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Old 09-02-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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Tow dolly features

Ok we have made the decision on tow dolly vs four wheels down. We are going the dolly route for several different reasons.
Now I have questions on the features that are available on tow dollys. I would like to get opinions on these features (pros and cons)
electric brakes
surge brakes
easy lub hubs vs sealed hubs
pivoting vs non pivoting platform
any other features I should be looking for.

Thanks
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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If you plan to keep the vehicle you are going to tow or buy another like it after it expires I would go with the wheelbase that fits it. If your unit is over 30 feet long you will not need to consider brakes. Easy lube hubs are a must
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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I've been using the ACME EZ Tow with surge brakes and fixed platform. Works fine.
I like Disc brakes better than drum.
Sealed hubs = maintenance free.
I like a solid welded frame.
I like the LED lights vs. 12V 2 filiment.
Removeable ramps vs. hinged ramps - I don't think either is a deciding factor. If the hinged ramps get bent, you have a pain to fix/replace. If the ramps break you can just go buy new ones.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #4
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One more - buy a new tow dolly. Not that much cost difference from used andd you never can tell how used one is.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benedicttw View Post
Ok we have made the decision on tow dolly vs four wheels down. We are going the dolly route for several different reasons.
Now I have questions on the features that are available on tow dollys. I would like to get opinions on these features (pros and cons)
electric brakes
surge brakes
easy lub hubs vs sealed hubs
pivoting vs non pivoting platform
any other features I should be looking for.

Thanks
electric brakes....need controller in MH, hard to adjust drums
surge brakes....simple and work without input from MH
hubs....both work well
pivot platform....totally unnecessary and something else to go wrong
steering wheels....see pivot platform
emergency braking system....applies brakes if dolly breaks away from MH

.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trackman View Post
If you plan to keep the vehicle you are going to tow or buy another like it after it expires I would go with the wheelbase that fits it. If your unit is over 30 feet long you will not need to consider brakes. Easy lube hubs are a must
I disagree.

Buying a narrow bed only limits what you can tow.

No matter how long your MH, you NEED brakes on the dolly, both legally
(in most places) and common sense (everywhere).

.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benedicttw View Post
Ok we have made the decision on tow dolly vs four wheels down. We are going the dolly route for several different reasons.
Now I have questions on the features that are available on tow dollys. I would like to get opinions on these features (pros and cons)
electric brakes
surge brakes
easy lub hubs vs sealed hubs
pivoting vs non pivoting platform
any other features I should be looking for.

Thanks
Personally I prefer electric to surge brakes. Electrics require a controller but most motorhomes today come prewired. I installed a controller in my 2010 Ford truck a couple years ago. Total installation time was less than 10 minutes. Electric brakes provide true proportional braking, can be set for varying levels of initial braking, can be set for varying loads, and work regardless of whether there is any pressure against the hitch.

We use a Tekonsha Prodigy controller. The newer version is the Prodigy P2

Here's a link to their site: Tekonsha

Either style of hub will work fine. All manufacturers recommend repacking the bearings at given mileage intervals regardless of the lube system. Be careful not to over lube if you select the easy lube hubs. If you do you'll break the wheel seal and get grease on the shoes (or pads if they're disk brakes).

Steerable wheels allow the dolly to follow directly in the tracks of the rear wheels of the motorhome. Non steerable wheels (pivot platform) will cut the corner shorter than the motorhome. This requires you to make a wider corner with the front wheels of the motorhome to avoid scrubbing a curb or other object on the inside of the turning radius.

Other handy features include locking storage containers to store the straps, built in safety chains, and self storing ramps. We use a Roadmaster 2000-1 dolly when towing our Buick. It can be assembled in a wide or narrow track depending on how large a vehicle you intend to tow. It has all the features I mentioned. It's a great dolly and well built. It is however more expensive than many others on the market. They're available at Camping World if you care to look them over.


Here's a link to their site: Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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thank you everyone for all the great input
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:21 PM   #9
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Here's my 2 cents...

Quote:
Originally Posted by benedicttw View Post
Ok we have made the decision on tow dolly vs four wheels down. We are going the dolly route for several different reasons.
Now I have questions on the features that are available on tow dollys. I would like to get opinions on these features (pros and cons)
electric brakes VS. surge brakes
Electric brakes require a controller, lots of wires, and adjustment - plus electric and water don't like each other - does it ever rain where you drive and camp?
Surge brakes are self contained-self adjusting (will work properly when the dolly is empty/loaded/ and even after changing toads)
easy lub hubs vs sealed hubs
Prefer sealed hubs for the first 5 years.
Then after the mfgt. suggested 5 year service, prefer sealed hubs
pivoting vs non pivoting platform
Pivoting requires a pan = more moving parts = more weight and more to go wrong, plus in a sharp turn, the dolly fenders will actually smash the door of the toad
Fixed platform is like flat-towing (toad's front wheel provide the pivot point) - simple and less to go wrong.
any other features I should be looking for.
Disc brakes are superior to drum brakes - look at any new car to see what is current tech.
Look at how the ramps are attached...if they are fixed to the back ofht e dolly, they can smash the undercarriage of the toad going over curbs/bumps/etc
Weight of the dolly can be an issue if you need to unhook and move it around the campsite and when you get home for storage...lighter is usually better

Thanks
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:19 AM   #10
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Demco 460ss has every thing you need and is the best tow dolley on the market by far. They cost more but they are worth it.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:49 PM   #11
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The Acme EZE-Tow has every thing you need and is the best tow dolley on the market by far. They cost less than most, thanks to better engineering.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
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The Acme EZE-Tow has every thing you need and is the best tow dolley on the market by far. They cost less than most, thanks to better engineering.

This man is obviously a highly intelligent human being.....

(and yes, we both have an ACME..)

.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #13
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The acme tow dolley is probably the cheapest tow dolly on the market.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:02 PM   #14
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You don't need steerable wheels or a pivot plate, just use the outside
mirrors that came with the MH...

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