Advantages/Disadvantages Of Tow Dolly

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SW Florida
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Newmar
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First of all, I suspect it would be much easier to tow 4 down. If we were just hauling one vehicle around the country I would not even consider a tow dolly. But here is why I have to consider one.

We are full timing and have a car (front wheel drive) and a Harley Tri-Glide with us. For the last 2 years we have towed them in an enclosed trailer. There has been numerous advantages to this method. The vehicles stay clean while traveling, always have a "garage" while camped, it is easy to back up, and we have a ton of extra storage space. The disadvantages are that when I pull into a rest area I am 3 to 4 feet longer than commercial semi trucks, there are few campgrounds with 75' or longer pull through sites, the whole toad combination weighs in over 10,000 pounds, and you can't just wonder around on any old roadway.

Considering selling the trailer and purchasing an extended tow dolly. The Harley goes on the front crossways then the Mini gets attached onto the regular dolly part.

I know we can dump a lot of extra stuff we don't use on a regular basis that is currently stored in cabinets inside our trailer. For any of you that have, or are currently using a tow dolly what are the advantages and disadvantages? What is your procedure when you pull into a campground? Do most campgrounds allow you to keep the dolly on your site if it is a back-in site? Can your lights on your toad car be activated or do you have to run some type of magnetic light bar to stick on the back of the car?
 
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Actually they are not referred to as "extended" tow dollies, but tandem tow dollies. That shows you how little I know about tow dollies in the first place. But the link above is suppose to be one of the nicer ones.
 
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We use a dolly for a FWD vehicle. Typically if the campsite is a back in, we drop the car at the Check In lot or wherever the camp host directs us to drop it. It is easier to maneuver the camp ground and back into the site quickly without blocking the road for any length of time. We specifically look for sites that accommodate the RV + Dolly. The car will usually fit beside the RV or in front across the campsite. Many state campgrounds have narrow roads but they typically are trimmed enough so as not to present a problem. Here is us parked at a Florida state park,
fl camping.jpg
 
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Joe, was that pic taken at Top Sail State Park? It just looks like one of their sites.

So educate me on tow dollies, if you take the car off can you then half way back them into a site? I realize it is extremely difficult to back a short trailer but other than that it is possible?
 
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2018 GMC Canyon or 2005 Jeep Wrangler
I towed a Toyota Avalon for 2 years using a Demco Kar Kaddy dolly. I could hook up a quickly as I can now towing 4 down. The tongue on most dollys are so short that backing up more than a few feet is almost impossible or at least that was my experience. The Kar Kaddy had surge brakes and tail lights on the fenders.
 
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The park was Payne Prairie Preserve Florida State Park.
The wheelbase of the Canyon Star 3911 is reported to be 260" and the overall length is 479" . The rear overhang is around +-15'. Consequently moving a short coupled dolly must be done with small inputs. The rear camera is very useful. After some practice you will find that you can use the leverage provided by the large overhang to be able to change the direction of the dolly quickly with only small movement of the RV, very useful in tight campgrounds. I find that holding the steering wheel closest to you allows smaller inputs and better control of the direction of the dolly. I have backed the dolly into 60' camping spots without issue, single try. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.
The attached pictures show how the placement of the RV was important to allow room for the vehicle. One funny note, as soon as we pull up to a campsite with the empty dolly, a crowd forms to observe the backing the dolly into the campsite. Below note the narrow road, trees and pickup truck. This was the tightest spot to date and was done with no drama.
camp spot car.jpg
campspot roadway.jpg
 
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@FL-JOE have you considered getting a Hydralift for the hog and flat towing the mini (assuming it's a manual)?
 
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I'm not even sure they make a hydrolift for a Harley Trike. It has a huge butt, plus it weighs in at almost 1200 pounds. Couldn't tow the Mini 4-down anyway, it is an automatic tranny FWD model.

Still considering the tandem tow option. Had a buddy who I believe used an open car hauler for a vehicle and regular motorcycle while full timing years ago. I'll have to reach out to him and see what make that trailer was. I think he loaded the motorcycle from the side in the front then pulled the car on from ramps on the rear. That could shorten my length up a little maybe.
 
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Interesting Joe on the backing up experiences. When we had our gas coach I pulled a short aluminum open trailer with the Harley on it. I was pretty good at backing that thing up by going very slow and using the rear view camera.
 
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I'm not even sure they make a hydrolift for a Harley Trike. It has a huge butt, plus it weighs in at almost 1200 pounds. Couldn't tow the Mini 4-down anyway, it is an automatic tranny FWD model.

Still considering the tandem tow option. Had a buddy who I believe used an open car hauler for a vehicle and regular motorcycle while full timing years ago. I'll have to reach out to him and see what make that trailer was. I think he loaded the motorcycle from the side in the front then pulled the car on from ramps on the rear. That could shorten my length up a little maybe.
Oh, I missed that it was a trike, I doubt they make one for that. I think the tandem tow might be your path of least resistance if you have to get rid of the enclosed trailer.
 
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I think you are right, even the idea of an open trailer with the trike on sideways probably isn't going to shorten my overall length up very much or give me better mpg, not that is a priority.
 
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I must be living right! Buddy in Tennessee is selling me his tandem tow dolly (8x8 platform). It is located in eastern TN and I will be selling my enclosed trailer after I get to SW Florida. They are driving a vehicle from their place at Lake O back to Tennessee for Christmas so he will haul it back to Florida for me. Worked out great!

Now to start some serious downsizing when we get to Florida.
 
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