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Friday, October 23, 2015

Best ways to tow a vehicle behind a motorhome

What's the best way to tow a vehicle behind a motorhome? Walter Cannon of the Recreational Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation explains the three most popular ways, citing each method's advantages and disadvantages.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Turn your tow dolly into a utility trailer in minutes

Leave it to an innovative RVer to come up with the answer to what could be a thorny issue. If you've got a motorhome and tow your rig with a tow dolly, what do you do with the dolly when you're at home and not towing? Probably shuffle the thing off to the corner of the yard and leave it in "stasis" until it's time for your next RV trip. Why not make that dolly do more?

The same thought struck Joe Grape. Joe was a motorhome owner with a tow dolly. After buying a new riding lawn more, Joe had to borrow a utility trailer to get the mower home. Then his eyes lit on his "unused" tow dolly. Wasn't there some way he could convert that tow dolly into a utility trailer? And go one better – figure out a way so that the same system could be used by any tow dolly owner, regardless of the make or age of the dolly?

The Edgar, Wisconsin man got cracking and sure enough, Joe's "Tow Mate" is now a patented "universal flatbed attachment." The flatbed, which weighs in at slightly more than 100 pounds, can be laid down on your tow dolly, attached, and be ready to haul in minutes. With a payload capacity of 1,595 pounds, you can haul a lot of lawn mower, lumber, or what-have-you, keeping your tow dolly busy year-around.

The system doesn't require you to drill holes or make modifications to you dolly, and with a bed that's six by eight, there's plenty of room for hauling stuff. If your "stuff" includes say, a motorcycle, Joe can provide you with an optional motorcycle rail system that keeps your bike stable as you tow it down the road.

While Joe's website doesn't list a retail price, a little quick math shows it'll set you back less than $1,000, as Tow Mate will finance your new dolly bed for $70 a month for 12 months. The new company is looking for dealers, too. Learn more at, or ring them at 715-370-3342.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A "toad" maintenance issue easily overlooked

Many folks who tow their cars "four down," without using a trailer or tow dolly also use a speedometer disconnect system. After all, when it comes time to sell the "toad," who wants to how high mileage that really isn't "drive" miles, but mostly a lot of "tow" miles. But there's a bit of a drawback.

Highways Agency on
Without the benefit of a firm odometer reading, it may be possible to miss out on vehicle maintenance schedules. No, when the engine on the toad isn't running, it's not racking up maintenance issues that are handled via oil changes and lube jobs. But even if the engine is off while you're towing, "the wheels on the bus [still] go round and round." Yep, if you're not keeping up with tire rotations, it can cost you dearly.

So here's the deal: It's important to keep track of how many miles your tires have traveled. Some RVers find keeping a logbook in the cab of the motorhome, and jotting down miles traveled with the toad behind, then adding the miles from the toad's odometer, will give them a good handle on when to rotate tires. Rotating your toad tires every 5,000 miles can help even-out wear issues between the tires.