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Old 12-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
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My experience with the Acme Tow Dolly

We recently bought a 2005 Winnebago Journey 39F. We have been mostly trailer people so we always had a vehicle when we camped. We knew we were going to tow a car and we didn't really want to buy another car so we decided to tow my Ford C-Max energi. I had already read about the battery problems towing it 4 wheels down so we decided on a tow dolly. The Acme seemed like the right one to get. It is a great dolly but we did have a problem. In wet weather the top of the ramp becomes very slippery and made our wheels spin and slid the car over to the right making great contact with the metal. It caused about $1600. worth of damage to my car. It is being fixed as we speak but we are trying to make sure this does not happen again. My husband has made wooden bumpers to cover the side rails on the tow dolly so if it moves into the sides again hopefully it will not take a bite out of the car. He has put rubber on the top part of the ramps reducing the cupping part of the ramp where my tires started to spin thus loosing grip. If any of you have suggestions and tips on getting the car on the tow dolly easier and safer we would greatly appreciate it. When the car was on the dolly and being towed my husband said he didn't even know it was there and it tracked very nicely. He really likes the disc brakes too. Thanks for reading.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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I had an Acme dolly for a short time and I really did not like it. I never trusted the plastic ramps to stay in place while loading and unloading. If your vehicle is capable of towing 4 down, then the battery discharge problem can be fixed very easily by running a charge line from the MH through the umbilical to the toad. Come to think of it, the steering wheel has to be unlocked (key in Accessory) to use the Acme dolly, so I would expect you'd have the same battery discharge problem.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #3
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My car has the push to start function and there is a way to get it into neutral but so far Ford has not been able to find a solution for dead battery problem. It was going to cost us double what the tow dolly cost and they would have to go deep into the electrical system to do the wiring. That did not appeal to me because this car is a plug in hybrid and would rather not have some inexperienced tech rooting around in my electrical system trying to get everything to work. We will try putting the car on the dolly when it comes back from the shop to see if our modifications have done the trick. If not, then I see a beater car in our future to get us from point A to B and not much else. Thank for your insight and experience.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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I had tires spin once while wet and loading on a moderate slope. I've never had the problem when wet if loading with dolly ramps on somewhat level ground. Just try to ensure the ground is somewhat level. The one time I had slippage it was on the ramp so no damage done, just could not drive up ramp. I agree that when towing I am unable to tell the toad is back there.
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:37 AM   #5
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I'm not sure what your problem is but I will guarantee you it is not the dolly's fault. We have been loading both a Kia Sorento and a VW beetle on one of these dolly's now for about 30,000 miles of travel , in the rain and in the sunshine. The only one time I had problem is one day my wife was loading the VW and it was up hill , it was raining and her foot was a little heavy so she spun the one ramp out under the car. My suggestions to you are
1. Keep a light foot on the accelerator, slow and easy.
2 . Try and load on flat ground without loose rocks under the ramps.
3. Do not try to load the car if the surface under the dolly and ramps are on an upward grade.
4. Until you learn how to load the car by yourself have someone directing you from somewhere where they can watch your wheels and motion to you which way to turn them.
5. Most important though is do not have a heavy foot on the accelerator,your not competing in a race, slow and easy does it. .

Hope this helps .... Alan
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
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You bought a tow dolly when you could have fixed the battery issue for less than $150?
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:56 AM   #7
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acme tow dolly working for us....learned to have it in line with the motorhome and prefer dry ground....one foot on gas the other on brake...slowly driving it onto the dolly.
If it is wet (rain or dew) we use a piece of carpet for better traction. Also attached two pieces of angle to help cradle the tires..
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:23 AM   #8
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When I load my Tracker on the ACME, I don't need ramps. Being 4wd it just walks right up in low range.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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Carry an Ice-cream pail of FLOOR DRY ABSORBENT.
When it rains sprinkle your ramps. GOOD TO GO!
Don't blame the dolly manufacture,some common sense does apply. Ramps do get slippery when wet,just the nature of the beast.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
You bought a tow dolly when you could have fixed the battery issue for less than $150?
See post # 3.

I agree with maryinreddin....having someone hack around in the electrical system is not a good idea. Especially when Ford doesn't have a solution.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
You bought a tow dolly when you could have fixed the battery issue for less than $150?
Dolly...$1799.00*
Acme includes surge disc brakes and required lights

Flat Tow:
Electrical fix...$150
Tow Bar...$$
Base Plate...$$
Lighting for toad...$$
Braking system (RV side)...$$$
Braking system (car side)...$$
--------------------------------
Total.......more than the dolly.
Swap cars...add even more $$.
Wear and tear to cars lower driveline...add even more $$$

I already replied about how to load the EZE-tow in the rain on the OPs other post in "Tow dolly or Toad." It's easy if done in 1 smooth operation.

We love our EZE-Tow...So EZE to use.

Safe travels
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
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I had a tire spin loading my ACME in the wet. This occurred at the top of the ramp going over the little hump. Was not a problem but to avoid a potential problem I bought some safety stair treads, same as you see on your RV steps, (they are like a long piece of sand paper with adhesive on the back) get them at Lowes or HD, under $10 for 2 as I recall.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:19 PM   #13
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X2 Brockx
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:03 PM   #14
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I was not blaming the dolly for our mishap. I only told the story because I was looking for tips and insight from those that have more experience than we do. I know this is the best fit for the car that we now own. With practice I am sure we will get the loading down. Brockx, the tires spinning was just as you explained, when I hip the hump that's when it happened. We will look into getting some of that sandpaper tape stuff and see if it helps. Hopefully we have learned from this experience. If nothing else works we will drive the car until we find a suitable spot to put it on the dolly. That's what we finally ended up doing before. When the ground was dry and the ramps were dry we had no problem at all getting the car up. Thanks for all your suggestions. And, yes it was going to cost two times as much as the dolly to get this car wired so it would work properly. When you are dealing with a plug in hybrid car it is a whole different story than towing a regular car.
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