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Author Topic: towing 4 down  (Read 2278 times)
Just A Newell
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« on: September 19, 2011, 07:38:41 PM »

I always thought it was silly seeing all the flat toads behind buses, with the wear and tear on tires and suspension. My intentions were to dolly our Kia but watching others at campgrounds and hearing stories we decided to trade our Ridgline in for a jeep. Neither one of our vehicles would tow flat. Jeeps seem to be the dominant toads by far so if you can't beat em join em.
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Melbo
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 07:41:37 PM »

Do I hafta get a JEEP???

I like my nissan pathfinder

Melbo
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 07:51:24 PM »

You see lots of the GMC Envoy's now behind RV's they are easy to tow, I always had Jeeps behind my bus they are a neat vehicle and fun to play with

good luck
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Doug1968
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 07:53:05 PM »

Fellows,

I'm curious to know what the problems are with towing with a dolly? Seems that using a dolly would be much better for the vehicle?

Let me know what I am missing.

Doug
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robertglines1
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 07:58:35 PM »

just  the hastle of the tow dolly when you get there and hooking and un hooking.  We tow a chev HHR automatic with tow bar.  put in neutral leave steering unlocked   go
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 08:00:16 PM »

Fellows,

I'm curious to know what the problems are with towing with a Dolly?

Doug

My wife might get really jealous!

 Grin
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 08:10:32 PM »

we tow our Chevy Express Van storage garage behind the bus.  Just start the engine, put it in neutral and go.

My wife would never allow some Dolly with us either  Cheesy.
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Tom
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 08:27:14 PM »

I don't know about the new Jeeps if the key has to be turned on or not but I watch the guys towing the Envoy's pretty neat the way they work push a button turn the key off and put in your pocket , leaving the key in the Jeep was always a concern to me and when you forget to turn it on what a mess trying to replace 2 front tires with only 1 spare lol don't ask

good luck
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 03:23:01 AM »

we tow our Chevy Express Van storage garage behind the bus.  Just start the engine, put it in neutral and go

We have a tow dolly and it is a very big hassle to get my Toyoya Matrix onto that dolly. What am I missing, why do you start your car when towing 4 down?

Dave
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AndyG
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 04:52:11 AM »

GM makes models which can be flat towed you have to remove a fuse while towing on some but that is easy.  I've watched Mon and Dad hook up their HHR a couple of times.  It is much easier than the tow dolly.  You used to see a lot Saturn cars behind RVs for that reason.  
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 05:17:57 AM »

We have a tow dolly and it is a very big hassle to get my Toyoya Matrix onto that dolly. What am I missing, why do you start your car when towing 4 down?
Dave

Tom & Fran's van (with automatic transmission) requires the engine to idle to keep the transmission lubricated. Other options are install a drive shaft disconnect ($$$$) or remove driveshaft (big hassle). Not sure whether a lube pump would work on his van?? (they do not work on all automatic transmissions)  Jack
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 05:21:47 AM by JackConrad » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 05:20:24 AM »

The issue with flat towing most automatic transmission cars that don't have a transfer box that can be put in neutral, like a Jeep, is lubricating the transmission.  Three ways to get around this - disconnect the driveshaft, run an external lube pump, or run the engine of the vehicle and put the transmission in neutral.  Running the engine runs the internal pumps, etc, in the transmission.  It obviously uses some fuel, but with the driveshaft disconnect or the external lube pump running around a thousand bucks, you can idle away a long time to use up that much fuel.

Many manual transmission cars don't lube the output bearing  or shaft while being towed.  Their manual often says do not flat tow.  The anecdotal evidence is that most people ignore that and have no problems.  If you stop every 2 hours and run the engine with the gearbox in neutral for 5 minutes, you lube the internals of the gearbox and almost certainly will not have an issue.

I tow with a dolly for a couple of reasons.  One - I can put any front wheel drive car I get on it, or I can tow my MGB with the "run it every once in a while" method described above.  Getting a proper tow bar system and hook up to my car was going to cost almost as much as the tow dolly, and would have required damage to the car, and a new base plate system for any other car I needed to tow.  Second - the dolly has electric brakes.  I feel you need to have emergency break-away brakes regardless of the might of your tow vehicle, and such are mandatory in some places anyway, although towing a car flat is not subject to the identical rules as towing a trailer as far as brakes are concerned.  A brake system for a flat-towed car is pretty expensive.  Finally, I didn't want the wear of rolling the front end of the car, but that was not a justification on it's own.

I've been loading stuff in trailers and tying them down for close to 30 years, so putting a car on a dolly is actually a relief for me.  It definitely is a pain if you have to back up.  Once I get myself sorted I may switch to towing a car inside my trailer, but we'll see.

Brian
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robertglines1
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 05:36:32 AM »

2006  Chev HHR  pull fuse (so bat won't run down) put in neutral. Automatic leave steering unlocked go.  Fuse removal keeps trans from being placed in park or steering colum from being locked.  A GM design  see owner manual.  on 5th year no failure yet.  Don't idle. travel 1000 plus miles without starting.   Bob
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 05:50:54 AM »

Doug, you don't want a tow dolly they are a pain four down is the way to go I never had a problem with damage expect when I left the steering wheel locked that cost me 2 tires .
All wheel drives are the one that are hard to tow we towed the Lexus for a while it was either put it on a trailer or stop every 100 miles start the engine and run it through all the gears I didn't like the trailer it was a pain the places we went and stopping and starting the car was a pain so I bought a Jeep and never no regrets. 
Great thing about Jeeps a $79.00 tow bar does the job you don't need all the base plates and fold up tow bars $$$$ but the M&G supplemental brakes are nice

With the Lexus on long runs I would use Tom's method start it and let it run most 4 wheel drives are tow able the all wheel drives are not

good luck
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 06:11:31 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Joe Camper
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 06:46:39 AM »

After going thru a lot of time and money to set up a toad to pull 4-down, and subsequently pigeonholing myself into keeping the vehicle for probably way longer than we would have otherwise, due to that expense, and then borrowing a trailer last year to haul a different car that would haul more than the PU would....................................................


A trailer is the best solution for me. You can buy a trailer for the costs of completely setting up a toad correctly for 4 down, possibly even less. I can take whatever car we choose or currently have, I can back up with it hooked up, I can haul way more stuff and it is a great addition to my tool chest and is used for a great many other things. Pulls just the same as anything I ever put on that hitch.
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2011, 07:04:43 AM »

  Backing up a car on a dolly is virtually impossible, and you can mangle it if you try. Backing up a car on a tow bar isn't recommended either, but Ive done it several times when I got in a jam and didn't do anything more than scrub the tires a little. Then there is the added weight, a dolly weighs 800-1200 pounds.

  I drag a 94 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I removed the steering wheel lock (removed the pin) so I don't have to leave the keys in it. I have about $350 into the tow bar (basic towmaster tow bar, plus kit). I wired the diodes and light wires in an afternoon, now its just like a trailer. Its run over 50K miles behind us now, no problems at all, most times don't even know its there.

 
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2011, 07:31:39 AM »

Most folks here can for sure get it done for less like that, I have a brake buddy but dont need it where I go and how I drive could of done completly without that. Used tow bar, homade baseplate. Yes probably way less than the cost of a trailer.

Many cant pull trailer too. I decided I love it.

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Just A Newell
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2011, 04:17:33 PM »

On the Commander you turn the key on, put the transmission in neutral, push a transfercase neutral button with a pen, back to park with the transmission, pull the key and tow. The steering wheel has no lock on it.
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SE Ks, 1986 Newell 8v92
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2011, 07:21:16 PM »

We've pulled Ford Explorers 4-down for over a decade now. I've had 3 of them (still have 2 of them).

Just got the newest toad a month ago, a 2011 Ford Ranger. Base plate is installed, lights are wired in, neutral tow kit installed yesterday.
It's ready for the trip on Friday!


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Craig Shepard
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