the weather or temperature, my wife and I can hook up our Jeep in five minutes tops. Just observing my friend, I would never tow unless it were four down.
Good luck with your travels!
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:56 PM   #53
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CarpeDiem, you mentioned going full time but I don't believe you ever indicated what type of full timing, i.e. visiting friends and relatives, seeing all of the National Parks or a combination of both. I don't believe Uber or renting would be an option in Yellowstone. I've flat towed all over the US without problems. I just returned from a trip with some traveling friends of ours. He towed a dolly. All campgrounds don't accommodate the MH, toad, and dolly in a single space. And his dolly did not fit under the MH when parked. He'd have to drive the MH to a drop off point in the campground, unload the car, and unhitch the dolly before he ever got to the camping spot. On the reverse, sometimes it took him an extra half hour to drive to the dolly, to hitch the dolly to the MH, then drive the car onto the dolly and strap down both tires. Longer if it were raining and/or cold. Regardless of the weather or temperature, my wife and I can hook up our Jeep in five minutes tops. Just observing my friend, I would never tow unless it were four down.
Good luck with your travels!
Our travels will include both friends and sightseeing. It is becoming more clear with each post that flat towing is the way to go. As opposed to dolly or no toad. Funny my DH is inclined to get a vehicle to flat tow and I’m inclined toward a dolly which is substantially less money that buying another car and setting it up to tow. Usually it is reversed, she is more cautious with money. The good news is we still have about two months before a decision has to be made. dhuse Tommy may need some occasional time on the treadmill ��
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:58 PM   #54
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Cost of flat tow

What is the approximate cost of a good flat tow setup?
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:03 PM   #55
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What is the approximate cost of a good flat tow setup?
DIY or professional installation?
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:32 PM   #56
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DIY or professional installation?
By a pro, thanks
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:49 PM   #57
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A professional install of base plate, wiring, tow bar, auxiliary brake, and rock deflector is between $3,000 and $4,000 in California, which is probably high for the rest of the country due to high labor costs.
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:09 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Our travels will include both friends and sightseeing. It is becoming more clear with each post that flat towing is the way to go. As opposed to dolly or no toad. Funny my DH is inclined to get a vehicle to flat tow and I’m inclined toward a dolly which is substantially less money that buying another car and setting it up to tow. Usually it is reversed, she is more cautious with money. The good news is we still have about two months before a decision has to be made. dhuse Tommy may need some occasional time on the treadmill ��
We rescued Tommy four years ago when he weighed 28 pounds. He is on a very strict diet. We have a tread mill but he won't use it unless we hold food in front of him. Sort of defeats the purpose. We figure we won't let him get below 15.
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:27 AM   #59
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We rescued Tommy four years ago when he weighed 28 pounds. He is on a very strict diet. We have a tread mill but he won't use it unless we hold food in front of him. Sort of defeats the purpose. We figure we won't let him get below 15.
I hope you know that was my feeble attempt at humor. Wow, you’ve helped him lose 10 lbs and gain years to his life. I wonder if he knows that when you rescued him, he hit the pet lottery. Bless you all.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:14 AM   #60
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A professional install of base plate, wiring, tow bar, auxiliary brake, and rock deflector is between $3,000 and $4,000 in California, which is probably high for the rest of the country due to high labor costs.
A friend of mine who had a flat tow system recently installed, and passed away, paid 4k in MO....... I assume it was a quality system....
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