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Overnight with Tow Dolly


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Hi Monacoers,

We are taking our first long trip using a tow dolly from California to South Carolina. We’ll be using the 3-3-3 rule and my question is: When only staying overnight, do you unload and unhook your tow dolly before dropping air, slides and jacks, or do you leave your dolly and toad hooked up? We’re driving a 2004 Diplomat towing a 2014 accord coupe with a Stehl tow dolly. Thanks in advance, we really appreciate this site and community. It’s invaluable for Monaco owners and of course happy early Mother’s Day to all the moms.

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Don't know what the 333 rule is, however, we brought a car from FL to CA on a U-Haul (that's a whole other story!) Last thing I wanted to do was unhook anything. Left coach at ride height and all was good. We do the same with the toad if space is a pull through and long enough. Never had an issue.

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We flat tow and will only unhook if needed. If you get a back-in site you probably will need to. With a pull-thru or parking at Walmart, you may not need to. It is up to you and the specific conditions you encounter.

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Just completed California to Texas and back.  We towed 2009 1500 Silverado with our 05 Safari Gazelle.

my mind set was to avoid in hooking the truck at any cost, but it became second nature to un hook and reconnect the truck.  I still used my check list to disable the electronic transmission and re-enable when ready to take the truck out.

Mostly had to disconnect since the pull through sites advertised did not allow our 38’ coach with full sized pickup.

safe travels

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12 minutes ago, SigPIlot said:

Don't know what the 333 rule is, however, we brought a car from FL to CA on a U-Haul (that's a whole other story!) Last thing I wanted to do was unhook anything. Left coach at ride height and all was good. We do the same with the toad if space is a pull through and long enough. Never had an issue.

Thanks for the quick reply! The 3-3-3 rule for I’m told is 300 miles per day for 3 days and then rest for a couple of days and always try to arrive by 3pm.  

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Posted (edited)

If we are in travel mode (overnight or maybe 2-3 days because of weather or for rest) I do not take the car off the dolly unless I need the car to go somewhere. If your dolly is setup correctly  it should be neutral ( dolly in straight line with RV hitch) airing down should not change the angle at the ball significantly. That said, if it is just an overnight stop we often do not put out the slides or just put out the bedroom slide. Also, for short stays we do not deploy the levelers unless we are in an RV park and will generally leave the RV in ride height.

I do make it a habit to check the car and dolly each day before driving. This includes checking the basket straps, Ball connection, hitch pins, lights etc. Note: If you are towing the car a long distance for the first time I recommend you  invest in a battery quick disconnect. It will save you from accidentally draining your car battery.

I would post a photo but I keep getting an error code when I try to load a photo from my HD. They are in expensive and available at most auto parts places.

Also, if you are staying in an unsecured place (Walmart parking lot, rest area, etc) Be sure to take the key out of your car, set the break and lock up each night. Have fun on your cross country travels.

Edited by 1nolaguy
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If at all possible I would take 40 over 10 any day. It's a flip of a coin but from what I understand from truck drivers that use the 10 it's pretty rough. 40 was a little rough a yr ago when we went from Southern California to Tennessee. Via a stop off in upper Texas. Safe travels. 

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In my opinion there is not all that much difference between 10 and 40 as far as road quality. It all depends on how much road work is being done at the time of your trip. Aside from that time of the year, weather, cost all come into play. Look at which is you shortest route. I-40 is, in my opinion, a prettier drive (more variation and interesting terrain) especially east of the Rockies, but that is just my opinion.

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I’m was planning on taking the 8 to 10 to make a pit stop in Livingston, TX at the escapees RV resort. We’ll be domiciling in Texas and have to take care of the paperwork on the way to vacation in South Carolina. I’ll take a second look at the map.

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8 to 10 across Texas can be a boring drive (a lot of flat) but an easy drive. I have made it many times in a van for business. To break it up, if you have the time, I suggest you consider breaking it up by dropping off I-10 at Van Horn ( 90 E) and visit Alpine, Big Bend NP (entrance at Marathon), Langtry (actual Judge Roy Bean courthouse and salon), cross the Pecos River Gorge, Lake Amistad at Del Rio, Bracketville AFB, Uvalde, Castroville (old German town) and back to I-10 at San Antonio. Its actually about the same number of miles but probably adds a day or three depending on how may stops you make. For instance I am a Judge Roy Bean fan so I made sure to visit his grave and copy of the Langtry Courthouse in Del Rio. This route will break up what can be a long and boring drive across 880 miles of Texas. You should note that between El Passo and San Antonio there are few stops for fuel (Van Horn and Ft Stocton being the two main ones). I recommend taking advantage and filling up when you can. If you take 90E Alpine and Del Rio will be your best bets. After DR there are more options but still not close together.

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