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Old 10-10-2018, 08:01 AM   #1
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Tow Dolly

We have never used a "tow dolly", but we are considering pulling a Toyota Sienna with a tow dolly instead of the Jeep with 4 wheels down. Any thoughts or caveats regarding tow dolly's?

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Old 10-10-2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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A Toyota Sienna is probably close to, if not over the weight limit of some tow dollys.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mich F View Post
A Toyota Sienna is probably close to, if not over the weight limit of some tow dollys.
I have a Master Tow dolly with electric brakes. Nicely built unit but is a bit heavy to maneuver around. Plus it adds weight to the total package.

Not certain the weight capacity but we tow a Rav4 with no issues.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Agility57 View Post
I have a Master Tow dolly with electric brakes. Nicely built unit but is a bit heavy to maneuver around. Plus it adds weight to the total package.

Not certain the weight capacity but we tow a Rav4 with no issues.
Here are the weight ratings on their current models
https://www.mastertow.com/towdollies

It's interesting that the weight limits under the pictures and the chart below have different ratings.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:47 AM   #5
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We towed a ford escape for years with a master tow,and had no problems.We now tow a jeep 4 down.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:39 PM   #6
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I used a tow dolly for 10 years (including towing a Toyota Sienna) before seeing the light and towing a Jeep GC 4 down for the last 10 years.

The Sienna is a wide minivan and even with an extra wide tow dolly we had problems where during tight turns, the tow dolly fender would come in contact with the lower sides of the minivan. This caused two problems - the fender would crack and the minivan would dent to the tune of $1700 in body damage (I know from experience...). On the bright side, you can hide said body damage from your wife until AFTER your vacation is over! Most of these tight turns happen in gas stations when you're trying to maneuver between two unoccupied cars to get to the only open pump.

Another problem with tow dollies is road debris and tow dolly lights. It seemed I'd spend hours getting the lights to work by rewiring and putting armor on all the wires. Within 60 miles of departure the lights would inevitably fail. I finally gave up and used the magnetic tow lights.

Finally on a tow dolly, the straps would loosen as you drove. Most times I would stop and re-tighten. Sometimes when it was dark, I would not notice a loose strap and drag it down the road for a hundred miles or so.

My Jeep has be great 4 down. Of course you need a TPMS system to monitor tire pressure in case you get a flat on your tow but that would be the same using a dolly (I've had flats on both a tow dolly and a 4-down tow while driving...). Hook up the tow bar, attach the brake buddy, and pop the transfer case into neutral and you're ready to go. No fuses to pull, no running the engine when you stop, no limiting your speed to 55 mph. Towing a Jeep is pretty much the only way to go.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:51 PM   #7
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We used a Master Tow tow dolly for about three years before obtaining a vehicle capable of being flat towed. There are two models of Master Tow dolly, the main difference is the width. Go with the 80" wide model and you should have room for your Sienna. You can put 2950lbs on to the dolly itself and tow a vehicle weighing up to 4950 lbs. We never had an issue with the lights going inop. They come covered in flexible plastic conduit.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:41 PM   #8
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Go with the 80" wide model and you should have room for your Sienna.
FYI, Sienna is 78.1" wide. You'll have 'room' to pull it on but less that an inch of clearance on each side.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:48 PM   #9
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If you really want to tow the Sienna take a look at the Roadmaster 2000-1 dolly. It can be assembled in 2 different widths. We used one to tow our Buick LeSabre. It has steerable wheels so it always follows in the path of the rear motorhome tires.

I don't know what a Sienna weighs, but the 2000-1 dolly is rated for 4250 lbs.

Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories

As for straps loosening and lights failing we never had either of those problems. The straps will stretch the first few times they're used and will have to be retightened. After a few times towing they didn't continue to stretch. Just to be sure we did check them when we made rest stops.

As a side note we went from towing the Buick on the dolly to towing a Jeep Wrangler 4 down. It wasn't because we didn't like the dolly, but rather because we wanted to go off roading. It seemed silly to drag the Buick all over the country only to park it at a Jeep rental place.

We originally intended to use the dolly to tow the Jeep but after reading the manual found it had to be towed either 4 down or on a trailer.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:46 PM   #10
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With a wide car like that a steerable wheel dolly is your best bet.

Roadmaster is one and Demco makes a few models.

https://www.demco-products.com/rv-towing/tow-dollies/
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:53 PM   #11
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I towed an '05 Honda Ody on a Demco KK-460 dolly for some years. It was tight but never damaged the Ody or the dolly.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:40 PM   #12
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Thanks, guys. I appreciate the feed back.

I received the message below in an email. I cannot find "*Toads and Motorhome Related Towing (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/)* section." as described in the email.

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Old 10-11-2018, 11:29 AM   #13
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Chief,
Check out the Acme Eze Tow dolly. I believe it will work well for your sienna. WWW.CARTOWDOLLY.COM

I really like mine, and tow several different cars with it that can’t be towed 4 down, but if I had a Jeep sitting in the driveway I’d probably go the 4 down towing route with that just for one less piece of equipment, and easier hook up.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:23 AM   #14
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We use an Acme tow Dollie with a 2014 Grand caravan and have never had any issues. We have a Gasser so we are close to our 5000lb limit. The Dollie stores under the back of the camper. Some campgrounds don't allow anything to be on the grass. Have fun RVN
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