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Old 04-28-2015, 09:53 PM   #1
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Tow dolly recommendations

I've been looking at tow dollies.

Couple of questions...

Hydraulic or electric brakes?
Brake controller needed - yes/no, given that's the dolly controls it's own brakes, I think no...but thought I'd ask.
Any brand recommendations?

The acme tow dolly looks pretty reasonable, around $1900 all in...Acme "EZE-TOW" Tow Dolly - Car Tow Dolly

Ron
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:17 PM   #2
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Acme is a good brand, So are Demco, Master Tow, and Roadmaster.
Tow Dollies | Demco Products
MASTER TOW INC.
Roadmaster Inc. - Tow Bars, Braking Systems & RV Accessories

You may wish to read this article for good information on tow dollies.

Choosing The Right RV Tow Dolly So You Can Tow A Car Behind Your Motorhome | The Fun Times Guide to RVing

Electric brakes require wiring from the driver's seat back to the trailer and a brake controller. Surge brakes compress a piston when the dolly starts to push on the tow bar and it automatically applies hydraulic brakes. Surge brakes are much simpler and cheaper to deal with.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:27 PM   #3
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We have a Demco KarKaddy SS. Wheels steer and has surge brakes but not the latest disk brakes. Works very well to tow something as large as an Odyssey although we tow it four down now. We paid just over $2,200 incl delivery for it in about 2005 or 2006. Assembled it in front of the retirement center where I work during a snow storm and towed it home.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:32 AM   #4
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We have a master tow dolly with surge disc brakes, works great. We tow a 2003 Caravan.
The only glitch is the straps that came with it were not great quality, we bought a more robust set, no problems or issues.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:21 AM   #5
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Stiel Tow dolly, surge , disk brakes, turntable, good straps.

$1600.00, hooked it on the ball, at the store, pulled on the car, strapped it down and took off.

No controller needed, just plugged in 4 wire, flat connector, for the fender mounted lights.
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Old 04-29-2015, 04:40 AM   #6
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Using a Stehl tow. Works well now that the straps are stretched into shape. ;-)

FWIW There different approaches. Some need the steering locked and some unlocked. Stehl is locked so easier to deal with.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:50 AM   #7
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Here's a recent thread I started

Got my EZE Tow today

(Sorry, the URL link isn't working)

I went with the Eze Tow. I tow a Nissan Murano, about 3500 pounds. It tows well, sets up fairly easily, requires steering wheel to be unlocked, has hydraulic surge brakes. It can stand upright in your garage so it's compact to store.

Only complaints I have are mostly related to getting set up (like getting the safety chains on) and probably apply to all tow dollies.

Make sure your vehicle is towable (ie some RWD cars transmissions and AWD cars cannot be dolly towed)
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:46 PM   #8
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OK, thanks for all the great advice and information. I decided to go with the Demco KarKaddy3 (its not the one with the folding tongue). Even though it doesn't fold up, the unit slides under the RV just fine. I really like the idea that the wheels on the dolly turn, making towing a bit easier.

I almost went with a two year old Demco SS, but the guy has it priced the same as the KarKaddy3 new; $2800. Since I don't need the folding unit, I think I'll be better off with a new unit and a warrantee.

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Old 05-01-2015, 06:49 AM   #9
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Just do yourself a favor and stretch the straps on a shortish drive with a lot of turns and places to stop to tighten them. It's the same for all brands as it is the strap weave moving around as it tightens up. Repeat for new straps. ;-)

FWIW every stop I take a walk around to stretch and check the hub temps on everything, check straps for tight, etc. A quick feel will tell you if anything is hotter than expected and maybe a problem coming. ;-)
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:16 AM   #10
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rmueller,

Keep me posted when you get some miles on the Kar Kaddy. I posted for owner comments about the dolly on this site. The one negative comment was the surge brake system must be disabled to back up without sliding the wheels.

Good luck.

Bill
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:55 AM   #11
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Hi all, I am looking at this dolly has anyone used it or have an opinion on it? The only thing I see that I don't like is that it is drum breaks, I do have a break controller and like the removable ramps. I also need one were the front wheels can be locked, I will be towing my wife jetta sport wagon. Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Judge View Post
rmueller,

Keep me posted when you get some miles on the Kar Kaddy. I posted for owner comments about the dolly on this site. The one negative comment was the surge brake system must be disabled to back up without sliding the wheels.

Good luck.

Bill
Most surge brake systems can be disabled with a pin or latch to prevent the piston from compressing and applying the brakes. For such rare occasions as needing to back up, jumping out, inserting the pin to back isn't that big an issue for the safety of brakes when moving forward. After all, if towing with a tow bar you aren't supposed to back up at all.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:38 AM   #13
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BFlinn181,

My area of concern is to put the dolly back in my driveway at the end of the trip. It weighs about 600 lbs. which is too much for me too muscle.

I know I will unload the KIA on the street but I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to put the dolly in the driveway. The MH and dolly both must be backed into the driveway, either together or independently.

Bill
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:44 AM   #14
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You could put a hitch on the Kia to back the dolly up the driveway. Lot's easier to back and maneuver than the RV. The hitch would also be useful in a campground where there's no on site storage for the dolly, use the car to pull the dolly to a parking spot.
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