Saturday, February 21, 2015

Learning Curve and Knowledge Base

In preparation for my next seasonal gig, I've been researching how to get my Geo and Motor Home five hundred miles down the road.
The obvious answer? Tow it. Get a dolly. Get a trailer.
So yesterday I went to an RV dealer. While these guys are expensive, they know their stuff. Here's what I learned.
A dolly is cheaper than flat towing a car. The guy told me for $3,600, I could have a hitch and brand new dolly, suitable for towing a small car.
But, he warned, this situation is so tedious with all the lights and hook ups, removing and storing said dolly on location, that most "older" folks just don't want to deal with it. They tow their cars, but leave them hooked to the motor home rather than unhooking everything and running around, only to hook it all back up again.
Flat towing is the ticket, he said. It just so happened, a customer heard our conversation and agreed. "I had a dolly. I hate it. Flat tow your car."
What's that cost? Well, for $4200 we can have you ready to go.
I gulped. Not going to happen. "Well, talk to me. the Geo?"
"Yes, we install brackets and electric braking in case the thing comes loose from the motor home."
Humm. My mind was working. The Geo has been diagnosed with a fatal tranny. I've vowed to drive it until it bites the dust, however long that may be, but bottom line, not sticking any  more money into  it. "Keep in mind, if you're flat towing, you can not back up, not even an inch. If you get in a spot that you can't pull through, you'll have to unhook everything, move the car first, then back up the motor home, re-hook and try again."
Wow. That's a head full of info.  
"What about a new car, only manual transmissions?"
"Don't take anyone's word for it, you've got to check the owner's manual and make sure it can be flat towed. Even some automatics can be flat towed, but check the owners manual before you lay down any cash. Had a guy come in with a brand new car, said the salesman promised it could be flat towed. He lied. The purchaser lost several thousands re-trading that car."
"Humm," I murmured. "Maybe I'll just get a motorcycle."
With that I left, pondering the car situation. Maybe I'll get a scooter or a bike. Or, for $4200, I could get a friend to drive it to location and I pay their airfare back.
So, let me throw the question out there:
any ideas???


  1. Contact the new gig and see if there is someone in you current area heading down without a car. Then if the geo dies on the way they can ride the rest of the way in the RV.

    That said I ride year round but I live in wetter washington and only get snowed out for a week or so every year. So a scooter is not a bad idea. My main shopping/communting bike is a little rebel 250. More that enough for most of my needs. I got it with 1100 miles on it from the back of a garage for $1500. Ask around there are a lot of small bikes that people decided where to small and got something bigger. The trade in is not enough so they keep them never to be ridden again.

    1. Great ideas, Eriko, one mechanic said the geo could last another ten years, no telling when the transmission will actually give up. Plus, when I'm on location, I hike it all over the place and don't take lots of car trips.
      thinking I can get by with just a bike!
      then snowbirding down south would be way easier if I didn't have a car to take care of too.

  2. what do you mean by vests...vespa??

  3. The more you own the more it costs..... Towing is a big pain. the vespa is a small scooter..... bike may be the way to go. easy to transport cheaper.

  4. Vespa, is a small motorscooter. My mom has one and loves it.

  5. Towbar and magnetic lights is all you need.Geo trannies are an easy swap so keep the car.

  6. really? Ok. So would I stop at a local mechanic to get this rigged? Currently I don't have a tow bar, or ball hitch, just a square metal thing to adapt whatever to the motor home.

  7. Check what weight your MH is rated to tow, Geo's are pretty light sub 2000 ibs Somebody should make a kit to adapt a towbar to a Geo probably could be installed by anybody with reasonable mechanical skills. Buy some tow lights good to go

  8. here is some brackets no welding