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Old 07-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
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Specific Experience with KarKaddy SS

Hello All,
Does anyone on the forum have specific experience with the KarKaddy SS?? Good - Bad - Ugly??????

Specifics for me: towing with Fleetwood Expedition 36M, plan to tow a Mini Cooper (manual transmission), but occasionally a Ford Fusion Hybrid. Especially with the Mini, I would be concerned about any low clearance issues. Also, I DO plan to tow out west, and so does anyone have experience with the KarKaddy going down mountain grades (i.e. with its surge brakes not electric)?? I know many people have expressed concern for electric brakes, but the KarKaddy has advantages for me right now (availability at my local dealership, fast install for the surge versus electrical, etc).

Sorry for the additional question on the often-asked dolly question: but after searching the forum, I do not see these questions specifically answered.....
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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I have a KarKaddy and have towed a Prius, Kia Soul, Kia Sorento, and a Corolla with my motorhome.

Different cars at different places including Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, both are in the mountains and are fairly tight and narrow roads. I've never had a problem and that includes inside the campgrounds which are very tight.

The steering wheels on the SS help steer the trailer and track the motorhome much better than a trailer without steering wheels.

I also like that I can fold up the trailer when camping. I've never had a problem storing the dolly and fitting the car in my campsite.

Since this is the only dolly I've owned I cannot tell you its the best, but my friends with other brands are envious of mine.

Edit:
I cannot tell the difference when braking with or without the dolly. It does the job of breaking the toad very well and has no affect on me (that I can tell) when going downhill.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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I have a Kar Kaddy I pull behind my Fleetwood Terra 34B.

I pull a 2012 VW GTI 6 sp manual similiar to your Mini and the only problem is when loading and unloading I Need to put a 2 X 10 under the ramps to keep the nose of the car from scraping.

I do use the Tow hook built into the bumper of the car for my safety channs. Had to do a bit of rerouting of the chains but it works.

I also put my 90 944 S2 Cab Porsche on the dolly occasionally.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landtrv View Post
I have a Kar Kaddy I pull behind my Fleetwood Terra 34B.

I pull a 2012 VW GTI 6 sp manual similiar to your Mini and the only problem is when loading and unloading I Need to put a 2 X 10 under the ramps to keep the nose of the car from scraping.

I do use the Tow hook built into the bumper of the car for my safety channs. Had to do a bit of rerouting of the chains but it works.

I also put my 90 944 S2 Cab Porsche on the dolly occasionally.
LANDTRV: Do you put the 2X10 under the ramps themselves??

Any problems going down-grade in the mountains??

I have kind of wondered if the problem with the Surge Brakes being activated going down-grade is more of a problem with heavier Toads ... which would be much less of a problem with your GTI (or my Mini)....??
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Traveler View Post
I have kind of wondered if the problem with the Surge Brakes being activated going down-grade is more of a problem with heavier Toads ... which would be much less of a problem with your GTI (or my Mini)....??
We're on our second dolly, first one was a cheap, locally built one with swivel tray. It was OK. Burned the surge brakes up coming out of Jackson Hole to the west (10% up and 10% down for miles)
Now have the KK460, bought in 2007 and tow our '05 Honda Odyssey (4,500#'s) with it.
Have a diesel pusher, had to add a spring setup to the KK as it would activate the brakes going downhill when using the exhaust brake. The new ones should have it standard, ours was supposed to but didn't.
The Ody is as wide as I'd ever want to tow as the tires are solidly against the pan sides and squeeze up over the top edge. Newer (2010 and newer) won't fit as they're wider yet.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:30 PM   #6
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Can you clarify what you are referring to as a " spring setup"?? (sorry - newbee question) ...
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Traveler View Post
Can you clarify what you are referring to as a " spring setup"?? (sorry - newbee question) ...
Between the tongue and the movable section that activates the brakes there is a space. When the spring unit is installed it goes into that space and spring pressure is put against the movable section. All you see is an about 2" round black metal piece and a shaft going into the tongue.

Our KK was purchased in 2007 and must have been right at the time they were adding them as it was supposed to have been there. They sent it at no charge. Any new units should have it although it might not look the same.

I discovered that one fender was breaking around the rivets earlier this year. I emailed them and asked how much for a new one. They said they had never heard of it and had me send pictures. Then they asked for my shipping address and in a few days two new fenders arrived at no charge almost 5 years after I bought it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Traveler View Post
Any problems going down-grade in the mountains??

I have kind of wondered if the problem with the Surge Brakes being activated going down-grade is more of a problem with heavier Toads ... which would be much less of a problem with your GTI (or my Mini)....??
Surge brakes work when you need them, so the heavier the toad, the more
the brakes will work because you need more braking.
The KK SS had surge DRUM brakes, not disc brakes, maybe the drums burn
out faster.

I don't own a KK SS. They are to heavy, too expensive, and have too many things
you don't need, that will eventually break.........
Like steering wheels, I have been through campgrounds, parking lots,
and gas stations with my 38' MH and have never needed steering wheels or
a pivot deck.
Anyone that says you "need" these items just needs to learn how to drive.

If it were me, I would check out other dollys. Take a look at the ACME
eze-tow, I have about 10000 miles on mine and no problems at all. Save a lot
of money on a dolly that will do everything you want a dolly to do, and
it's not all complicated gizmos that will give you problems. And they will deliver
it right to your front door.


.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:05 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=MN_Traveler;1232457]LANDTRV: Do you put the 2X10 under the ramps themselves??

I put the 2 X 10 on the ground positioned so when the ramps come down when the dolly tilts the ramps rest on the top of the 2X 10 with about with about 6 inches sticking out behind the end of the ramp so when i drive the car on to the dolly I drive onto the 2 X 10 first the the ramp of the dolly. I do this also when I take the car off the dolly.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
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I have a KarKaddy SS. I haven't owned it that long, but I do know that it's a much better tow dolly than my other tow dolly that had a swivel base. I like the idea that it folds up. The surge brakes are great. Sure it cost a little more, but I believe in the old saying, pay a little more, get a little more !!!. My other tow dolly would not support a wider wheel pattern. The KK SS will support a wider wheel pattern. I tow a Lexus RX auto.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:29 AM   #11
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I've read before that certain cars needed blocks to load on the ramp. I always thought my Prius was very low to the ground and I do not need blocks for mine.

Storage at home is another plus for folding. Stays out of the way until I need it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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Hi MN_Traveler,
I've had a KarKaddy SS since 2005. The unit has surge brakes. A 2002 Cadillac Deville is what is towed. There have been no clearance problems. Everything has worked as advertised. My only advice is if your Kaddy comes with Carlisle tires watch them like a hawk and replace them after a couple of years.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:52 PM   #13
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Towed our PT for 3-1/2 years with the KarKaddy SS and never had a problem. It tracked perfectly for me.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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We have a Demco SS dolly with a Mini Cooper Clubman. Gone to Florida via Tennessee mountains, no problem with braking. With Clubman and it's low clearance, have had to raise ball from 18" (recommended height) to 23". With that being done ramps are on ground and entire dolly is straight. No need for any thing put under ramps. Lowered the ball to 18" before traveling and reverse procedure when removing Mini.
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