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Old 09-24-2016, 12:35 PM   #1
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Tow dolly

Looking into getting a tow dolly for the toad. What is this swivel thing that I keep seeing in the ads and how important are brakes on the dolly?

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Old 09-24-2016, 12:47 PM   #2
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I don't know witch one to go with, Tow (4 on the ground) or Dolly. I don't want to two either of our present cars (too big) so have to car a smaller one for RV'ing only. Lot's of discussion on what you can or shouldn't pull due to transmission, and different things you have to do to the vehicle to tow it...key on, disconnect this and that...dolly towing seems easier as far as vehicle choices go...i found it really confusing...with a E450 26 foot class C i should be ok for most cars/mini SUV...but not sure thinking o buying a very used VW bug

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Old 09-24-2016, 02:06 PM   #3
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Dollys that "swivel" have a platform that moves a bit as the dolly turns corners, so that the car tracks better behind the coach. When using a swiveling dolly, you can (and must) lock the car steering wheel in the straight-ahead position. On a non-swivel dolly, you leave the car steering unlocked so the front wheels can turn as the dolly turns. This accomplishes about the same thing as the swivel, but there may be a risk of the car turning enough to strike the dolly fenders.

Brakes on a dolly have the same advantage as brakes on any trailer, including 4-down towing: You can stop in a shorter distance. You have 3000-8000 lbs back there that need to get stopped, so having brakes on the back just plain makes sense.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:59 PM   #4
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Acme EZE Tow Tow Dolly

To the best of my knowledge we have the only fixed wheel pan dolly.
It is not possible to make contact with our dolly fenders. However it is a very common occurrence on the swivel pans, which is just one of several good reasons that we have a fixed pan dolly design.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:43 PM   #5
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We originally used a swivel deck dolly to tow our Camry. Took it across the country and back. No brakes on the dolly. Pulled great, but could tell it was there when stopping. BTW, we have a 42' Class A diesel pusher.
Car died (thrown rod) in Florida and we replaced with a Jeep Wrangler. Yes, we went to 4-down towing. We "stole" a tow bar/baseplate/breaking system off of Letgo. I installed the plates and breaking system. Supplimental brakes make quite a difference when you are stopping, even behind a diesel pusher!
Love the ease of the 4-down hook up and disconnect. 5 minutes either way. No storage issues with the tow bar - hangs on the receiver.

Get brakes on the dolly, if you go that route. You won't regret having them!
Mike and Carla
1998 42' Overland Larado Diesel Pusher
On the road - here and there - Full Timing
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:36 PM   #6
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Aren't many consideration as to what kind of car you can or can not just hook up and tow?
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:26 AM   #7
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EZE Tow makes the only non swivling dolly I've seen on the market lately. With them, if you have locking steering, you must somehow turn the key on and unlock the steering.

Some cars need the key left on, drawing power from the battery, and others can be switched on then off and no power is used. You just need to leave the key in the ignition.

None of the other brands need the key on, or in the car, to tow with. The steering of the car is done thru the dolly swivel plate, or for some dollies, actual steering tires.

Your steering wheel can be locking or not, it does not matter. As long as the car isn't to heavy for the dolly, you drive it up, shut it off, strap it down and go.

Here's what I do with my swivel plate " Stehl Tow " dolly.

1, Pull a tilt pin and safety clamp and drive up the built in ramps.

2, Put the car in park, get out and lock it up and put the key in my pocket.

3, Replace the tilt pin and safety clamp, strap down the front tires and hookup 2 safety cables.

4, Re-check the straps, at my next stop. With any strap, there is some settling around the tire and I give it a click or 2. They stay tight after that.

It has trouble free, surge, disk brakes and 14 inch tires along with LED lights. I've put about 25,000 miles on it and it looks and works fine.

Many people will tell you that you need to crawl under to hook up a safety chain but I run a cable thru each front tire. This is done buy bending down, with no kneeling.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:55 AM   #8
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A dolly is a trailer. Brakes are not optional to the law.
Dale & Mark Bruss
11 Years Full-Timing Now with a 2016 Bounder 33C
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Lots of RV Information at www.dmbruss.com
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dale & Mark Bruss View Post
A dolly is a trailer. Brakes are not optional to the law.
A dolly is towed equipment. They do not require plates. A trailer does.

Brakes are not required in all 50 US states. Ask U Haul.
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
A dolly is towed equipment. They do not require plates. A trailer does.

Brakes are not required in all 50 US states. Ask U Haul.
Ga requires plates on a dolly.
1998 Southwind Storm 34S
2015 Ford Focus Hatchback SE
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:32 AM   #11
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I started out with a Dolly and advocated it to others. My car was capable of 4 down but I did not wish to modify the car, I was wrong. When I went to a larger MH I worsened a storage problem at my off site storage and at home so I switched to 4 down and will never go back. Just my opinion.
2008 Bounder 38P F53 24/30K V10, 2013 Kia Soul Basic 6 speed manual, Ready Brake Elite tow system (previous equipment 1996 Pace Arrow Vision w/Acme Dolly)
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:12 AM   #12
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I have the EZE Tow dolly and have put over 12,000 miles with my Hyundai. I like the Dolly for several reasons
1. Do not have to worry about the type of Front wheel car i own
2. Surge brakes and brand new Dolly, far less than any 4-down set-up in initial cost ( my dolly fully delivered was $1800)

You can of course find some used Dolly's out there but then you have the used buyers things to look at. JMO
I admit 4-Down is easier but it is very expensive even if you have a 4-down capable vehicle, and although there are several 4-down vehicles, the most prevalent is Jeep and i do not want to go buy a jeep just for my TOAD. I like my Elantra and it is a great TOAD and easy to load and unload with the Dolly.

biggest question is do you want to buy another vehicle that is just for 4-down and your RV??? If not then dolly is the best way to go and you can tow any front wheel drive that meets the CGVW and Dolly limits.
Fleetwood Bounder 35K 2016, Ford V-10, F53(2015 chassis),RayZor HD, Wineguard Dish SAT, Roadmaster -- steering Stabilizer, Front & rear Sway Bars, SCT 5 Star tuner, Tireminder TM66 TPMS, Banks Ram Air intake, EZE Tow Dolly
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:38 AM   #13
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I have a master tow with swivel plate and electric brakes, easy on, easy off, I do not crawl under to hook up safety chains just bend down. We have towed all over the U.S. and think it's the way to go, no miles add up on the car and 2 or 3 minutes to load and unload.
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:57 AM   #14
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Be sure to evaluate the Master Tow 80 inch wide model. I have used this model for several years and over 30,000 miles. It is easy to use and very versatile. I have towed a Camry, Avalon, and a Chrysler Mini van. No problems. I opted for electric brakes. This model tracks directly behind our MH which is very useful in tight quarters like camp grounds, parking lots, etc. I think they now sell for around $1,500.00. A handy tip I was given was to give a final turn on the ratchet with the car in neutral and emergency brake off. This has helped me to get the vehicle tight the first time. I would look for radial tires vs. bias ply tires. And I would not recommend Carlisle tires. I hope this helps.

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95 Newmar Kountry Star, Spartan Chassis, Venice, Fla
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