Monday, November 13, 2017

A Roguish tow

November 13, 2017--Some RVers never tow a car. I guess they either do without a vehicle or they rent/lease a car when they get to their destination. Jim and I have left our car at home only one time, a few months after we started RVing. We had gone to a Good Sam Rally, where we learned two things:

  • We are not rally people. 
  • We never wanted to be without our car again. Being confined to a campground can be, well, confining.
There are two ways to tow an auto: flat-towing (all four wheels on the ground) or dolly-towing (two--or less often, four-wheels off the ground). Each type of towing has its advantages; each has its disadvantages. 

The primary advantage of flat-towing is that hooking and unhooking the car are quick and easy procedures. The biggest disadvantage is that if you trade cars, you need to invest in a new base plate for the new vehicle. (The base plate is attached to the frame of the car and is the "thing" to which the hitch attaches.)

The primary advantage of dolly-towing is that you invest in the dolly one time and can tow virtually any front-wheel-drive car on it. The main disadvantage is that you have to stow the dolly when you are in the RV park and/or storage area. 

When we bought our first RV, we had a car that was not towable. Instead of buying a dolly then, we traded our car for one that could be towed. Jim installed the base plate on the HHR we purchased, and when we decided we wanted a larger car, he did the same for the Ford Edge. 
Towing a car on a dolly requires attaching straps and chains to the undercarriage. 

The Rogue is almost ready. 

We recently decided we wanted to get a new car with all of the latest safety features, and we also decided that we would buy a dolly so that we could make our car-buying decision from a full range of cars that met our criteria instead of only those that could be towed. We opted to buy a 2017 Nissan Rogue. 

We purchased an excellent pre-owned dolly for a good price in anticipation of our new-car purchase. After watching the videos demonstrating how to use the dolly several times the last couple of days, this morning Jim set up the dolly; I inched the car up the ramps; and he strapped the wheels down. The procedure admittedly took longer than hitching our old car to the RV, but it was not bad. I am sure it will get easier each time we take a trip.

When we got to the state park where we are camping, we were able to unhitch in an overflow parking area, where we left the dolly (locked, and chained to a tree). We could have stowed it in our camping spot, but this was easier. As for stowing it when we have the RV in storage...not a problem. Jim just backs the RV over the tongue of the dolly. No one can steal it and it takes up no additional room.

Hindsight is always 100%. If we were buying our first RV today, we would buy a dolly, no question about it. 

Until later,

Your Reluctant RoVer,


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