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Old 06-25-2015, 03:40 PM   #1
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Tow Dolly Questions

Hey Folks,

Thanks for all the help so far from a major newbie.

I was going to toad my 05 Chrysler Sebring convert but have had a number of members say there have been lots of problems with the Chrysler toads using the Remco trans pump, one where the car burnt on the side of the road!

My guesstimate for the total mods to my Sebring including Blue Ox plate, Remco trans pump, brake system and labor is somewhere north of $4K??.....on a $5K car! I don't mind spending the $ but hate to waste it...and I really don't want to burn up my car.

I think I can buy a car dolly for between $700-$1500. I was thinking I should try that for a while and if I don't like it, sell the dolly and then go with a toad?

What should I look for in a dolly and more important, what should I look out for? I noticed 1 dolly had "hydraulic surge brakes". My old cargo trailer had electric brakes. Do all the dollys have brakes? Do any of them have brakes? Do I need brakes on the dolly?

Again, thx to the folks that have answered my newbie questions so far, you have all been very helpful.

P.S. I just found out about the Monaco trailing arm problems, I'm having a bad day but......I will survive!

Thx again,

dave
2008 Monaco Cayman
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:06 PM   #2
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The Acme "Eze-Tow" dolly is lightweight, has hydraulic surge disk brakes, and many other good features. Hydraulic surge disk brakes require no adjustment, no controller on the RV dash, etc. Much better than electric drum brakes.

Acme "EZE-TOW" Tow Dolly - Car Tow Dolly

Sometimes you can find a tow dolly on Craig's List or other classified ads. If a used one has the features you want, you can save the cost of a new one.

Demco, Master Tow, Northern Tool, and many other manufacturers make dollies, so shop wisely keeping in mind the weight and width of your car.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:13 PM   #3
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We started our adventure with a dolly because we didn't want to make mods to our car that were more than it was worth. We found a used Kar Kaddy SS near us and found it to be very good. I also didn't want to go the trouble or expense of installing the brake controller and wiring in the MH so I wanted the surge brakes. .

When we replaced the car, we bought a CRV and have it scheduled for installation of the tow package. Cost will be about $4k.

That said, the dolly is currently listed and we are a day's drive from you. If interested, PM me.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:20 PM   #4
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Surge brakes work just fine. Yes, you need brakes. We have a Master Tow HD80 and have had really good luck with it for over 25,000 miles towing two different cars, both front wheel drive. One new set of tires and one brake job but it is a heavy duty trailer. We paid about $1,500 new. I would not hesitate to buy a used one if it looked good and had good rubber.

Don
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:42 AM   #5
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Need brakes? Well actually many places do not require brakes on a tow dolly. Same thing with registration and plates on the dolly. Check your local laws.

But, please get brakes...safer and smarter.

The decision to dolly tow is a sound choice. We rented a U-Haul 3 times and borrowed a Master Tow before deciding. Got an Acme EZE-Tow...so EZE to use.

There are 3 basic types of dolly: Pivot pan (like U-Haul uses), fixed frame (like Acme, steers using the car's steering, just like flat towing) and steering on the dolly axle (possibly the most expensive type).

BTW, we just did some actual testing to see about loading and unloading...took 2 min 25 seconds to unload -and that was not rushing. Loading takes about 11 minutes. Of course we have it down with practice. So EZE. Fact is, we load and unload faster than our friends who flat tow and who have supplimental braking...but many do not have brakes on their flat-tow Dirty little secret, me thinks.

Best luck
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:22 AM   #6
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Yes you need brakes and surge brakes work just fine. I am on my second sebring convertible towed on my Demco 460SS tow dolly. I know I am going to start a cat fight here but I don't think very much of any tow dolly that doesn't have tires that steer or a turn table.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:36 AM   #7
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Speed racer,

I'm with you. I think of the little red wagon and how it steered, when pulling it.
1 tire moved forward, the other back.
That's an extreme example of a cars steering.

Its also a fact that the inside tire, by design, turns sharper then the outside one.

Strapping your car on a fixed dolly, is like making a dual axle trailer, with to much spread between them. There has to be some scuffing going on.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:03 AM   #8
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Acme Tow Dolly was best for us. Has it's own surge breaking system and can pull either of our cars (or the kids cars) with nothing else required. No way am I spending $2,000 to $4,000 on setting up a single car and not be able to tow the others if I choose.

Only thing we can't tow is the wifes 4X4 pick-up but with the dolly the pick-up can tow everything else also.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Old Radios View Post
Acme Tow Dolly was best for us. Has it's own surge breaking system and can pull either of our cars (or the kids cars) with nothing else required. No way am I spending $2,000 to $4,000 on setting up a single car and not be able to tow the others if I choose.

Only thing we can't tow is the wifes 4X4 pick-up but with the dolly the pick-up can tow everything else also.
What he said only I use a Stehl tow.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Speed racer,

I'm with you. I think of the little red wagon and how it steered, when pulling it.
1 tire moved forward, the other back.
That's an extreme example of a cars steering.

Its also a fact that the inside tire, by design, turns sharper then the outside one.

Strapping your car on a fixed dolly, is like making a dual axle trailer, with to much spread between them. There has to be some scuffing going on.

Just my thoughts.
While I agree with your preference for a dolly that has a turntable or steerable wheels, you reasoning is wrong. A non-steering dolly will track just fine going around a corner. The auto on the dolly will also track just fine also IF you follow the instruction to UNLOCK the steering in the auto. The dolly pivots on the hitch, the car pivots by the car wheels that can change angle to allow the car to track. The only caveat is to be sure the car's sides and fenders clear the dolly's fenders when the angle changes between the car and dolly.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speed racer View Post
Yes you need brakes and surge brakes work just fine. I am on my second sebring convertible towed on my Demco 460SS tow dolly. I know I am going to start a cat fight here but I don't think very much of any tow dolly that doesn't have tires that steer or a turn table.
Congrats to you for making the choice to dolly tow too!
But, YES the fixed frame dollies tow very well just like Bob described above.

In contrast, I do not think much of the extra weight, pieces and parts that are needed to have a pivot pan or steering on the dolly. Just more stuff to maintain. At less than 400lb, the Acme is SO EZE to roll around once you get to your destination.

There is nothing wrong with the other type dollies...they just are heavier and have more parts to maintain.

Here's a video showing how a fixed frame dolly turns...no tire scrubbing...see about the 3/4 point in the video.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:53 AM   #12
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If you observe the under car shot at the 9 minutes mark,, you can see the straps loosening and the safety chain tightening up, as they make a turn.

I would bet that a shot of the opposite wheel, would show that wheel, pushing forward on the straps.

That is the little red wagon anoligy, I mentioned.

I am not trying to tell anybody what to buy.

I am just pointing out that there are extra stresses, to the front end and straps, on a fixed base, dolly.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:13 PM   #13
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Exactly

That's how is works. But, the wheels on a little red wagon do not turn on the axle end, so all the turning is at the wagon's front axle (just like a pivot pan dolly).

The fixed frame dolly splits the turn pivot between the car's wheels (just like a flat tow) and the tire movement on the dolly frame. The frame is much deeper than needed for static towing, just to allow this turning action.

The only time I experienced dolly tire scrub was when towing behind my pick-up and making a very tight U-turn. My truck obviously was able to exceed the turning radis of the dolly with our car's steering geometery...every car will be different. But the RV does not turn as tightly and with the rear overhang, the dolly actually goes the opposite direction at the beginning of a turn, then tracks right with the RV.

Thanks for pointing out these points.
Safe travels
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:01 AM   #14
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The Acme "EZE-TOW" Tow Dolly

This is a common debate. However it is an uninformed debate. As the manufacturer of the Acme "EZE-TOW" Tow Dolly we did a lot of testing, using cameras, and destructive testing. We destroyed 6 dollies to discover there functional limitations and to reveal any potential weakness.
In this research one of the interesting things we observed is that pivoting pans only allow about 6 to 8 inches of radius relief. Look at it yourself... how far does the pan move before stopping? Then the towed cars steering and suspension is put under tremendous stress because they are locked and being forced. However, with our design the towed car is allowed it's natural maximum turning radius , no limitation at all. If you use a camera to watch the articulating pan dolly, the outside wheel rotates back just as it does on our dolly, then when straight returns back to neutral just like our dolly. The difference is that the car is under much less strain on our doily.
Our design , with the fixed pan, makes it impossible to damage your car with the dolly fender, a very common problem for many dollies. In addition, most modern car manufacturers are going away from locking steering columns. That is one of several good reasons that we designed the articulating wheel pan out of our dolly seven years ago. Having manufactured both types I can tell you that our fixed design is superior.
Demco manufactures a very fine, very high quality, well engineered dolly. Especially the steerable wheel unit. It works fine for most cars. However with these and the turning pans you have to strap lock your column if your car does not have a locking column. More and more common. All the other manufacturers are simply adding a strap solution to deal with this evolution in car design. We embraced it and moved to it seven years ago.
Our design represents the future of dolly design, which is why we have applied for a patent.
We make constant improvements to our dolly. We were the first to offer Disc brakes 7 years before anyone else. We have the ONLY 5-10 year warranty that covers all critical moving parts. No one else does that. We can do it because we know our dolly is simple, strong and reliable. We have less then .02 warranty claims, on a 5-10 year warranty!
Just wanted to share the "facts". Opinions are fine, but facts are better.
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