What’s the Difference Between a Tow Bar and Tow Dolly?

When it comes to car towing behind your recreational vehicle (RV), there are two primary options to consider: a tow bar car or a tow dolly. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and understanding the differences between them is crucial in making an informed decision.

Also, you can always consult any professional towing services Perth specialists for assistance, as they are equipped to handle your car towing queries expertly.

In this article, we will explore the technical aspects of both RV tow bars for cars and tow dolly systems, compare their features, and provide expert towing service insights to help you choose the right option for your needs.

RV Tow Bars and Tow Dolly Systems || Comparison

Before diving into the specifics of tow bars and tow dollies, let’s first compare their main characteristics. The following table provides an overview of the key differences between the two:

FeatureTow BarTow Dolly
DefinitionA device that connects the RV and towed vehicle directly.A small trailer that supports the front wheels of the towed vehicle.
Equipment Tow bar, base plates, safety cables, and wiring harness.Tow dolly, safety chains, and lighting connections.
Car Towing MethodAll four wheels of the towed vehicle remain on the ground.Only the front wheels of the towed vehicle are off the ground.
CompatibilitySuitable for most vehicles, including those with all-wheel drive.Limited compatibility, as some vehicles cannot be towed with a dolly.
StorageMinimal storage space when not in use.Additional space to store the tow dolly.
ManeuverabilityBetter maneuverability and easier backing up.Limitations when maneuvering in tight spaces.
CostLess expensive compared to tow dollies.Expensive due to additional equipment.

What is a Tow Bar?

Tow Bars

Embarking on a road trip with your RV often involves the need to tow a secondary vehicle. This is where towbars Wangara come into play, enabling you to effortlessly pull your car behind your RV which acts as a tow truck. RV tow bars for cars offer a practical solution for car towing, providing convenience, flexibility, and cost savings.

In this detailed guide, we will delve into the world of tow bars, exploring their functionality, types, equipment required, factors to consider, advantages, and disadvantages. Always prioritize safety, compatibility, and ease of use to ensure a smooth car towing experience on your future adventures.

I. Functionality

A tow bar is a device used to connect a towing vehicle, such as an RV, to a secondary vehicle, allowing the latter to be towed. It provides a secure and reliable link, facilitating safe transportation.

II. Types of Tow Bars

  1. Self-Aligning Tow Bars

Self-aligning tow bars feature a mechanism that automatically centres and aligns the towed vehicle behind the RV. This makes hookup and detachment quick and straightforward.

  1. Non-Self-Aligning Tow Bars

Non-self-aligning tow bars for cars require manual alignment during hookup and detachment. While they may demand a bit more effort, they tend to be more affordable and offer reliable car towing capabilities. If you’re looking for a reliable and durable truck towing solution, consider the trail boss towbars.

  1. Double Hitch Tow Bar

With its unique design, the double hitch tow bar enables the RV to tow two vehicles simultaneously, making it an ideal choice for families or groups travelling together. Double hitch tow bar offers versatility by accommodating various types of vehicles, including cars, SUVs, or small trailers, providing flexibility in truck towing options.

III. Equipment Necessary for Using RV Tow Bars

  1. Base Plates

Base plates are vehicle-specific brackets installed on the front of the towed vehicle. They serve as attachment points for the towbar car, ensuring a secure connection.

  1. Safety Cables

Safety cables act as a backup in case the tow bar connection fails. They provide an additional level of security by preventing the towed vehicle from separating in case of an unforeseen event.

  1. Wiring Harness

A wiring harness establishes electrical connections between the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle. It ensures that the taillights, turn signals, and brake lights of the towed vehicle operate in sync with those of the towing vehicle.

  1. Supplemental Braking System

A supplemental braking system assists the car towing vehicle in applying brakes to the towed vehicle. It helps enhance safety by reducing braking distances and preventing excessive strain on the towing vehicle’s brakes.

IV. Other Things to Consider

  1. Weight Ratings and Capacity

It is crucial to consider the weight ratings and car towing capacity of the tow bar to ensure it can handle the load of your specific vehicles. Exceeding these limits can compromise safety and damage the equipment.

  1. Compatibility with RV and Towing Vehicle

Check for compatibility between the towbar car and both the RV and the towing vehicle. Proper alignment, hitch height, and weight distribution are essential for safe and stable car towing.

  1. Installation and Setup Process

Evaluate the installation and setup process of the towbar car system. Consider factors such as ease of installation, the requirement for additional modifications, and the need for professional assistance.

  1. Storage and Portability

Consider the ease of storage and portability of the tow bar when it is not in use. Look for features such as foldability, detachable components, and compactness to ensure convenient transportation.

V. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Tow Bar

  1. Tow Bar Type and Design

Assess the different types and designs available, considering factors such as car towing capacity, ease of use, and specific truck towing needs.

  1. Compatibility with RV and Towing Vehicle

Ensure that the tow bar is compatible with your RV and towing vehicle, considering factors like hitch receiver size, weight distribution, and connection points.

  1. Ease of Installation and Operation

Choose a tow bar that offers a user-friendly installation process and straightforward operation. Look for features like quick-release mechanisms and user-friendly adjustments.

  1. Durability and Construction

Evaluate the build quality and materials of the tow bar. Look for sturdy construction, corrosion-resistant coatings, and durable components to ensure longevity.

  1. Weight and Storage

Consider the weight of the tow bar, as it can affect the overall car towing capacity and handling of the RV. Additionally, choose a towbar car that is easy to store and transport.

VI. Advantages of an RV Tow Bar

  1. Convenience and Flexibility

Using an RV tow bar allows you to tow a secondary vehicle effortlessly, offering convenience and flexibility during your travels.

  1. Improved Fuel Efficiency

Car towing with an RV tow bar, rather than hauling a separate tow vehicle, can lead to improved fuel efficiency due to reduced weight and drag.

  1. Enhanced Maneuverability

Tow bars for cars enable better maneuverability, allowing you to navigate tight spaces and make sharp turns with greater ease compared to dedicated tow vehicles.

  1. Cost Savings on Dedicated Tow Vehicles

Investing in an RV tow bar eliminates the need for a separate tow vehicle, saving you the expenses associated with purchasing and maintaining an additional vehicle.

VII. Disadvantages of an RV Tow Bar

  1. Limited Vehicle Compatibility

Not all vehicles can be towed using a tow bar. It is essential to verify the compatibility of your specific vehicle before opting for this car towing method.

  1. Additional Wear on Towing Vehicle

Towing a vehicle with an RV tow bar places additional strain on the truck towing vehicle’s drivetrain, suspension, and brakes, potentially causing increased wear and tear.

  1. Increased Braking Distance

The added weight of the towed vehicle can extend the braking distance of the RV, requiring extra caution and adjustment in driving habits.

  1. Potential Installation Challenges

Depending on the specific tow bar system and the vehicles involved, there may be installation challenges, such as the need for modifications or professional assistance.

What is a Tow Dolly?

Tow Dolly

When it comes to car towing behind your RV, a tow dolly can be a valuable asset. In this detailed guide, we will delve into the world of tow dollies, exploring their definition, purpose, and how they work. We will then examine the advantages and disadvantages of using an RV tow dolly and the equipment required.

Remember, choosing the right tow dolly that aligns with your specific needs and requirements will enhance your RV towing experience, providing efficiency, convenience, and peace of mind on your adventures.

I. Functionality

A tow dolly is a specialized trailer designed to tow a vehicle behind an RV or other truck towing vehicle. Its purpose is to elevate the front wheels of the towed vehicle while keeping the rear wheels on the ground.

II. How a Tow Dolly Works

  1. Tow Dolly Structure: The tow dolly consists of a sturdy frame, axles, and a coupler for connecting to the towing vehicle.
  2. Loading and Securing the Vehicle: The front wheels of the towed vehicle are driven onto the tow dolly ramps, followed by securing the vehicle using wheel straps and tie-downs.
  3. Towing Mechanics: When in motion, the rear wheels of the towed vehicle roll freely, while the front wheels rotate on the tow dolly’s platform.

III. Advantages of an RV Tow Dolly

  1. Improved Maneuverability

With a tow dolly, RV owners can enjoy enhanced maneuverability due to the reduced overall length and improved turning radius compared to flat car towing methods.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

Tow dollies offer a more economical option for towing compared to heavy-duty trailers or flatbed truck towing, making them a cost-effective choice for RVers.

  1. Easier to Store

Unlike larger trailers, tow dollies are compact and easier to store, taking up less space in storage areas or campgrounds.

  1. Increased Vehicle Compatibility

Tow dollies can accommodate a wide range of vehicles, including front-wheel drive and some all-wheel-drive models, providing versatility for RV owners.

IV. Disadvantages of an RV Tow Dolly

  1. Additional Weight and Length

Tow dollies add weight and length to your RV setup, which may affect fuel efficiency and require additional attention while driving and parking.

  1. Reduced Ground Clearance

The design of a tow dolly can reduce the ground clearance of the towed vehicle, making it less suitable for off-road or rough terrain travel.

  1. Limited Off-Roading Capability

Tow dollies are primarily designed for paved road use and may not be suitable for off-roading adventures or accessing remote areas.

  1. Extra Time and Effort for Loading and Unloading

Loading and unloading a vehicle onto a tow dolly requires additional time, effort, and precision, especially when compared to flat car towing.

V. Equipment Needed

  1. Tow Dolly Frame and Axle

The frame and axle form the foundation of the tow dolly, providing structural integrity and support for the towed vehicle.

  1. Coupler and Safety Chains

The coupler connects the tow dolly to the RV or towing vehicle, while safety chains provide an additional layer of security.

  1. Ramps or Loading Ramps

Ramps or loading ramps on the tow dolly facilitate the smooth loading and unloading of the towed vehicle.

  1. Wheel Straps and Tie-Downs

Wheel straps and tie-downs secure the front wheels of the towed vehicle onto the tow dolly, preventing movement during transportation.

VI. Types of Car Tow Dollies on the Market

  1. Rigid Tow Dollies: These are solid, non-folding tow dollies. They offer robust construction and stability during car towing.
  2. Collapsible Tow Dollies: Collapsible tow dollies feature a folding design, allowing for easier storage when not in use.
  3. Swivel Tow Dollies: Swivel tow dollies incorporate a pivoting mechanism, enabling better maneuverability and reduced strain on the towed vehicle’s tires.

VII. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Tow Dolly

  1. Weight Capacity and Vehicle Compatibility

When choosing a car towing dolly, it’s crucial to consider its weight capacity and ensure it can handle the weight of the vehicle you intend to tow. Additionally, check for compatibility with different vehicle types, as some dollies may be designed specifically for certain models or sizes.

  1. Braking System

A reliable and efficient braking system is essential for safe truck towing. Look for a tow dolly that has a braking system, which can help with stability and control during braking maneuvers.

  1. Tire Size and Quality

The tire size and quality of the tow dolly play a significant role in its performance. Opt for a dolly with appropriately sized and high-quality tires that can handle the weight and stress of truck towing.

  1. Storage and Maintenance

Consider the storage space you have available for the tow dolly when it’s not in use. Some dollies may be foldable or have compact designs, making them easier to store. Additionally, think about the maintenance requirements and ensure they align with your capabilities and preferences.

  1. Budget and Cost Considerations

Set a budget for the tow dolly and consider the cost of both the dolly itself and any additional accessories or equipment needed for car towing. Compare prices and features to find the best value for your budget.

  1. User Reviews and Recommendations

Before making a final decision, check user reviews and recommendations from other people who have used the tow dolly. Their experiences can provide insights into the dolly’s reliability, ease of use, and overall performance.

Car Tow Dolly or Flat Tow?

When considering car towing options, it’s worth comparing a tow dolly with a flat towing, where all four wheels of the towed vehicle remain on the ground. The following table highlights the main differences between these methods:

FeatureTow DollyFlat Tow
Equipment NeededTow dolly, safety chains, and lighting connections.RV tow bar, base plates, safety cables, and wiring harness.
Vehicle CompatibilityWide range of vehicle compatibility.May have restrictions based on the specific vehicle’s requirements.
StorageRequires additional storage space.Minimal storage space is needed.
ManeuverabilityLimited maneuverability due to the added length of the tow dolly.Enhanced maneuverability and ease of backing up.

RV Tow Bars vs. RV Tow Dolly ── Which Is Better?

Choosing between an RV tow bar and an RV tow dolly ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Tow bars for cars offer better maneuverability, compatibility with most vehicles, and easier storage. The trail boss towbars are designed to provide a seamless and secure connection between your RV and towed vehicle.

On the other hand, tow dollies provide increased stability, wider vehicle compatibility, and easier connection and disconnection.

Consider factors such as your RV type, the frequency of car towing, the compatibility of your vehicle, and storage constraints to make an informed decision.

Consulting with an expert or experienced RVers can also provide valuable insights based on their firsthand towing experiences. It’s also a good idea to save the contact details of “towing near me” on the phone, for guidance just in case of emergencies.

Making the Right Choice

Both RV tow bars for cars and tow dollies offer viable solutions for towing a car behind your RV. Understanding the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each method is crucial in making the right choice.

Assess your specific towing requirements and consider the technical aspects. Take into account the opinions of tow truck experts and RVers about tow bars Wangara and tow dollies. You can rely on professional “towing services near me” to assist you promptly. By doing so, you can select the option that best suits your needs.

When it comes to installing a tow bar Brisbane, it’s essential to consult tow truck professionals who can ensure proper installation and compatibility with your vehicle. For this search for “tow truck service near me” and find a reliable company to drop by expert guidance.

Need Help Choosing the Right Towing Method?

If you’re unsure which car towing method is right for you or have any additional questions, reach out to our reliable tow truck Perth experts today. We’re here to help you make an informed decision and ensure a safe and enjoyable towing experience.

Explore Your Car Towing Options Further with Our Expert Assistance.

Contact Us Today!


Leave a comment