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Old 05-30-2016, 04:56 PM   #1
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New Car Dolly? Read this first.

We purchased a new Kar Kaddy SS a few weeks ago from a major RV Dealer in Billings MT. They supplied the hitch setup and took the time to show me how to load my VW Beetle on it (I did not have the car with me)... a couple weeks later I loaded my car on it and when I did I heard a loud sound but figured it was normal. Later when I backed it off it did severe damage to the front bumper cover (read $1K)...

In checking with Demco the first thing I had to determine was a formula (not difficult) to see it in fact my vehicle should be loaded on the KarKaddy. No problem, it passed that test with flying colors.

Next I talked with Demco and they looked at several photos I took and we determined the following:

1. The hitch setup was two inches short of what it should be. It was not likely though that this in itself caused the damage I described.

2. The "Latch Catch" was under the platform. Nobody knows how this could have happened, but it should have been on top as being under would not allow the tilt to be properly latched down. Still not sure this caused the damage and I was able with the help of a friend to put it where it belonged.

3. When I took delivery the ramps were unfolded during the demonstration but the man said they looked "too low" to tow it like that so he folded them up and away I went (empty) to my home with it. At this point alarm bells should have been going off but at that point I didn't really understand all the different parts ....and how they worked.

4. When you lower the ramps you must put them down, and PUSH them forward to lock them in place after which there is a knob that allows you to lock them in place. Someone had tightened the bolts on the sides of the ramps so tight there was no way to push them into a locking position, but again, I didn't realize it because the person who demonstrated the dolly when I bought likely didn't realize they had to go forward and lock into place. Because the ramps were tilted due to the bed not completely flat, and the ramps not being locked tight the representative at Demco was fairly certain this condition caused the damage to the bumper cover.

Conclusion: If you buy a car dolly, even if you have used a different brand before, read the instructions very, very carefully. Do not rely on the counter guy who sold it to you to know what he is talking about. He is likely doing the best he can BUT if he has not used this model for himself, indeed if he does not use a car dolly take what he says with a grain of salt.

READ the instructions, read them again, make sure the mechanical parts are working as they should. Don't assume it was properly assembled prior to your putting money on the counter.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, and I realize I might have avoided this if I had taken the time to really read the manual. Looking back, I would have bought the ACME Dolly and saved a lot of money. It is a much simpler design and what happened could not have happened with their model. I like the way the Demco works, but I could have bought two ACME Dollys for what this has cost me.

Lesson learned the hard way.

P.S. I did ask the dealer to take the dolly back and get a refund. Good luck with that. Long after he forgets this I will remember and when it comes time to trade in my ACE I may go elsewhere. I am not sure, but this is how I feel today.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:14 PM   #2
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How unfortunate, hope it works out for you. I have the ACME but looked seriously at the Demco prior to buying. Make sure you watch the ramps don't hit the bottom of the car.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:27 PM   #3
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I have the Acme dolly and would recommend it, but it's not foolproof. I've mad a couple of loading errors and while Eze Tow has lots of information on the website including videos, there's still lots of variation between cars that make each one unique. The EZe tow is great with my CRV, but my larger Murano was much more of a challenge to get loaded correctly.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:55 PM   #4
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I have the Kar Kaddy SS as well. Have had it almost 10 years. No problems at all, but the dealer I went to insisted that we bring our car along to the delivery. He went through it very completely. The biggest problem he has seen was someone forgetting to remove the steering lock pin. It caught a bumper cover and did tear it! The person who did it told him about his duh moment. I put a bright orange flag on it so I wouldn't do the same thing. Great dolly and excellent support people.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:42 AM   #5
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One thing I did was use the on-line video to write a step by step procedure for loading and unloading. Still not foolproof though, last year I got distracted and forgot to install one ramp, scraped up the front underside of the car pretty bad. Humbling lesson to learn.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:03 AM   #6
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The four years that I used a tow dolly were the worst. It never got better. Wait until you drive over the end of the dolly and need a tow truck. And you have one of the premier dollies on the market.

Happy trails.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:19 AM   #7
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Sorry you had this experience but thanks for sharing it. Subscribing to this thread so I keep it for a reference.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcurt23 View Post
The four years that I used a tow dolly were the worst. It never got better. Wait until you drive over the end of the dolly and need a tow truck. And you have one of the premier dollies on the market.
Happy trails.


How did that happen?? Never even came close to doing that.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcurt23 View Post
The four years that I used a tow dolly were the worst. It never got better. Wait until you drive over the end of the dolly and need a tow truck. And you have one of the premier dollies on the market.

Happy trails.
Did you drive over the front of your dolly? OM that would be awful.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:18 PM   #10
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Towed last year with a Karkaddy SS and using it was a breeze. I bought a used one, serviced the brakes, cleaned and lubed and replaced straps. We are flat towing now and when we get back from the AK trip will sell the dolly. Great dolly, easy to use, very solid but don't need it now.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:33 PM   #11
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We also have the KK-460, bought in 2007. First time I went to back the fairly new '05 Honda Odyssey off, the ramp was not locked into place and it tore up the front fascia pretty bad. I thought the DW was watching and she was, but thought it was normal for the ramp to fold like that.
Still have the dolly and have never fixed the fascia. But am now towing the Ody four down.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
We also have the KK-460, bought in 2007. First time I went to back the fairly new '05 Honda Odyssey off, the ramp was not locked into place and it tore up the front fascia pretty bad. I thought the DW was watching and she was, but thought it was normal for the ramp to fold like that.
Still have the dolly and have never fixed the fascia. But am now towing the Ody four down.
So the damage was the result of the ramp not being in the forward, locked position? Is that correct? Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbramsey View Post
Sorry you had this experience but thanks for sharing it. Subscribing to this thread so I keep it for a reference.
X2. We will be looking for a tow dolly next spring when we go ft. W e are researching them now.
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