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Old 03-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Tow Dolly Minimums?

Hello all,

Being new to the RV/MH life style, I'm requesting the knowledge of the RV learned! I have researched and read as many threads as I could until my eyes have crossed, watered and burned. I have gained much valuable information regarding towing with a dolly: max weight, max width, what is good to tow/what is not, troubles with straps, proper alignment, tire pressure, etc., etc.
For financial reasons, and the fact the tow dolly came with the MH; the Mrs. and I have decided to utilize the equipment we have rather than purcase new. So, no need to tell us that four-down is easier and better at this time - this will be a topic I am sure to research later!
We are looking at sub-compact vehicles: Sonic, Fit, Fiesta, Rio, Yaris, but were wondering if the sub-sub-compact cars (Fiat 500, Mini, Spark) would work with the dolly as well, but have not been able to find any information about dolly minimums. Are there any minimums for weight or wheel base on a dolly. Or can "ANY" front wheel drive vehicle be towed as long as it will fit on the dolly? Any and all of your inputs will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:29 AM   #2
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DartmanK,
I have a Mastertow Tow dolly that I use and I tow a 2012 Hyundai Accent.I know that is not a sub-sub compact but,it sure does tow well and I have not had any problems.You can go on Mastertow web site and find out alot of info and also look up the info on line.Good Luck and Have Many Safe and Happy Miles and Smiles.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:46 AM   #3
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We also have a MasterTow dolly, and we got it because our car could not be towed 4 down. Really have not had any issues with it, other than a flat tire once.
A Lexus RX300 is a mid sized SUV and follows us around without any problem.
Only thing I have added to the tow dolly is a spare tire, and I got a spare set of straps off E-Bay to keep just in case I might need one.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #4
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The answer to your question is yes. Whatever dolly you have has a weight rating. You should be able to find it at the manufactures web site. I towed a Cadillac DTS on my Master tow HD. My main tow vehicle was a Buick Le Cross. With a big car you might need supplemental ramps. You need to have brakes on the dolly. And functioning brake lights on the vehicle.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #5
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I suspect your issue will not be minimum toad weight but minimum toad approach angle/clearance. If the angle between the tire/road and the lowest body skirt under the bumper is shallow then it may scrape the ramps when loading/unloading. Some dollies' wheel pans sit lower than others.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcurt23 View Post
The answer to your question is yes. Whatever dolly you have has a weight rating. You should be able to find it at the manufactures web site. I towed a Cadillac DTS on my Master tow HD. My main tow vehicle was a Buick Le Cross. With a big car you might need supplemental ramps. You need to have brakes on the dolly. And functioning brake lights on the vehicle.
You do not need tow lights on the car if on the dolly. You just need lights on the dolly itself.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playtime III View Post
I suspect your issue will not be minimum toad weight but minimum toad approach angle/clearance. If the angle between the tire/road and the lowest body skirt under the bumper is shallow then it may scrape the ramps when loading/unloading. Some dollies' wheel pans sit lower than others.
I would expect that this should be your only problem WRT the question posed. Should you find that you are striking, scraping or rubbing the dolly on the load or un-loading of your chosen vehicle you can make a small approach ramp from some 2x4's and/or ply wood. This will give the front end some lift before the air dam on the front of your vehicle makes contact with the dolly. Also loading the vehicle from a negative gradient behind the dolly will keep the nose up, rather than a positive gradient where you are in effect driving downhill to go up the dolly(Don't ask me how I know, lol).
Hope this helps,
Stewart
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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We have our 2011 Fiesta on our dolly all the time and have not had one problem other than being told it looks like a Twinkie (it' s yellow) following us!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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Other than what has been posted so far I would suggest checking to see if the minimum weight of a sub-sub compact may require that some air be released from the tires. Mastercraft suggests that pressure be reduced to 10 psi if towing the only with no vehicle. As there is no suspension system on the dolly and the weight of the vehicle serves to stabilize the bounce full pressure may cause bounce.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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I don't understand - you say you want to use the equipment that came with the RV instead of purchasing additional equipment, but you're buying a different (new/used) car? Wouldn't it be less expensive to set up your existing vehicle as a 4-down toad? And sell the dolly to make up some of it?
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:25 AM   #11
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Re: Tow Dolly Minimums

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
I don't understand - you say you want to use the equipment that came with the RV instead of purchasing additional equipment, but you're buying a different (new/used) car? Wouldn't it be less expensive to set up your existing vehicle as a 4-down toad? And sell the dolly to make up some of it?
Flying Driver,

Thank you for your response, and maybe I didn't explain in full detail. Currently driving a Ford F-150 that is too heavy for the MH whether I use the tow dolly; or tow 4-down. Therefore, a down-size in tow vehicle is required and I was posing the question to verify if there was/wasn't a minimum for the dolly. Thanks again, Ken.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:40 AM   #12
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Thank you all for your inputs! Based on your imformation, it looks as though there are no minimum weight requirements for a tow dolly. Maybe a few safety precautions when towing lighter loads, but no minimums. So, the Mrs. and I thank you very much. We have added your knowledge to our RV'ers tool bag and will carry and pass it on to others! Thank You all again.

Ken
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:47 AM   #13
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How could there be a minimum weight requirement if you can tow it empty.
I towed mine 1800 miles empty, not by choice, and it did fine, no problems.
What type of "safety precautions for lighter loads" did you have in mind???

The minimum wheelbase will probably be determined by your loading ramps.

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Old 03-07-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
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One of the dollies (Stehl or Mastertow, I cannot remember) says not to tow the dolly empty for more than 100 miles.
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