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Old 06-09-2016, 08:42 PM   #1
CSI
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Tow dolly rental

My husband are considering buying a tow dolly with electric brakes for our toad this summer. We want to rent it out after our trip to help pay for it. Is there a market for this kind of rental? Anyone have any idea what the liability laws would be in Michigan for this? If I were to state we are not responsible for vehicle damage- do I need it notarized to be a legal document.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:51 PM   #2
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I wouldn't even consider renting it out, even if they do sign their life away. The cost of a tow dolly itself is not enough for me to rent it out to make some of the money back and then have the liability to worry about. People can do a lot of dumb things that can cause a lot of damage and of course they are never to blame. Just my two cents.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:52 PM   #3
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I'm not going to comment on the market or legal aspect of what you propose. But, if I were to buy a new dolly that, say my friend wanted to use, it would have surge not electric brakes. My friend would have to have an electric brake controller in his vehicle to make the dolly's electric brakes work.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:58 PM   #4
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Renting out a tow Dolly.

You could consider renting a Tow Dolly from UHaul. This would get your vacation accomplished. Possibly picking up a used one on EBay ect.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:21 AM   #5
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tow dolly rental

We looked at renting from u=haul and the cost for the 22 days would be 990. To me that seems like a total waste. If neccessary we could buy one and then resell it. My husband thought maybe we could recoup some of our investment by renting it out before our trip the middle of July. Typically we will be pulling our Honda Goldwing, but for this trip we need a car since we will have our 17 yr. old with us.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:38 AM   #6
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Years ago I used a tow dolly. When I was not using it, everybody and his brother just HAD to use it for some minor emergency. I kept it painted and fixed lights and straightened out dents all inflicted by borrowers. Last straw was when a borrower loaned it out to a person I did not know, and the stranger returned it to me. It had a bent tongue that no one seemed to know about. That is my word to the wise. More than 10 years now flat towing without the hassle of a tow dolly.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:51 AM   #7
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All good advice above. Like the others, I would be quite wary.

Yes, there is a market for renting tow dollies, but perhaps not easy for you to tap into. Where will you find these renters? Why would they choose you rather than U-Haul?

As for liability, there is really no way to escape the issue. You can declare yourself "not responsible", but that can still be tested in court, and a judge may or may not agree that your declaration is valid. Civil law basically says you made a contract when you accepted money for use of your property, and that generally means the renter has a reasonable expectation of a functional and safe item. That leaves the whole thing open to interpretation when something goes wrong, and some people always blame others for any problem they encounter.

Does your state title and register tow dollies? Many do not (mine is one of them). That means somebody can drive off with it and I have no way to prove they stole it.

Electric brakes is a poor choice for a rental, since it requires that the tow vehicle have a tow brake controller installed and the wiring done in a standard manner. Surge breaks (not external controller) is a wiser choice if the dolly will be used with different tow vehicles.
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam-3 View Post
You could consider renting a Tow Dolly from UHaul. This would get your vacation accomplished. Possibly picking up a used one on EBay ect.

I checked into this before we bought our dolly and discovered uhaul wanted $45/day. That adds up fast for a week's vacation!
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:49 AM   #9
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I bought a new American Car Dolly last year for my trip, it was only $400 more to buy than renting from U-Haul for our trip.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:02 AM   #10
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Tow dolly

DONkey- did you buy it used? I just looked at price and it quoted $1495.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:29 PM   #11
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U-Haul has a good 3-day rate, but it gets pricey for extra days after that.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:11 PM   #12
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Tow dolly

No kidding, We need it for 22 days, and just can't seem to justify that cost on a rental. Still debating buying one and then just turning around and selling it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:43 AM   #13
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Did you ever think about renting a dolly just long enough to get you to various places. Let's say you take 3 days to get to point A and stay there for 3 days, then rent another dolly to get you to point B and so on and so forth. You may be able to save some money that way. The other possibility is to carry the Gold Wing and rent a car at your various stops for a couple of days. Remember Enterprise will pick you up.
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