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Old 02-13-2019, 05:37 PM   #1
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Pull or Drive?

Hi
Iím debating whether to pull my car on dolly from Florida to New England for first time or have it transported to destination.
The transporter wants $300 plus gas, tolls, 2 days of meals, hotels, etc.
I have a new 2018 Winnebago Intent.
I would imagine pulling the car will add to gas and wear and tear of rv.
What are the pros and cons, in your experiences?
TIA.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:42 PM   #2
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Some owners;

Rent
Uber
Etc.

A dolly could be rented.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:00 AM   #3
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I assume this is not a one time trip? We tried going toadless for a while and quickly realized that unless you are someone that visits mostly urban areas, you really need a toad. Many places we stay do not have reliable Uber, rental car, or taxi coverage. In addition, it is really nice to have a plan B should something happen on the road that requires service on the RV. I could also go into how we then migrated from a tow dolly to a flat tow but that's a different topic. :-)
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:43 AM   #4
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Hi
I am going up for six months as snowbird for first time.
Would have loved to tow your way but my car won’t allow it.
Flat tow is easier eh?
So, does towing eat up a lot of rv gas?
I like your point regarding having car just in case needing it en route.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:55 AM   #5
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Towing uses a little extra gas (maybe 1-2mpg) but that is insignificant compared to what you are burning by just driving a motorhome.

Way off topic, we are thinking about going the Florida based snowbird route when my wife retires. Do you plan on slogging up I-95 or do you have an alternate route that avoids the north eastern congestion?
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:17 AM   #6
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Hi
Thanks for that info.
I have always done a certain route which I’ll post here.
This year, I’m researching one that will be less hectic in high traffic areas...will post that too.
Let me know what you think.
Normal Route
To New England
95 N to New Jersey Turnpike north
To Garden State Parkway, exit 11 north
Head over the Tapenzee Bridge, get in left lane
Take route 287 east
Take route 684 (Brewster, NY)exit 9a stay left to Brewster
Exit 9e To route 84 Danbury CT
Go at least 100 miles
To Mass Pike
Exit 10, stay to left to route
290/395 east (Worcester)
Merge to left to Exit 26b To stay to left for exit 26b to 495 north.
To 95, south

New Tentative Route
Rt 95 n
To
US 17S Fredericksburg VA 81.5 miles
To I-66E Strasburg VA
I-81S to Jonestown, PA 158 miles
I-78W 187 miles
I-287W
I-87S to Newburgh, NY
That’s as far as I’ve gotten.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:47 AM   #7
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We've traveled from Florida to New England and back for the last 12 years. We've done the route in the car, truck towing trailer and now several times with a motorhome (with and without flat towing our car). I avoid (at all costs) the big cities on the I-95 corridor. We found ourselves in traffic so dense it was uncomfortable with people darting in and out of the lanes and with difficulty if we had to change lanes. We also ended up being stuck in traffic due to accidents almost every trip on that stretch of I-95 that lasted up to two hours. The route that we have found best is:

I-95N out of Florida
To US 17N (connects in Fredericksburg, VA)
To I-66W to I-81N
i-81N to I-84E in Scranton, PA (we've tried 78 and 80 and the roads conditions are horrible)

I-84E to I-91N (near Hartford, CT which avoids going through downtown Hartford)

Once I get near Hartford, if I'm going north, I use I-91N to get me back to I-84N and then up to the Mass Pike. If you stay on I-84N, you are forced to go right through the middle of Hartford which usually has heavy traffic and there are a couple of lanes changes that you're forced to make to stay on the same road that can be problematic if the traffic is heavy.

If I'm going south (like Cape Cod, our previous home), then I take Rt 66 through Middleton and connect to Rt 9S which takes you to I-95 just before the Rhode Island border. From there I-95 goes to Providence and you have options to use I-195 or I-495.

I do the same route in reverse when heading south.

This route has some cons too... the first campground open southbound in the winter is Twin Grove RV Resort in Lebanon, PA. It is open year round, is just off I-81 and has a small restaurant there. However, the distance to get here made for a long first day for us.

Also, I-84 and I-81 have a lot of truck traffic. However we find them to typically be courteous and enjoy traveling with them. Use your blinkers and travel at a reasonable speed and you'll fit right in.

Rt. 17 has gotten developed and now has much more traffic on it than our early days but it's still much better than the cities.

I-95 through parts of North and South Carolina is still 2 lanes and can be busy traffic-wise at times, mostly if there is an accident. And there are stretches where the road surface is quite poor.

Otherwise, just take your time and enjoy the trip.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:21 AM   #8
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I've only used a tow dolly once (300+ miles) and will never do it again.
I've been flat towing for many years now without issue. For the last 10 years or so I've been using the Ready Brute Elite towbar/brake system and it couldn't be easier.
Depending on how often you want to take a car with you, it may be worthwhile to get flat-towable vehicle. Even if it's an older, inexpensive, light-weight car that you only use for these occasions?
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:58 AM   #9
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Thanks for the route info. I used to live in Va and used Rt 17 to avoid that mess around DC when heading south. Sorry to hear of all the development. 17 used to be a very pleasant drive through the country.

Totally agree about tow dollies. They are a pain to load and a pain to store. We really wanted to keep my wife's existing non-flat towable car since it is was paid for. After giving a tow dolly an honest try, we decided to replace her car with something that is flat towable and we are very glad we did.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:02 AM   #10
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I tow my 2018 Ford Explorer and the 2016 Adventurer gets about 5-6mpg. I really enjoy having wheels when we get somewhere and park the coach.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:44 AM   #11
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I went without a toad from '04 until '16 mainly because my 36' Fleetwood wasn't rated at towing anything over 1300 lbs.

Got pretty good at scouting out RV parks in areas I wanted to visit. And tried to find them within bike riding distance of sites or stores or sports bars for watching the Seahawks. Once a week I'd take my shopping list and drive the RV to a grocery store(s) along with other services as needed (Home Depot, fuel stations, the VA clinic in town, museums, etc.).

One thing I found around the US is that sports bars will often send a shuttle or one of the staff to pick you up and bring you to their bar for the game! Food, brews, and sports!

Can't get much better than that. But I do appreciate my toad now.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:57 PM   #12
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I need to research your route.
About how many miles out of the way would you say it takes you?
Also, is there an app that I can plug this into so as to gps easily in teip day?
Thank you.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YGoHom View Post
I've only used a tow dolly once (300+ miles) and will never do it again.
I've been flat towing for many years now without issue. For the last 10 years or so I've been using the Ready Brute Elite towbar/brake system and it couldn't be easier.
Depending on how often you want to take a car with you, it may be worthwhile to get flat-towable vehicle. Even if it's an older, inexpensive, light-weight car that you only use for these occasions?
Hi,
What kind of problems did you experience with dolly?
Thank you for your help.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpirSage View Post
Hi,
What kind of problems did you experience with dolly?
Thank you for your help.
Well...they can be tricky. I'm pretty experienced with pulling flatbed trailers and boats and have a good handle on how to avoid or get out of situations.

Except this one.

Driving on the freeway doing 55, we started a slightly downhill stretch of highway. The car/dolly started swaying back and forth, to the point that all traffic slowed behind me waiting to see what was going to happen.
I had to get into the 2nd of 4 lanes to stay off the shoulder. I was taking up 3 lanes at this point. Back and forth.
Braking is not recommended in this situation, so...
I tried speeding up to pull out of it. Nope.
I tried to slow. No luck.
Having nothing to lose, I hit the brakes. Hard.

That worked.

We pulled to the shoulder, got out of the truck, and walked in circles in shock. "Holy sh*t! What just happened?!"

It was easily one of the scariest moments in my life.

Four wheels down ever since.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:42 AM   #15
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My route is easy to figure out using Google Maps. I opened two browser tabs. In the first, I put in Fredericksburg, VA to Sturbridge, MA. And it told me that going up I-95 is 442 miles and takes 7 hours and 7 minutes.

Then in the second window, I started at Fredericksburg, VA and looked at a town on Rt. 17. I selected Warrenton, VA as the next destination. Then added another destination and put Winchester, VA. This made the map follow Rt 17 and Rt 66. Then I put in Harrisburg, PA which keep the map on I-81. Then I put in Scranton, PA and it filled out the rest of the route just as I would drive it. These are all clear routes that have great signage so easy to follow even without GPS. If I want to use GPS, I put in each one separately and just update them at rest stops along the way. This new route says that it is 552 miles and takes 9 hours and 25 minutes.

So, the route that I use is 110 miles longer and takes 2 hours and 18 minutes longer. And I happily take the longer route (and additional time) to avoid the stress and hassle of driving through the big cities.

And it's great that we live in America where we can each choose how we want to do it!
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YGoHom View Post
Well...they can be tricky. I'm pretty experienced with pulling flatbed trailers and boats and have a good handle on how to avoid or get out of situations.

Except this one.

Driving on the freeway doing 55, we started a slightly downhill stretch of highway. The car/dolly started swaying back and forth, to the point that all traffic slowed behind me waiting to see what was going to happen.
I had to get into the 2nd of 4 lanes to stay off the shoulder. I was taking up 3 lanes at this point. Back and forth.
Braking is not recommended in this situation, so...
I tried speeding up to pull out of it. Nope.
I tried to slow. No luck.
Having nothing to lose, I hit the brakes. Hard.

That worked.

We pulled to the shoulder, got out of the truck, and walked in circles in shock. "Holy sh*t! What just happened?!"

It was easily one of the scariest moments in my life.

Four wheels down ever since.
I never had anything scary like this happen but I got tired of the loading and unloading process with a tow dolly. The best we could ever do with the tow dolly was 15 minutes to load and that took 2 of us. With flat towing it takes me 5 minutes all by myself. 10 minutes doesn't sound like much until you consider that you are often at least partially blocking traffic while you load. I have to say, however, that I suspect the effort to load a tow dolly is determined to a large extent by the car you are loading. We were loading a Fusion which is a pretty low car with very limited clearance around the wheel wells. I actually had to remove my watch to have clearance for my hand when attaching the wheel straps.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:14 PM   #17
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What do you think caused that to happen?
Any tips to avoid, besides selling the Lincoln and dolly? lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by YGoHom View Post
Well...they can be tricky. I'm pretty experienced with pulling flatbed trailers and boats and have a good handle on how to avoid or get out of situations.

Except this one.

Driving on the freeway doing 55, we started a slightly downhill stretch of highway. The car/dolly started swaying back and forth, to the point that all traffic slowed behind me waiting to see what was going to happen.
I had to get into the 2nd of 4 lanes to stay off the shoulder. I was taking up 3 lanes at this point. Back and forth.
Braking is not recommended in this situation, so...
I tried speeding up to pull out of it. Nope.
I tried to slow. No luck.
Having nothing to lose, I hit the brakes. Hard.

That worked.

We pulled to the shoulder, got out of the truck, and walked in circles in shock. "Holy sh*t! What just happened?!"

It was easily one of the scariest moments in my life.

Four wheels down ever since.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:17 PM   #18
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I have my work cut out for me.
Thanks for this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddaudelin View Post
My route is easy to figure out using Google Maps. I opened two browser tabs. In the first, I put in Fredericksburg, VA to Sturbridge, MA. And it told me that going up I-95 is 442 miles and takes 7 hours and 7 minutes.

Then in the second window, I started at Fredericksburg, VA and looked at a town on Rt. 17. I selected Warrenton, VA as the next destination. Then added another destination and put Winchester, VA. This made the map follow Rt 17 and Rt 66. Then I put in Harrisburg, PA which keep the map on I-81. Then I put in Scranton, PA and it filled out the rest of the route just as I would drive it. These are all clear routes that have great signage so easy to follow even without GPS. If I want to use GPS, I put in each one separately and just update them at rest stops along the way. This new route says that it is 552 miles and takes 9 hours and 25 minutes.

So, the route that I use is 110 miles longer and takes 2 hours and 18 minutes longer. And I happily take the longer route (and additional time) to avoid the stress and hassle of driving through the big cities.

And it's great that we live in America where we can each choose how we want to do it!
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpirSage View Post
What do you think caused that to happen?
Any tips to avoid, besides selling the Lincoln and dolly? lol
I just did a search for "tow dolly swaying" and found that worn components and bad alignment of the dolly wheels are the main causes. I was using a U Haul dolly which probably suffered from both.
Many people are happy with a dolly, with the biggest complaints being the extra hassle, time, and storage.

Just make sure everything is in great condition and tow that Lincoln!
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Old 02-16-2019, 02:06 PM   #20
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Do you know how much your Lincoln weighs? You need to make sure that the weight of the Lincoln plus the weight of the tow dolly does not exceed the tow rating of your RV.
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