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Old 07-03-2014, 11:53 AM   #1
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Question about towing with a tow dolly.

Hello, I am a new member, and I am planning my first long RV road trip. My Wife, 2 kids, My Father, And I are going from eastern Iowa to Yellowstone and back, and will be towing My fathers Buick behind My motorhome. I am no stranger to pulling a trailer behind the motorhome, but have never used a tow dolly. The dolly I am using is a Master Tow, and it has a swivel plate that allows you to turn with it, But my question is Do I need to have the cars ignition in the unlocked position while driving so that the front wheels of the car can turn, or does the swivel plate on the dolly take care of that movement? This might sound stupid, but I would hate to get there and find out I messed up the steering on Dads car and not have a car to get around. Thanks ahead of time for any information.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:05 PM   #2
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Is the Buick front wheel drive? You can't tow rear wheel drive vehicles with a dolly, unless you load them backwards.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:07 PM   #3
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First thing is to check the instruction manual for the Buick under towing to confirm the car can indeed be towed. Also it will usually tell you about what position the ignition should be in. I have had a lot of experience towing cars with the master Tow dolly with no negative incidents to report.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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Have you checked if that Buick is towable on a dolly ? The best source of information about towing, should be in the car's owner's manual.


Oops, I'm late with a reply. It's funny how some posts can go days without a response, while others are answered within minutes.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:17 PM   #5
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First of all...just saying my father's Buick sure doesn't give much info....but for what it's worth, Buick hasn't made a rear wheel drive vehicle since the 1996 Roadmaster with the exception of the Rainier. So unless it is the Rainier (which is not being produced anymore) it is towable 4-down so putting the front wheels on a dolly should not be a problem.

As for unlocking the steering wheel.... I would not, since the dolly has a swivel plate as it takes the place of the steerable front tires of the Buick.

Good luck and have a safe trip.

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Old 07-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #6
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I towed my buick on a master tow dolly for thousands of miles. The car was in park and the ignition off. You will need a two boards to extend the ramps or the front of the car will hit the dolly as you go up the ramp. My extra ramps were made from 2 pieces of 2x6 lumber and they were 2.5 feet long. The top board was offset so that the dolly ramp rested on the bottom board.
Good luck, I hated that dolly with all my heart. You can not back up with the car on the dolly.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #7
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So unless it is the Rainier (which is not being produced anymore) it is towable 4-down so putting the front wheels on a dolly should not be a problem.
I don't think that's correct. There are many 4WD or AWD cars out there that can be towed 4 down but can't be dolly towed. The Buick Enclave is one of them.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:44 PM   #8
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bobrw9

The wheels never turn when you have it strapped down to the platform.
My master tow and scion have five years together with no issues.
Lock the steering and have no worries mate.
More hints:
· Make sure you have a tongue wheel on the trailer.
You will be moving it around by hand a lot.
· A rope about ½ inch thick and 10 feet long. Hook it over the handle on the tongue and pull the trailer with the rope. The tongue will swing from side to side when a wheel stops rolling. The rope will save your legs from getting whacked.
· The hitch ball lock was an issue. I had to add a peace of chain to make it effective. I will e-mail pictures. lynnandbob@earthlink.net
You can get all this stuff from Home Depot
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:17 PM   #9
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Thanks to all, I guess I should have been a little more specific, Dads car is an 02 Buick Century. It is front wheel drive, and will be fine to tow on a dolly. I never considered looking in the owners manual, LOL.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:27 PM   #10
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After loading, DO NOT forget to re-install the tilt pin. I pull out of the CG and left the pin on the ground. It just dawned on me on the way home. Stopped at a box store and picked another one up (and safety wired it to the dolly) and added it to my checklist. Luckily, there was sufficient weight forward that the dolly never tilted.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
I don't think that's correct. There are many 4WD or AWD cars out there that can be towed 4 down but can't be dolly towed. The Buick Enclave is one of them.
You're absolutely correct. I did not consider 4WD or AWD. Sorry. but....since the OP posted:

Quote:
LWC-1979 Thanks to all, I guess I should have been a little more specific, Dads car is an 02 Buick Century. It is front wheel drive, and will be fine to tow on a dolly. I never considered looking in the owners manual, LOL.
I feel better about my reply.

Ron
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
You're absolutely correct. I did not consider 4WD or AWD. Sorry. but....since the OP posted:

I feel better about my reply.

Ron
Heh. Yeah, all of the posts in this thread could have been skipped if he had put that in the original post.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
You're absolutely correct. I did not consider 4WD or AWD. Sorry. but....since the OP posted:

I feel better about my reply.

Ron
Towmaster 80th with hydr. brakes I just bought a 2001 used Towmaster dolly with Spindles not right they tilted out .044 per 2.5 inches ! the spindles are in a 3/8" thick plate 5" wide plate and welded on the end that hangs out only ! Not very strong . The 3" tubing used to slide the axle out aprox 2" was bent about .04 ! When you put a square on the floor to the tire the bottom of the tire was about 3/4" outbroad So be carefull on what you carry on there best towdolly I dont know the history on this dolly But the spindle mounting was not what i call exceptable i do know keeping tires on some of these dollys have been a issue I changed the mounting system and beefed up the unit and checked the spindles and are now within .002 in 2.5 inches
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gravelyhead View Post
Towmaster 80th with hydr. brakes I just bought a 2001 used Towmaster dolly with Spindles not right they tilted out .044 per 2.5 inches ! the spindles are in a 3/8" thick plate 5" wide plate and welded on the end that hangs out only ! Not very strong . The 3" tubing used to slide the axle out aprox 2" was bent about .04 ! When you put a square on the floor to the tire the bottom of the tire was about 3/4" outbroad So be carefull on what you carry on there best towdolly I dont know the history on this dolly But the spindle mounting was not what i call exceptable i do know keeping tires on some of these dollys have been a issue I changed the mounting system and beefed up the unit and checked the spindles and are now within .002 in 2.5 inches


Thank you for your advise and great insight. I just sold my 2008 Kar Kaddy SS because after two dollies in 9 years on the road I decided I needed a rest. As a full-timer the tow dolly option is not a good choice. My car was 10 years old so I figured I had earned the right to trade for a 4 down tow model. No more stopping after 30 miles to check the straps, finding a place to store the dolly that won't kill me getting it tucked away or pulling it back up to the coach. No more soggy wet, dirt, grime and sand filled straps. No more "finding a level, straight" place to load up. NO MORE....

I am still equipping the Honda to tow. The new light harness is due in next Tuesday.

Sorry if I am I seem to be "off topic". I simply am expressing years of frustration using a tow dolly. And I didn't mention the 2 blowouts in 3 years and the damage to the car from flying rubber.

Best of luck to those who use a tow dolly. Be careful and vigilant.

Rick Y
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