Towing Question

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by HogHunter, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. HogHunter

    HogHunter New Member

    We are brand new to RVing. Just bought our first RV and haven't evne been anywhere yet. We have 6 kids, of which 4 will likely travel with us. My mother and my mother-in-law are also likely to travel as well. Needless to say, we need space in our tow vehicle. I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 which I know I can tow 4 wheels down but it only seats 5. We may be able to squeeze 6. I also have a full size conversion van that I would like to tow. I am also aware that I will not always have all of the kids with me. For instance this weekend we are planning a trip to Savannah, Georgia with just four kids and my mother. In this case, the Jeep could work.

    In researching this it appears I have two choices:

    I can get a tow bar and a driveshaft disconnect and tow it with 4 wheels down. The cost for this seems to be approximately $2,500. $1,00 for the tow bar and $1,500 for the driveshaft.

    I could also get a heavy duty dolly like the Demco Kar Kaddy. I assume the vehicle would have to be towed backwards. The dolly sells for around $2,500.

    It seems to me that the dolly is better because I can use it to tow any vehicle, whereas the towbar will only work for the vehicle that has the driveshaft disconnect.

    Is there a disadvantage to towing with a dolly?

    Is a conversion van too heavy to tow?

    What about renting a car when you get where you are going?

    I know this is a long post and I apologize, but I am so new to this I don't know where to begin. :)
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Towing Question

    You might want to check the towing capacity of the Coachman. With that many people and cargo you will probably be close to or over the rated CCC. Lots to determin before you get the needed towing equipment
  3. spiderman

    spiderman New Member

    Towing Question

    Hoghunter ans All -

    "I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 .... I can get a tow bar and a driveshaft disconnect and tow it with 4 wheels down."

    I know little about towing Jeeps, but it seems that I remember that one of the advantages they have is that they don't need a disconnect. Be sure to check this one out thoroughly before you spend any money.

    A dolly normally counts as an additional vehicle and may need it's own license plate, maybe insurance, certainly it's own maintenance (e.g., tires, lube). Besides, they're something else that you have to mess around with when you should be enjoying your trip! Lots of people swear by them. Lots of others swear at them! Try to avoid them if you can.

    If you use a tow bar on your MH you can (in theory) equip each vehicle so it can be towed. Of course you can only tow one vehicle at a time, but this time you can take the Jeep and next time the van, your choice.

    There are other issues to worry about here, however. What is the GCWR of the MH? That's the total amount of "stuff" that your MH can safely move including the MH itself, towed vehicle (or "toad", e.g., Jeep, van), passengers (the whole tribe!), pets, food, clothing, play-toys, gas, propane, water, sewage, etc, etc, etc. Subtract the GVWR from the GCWR to find out how heavy a toad your unit can handle. My guess is that the van is already too heavy even before you add all your trappings.

    Scout out all the local truck scales in your area as soon as possible. Check out the Yellow Pages under "SCALES." Watch for signs along the highway. Look in major truck stops, at cement and gravel companies and meat packing plants. All states and provinces also have them on major highways. A week or so before you plan to leave, stop in and ask them what the technique is to get your rig weighed.

    The very last item on your list of things to do before you leave, after everything AND EVERYBODY is loaded in your rig, is to stop at the scales and get weighed. If your entire rig or the MH by itself or the toad by itself are over their respective weight limits (GVWR, GCWR and GCWR-GVWR), you need to return home and unload some of the stuff that you were convinced you couldn't live without, switch to the other toad or both.

    This posting is far to brief to give you an in-depth idea of all that you need to think about. There are lots of other considerations as well. Do a search on this and several other forums for towing and towed/toad vehicles.

    Enjoy your trips!

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