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Old 06-14-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
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Loading car onto tow dolly in driveway

I have a 31' MH, an Eze-Tow dolly, and a smart car. I want to be able to have everything loaded and hooked up the night before for an early morning departure. The problem is, if my MH is pulled far enough forward to leave room behind for the dolly & car, then it's nose down in the driveway. This raises the hitch, which lowers the back of the dolly. Loading could still be accomplished without a problem, though, especially since the loading ramps are detached. However, I'm wondering what effect it might have on the car/tie-down straps once I've departed the driveway & everything is on level ground again. I'm not an engineer or a mechanic, but my thought is that with the front wheels strapped down on the dolly, and the tongue of the dolly raised, as the MH returns to level ground, the car would just basically rotate on the front axle, without causing any stress on the chassis or loosening the straps, etc. Does that make sense? Any thoughts? Am I missing something, or is this how it would work? I appreciate your thoughts! I just don't want to do anything that might cause undue stress and damage the chassis.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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it will rotate bout the axle, otherwise, you wouldn't be able to go thru dips and over bumps.

You'll need to check straps after a few miles regardless of the load geometry.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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it will rotate bout the axle, otherwise, you wouldn't be able to go thru dips and over bumps.

You'll need to check straps after a few miles regardless of the load geometry.
As said above. It'll tie down tight and rotate with the axle.

I'd confirm all good once you pull down out of the driveway and then regular checks as you stop every few hours. They will loosen a bit with starting out and braking. It's not loosening that you need to worry about so much as the shifting of the straps. You want to make sure they stay positioned right on the inside and that they aren't chaffing against wheel components. This will cause wear and eventual failure.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:57 AM   #4
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If your really still concerned put the car in neutral then back in park after you are out of the driveway. I assume the S car is front drive.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:26 AM   #5
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I have the EZ Tow hitch and love it. As previously stated, after a few miles you need to re-tighten the straps so I don't see a problem. I have an inclined driveway too, but opposite from yours as mine is uphill facing, but when i reach the top and level, i usually re-check the straps.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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If your really still concerned put the car in neutral then back in park after you are out of the driveway. I assume the S car is front drive.
Nope - the smart car is rear wheel drive, and the US versions are towable 4-down. If the tow dolly has removable ramps then it CAN be put on the dolly, but if the ramps are fixed then they are most likely too long to fit between the smart's wheelbase. The only advantage I can see to using a dolly with a smart car is to save the cost of a tow bar installation.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:53 AM   #7
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Nope - the smart car is rear wheel drive, and the US versions are towable 4-down. If the tow dolly has removable ramps then it CAN be put on the dolly, but if the ramps are fixed then they are most likely too long to fit between the smart's wheelbase. The only advantage I can see to using a dolly with a smart car is to save the cost of a tow bar installation.
Well I'll be darned, smarter than it looks
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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The only advantage I can see to using a dolly with a smart car is to save the cost of a tow bar installation.
Actually, there IS another advantage. When you have a big Great Dane that you sometimes take camping with you, and you want to go out sightseeing, or to dog parks, or to festivals, etc., and you want to take the Dane with you, and there's no WAY he's gonna fit in my smart car, along with me & my wife. :>) So......when we take him along, we take the '05 Chevy Aveo, automatic, front drive transaxle, with isn't towable 4-down, and Remco doesn't even make a transmission pump for that model. The only option for taking it along is a tow dolly, and why have a tow bar setup for the smart if you already have a tow dolly that you can use, WITH built in surge brakes.......just in case! :>)
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:05 AM   #9
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Well, thanks to everyone for their replies and comments. I spent most of Father's Day working on this issue. Discovered that the 6" drop hitch on my motorhome made it too low to pull out of the driveway without dragging. Also dragged the bottom of the tow dolly. Not good! So.....I went and bought an adjustable drop/rise hitch by Reese, and that resolved the dragging problem, so long as I go out at just the right angle to the street. Worked with the dolly with no problem, now this coming Saturday morning will be the real test to see if I can get out of the driveway with the car on the dolly without dragging anything. :>) Wish me luck!!! :>)
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