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Old 07-16-2016, 07:35 PM   #1
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Steerable dolly wheels vs. turning table

I've been looking at tow dollies & was wondering about how they track behind the motor home. I saw, somewhere, that the Demco tracks right behind the tow vehicle, no need to swing wide. What about the ones, like Master Tow, that pivots under the car? There's a big price difference but it would cost more, if I break a wheel, on my toad or worse yet, clip another car, telephone pole, etc., if I cut a corner too tight.

Jeff
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:45 PM   #2
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I used to tow a KarkaddySS with a PT cruiser on it. It was a good dolly, and we towed it up and down hills and around corners. However.....You do need to swing a little wider on turns as it is slightly wider than the RV. I could see the dolly fenders in the outside mirrors of the coach. The only problems I had was manuevering around the posts and barriers in gas stations. But the reasons I switched to four down had nothing to do with its width.
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:54 PM   #3
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We use a Stehl tow that I think is similar to the Master Tow. Works fine, tracks well.

FWIW I think there are several brands and models that look alike. Leaves me thinking either the patents ran out long ago or the key parts all come from the same place. ;-)
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:02 PM   #4
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We use a master tow with electric brakes and pivoting plate, we've towed it all over the us, it tows well and tracks well behind the rv .
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:16 AM   #5
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I use an Acme that does neither swivel plate or articulating wheels. It tracks well, and handles well on the highway and in town.

The Acme relies on the towed vehicle to supply some of the pivoting when in a turn. I've discovered that in shallow turns, the towed vehicle will act as the pivot point as one of the cars front tires moves forward and the other moves backward on the dolly, and the cars wheels turn a little. Acme has a video on their web site that shows this.

However, on very sharp turns, the toad wheels cant shift enough forward and backward to supply the correct pivot angles, and the Acme wheels will skid as they are pulled a little sideways.

I don't think this hurts anything, other than a very small amount of tire scuffing wear from these types of turns.

One thing I did note with the Acme, backing up is a little more doable with the Acme than it is with a dolly with the swivel plate. I've backed up several feet at gas pumps, etc. I didn't see signs of the dolly immediately wanting to go in one direction and the toad in the other. I'll need to experiment with this some more.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:44 AM   #6
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The tracking of the dolly has more to do with the amount of overhang, beyond the rear axle.

I have a E450 30 ft MH with a long overhang. When I leave a curb, the dolly tracks wide and up on the curb, if I turn away to sharply. I never worry about inside tracking.

A swivel plate or steering dolly will put less stress on your car steering and the dollys tires.

I have over 30,000 miles on my full size, dolly tires and they look fine. Some others, who use the fixed dolly, are replacing tires long before that.

The company is great at working with the dis-satisfied customers but I would rather be satisfied.

I have a Stehl Tow, surge brake dolly.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The tracking of the dolly has more to do with the amount of overhang, beyond the rear axle.

I have a E450 30 ft MH with a long overhang. When I leave a curb, the dolly tracks wide and up on the curb, if I turn away to sharply. I never worry about inside tracking.

A swivel plate or steering dolly will put less stress on your car steering and the dollys tires.

I have over 30,000 miles on my full size, dolly tires and they look fine. Some others, who use the fixed dolly, are replacing tires long before that.

The company is great at working with the dis-satisfied customers but I would rather be satisfied.

I have a Stehl Tow, surge brake dolly.
This. We have a master tow with electric brakes and it's a great set up for our Cherokee since it locks the steering when the ignition is off. I accidently ran the left wheel off our driveway when turning right because I forgot about the big swing of the rear end. I knew there was nothing over there to hit with the coach, but forgot about the dolly.

I think the determining factor in what type of dolly to buy is whether you vehicle steering locks or not. I'd prefer electric brakes, but would go with surge brakes if the coach wasn't wired for them.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:33 PM   #8
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Twinboat & barmcd, you answered my better than anyone. I hadn't considered the swing. The motor home we are buying, has rear overhang that goes on for days. You 2 have probably saved me over $1K. Thanks guys.

Jeff
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