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Old 05-05-2016, 04:59 PM   #1
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Dolly Tire Straps, any better way?

I have a TandemTow Dolly and carry a Prius V with it, and the car is attached to the dolly with adjustable tie-down straps. One end hooks to the dolly, a "basket" of straps and loops goes over the top of the tire and then the strap goes through a loop to adjust to the size of the tire and then into a strap ratchet to crank it down tight. It is not an easy process, especially on such a low-riding car, and it is dirty work, too. Is there a better way? I'm thinking a few well placed pop-rivets could at least lock all the sliding bits in place, removing the adjustability but speeding up the process a bit. I'm not even sure what a better solution would look like, but I thought I'd ask. And before anyone suggests it, we are not switching to a flat tow: the Prius is in new condition and I want to get a golf cart (ergo the TandemTow). Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2016, 05:32 PM   #2
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Not sure exactly what you are describing on how your tie downs work, but when we used a tow dolly it was not that complicated as we put the tie downs over the tire, the u-shaped clamps on the rear of the tie down hooked onto the back of the platform that the car sat on, and then the other end of the tie down went through the ratchet mounted on the front of the platform the car sat on. Cinch down the ratchet and you were done.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:46 PM   #3
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I can't help with alternative straps (as I'm also looking for something "better"). But, on the rivets, you would put them in while the straps aren't under tension. After cranking them down, the stress would eventually pop the rivets out.
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Old 05-07-2016, 08:28 AM   #4
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The TandemTow dolly has some nice features and qualities, but the ratchets and straps are not one of them. Junk. I had a TT for a while and could not get the VW Beetle on it. Wheel well too tight and no clearance in front for the ratchets to operate. I ended up selling it, got a lift for the bike and Demco KarKaddy dolly. IF you can swap out the ratchets and straps for the Demco style I would recommend it. It may require welding a strap bar on the tow plate behind the tire for that to work. I frankly don't remember what the strap attachments are for the TT.
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Old 05-07-2016, 03:32 PM   #5
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I recommend cover alls. I used to tow a car on a flat bed and strapping her down always got me dirty. I needed a shower before Hitting the road
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Old 05-08-2016, 03:55 PM   #6
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I've seen other posts mentioning how hard or dirty it is to strap a car to the dolly. We have a master tow dolly and a Jeep Cherokee and it's neither difficult nor dirty except for the straps themselves. I guess we got lucky with the geometry of the toad and dolly. The ratchets are also easy to tighten.

I' curious why you think different straps might be the solution to your problem? Are they adjustable? Ours came with adjustable strap, but the wheels and tires on the Cherokee are so big that they are extended all the way and barley fit,.
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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Not sure if this will solve your problem but on my dolly I do not use the adjustable straps for my car. 2011 Nissan Altima I bought the strap that fit my size tires only. No adjustments at all just hook the strap on the back side of the tires to the dolly lay the webbing over the top of the tire and tighten it up with the ratchet on the dolly. I bought the straps the same time as I bought the dolly from my dealer........ Now if someone needs to use the dolly I have the adjustable straps they can use if there car does not have the same size wheels and tires as my Altima...................KJD
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:50 PM   #8
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Yeah, it seems the crux of my problem is a combination of the adjustability of the straps and the low stance of the Prius. Sounds like the only real option is to fix the adjustability.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santa_Claus View Post
Yeah, it seems the crux of my problem is a combination of the adjustability of the straps and the low stance of the Prius. Sounds like the only real option is to fix the adjustability.
New straps are a cheap fix and you're not out much if it doesn't improve the situation. Pop rivets are definitely not the way to go.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:24 AM   #10
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Pop Rivets? Not a good idea if they will be taking any load AT ALL!!
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:57 PM   #11
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Just came back from a 4500 miles trip with a new Acme tow dolly. As per Acme demo video, they are using a Prius which is what we did our trip with. As per video the Prius seem to have good dolly clearance and seem to do a good job. However our 2012 Prius did not have the clearance like the video and the trap that came with it are way to big for the Prius 15 inch tires. Good thing I had purchase a extra set because I ruin one after the first 500 miles and had to modify two of them to do the rest off the trip which are now wore out. And also ruin the two front hub cap due to hanging to low on the tires. Also before leaving had to remove plastic under bumper splash guard for clearance. In my travel I did meet a fellow RVer with a Acme tow dolly, he had added 1 inch plywood board on top of the tow dolly frame for the tires to sit on, that give him more clearance for the strap which is what I will have to do to my for it to work right with a Prius. Will also have to purchase or custom made new strap to fit the tire properly. The rest of the dolly seem to work fine.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:26 PM   #12
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I think I'd just have Red Nose and the rest of the reindeer pull it.

(Oh, by the way...that bag of coal and a switch you left last year wasn't very funny.)
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:56 PM   #13
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My wife pulls the Accord up onto the connected Master Tow and then starts the straps after I put the safety pin in. I use a piece of carpet to lay on while I ratchet the straps and install the safety chains. We then install the magnetic lights to the back of the Honda and do the light check. This takes about 20 minutes and we are ready to roll after I check tire pressures. I bought a compressor at Lowe's Hardware for $100 (much cheaper than the 12 volt toy at $395! and a lot faster). Then we check the straps again after about 1/2 hour on the road. Works good for us.
I would advise against drilling any holes into any straps. They will unravel and weaken and they are basically what is holding your car on the dolly. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:56 PM   #14
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The rivets wouldn't be holding any weight, they'd just lock all the adjustable parts in place.
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