My husband and I are renting a truck for a move from DC to Austin. We would like to tow our 99 Honda Civic (which has over 100,000 miles on it). Is it worth it to spend the extra money for a four-wheel auto transport vs. doing a two-wheel tow?
IMHO for a 99 Civic no.
No. Put the front wheels of the Civic on a dolly, let the rear wheels on the ground, and tow it. It’s what, 2,000 miles or so? No problem.
Yep, mcparadise has the right idea. The rear wheels are basically trailer wheels anyway on a FWD car like this. It should be no problem to put it on a 2-wheel dolly and tow it.
In my experience, yes if you can not see the wheels of the car in the truck mirrors. You will be able to see the wheels of the trailer and you can tell if one of them is flat. I ruined a tire and a wheel the first and only time I towed a car on a dolly, across PA. Since then, I have used trailers for my cars in 4 interstate moves. Heck, if the truck is big and the car is small, you won?t even be able to tell if the car is gone! I can imagine myself explaining to the State Police in Texarkana, ?well officer, the car was still hooked up when we last stopped in Memphis!?
The trailer will also get the car up and away from more stones getting tossed up by the truck tires. The trailer will have brakes to slow you down more safely compensating for the weight of the car. (This is most important if you have a relatively small truck.) If you are not experienced in driving big packages, you need all the help you can get. With a little practice, you can back up with the trailer. With the dolly, you can not back up.
You can even tow a Honda with a tow bar, just start the engine for 5 minutes every time you stop for gas. Thats why its so popular with RV’ers. But an auto transport would be more convenient.
Just fly back and drive it. Two days? Three? It won’t hurt.
I’ve towed considerable distances with both. For something as light as your Honda, I’d prefer a dolly. Be sure to check with your truck rental company to see if they will allow you to tow a dolly or trailer. Be sure the dolly has TRAILER RATED tires. Ask me how I found THAT out at 11:00 PM in the middle of nowhere. Also be sure your Honda has good rear tires. A blowout back there can cause a loss of control. I don’t know that from MY own personal experience, but I know someone who found it out the hard way after rolling a full sized Bronco in the opposite ditch. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic.
Some dollies have surge brakes. Not ALL trailers have brakes, surge or electric. I’ve never seen electric brakes on a dollie, but they may be out there. If your toad has no brakes, expect your stopping distances to increase significantly.
IF your rental truck company will allow you to tow YOUR OWN trailer or dollie, consider BUYING a used one. You can resell it on the other end, and probably recoup your entire investment. Otherwise you’re just out the money. Kind of like renting a house.
It does not matter how good your tires are if you pick up a nail or puncture with some other debris.