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Old 12-29-2015, 04:38 PM   #1
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Do I need a secondary means to secure the Dinghy to the Dolly

I have a '03 Mini Cooper S, 6 speed, that I plan to tow behind my Class C, on a Load Master Dolly. The Dolly has a pair of 2" webbing dolly straps, approximately 5 years old.
What is the life span of the webbing? They look pretty dirty.
I'm told that they constantly loosen & require adjusting. Should I attach a secondary anchoring.....another webbing, or chain...for safety?
Emmett
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Old 12-29-2015, 04:45 PM   #2
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I loop a vinyl coated steel cable, clamped to the dolly, thru my wheels from inside to outside and have a snap hook on the dolly frame, that I put them on.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:39 PM   #3
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You should always use safety chains. I would also replace the straps and use your current ones as backup. I carry three sets of straps since they aren't exactly easy to buy on the road.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:51 PM   #4
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I've never used a tow dolly, but I believe you should have chains, as well as straps to secure the car. I believe the straps are used as a backup restraint should a strap fail. Here's an Acme video on setting up a car on a dolly .
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:46 PM   #5
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Our dolly had a chain that looped over the axle. I am surprised that is not standard equipment.

The prior owner had trouble routing the chains over the axle because of a medical condition, so he improvised safety tie downs by running heavy duty straps from the tow hooks on his car to the dolly.

He included extra straps with the purchase but we never used them. The original straps were not pretty after 8 years but they were not showing any wear to justify switching.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:03 AM   #6
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Secondary chain

Thanks all....
In the video, the operator engaged the parking brake. I suppose this vehicle is a 'front wheel' drive....and the emergency brakes are in the front.....as I expect my Mini Cooper is. And, that is the correct procedure.... right?
And, the key was inserted to unlock the steering?
This video had no voice....so I may have missed the answers to my above questions.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by txsailorboy View Post
Thanks all....
In the video, the operator engaged the parking brake. I suppose this vehicle is a 'front wheel' drive....and the emergency brakes are in the front.....as I expect my Mini Cooper is. And, that is the correct procedure.... right?
And, the key was inserted to unlock the steering?
This video had no voice....so I may have missed the answers to my above questions.
Emmett
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No, only engage the parking brake for strapping down. ( probably pertains to standard shift )

Any parking brake I ever saw was to the rear wheels. ( probably to reduce spin outs, when needing them while moving ).

Yes key is needed to unlock steering.

Some need key in, some need key turned on, some need key kurned on them off and some don't lock at all.

Stick the front tires on grass and take out the key. Try to turn the steering wheel. If it turns a turn or more without clicking into a locked position, then you know.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:09 AM   #8
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I have towed with a surge braked dolly for 3 years and have had no problems.
I hook up the dolly to the MH and then pull a linch in to drop the ramps to ground level, drive my front wheel drive van up on to the table to the wheel stops and strap the unit down. I have no secondary straps or chains. Make sure you relatch the linch pin.
Once hooked up I pull the complete unit ahead a few feet to check the lighting and the straps and retighten the straps.
Once I am on the road I stop about 1/2 mile and retighten the straps as they have settled in.
Then off I go, stopping about every hour or so to take the dogs for a pee and recheck the straps which are usually OK.
The dolly has been fantastic and has never been a problem except, my own fault, when I must of hit something and the alignment went out and I ruined a set of tires on the dolly.
Happy Trails and enjoy the experience.

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Old 12-30-2015, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txsailorboy View Post
Thanks all....
In the video, the operator engaged the parking brake. I suppose this vehicle is a 'front wheel' drive....and the emergency brakes are in the front.....as I expect my Mini Cooper is. And, that is the correct procedure.... right?
And, the key was inserted to unlock the steering?
This video had no voice....so I may have missed the answers to my above questions.
Emmett
aka txsailorboy
The video does, or at least should have, audio. It does when I open it. I'd suggest you look at your owner's manual for the proper procedure for towing your car. They each have different requirements, from pulling fuses, to shifting through the gears, to speed limits. Look online for info for your particular car, if you don't have an owner's manual.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pops2 View Post
I have towed with a surge braked dolly for 3 years and have had no problems.
I hook up the dolly to the MH and then pull a linch in to drop the ramps to ground level, drive my front wheel drive van up on to the table to the wheel stops and strap the unit down. I have no secondary straps or chains. Make sure you relatch the linch pin.
Once hooked up I pull the complete unit ahead a few feet to check the lighting and the straps and retighten the straps.
Once I am on the road I stop about 1/2 mile and retighten the straps as they have settled in.
Then off I go, stopping about every hour or so to take the dogs for a pee and recheck the straps which are usually OK.
The dolly has been fantastic and has never been a problem except, my own fault, when I must of hit something and the alignment went out and I ruined a set of tires on the dolly.
Happy Trails and enjoy the experience.

I don't know the laws on secondary safety chains, so maybe having 2 straps covers it, but my dolly and Acme dolly's come with a seperate chain to connect the car to the dolly besides the straps.

Just because it works for you don't make it legal.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:09 PM   #11
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Use Safety chains - just like the ball hitch - yes.

Adjust the safety chains to keep the car on the dolly in case of strap or winch failure.

Web straps will stretch less and less with age. The age/lifespan of the straps being usable depends on the straps and conditions of use. Our 5 year old straps are still in good order.

There is sometimes (but not always) a "tattle tale" thread in the strap that is a different color from the strap. If the thread is broken anywhere along the strap, stop using that strap. That means the strap was over-stretched and is damaged.

The parking brake should be released if it locks the rear tires...they most usually lock the rears.

Best luck
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:07 PM   #12
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In an earlier post (#4) I meant to write that I believe the chains (not straps) are meant to be a back up should the straps (or winch) fail.
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:21 PM   #13
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Many cars have tie down loops on the front main cross beam. A good place to attach your safety chain with snap hooks.
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