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Old 08-09-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
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Question Tow Dolly

First timer going RVing. My car is a Volvo C70 with front wheel drive. I'm looking into buying tow dolly with brakes. Is this the best way to take Car with me behind class A? Any advice into how to set car up for towing on dolly? Thanks
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:11 PM   #2
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It's pretty straight forward using a tow dolly. Just make sure your wheels are all the way forward before strapping them down. And make sure you crank them down really tight as the straps have a tendency to loosen after making a few turns. Also, suggest you check the straps after driving a very short distance, as in just a few miles.

We have used a tow dolly a number of times to pull my Impala.

Dave
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:12 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2!

I towed with a dolly for 10 years and now have moved to towing a Jeep which is much easier if you have a car that you can tow 4 wheels down.

But if you need to tow your Volvo, a dolly is a good choice. I found with the two dollies I owned, the lights woudl stop functioning about a mile from my house. So I bought the magnetic lights that go on the trunk of the towed car. Also carry a spare tire for your dolly because many tire places won't stock the tire you need in a pinch.

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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Hammer,

We bought a MasterTow 80HDS (surge brakes). I did not want electric brakes because there is a slight delay and you have to run wiring and buy a brake controller to mount somewhere around the dash. Too much going on there already for me.

We tow my wife's vintage 1999 Buick Riviera which she refuses to give up. It is front wheel drive. We did absolutely nothing to it. Just drive it up on the dolly, put it in park, strap it down real good with the ratchet straps on the front tires, make sure you replace the dolly pin on the tongue, and go. There are weight constraints. Be sure to weigh your toad to be sure the dolly can handle it. I believe the Mastertow has a weight limit of about 4,900 lbs including the dolly which is about 700 lbs., but check it out.

We towed it behind our 42 ft. motorhome this May from San Antonio through Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. No problems at all. You could occasionally feel the surge brake working, but that is a good thing. It tracks well and pretty much turns with the coach. There is a little offset in the turns, but not much. The metal plate where the tires sit actually turns a bit to help the tracking.

Some advised that there would be a problem finding room for the dolly where we camped. We never had an issue with that. Some pull throughs are long enough you never have to un-hook. We had one spot that was a pull-in/back out so we un-hooked there but we were planning on that anyway in Sedona, AZ so we could take day trips. There was ample room to store the dolly.

I have timed the set-up procedure. It takes me about 10-12 minutes to hook up the dolly, pull the car up on it, and strap it down. I have a friend who tows 4 down. It takes him about 5 to 7 minutes.

Don't get me wrong. The first time I did it, it took me 25 minutes to figure out how to get the strap arranged on the first tire and strap it down. The second tire took 3 minutes.

It is a good option for front wheel drive cars. Our choice was $1,500 for a new Mastertow or about $4,700 for an install for four down towing, IF they could have found a base plate for the Riviera. But now, we have the means to tow two of our vehicles. The other one is a Toyota Sienna van, also a front wheel drive. The cost to outfit that one to tow four down was about $5,000.

Good luck with your choice.

Don
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:12 PM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks fellow RV'ers I already feel at home on this website and I guess for a beginner there are no stupid questions. Just retired from Postal Service after 39 years and looking forward to having my pension direct deposit with a ATM card in my pocket. Hammer Down
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer Down View Post
First timer going RVing. My car is a Volvo C70 with front wheel drive. I'm looking into buying tow dolly with brakes. Is this the best way to take Car with me behind class A? Any advice into how to set car up for towing on dolly? Thanks
i bought a new stehl tow dolly in june 2008. it wore out a set of tires in the first 600 miles of use in july 2010. the dolly has 13'' 8 ply 65 psi tires. (hard to get). i found that it had 3/4" of tow in.
if you are contemplating purchasing a dolly, check the tow in with a measuring tape. if it is off, don't buy it.
it cost me $120 to get the alignment fixed and $150 for a new set of tires. the new tires are wearing ok.
check the thread below this one for info on tow lights.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:52 AM   #7
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I don't use a dolly because I am able to tow with four wheels on the ground; I tow with my D-Brake Professional Tow Brake. But if you can't tow with four wheels on the ground, a tow dolly is your best bet. I never had to use one, so I am no help on the subject, but I have heard they are very easy to use. =)
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