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We are thinking about towing a car next trip south and are looking for some ideas as to what kind of car and how. We have a class c motor home and towed a trailer with a trike last two times down.
We would only consider a vehicle that can be towed with all four wheels down. There are a lot of great choices. We currently tow a Buick Enclave, but that might be a bit big for a class c. We used to tow a Chevy HHR (excellent small car choice) and have had a couple of Jeeps, both a Grand Cherokee and a Wrangler. Another possible choice would be a 4x4 GM full size pickup which would have the added flexibility to put a 4 wheeler or a MC in the truck bed. Again, it may be too much weight for your class c. I have watched too many people struggle with trailers and dollies. I can hook up and unhook much faster, don't have to worry about finding a site that will accomodate the extra baggage and can disconnect in seconds if I get in a pinch. Good luck.
I agree with KC. Four wheels down is the way to go. We started out using a tow dolly and it was a huge hassle. We will never go back to that. BTW we tow a Jeep Grand Cherokee and really like it.
QUOTE(myriad @ Apr 13 2009, 06:20 PM) *

We are thinking about towing a car next trip south and are looking for some ideas as to what kind of car and how. We have a class c motor home and towed a trailer with a trike last two times down.

We use a tow dolly, as we have three vehicles that we can use, so the dolly is our choice as to outfit each vehicle, for four wheels down, would be very expensive. We use a Hyundai Elantra most times because of the weight. The wife and I can load or off load a vehicle just as about as fast as someone unhooking a vehicle using the four wheel down method, plus we like the safety of the dolly, as we have never heard of a vehicle coming loose with a dolly as we have with the four wheel down method. In New York State we do not have to license the dolly, and is insured when one attaches it to the tow vehicle. The dolly can also be backed up, less vehicle, behind our 37 foot motor home. Each method has it's pros and cons, but the dolly system works for us. To each his own....
We started out with a tow dolly for the same reason Butch mentioned. We had two vehicles that we could choose to take with us and neither one could be towed 4 down without expensive modifications. If we could have loaded those cars as easily as Butch and his wife can we may never have switched, but for us it was a very hard ordeal--especially loading. If you already have cars and don't intend to buy a new one then a tow dolly would probably suit you just fine.

If you are buying a new car then I would look into getting one that does not need to be modified/outfitted to tow 4 down. There are several models that are this way. The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4 wheel drive model is that way. All we have to do is set the transmission to 4 wheel drive, hook up and go.

Butch is probably right about the safety of a tow dolly, but we are very careful and use all the usual safety precautions (including a rearview camera for monitoring on the highway) and have never had a bad incident towing our Jeep. (Knock on wood.) Also I want to clarify Butch's statement about being able to back up a dolly. I don't think you can do that when the car is attached, although the dolly alone can be backed. Unfortunately you also cannot back an attached car if it towed 4 down. So that is about a wash to me. Just know that you might get into a tight spot where you have to unhook either one. That has happened to us about 4-5 times.

Butch is right--there are pros and cons to each method of towing. I'm just trying to give you more information.
John Blue
We are like KC. Wheels on the ground. We have used our 1999 Honda CRV from the start and had no problems yet. Car has a weight of 3100 lbs. and it takes less than a min. to get it ready to go. No miles on clock as you tow, no power loss on battery, car has air brakes off motorhome (M&G out of TX), tow bar has never been a problem yet. We have added lots of miles to car tires over the years to the point we had to replace them with little miles on Honda. This Honda has been a winner. You never know it is on rear of motorhome.
We also have the M&G brakes. That is a great system.
Lee and Fran
We too started with a dolly due to two vehicles, now we have one we can tow four down but it is price prohibitive to change over to four down. So we shall continue with the dolly.
Saturn Vue, all wheels down.
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Apr 15 2009, 07:29 PM) *

We also have the M&G brakes. That is a great system.

Will have to look into the M&G braking...the Brake Buddy just drains the car battery. Sigh...

We tow (4-wheels down) a 2007 Honda Element automatic (yes...automatic). Discovered from fellow RVers who towed these...just no big deal.
HOWEVER... rolleyes.gif
Recommend a Saturn or Honda CRV for a first-time RVer tow system. Just easier on your nervous system as the manuals outline step-by-step proceedures.
Florida Native
The best car to tow isn't a truck at all, its a 4 wheel drive 4 door pickup turck. It adds a another deminsion to your travels. We spend all day out in the desert in QUartsite, AZ. The 4 wheel drive midsize truck is ideal for carrying stuff (Like my wife's stupid rock collection.) It does everything a car will do with the addition of doing a lot a car will not do. We usually put more miles on the toad than on the coach. Exploring i the truck is a whole lot offun.
We are new to RVing - we pull a Pontiac Vibe 4 down and I managed to find a 6 speed. And it is fun to drive too. Same car as Toyota Matrix but not nearly as expensive.
I pull an 07 Honda Element stick shift, 4 down with a 28' three slide class C. Ford v10. I also use a brake buddy, I'm happy with all of it!
QUOTE(abbygolden @ Apr 16 2009, 04:20 PM) *

Saturn Vue, all wheels down.

Same here, ours is all wheel drive, and only weighs 3450#. I'd like to clarify something though. JFTHOI, I had my wife back up our rig, w/the toad on. After about 40' of backing up straight, and no problems, I had her stop. About a week later, we were in a Wal*Mart, and got wedged in by a couple of cars. We got on our cells, and she cut the wheel on the coach as far as she could. We got everything to go back about 15' before the toad wheels started to turn, just enough to get us out of the spot. You can back up w/4 down., HOWEVER, I have tried this w/a tow dolly, and snapped the wheel tie-down straps right off of the tires !!!!!!!!!! Robbie
Florida Native
With many towing systems, any backing up will void your warranty as well as severely messing up your system. Decoupling and recouping after a tight situation only takes a few minutes and will be a lots less hassle. Please check the manual of your towing system. All towing systems are different and be absolutely sure before any backing up.
Just a short note to say; that for 2009 the Ford Escape is towable, four wheels down without the use of any transmission modification kits. Simple procedure, with instructions to make ready for towing. New for the model year 2009....

Hi that 2009 Ford Escape an automatic? Just curious. Thanks! cool.gif
We tow a 2006 Malibu Maxx which is an automatic. And yes, it is towed 4 down. All I have to do is put it in neutral, trun the key to Assec., and pull one fuse.

We hook it up with a blue ox.

It tows like a dream and gives us plenty of room to take people with us when we take side trips while parked.
Florida Native
Once you decide on a car to tow, you then must decide on the towing bar and the braking system. I can recommend Blue Ox and the Blue Ox Toad Stop braking system. The real advantage of the Toad Stop is that you do not have to set it up each time as with the systems that you set on the floor and attach to the brake. Many times, I have started before other campers setting up and left before them. It cost a little more, but it sure is worth it. It is the law in many states that if your toad is more than 3,000 states, you need to have a braking system.
my toad is a GMC Envoy. Yes, it is a little heavy, but it is within specs.

I have to put the 4x4 transfer case in neutral which must be done in a pre-determined order so that it cannot be done by accident.

GM does not say anything about pulling fuses, but I pull two main system fuses.

The tow bar is the Blue Ox... third motorhome, still going strong.
QUOTE(FosterImposters @ May 30 2009, 11:43 AM) *

Hi that 2009 Ford Escape an automatic? Just curious. Thanks! cool.gif

Sorry we did not reply in a timely time, but the vehicle is automatic and 4wd......In about ten days we will be having it outfitted for four down towing....will let you know how we make out....
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