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Old 05-10-2016, 08:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Santa_Claus View Post
The rivets wouldn't be holding any weight, they'd just lock all the adjustable parts in place.
I think I see what you're talking about. I drew this picture to show what our straps look like. We have four loops that can move and have to be adjusted every time you put the straps on the wheel. Ours don't move around much so there really isn't much adjusting to do. I can see where it'd be a PIA if your's don't stay in place. If this is what you are talking about, I think I'd sew the loops to the strap that goes through loops with some nylon thread instead of pop riveting them together.

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Old 05-10-2016, 10:00 AM   #16
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I used hot glue on inside of strap and Duct tape on outside of strap, I marked passenger side and driver side in Sharpie, works pretty good.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:26 AM   #17
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this is the main reason we moved from a dolly to a 4-down tow bar system, though we also traded our non-towable 14 JeepCherokeeLatitude to a 4-down towable 14 FordFiestaSE.
While it's a toss up as to which is 'best', an argument that we could all weigh in on, the 4-down method is fairly easy, not very messy, and there is no bending down or laying down to access wheels and ratchets. While the dolly purchase may actually cost more up front, some of us who 4-down and have to trade vehicles also bear that additional cost.

Your question, though, is one I've had for several years after we moved from the dolly method. Why is there not a better, simpler mechanical method to the vehicle 'hook up' process with a dolly? Straps, ratchets, and wheel diameters create some messy work, and is certainly not fun when the sun is on your back.
I'm wondering if there is a more mechanical process that could be developed - a metal 'cover', taking the place of the straps, that you lift up and around the tire, and 'clicks' into place on the front of the dolly, using a self-retaining pin. This cover would slide out of the way, under the dolly, when loading/unloading.
I guess the question would be - what 'size' tires would this work for? That might be the problem since it would need to be fairly specific to the size of tire of the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by MisterT View Post
this is the main reason we moved from a dolly to a 4-down tow bar system, though we also traded our non-towable 14 JeepCherokeeLatitude to a 4-down towable 14 FordFiestaSE.
While it's a toss up as to which is 'best', an argument that we could all weigh in on, the 4-down method is fairly easy, not very messy, and there is no bending down or laying down to access wheels and ratchets. While the dolly purchase may actually cost more up front, some of us who 4-down and have to trade vehicles also bear that additional cost.

Your question, though, is one I've had for several years after we moved from the dolly method. Why is there not a better, simpler mechanical method to the vehicle 'hook up' process with a dolly? Straps, ratchets, and wheel diameters create some messy work, and is certainly not fun when the sun is on your back.
I'm wondering if there is a more mechanical process that could be developed - a metal 'cover', taking the place of the straps, that you lift up and around the tire, and 'clicks' into place on the front of the dolly, using a self-retaining pin. This cover would slide out of the way, under the dolly, when loading/unloading.
I guess the question would be - what 'size' tires would this work for? That might be the problem since it would need to be fairly specific to the size of tire of the tow vehicle.
To answer your question in a nutshell--price. Straps are a flexible method of attaching the car to the dolly. You can probably strap any vehicle you want to haul with one adjustable strap. You'd need a cover for every wheel and tire size combination to securely attach it to the dolly.

Maybe we got lucky, but it's very easy to strap down our Cherokee--no laying down on the ground and tightening the ratchets is quick and easy. We purchased our dolly brand new with electric brakes for less, a lot less, than a tow bar setup and aux braking would cost to purchase and install.

There was no dismantling the front end to attach a base plate or aux brake installation costs. We took the dolly home, connected it to the coach and drove the Cherokee on it. The first time I strapped it down took about 20 minutes because I'd never done it before. Now it's not a ten minute operation from driving it on to strapping it down. I do wear gloves because the strap is dirty from road grime.

The hardest part for us to learn was how to get the car centered between the fenders. That took a few tries the first time, but now its a one time deal.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:31 PM   #19
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The hardest part for us to learn was how to get the car centered between the fenders. That took a few tries the first time, but now its a one time deal.


I centered my car once, then painted a line where the edge of my left front tire has to be. Perfect every time now on the first try.
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:51 PM   #20
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Amen. I wish someone would design a way to put the strap over the lower control arm down to the dolly pan then to the ratchet vice trying to hold down an air filled, rubber tire. Im already under the toad to connect the safety chains so already dirty.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:29 PM   #21
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Amen. I wish someone would design a way to put the strap over the lower control arm down to the dolly pan then to the ratchet vice trying to hold down an air filled, rubber tire. Im already under the toad to connect the safety chains so already dirty.
That won't work on a Acme dolly, it uses the cars steering to turn.

As far as safety chains, I used vinyl coated cable clamped on the outside of the pan. I push them thru the wheel openings, to a spring locked hook on a short chain.

I reach them with out kneeling and the cables don't mark up the wheels.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:56 PM   #22
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Amen. I wish someone would design a way to put the strap over the lower control arm down to the dolly pan then to the ratchet vice trying to hold down an air filled, rubber tire. Im already under the toad to connect the safety chains so already dirty.
I would think that attaching the strap to the tire gives you more points of support than just going over the control arm. When you strap the tire it's supported by the tie rods, brakeing system shocks struts and the control arm. Your also have the flexibility of the tire itself which is going to give a bit of cushioning.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:24 PM   #23
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I'm wondering if there is a more mechanical process that could be developed - a metal 'cover', taking the place of the straps, that you lift up and around the tire, and 'clicks' into place on the front of the dolly, using a self-retaining pin. This cover would slide out of the way, under the dolly, when loading/unloading.
That's exactly what I was hoping for, some kind of clamshell that you hook over the top of the tire, and then a latch that locks it to the dolly. Sure, it'd be a more expensive option, and it would have VERY little adjustability, but I'd happily pay to avoid the mess and sweat!
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:01 AM   #24
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Amen. I wish someone would design a way to put the strap over the lower control arm down to the dolly pan then to the ratchet vice trying to hold down an air filled, rubber tire. Im already under the toad to connect the safety chains so already dirty.
The main reason i see for strapping the tire, is the suspension of the car will still work and take the stress off the dolly frame and tires as well as the stress of the car frame and allow a smoother ride. The dolly becomes like a very heavy beam axle, but is able to use the suspension of the toad to ride through the potholes and dips and dives of the road.
This also means the safety chain hookups have to be hooked so the suspension of the car is not limited by
these chains as well.
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