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Old 11-08-2015, 07:28 PM   #1
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How frequently to tighten tow dolly straps?

Today I used an ACME tow dolly for a few miles, hauling a compact FWD car. The straps were previously used; not new but not old either. As instructed, I stopped after a few blocks to re-tighten. And again a couple miles later. Each time the passenger side had let that tire move back from the front rail by about an inch. I then completed my tow, about another several miles. At the end, that tire was again about an inch off the rail.

These were 3 point straps. 2 rear attachment points, then a front strap to a ratchet. I'm sure the strap was not slipping on the mounts or the ratchet. So my question is, how many tightenings would you consider normal?

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Old 11-08-2015, 07:42 PM   #2
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We go about half a mile to the top of a hill in our neighborhood, pull off the side and retighten straps. aways loose.. the next stop is about 100 miles at a rest stop on the interstate. usually get one more notch on them.. then I check anytime we stop. usually they are ok for the rest of the trip. at the same time I bang my tires with my big azz wrench I used on the dolly straps.

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Old 11-09-2015, 03:09 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'd love to hear from anyone else, how many times do you have to tighten your tow dolly straps?
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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I usually go about a block and stop to re-tighten.
Then it depends on the distance to the next "stop". Usually get one "click".

Be sure you get the tires tight against the front stops. Pull the straps "snug" up around the tire and tighten them down. Crank 'em hard!

It's really nice if you are on a slight down-hill - keeps the car snug against the stops when you strap it in.
Mike and Carla
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:14 PM   #5
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New straps will be tightened several tiles till they stretch a bit. After the first long trip you should only need to tighten them initially then again after a couple 90* turns. They seldom hold the tires tight against the stop. Lots of strong forces going on an inch isn't that bad in my opinion. I always checked them every time I stopped to see if anything had changed and you always want to check them when coach, dolly and toad are in a straight line.
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:52 PM   #6
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If the dolly, tow vehicle and car are not straight you will find this. Also, when installing the straps make sure the strap portion that goes over the top of the tire points towards the center of the wheel.
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:54 PM   #7
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Before going very far, try going around a few turns in both directions, even if it adds a mile or more to the start of your trip. Tighten after the turns, then check again after 50 miles or so. After that, every time you stop. I'm fortunate that I can drive around my neighborhood with a couple of tight turns in both directions. Once I tighten up after those, I rarely tighten again.
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:46 PM   #8
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I had an item on my checklist that said to determine where to stop to check and re-tighten straps. Sometimes that would mean the dump station after making a few couple turns in each direction and sometimes it meant stopping at that large shopping center.

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Old 11-09-2015, 08:16 PM   #9
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It took about 3 trips or a couple thousand miles before my straps quit stretching and loosing up even stopping numerous times to get a few more clicks tightening them up. Now I have zero issues but I do stop once after a few miles and usually get one more click on each strap. I also use a 20" long 1/2" ratchet so we're talking some major torque on the straps. I also carry an extra set of wheel straps and winches. Either one of these break and your done.
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Old 11-10-2015, 02:53 PM   #10
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Same for us. We have a couple of good turns left and right before we hit the highway. I always get one more click when I stop but after that our straps stay tight. I always check when we stop because it is just good practice but so far I have not been surprised.

Just FYI we have traveled several times from NJ to Louisiana round trip and the straps stayed tight each time. Love our EZTow dolly.
Ken & Diane
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:40 PM   #11
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When we had a tow dolly. Stopped about 2 miles from our house. Then 20 miles out at a rest area. When straps are wet they need to be tighten again. Still stop at same places on our way out to check tow bar connections.

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