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Old 06-25-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Advice for towing miata

I just bought an 06 f150 4-door with the 5.4 triton 2wd
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Anywho, my parents and family live about 240 miles from where I'm stationed, and I like to make trips home on weekends sometimes. Whenever my miata is complete, I'd like to start taking it home with me sometimes, and it seems the best option is to tow it:

Theres the two wheel dolly option, which may be the cheapest (or not?) but I would have to leave the rear two wheels on the ground and have to unhook the driveshaft everytime I went to tow it.

Second option is an actual car hauler trailer where the car is driven up onto the trailer and strapped down, these are very expensive and I cannot afford it, basically not an option.

Third option is a utility trailer that's big enough to fit the miata on, and has a large enough weight capacity to safely haul the miata. I'm not sure about regulations on this and if it's legal/safe. Although I see no reason why it wouldn't be as long as the trailer is loaded correctly.

Basically I'm looking for anyone's advice that may have experience doing something like this and what you wound up doing/what's the cheapest route while still being safe?

Thanks.

P.S. This is what I meant by a utility trailer in case you were confused, although I'm not sure if that particular one is big enough.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:13 PM   #2
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2 wheel dolly. No need to disconnect driveshaft. Works perfectly.

Last edited by bryanlow; 06-25-2009 at 08:19 PM. Reason: pic added
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
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You can get a car hauler for under $1000, closer to $700. Not sure what your budget is though.

Never used a dolly setup, but I'd rather have all 4 off the ground. And what I've seen, the dolly's are still about $400 so I'd say the additional 300 is well worth it as long as you have a place to store it.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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I think I'd be a tad concerned about weird tire wear from the two wheel dolly. When you tilt the car around the axis parallel to the rear axle, it will change the alignment (camber will essentially start resembling toe) and the tires will wear accordingly. Fine, I would think, to get to a nearby track, maybe not so much for your 480-mile round trip.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:26 PM   #5
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^Agreed. 4 up is the best way if you have the towing capacity, which you do...
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
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I've always been under the impression that if the drive tires were on the ground, the driveshaft needs to be disconnected, something to do with fluids not circulating correctly in the tranny.

Regardless, my dad has a large utility trailer that can support more than the weight of the miata, if he will be willing to let it go for a fair price then I will modify it into a car hauler or some sorts.

If not, it's looking like the dolly is my best bet for my budget.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenday3437 View Post
I've always been under the impression that if the drive tires were on the ground, the driveshaft needs to be disconnected, something to do with fluids not circulating correctly in the tranny.
True for automatics. Not that critical with a MT.

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Originally Posted by greenday3437 View Post
If not, it's looking like the dolly is my best bet for my budget.
$40/day at U Haul.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanlow View Post
True for automatics. Not that critical with a MT.



$40/day at U Haul.
Yeah sure that would be great for the first few times, but renting one every time I need to use it could get a bit annoying. It'd be nice to just be able to load up onto my own trailer and ride off whenver I want.

I guess beggers can't be choosers though.

Last edited by greenday3437; 06-25-2009 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:36 AM   #9
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I see 16' wood-decked flatbeds under $1k all the time. How stretched is your budget?
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:39 AM   #10
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This has been discussed several times over on the GRM board. Keith at FM and several Spec Miata guys chimed in. They tow Miatas thousands of miles at a time with tow dollies without disconnecting the driveshaft with zero problems. Just put it in neutral and go. One downside, I believe, is that the car will accumulate that mileage as the speedo cable will turn.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:56 AM   #11
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i thought there was a problem with a dolly tow from the bearings not getting enough lube via the main shaft not spinning?
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:34 AM   #12
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I've had a 2 wheel tow dolly for ten years and have towed rear wheel drive cars of various makes thousands of miles without incident or failure. There are always plenty of them for sale used here in Florida because of the fascination that old people have with RV's and motorhomes. Best $300 I've spent in years. I've dragged lots of cars home with it. It takes up a lot less space than a full size trailer.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:00 AM   #13
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I have no knowledge about this but IMO I would feel much better with all four wheels off the road. Also it takes like 5 seconds to take the driveshaft off.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:19 PM   #14
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I've thought about platform trailers a lot, as they seem the best bang for the buck, however I'm not sure about their weight capacity as I will be buying one used if I go that route so I'm not sure if that info will be available from the seller.

Dolly is looking like my best bet though, unless I happen to run into a steal with something else.
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