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Old 02-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #1
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Nissan Murano - Towing with an Eze Tow

The plan for this weekend was to get the Murano on my Eze Tow dolly, first do some practice towing with my truck, then do a short run with the Excursion. I also wanted to figure out the best way to unlock the steering column either by pulling fuses or disconnecting the battery (my Murano is a 2009 and has a keyless FOB with a locking steering column). Got 2 out of 3 accomplished, never had time to hook up the RV. Will have do that next week before our trip. Considering a bunch of non RV related emergencies that was a pretty good score.

First step was to get the dolly hooked to my truck. I did that in the street. It was not as flat as I'd like. My street has a noticeable crown and due to the width of the dolly one wheel was a bit up on the gutter. I also didn't have a spotter which didn't help. The Murano is fairly wide and takes up most of the gap between the dolly fenders. It also has 18 inch tires which take up a good chunk of the space. I had to go up and down the ramp several times to get the car centered. Then I had to back up enough to adjust the ratchets to be centered on the wheels. I didn't see in Eze Tow's video exactly how this gets done, so I had to do some assuming. Once I found the right spot I locked the ratchets in place with the bolts an nylock nuts.



I did not see exactly how you are supposed to connect the back side of the straps on Eze Tow's video or website. If you look at the picture above you can see I put the end of the strap where the Ramp connects. I don't think this is right. When I was done towing and took the car down one of my strap hook retainers was bent up pretty bad. I should be able to unbend it, but I think those straps are supposed to hook to a different spot.




I tightened the straps as tight as I could with the wrench and took off the ramps. I then attached the safety chains to the best spot I could find on the frame and slipped the other end of the chain in the "banjos". I did not clip the safety chains into the banjos like they suggest. I may just use some duct tape or something else just to make sure they don't pop out.



I checked the tire pressure (90 PSI, they came filled to 70, the spare was at 90 thought) and did a once over on the lugs with my torque wrench (100 ft/lbs). Now I'm ready to tow. Well, almost. How do I unlock the steering wheel?.

On this car, if you have the fob with you and press the start button without stepping on the brake you go into accessory mode and the wheel unlocks. Once you turn the car off and open or close the door the wheel locks again. I was looking at the fuse box in the cabin and saw 2 fuses associated with "ignition". Neither one of them seemed to have any effect on the steering column function when pulled. Then I went into the fuse panel under the hood. What do I find? A fuse that says "Steering Wheel Lock".



I put the car in accessory mode, pull that fuse out, then turn the car off. Close the door and voila! no locked steering wheel. But just to make sure it doesn't lock after I start driving I decide to take a lesson from NASCAR and put a stripe of red and white tape on the steering wheel. That way I can see in the mirror (or my RV rear view camera) that the wheel is moving as necessary during turns.



The rig in its final configuration:





My towing was relatively uneventful. Lots of banging around and unfamiliar noises. Of course I'd never hear any of those pulling with my Excursion. I did about 12 miles or so, stopping twice to tighten up the straps. Both times tightening was required.

I got back to the house and now it was time to unload. I couldn't put the ramps on while the straps were attached (the both use the same holes). So I took the straps off. But then the car had shifted back just enough that I could not get the ramps in the holes. I was able to shove the wheel of the dolly just hard enough to get the ramp in its hole. Took quite a bit of effort though.

Bottom line is I'm glad I didn't wait until I was ready to leave for camping before checking this out. I still think there's a few things I need to do a bit differently. Definitely need to check the strap tightness until it settles down. Other than bent strap clip I'd say everything worked out ok. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes to mount up once I get this down.

I know all the 4-down people are having a chuckle.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:25 PM   #2
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I looked on Remco's site and it recommends a trailer, not a tow dolly.

Store : Remco

Have you talked to Nissan about towing it with the rear wheels on the ground?
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
I looked on Remco's site and it recommends a trailer, not a tow dolly.

Store : Remco

Have you talked to Nissan about towing it with the rear wheels on the ground?
That's for the All Wheel drive Murano. The Front Wheel Drive works fine on a dolly
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:24 PM   #4
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Congrats on a successful and very smart dry run. We did almost the exact same drill with our EZE-tow, Ford Escape toad, our pick-up, then the RV.

Just like your Murano, our Hybrid Escape cannot be flat towed and I was not buying a car just for RV trips.

A hint when loading - use 2 feet on the pedals (gas and brake) to smoothly roll up the ramps, then brake with your left foot. This ensures that you do not overshoot the dolly in the case of a foot slip on the pedals.

The clips of the straps can be attached facing up or down which allows use of either strap on either side. I am not sure what bent the clips, but you could try to switch that to ease loading.

The straps look like they will hold fine, but those big tires place the "baskets" on the straps pretty far to the rear...you might consider ordering the larger strap sizes to get the baskets near the top center of the tires...just a consideration. You do not have to order straps from Acme...they are affordable from several vendors.

Finally, loading and unloading will get to be a quick and easy process after setting everything up the way you like. We travel with couples who all flat tow and we can load in about the same time - but unloading is faster for us. The dirty little secret of many who flat tow is that toad brakes might very possibly NOT be part of their set-up.

Your Murano will be very safe and happy riding up high, free from rock strikes and not adding any mileage to the lower driveline and front tires.

And FYI, after driving for several hours any toad (flat or dolly towed) will accumulate some roadway gunk on the toad's underside and exhaust. This gunk will burn on the catalytic converter and stink when you first drive it...no worries, that is normal.

Best luck
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post

The clips of the straps can be attached facing up or down which allows use of either strap on either side. I am not sure what bent the clips, but you could try to switch that to ease loading.

The straps look like they will hold fine, but those big tires place the "baskets" on the straps pretty far to the rear...you might consider ordering the larger strap sizes to get the baskets near the top center of the tires...just a consideration. You do not have to order straps from Acme...they are affordable from several vendors.


Best luck
Thanks for the useful comments. Do you attach the straps to the same holes the ramps go into? That's the part I was not quite sure of. I know the straps can go on either side, but I am not quite sure what you mean by "facing up or down".

Any suggestions on other vendors for straps? I might get a larger size.

Thanks again
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:30 AM   #6
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Acme EZE-TOW

Those are very good pictures, a lot of good useful information. A very good test run. In fact it will get easier every time you do it. I cannot imagine what bent the latch, we never see that. If you can send us a few pictures of the latch connected next time maybe I can advise on that.
Looks to me like you could use bigger straps. I know that Demco has three sizes and a size chart on their website. Same design, they may have a size that better fits that tire. I am going to look into it myself and see what they offer exactly.
After removing the straps if you need to just start the car up and pull it up an inch or so to regain the clearance you need for the ramps.
With regards to the 4down club, that works well for a lot of people and not for others. FYI, we have 5 to 9 people a week roll into the factory towing 4 flat and leave towing with our dolly. They typically have towed 4flat for years but now have to change cars again and do not want to spend the money again. They like 4down, but do not like wasting that much money every few years.
Keep us in the loop. We learn a lot from our customers experiences. Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrew View Post
Thanks for the useful comments. Do you attach the straps to the same holes the ramps go into? That's the part I was not quite sure of. I know the straps can go on either side, but I am not quite sure what you mean by "facing up or down".

Any suggestions on other vendors for straps? I might get a larger size.

Thanks again
I use the old style ramps made of poly, so do not have the conflict with the holes...but now you have me wondering - holes? I have "loops" for the strap, not holes. Looks like this - hook can face up (circled in the photo) or down:

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCF0474.jpg
Views:	276
Size:	52.8 KB
ID:	86815

I have not had to buy any new straps - ever, but they are plentyful on the interweb...try Amazon?

Safe travels
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EZE Tow View Post
Those are very good pictures, a lot of good useful information. A very good test run. In fact it will get easier every time you do it. I cannot imagine what bent the latch, we never see that. If you can send us a few pictures of the latch connected next time maybe I can advise on that.
Looks to me like you could use bigger straps. I know that Demco has three sizes and a size chart on their website. Same design, they may have a size that better fits that tire. I am going to look into it myself and see what they offer exactly.
After removing the straps if you need to just start the car up and pull it up an inch or so to regain the clearance you need for the ramps.
With regards to the 4down club, that works well for a lot of people and not for others. FYI, we have 5 to 9 people a week roll into the factory towing 4 flat and leave towing with our dolly. They typically have towed 4flat for years but now have to change cars again and do not want to spend the money again. They like 4down, but do not like wasting that much money every few years.
Keep us in the loop. We learn a lot from our customers experiences. Thanks.
Good to see a sponsor on here to give us correct information. Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
I use the old style ramps made of poly, so do not have the conflict with the holes...but now you have me wondering - holes? I have "loops" for the strap, not holes. Looks like this - hook can face up (circled in the photo) or down:

Attachment 86815

I have not had to buy any new straps - ever, but they are plentyful on the interweb...try Amazon?

Safe travels
My new trailer looks different. It has slots instead of holes for the ramps and straps. I'll try to post some pictures tonight
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:51 PM   #10
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Nissan Murano - Towing with an Eze Tow

I bought a couple of small electrical wire bundle clamps (orange plastic) and use them to secure the last loop of the security chains so they can't slide out or possibly hit the ground. I also watched the video on the ACME web site several times and made a checklist for loading and unloading. Helps minimize mistakes.

One thing I have been working on this winter is being able to use a TPMS on the dolly wheels. I have it set up but haven't yet tested it since the dolly is buried in my shed behind a wall of snow and ice.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:14 AM   #11
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Is your Murano AWD? Mine is I'm trying to find a workaround.
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