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Old 06-08-2016, 07:55 AM   #1
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dolly with rwd car tow

I have a class A 2003 Winnebago Itasca Sunrise 34' I have a dolly that swivels slightly and a rear wheel drive car 2002 with a manual transmission. I am going from the west coast to the east coast in 2 days I've looked everywhere online and I've also called the dealership. I also heard put it in neutral it will be fine and I heard take the drive shaft out I might as well hear some more from people that actually rv. I heard tie the steering and tow it backwards. Any suggestions?

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Old 06-08-2016, 08:02 AM   #2
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The easiest way with a dolly is to load it backwards and tie the steering. The next way is to pull the driveshaft. Then you need to see what you need to do to keep the oil in the transmission from running out where the driveshaft should be. Personally, I would look at a trailer big enough for the car. That way you don't have to do anything to the car and you will also get the benefit of trailer brakes. U-Haul may be an option.

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Old 06-08-2016, 08:48 AM   #3
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If it's a manual transmission car, you should be able to pull it with all 4 wheels on the ground. Just unlock the steering so it will track and leave the trans in neutral. if your concerned about braking on it you can get quick mount remote brake actuator. My inlaws towed a manual vehicle all over the US for years. There is all kinds of fancy quick disconnect to bars. You can even get the brackets specific to the car you are mounting it to.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:56 AM   #4
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If its a rear wheel drive with a manual transmission, odds are good you can tow it either 4 down, or front wheels on the dolly.

Look in your cars operator manual and see what it says about "Recreational Towing". If it says put the transmission in "N", then you are good to go either way, and there isn't any need to remove the drive shaft.

You can also look at the Dinghy towing guide for your year. If it says you can tow 4 down, then there shouldn't be any problems with the front wheels on the dolly.;


Follow the recommendations of your dolly regarding the steering column being unlocked. i.e. The Acme dolly does not have a swivel plate and requires the front wheels to pivot (unlocked steering)
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:01 AM   #5
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Just because the car is a manual transmission doesn't mean it can be towed 4 down. If the output shaft on the trans is the top set of gears it may not get lubricated which will cause bearing problems. Towing a car backwards on the dolly can cause tracking problems (wiggle).
If you are planning a short trip you may want to look into UHaul as suggested above. If your trip is to a major cities maybe consider Uber.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:33 AM   #6
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My dolly says not to tow anything backwards with the front wheels down.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:46 PM   #7
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X2 on not towing backwards. I have towed a 2001 BMW with a manual transmission many thousands of miles on a dolly (front wheels on dolly). I use a Landgrebe tow dolly with caster action steering wheels. Good luck
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:57 PM   #8
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What brand/model of car? Do you have the owners manual? It should specifically say if it can be towed or not. There are also an online references like this
Downloadable Dinghy Guides | MotorHome Magazine
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:01 AM   #9
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If you are simply going directly coast to coast without need of the car, I would remove the rear driveshaft connection (mark position first) and then tie the driveshaft to the underside so it won't come out or move during the trip. This will keep fluid in the transmission. Otherwise, I would trailer it if the car/trailer weight doesn't exceed the limits of the coach and hitch.
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:42 PM   #10
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I agree, just because it has manual trans does not mean it is 100% OK to tow in neutral. Depends on your trans design. Also agree dolly is not good to tow with car on backward, the front suspension geometry is set up to track going forward, not backward. Even if the car could be flat-towed, you would need to have the baseplate and associated parts to make it happen; that is both time and money to make happen.

The best solution is to tow on the dolly you already have, with the driveshaft disconnected from the rearend. As vettenuts said, leave the driveshaft in the trans end, and wire it up under the car so it stays in place. More hassle since you have to crawl under the vehicle to disconnect and then reconnect when you want to drive the car again, but it is only time and no additional money out of pocket. Take this easy and known good solution that will not cause any problems to your car.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:39 PM   #11
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Thank you all for the great advice, I ended up disconnecting the driveshaft and towing it with the front wheels off the ground and I've gone 500 Miles already and there's no issues thanks everyone.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:48 PM   #12
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2002 mercedes c230 owners manual says flatbed only. If I was rich and paid more than $2000 for it I might have :-) I pulled the drive shaft and tied it up I have gone quite a ways and have had no problems at all.

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dolly, tow

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