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Old 02-09-2019, 10:25 AM   #1
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Dolly towing 2015 VW Passat (automatic)

After finally solving my RV to Tow Dolly (Roadmaster RM 3477) wiring problems, took my RV, dolly and VW Passat for a test drive. My dolly pan swivels - making me think I was fine the towing questions. After returning from several miles and numerous sharp turns, I was disappointed to find that the dolly steel fender rubbed on the passenger side rocker panel.

My VW doesn't use a mechanical key on a steering column - it is a proximity key. However, the steering wheel does lock when the car is off and in park. This is why I was surprised to find the front wheels at 20 degree angle, despite starting off with the wheels at 00.

It seems that even when the steering wheel locks, the wheels can still turn. Love the dolly - very heavy duty.

Anyone find a solution to this problem when towing a comparable VW?
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:44 AM   #2
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i also tow a 2012 passat are you sure the ramps are not hitting your rockers, that would mean your hitch height is not right.raising the hitch lowers the ramps and gives you more clearance
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, K stopped for gas and noted that my right dolly fender was literally 1/4" from the rocker panel, and saw the car paint on the fender (along with a gorgeous new ding on the rocker). Have you noticed that your front wheels turn when you are on a dolly, or do they stay locked?
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
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you need to secure the steering wheel

Are you sure your steering wheel locks? If dolly has pivot pan you need to immobilize the steering wheel. If after a short time the wheels were cocked to one side that is the main reason you're having a problem. You need to use a strap to immobilize your wheel. Most people connect between the wheel and brake pedal.

Every car i've seen that does not have a physical key in the steering column does NOT lock the wheel. You may think it's locked cause these cars without the motor running you can hardly turn the wheel .

If your steering is not secured you will continue to have problems. Also the hitch height needs to be correct so ramps do not hit the bottom of the rocker panels
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:07 PM   #5
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Thanks. Yes, I installed a hitch with a 6" drop in order to keep the ramps level - they were rubbing on driveway aprons with a 3" drop - that is corrected.

The steering wheel is definitely locked, but it seems to be electronic vs. mechanically controlled (the locking part). I am thinking that while the steering wheel is locked, the suspension will turn the wheels 20 degrees right or left, based on the play that remains on the steering wheel in the locked position.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:05 PM   #6
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If the car is not straight behich the dolly then your steering is not lock

strap the steering tight to the brake pedal. If the steering wheeldid lock there would be not any of the movement you are talking about.

this video talks about it a bit but with any pivot pan dolly the you need to eep the steering from moving.

to prove to yourself hook it all up without doing anything to the steering then put a bright tape or ribbon on the top of the steering wheel. If you have a window in the back of tyhe coach make a couple of turns in the neighborhood and have someone watch out that window. I am pretty sure your wheel is turning. When you strap the wheel make sure you really atrap it tight to totally reduce the movement

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Old 02-09-2019, 07:43 PM   #7
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Good suggestion with the tape on the steering wheel. I will try that. Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:34 AM   #8
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how i learned

when i first started towing with my American Car Dolly i went through a couple of trial runs in the neighborhood and that how i found out quickly what i needed to do. My car has push button start and i really thought that my steering was locked but it wasn't. I tried a couple different ways of securing the wheel and finally used a 1in wide web tie down strap with a ratchet on it like you use to tie down a motorcycle that way i got it very tight. Because of that i have never hit the sides of the car with dolly fenders, last summer we went 9500 miles with a suv that body width is 72 inches. Main reason I selected the American Car Dolly was because it is wider than most other dollies yet light enough to move by handle at a campground

Hope this helps
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:01 PM   #9
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Yes, very good info - thank you. I was also thinking I could use straps on each front time, pulling them right toward the outside (in addition to the normal tiedown straps. Since both tires turn in tandem, pulling each tire toward the outside seems like a logical fix. Sounds like you have done the same.

Funny, but the steering wheel locked, and yet the wheels turned 20 degrees.

Guessing your same procedure should solve the issue.

Thanks again
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:44 AM   #10
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Well it works BUT I'm not giving the wheels to side of dolly . I using the strap to keep the steer wheel and wheels from turning . I wrap strap around the steering wheel and the other end around the brake pedal
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