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Old 05-09-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
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Help: heading to Sitka Alaska

I am heading to Sitka Alaska via road and ferry around June 15th or so. Am taking my New Coachmen , Prism (MB Sperinter ) now I just found out will be towing my daughters Ford fiesta on a dolly as itís a auto.
Now for my question as I am new to RVing and have no experience using a dolly. What should I be checking, when towing ETC. ANY suggestions are welcomed.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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You'd best check with the Marine Highway folks. For sure you'll have to separate the toad and rig if they load through the side of the ferry at Sitka. (I haven't been to Sitka on the ferry.) Same for the rest of the ferry stops except for Prince Rupert. They load and unload through the rear at PR. Don't know about Bellingham. What you'll be doing with the dolly, I don't know. I've loaded at Haines, Skagway, Juneau, Petersburg, Wrangle, Ketchikan, and PR. All but PR loaded and unloaded through the side and required a turn around on the car deck of the boat either when loading or unloading. I did see them back a couple of truck campers down the ramp when loading a full boat and these were the last vehicles in. You'll also need a separate driver for the toad and the Coachman. They'll probably load and unload at different times and be placed at different parts at the boat for travel.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #3
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Pgman1 pretty much said it all...I have never pulled a dolly but have seen many responses about them and the biggest key is tightening the wheel straps about 50 miles out.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:33 AM   #5
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Thanks Pgman1

Any preps for the car?
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:53 PM   #6
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Nothing special done on the toad to get it on and off the boats. Be sure you follow the load crew directions specifically. Rather than try to park it your way by following your own inclinations. They really do know best. You are ultimately responsible for the vehicle's safety, however, if there's any question, it's easy to stop right there and talk to them. I've had these guys give me directions to turn a 38' and a 40' rig around inside the boat with absolute minimal clearance on all corners. DW always drove the toad and also never had any problems either. You can't go too slow loading or unloading. When loading at Skagway at an extreme low tide, we had to wait while they shored up the ramp joint between the lower floating dock and the ramp down to it, but we never dragged bottom or even touched. The loadmasters on the boats are excellent. I'm sure you are aware that the propane on the rig will have to be turned off before loading and must stay off until the rig leaves the boat. They'll check to confirm it's off, and will seal the compartment with a piece of their tape. We carried frozen half gallon milk cartons for the fridge, but never needed them as our longest run was only 3 hours. We got off at each stop for 2-3 days, and after the second leg we didn't bother with the ice anymore. We did find the food served on the boats was quite good for cafeteria food, and reasonably priced, but meal hours were limited so check before you lock in your plans.
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