Saturday, September 12, 2015

Choosing a Tow Vehicle

When we travel, we certainly don't want to drive the motorhome everywhere.  It'll be our house, not  what we'll use to explore small towns and go out to restaurants.  So we'll need to pull something behind the coach.  Experienced RVers call the "towed" vehicle the "toad".   Get it?

When it came time to choose a toad, the first consideration was whether or not we wanted to use a tow dolly.  With a four-wheel tow dolly, you can put any vehicle on it and pull it.  With a two-wheeled dolly, you can only pull certain vehicles that can have the two wheels touching the road "spinning" all of the time while you're on the road.  Without a dolly, you have to tow your vehicle with all four wheels down.  This is called "flat" towing.

After seeing some people with their dollies and talking to some that had used them, I knew that I didn't want one.  When you get to your campsite, it's just something else you have to mess with and find space for.  Not anything I want to hassle with.  If you go to an RVer group on Facebook and ask the question "Should I use a tow dolly or flat tow?", you will likely get an overwhelming response to flat tow.  They obviously know something.

So we'll flat tow.  But flat-towing a vehicle means that you need to have a vehicle that can have all four wheels on the ground and rotating constantly without damaging the transmission.  Only certain vehicles are built to do this, and some do it easier than others.

One of the best guides to vehicles that can be flat-towed is published every year by Motorhome Magazine as its Dinghy Guide.  (See their Downloadable Dinghy Guides page )  In order to accommodate our golf cart, I knew we wanted a pickup truck, so we had to find a pickup truck that could be towed flat.

We decided to get a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4.  The bed is long enough for the collapsible golf cart (Kangacruz or Cricket) to fit, it can be towed flat, and it has a very comfortable cab for routine driving and sightseeing.  It easy to set up for towing.

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