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Getting Into National & State Parks w/Tow Dolly


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Hi All,

Fulltiming soon w/Tow Dolly.

Need info on logistics of navigating to RV space inside National Parks and State Parks w/our car on tow dolly behind our 30 footer Thor Class A.

Thinking we will need to unhitch at some point prior to arriving at space.

All comments welcomed.

Thanks in advance.

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No stock answer. It will vary from place to place. I would say that a lot of times maybe most times you will be able to unhook near your site. If in doubt walk it out. Meaning sometimes a short stroll to scout ahead is a good thing to do. Other times it may be good to unhook near the entry and scout ahead in the toad.

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Welcome to the Escapee's forums. We are happy to have you join us and we will do our best to assist and support you.


Jim's experience is much like ours. It will be quite common to need to unload the car, but the best thing to do is to ask when you arrive. If in doubt, unload the car and then use it to drive in and check out the site first. We towed 4-down and disconnected the car nearly every night just to explore the area where we were.

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We've done both tow dolly and 4-down and, like Kirk and bigjim said, it varies from place-to-place with both systems. When we boondock we seldom had to disconnect or unload the toad unless we needed to scope out the area; this was particularly an issue when we were in a new area. In COE, State or Nat. parks we usually take the toad in first since there is no one to lead you to a spot and the toad (with the DW on the radio) has a much better idea of what we're looking for (non-reserved spots).


Some of the National Parks have a lot of what I call "curbside camping" spots. You don't pull through or back in, you just pull over to the wide spot in the road and park. West Glacier has a lot of them and so does Joshua Tree NP. I like these, actually, but some of them are on the "wrong side" of the road (no putting out the awning). Slides might also be an issue (we don't have them).


We always look at the area with Google Earth or Maps (in satellite mode) first.


If we have to back in to a spot we'll always disconnect since you can't back up with the dolly or 4-down anyway and the best place to disconnect is before you get into the park (so as not to block the road).


The one single issue with a dolly over 4-down that I've found is that the dolly has to be wider than the vehicle that's sitting on it and this extra width can be an issue. The Jeep Wrangler 2-door (short) we tow now is a cinch everywhere because it is always well inside the wheel track of the motor home.



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If you do use a tow dolly get a hitch installed on the back of your car so you can use the car to move the dolly around.

+1 on this. We did this and just used a class I hitch (the tow dolly, by itself, is well within that range) on our Kia Optima sedan. We drove the Kia - with the tow dolly hitched to it - to get our motor home (250 miles or so), then put the dolly on the RV and the Kia on the dolly.



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