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Old 09-21-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Tow dolly safety

I have just purchased a new Master Tow dolly with the electric brakes to go behind or MH. We will be towing a Ford Escort wagon 2800# my question is, Do I need or should I use a back up form of restrant for the car on the dolly. the dealer says just the safety straps were fine...And if I use a back up any sugestions...

Thanks

Jeff

2003 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager / Workhorse Chassis
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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You definitely need axle chains in addition to straps.

I used a tow dolly for 10 years and had the straps work themselves off a few times.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
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You definitely need axle chains in addition to straps.

I used a tow dolly for 10 years and had the straps work themselves off a few times.
Yep...

I always stopped and checked the tire straps after about 5 miles and gave them another tighten also check them at each stop as you do your usual walk around.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #4
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Yep. In heavy traffic in Portland OR I saw a fellow with a U-Haul truck and dolly trying to get the car back on the dolly. He had had to stop fast and the car came forward off the dolly. He was waiting for a tow truck to get there to pull the car backwards onto the pans.
Our Demco KK-460 has the chains and I use them. As above I stop and check the straps after a few miles as they always loosen up.
However, I'm going to start towing our '05 Ody on all fours again.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:46 AM   #5
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i use a stehl tow dolly, similar to your master tow.
i use the the wheel straps and 2 safety chains that came with my dolly to secure the car to the dolly. i use the 2 tie down hooks on the lower front of the car to attach the chains to.
i check the tightness of the ratchet wheel straps every time i stop.
i leave the transmission of the car in gear.
i installed a dexter electric brake controller in the moho to control the dolly brakes.
i use 2 crossed safety chains for the ball coupler.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:09 PM   #6
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Axle chains

Not to seems dumb but what do you use for axle chains for safety backup. the dealer said they did not sell anything for axle chains. I was thinking of just some chain and a turn buckle. ......


Thanks for any and all help....


Jeff
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:18 PM   #7
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Hi,

I have a Roadmaster tow dolly and it came with safety chains that have to be tied to the frame of the car.

Get a pair of chains, bolt one end to the dolly preferrably near the tires and on the other end put a hook to attach to the frame of the car.

Always check the tie down straps whenever you stop, however make sure you stop after about 10-20 miles after first hooking up to tighten straps.

I do hope you have a controller in the motorhome to control the electric brakes.

Good Luck
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:00 PM   #8
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Hi,

Get a pair of chains, bolt one end to the dolly preferrably near the tires and on the other end put a hook to attach to the frame of the car.
Use a Grade 8 chain and also Grade 8 Bolts. I assume your dolly did come with safety chains to hook to the motorhome.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millred1 View Post
Not to seems dumb but what do you use for axle chains for safety backup. the dealer said they did not sell anything for axle chains. I was thinking of just some chain and a turn buckle. ......


Thanks for any and all help....


Jeff
first, the only ''dumb'' question is the one you do not ask...
imho you need to find a new master tow dealer.
you probably can purchase safety chains and ends from uhaul or an auto parts store.

this safety (secure) chain picture is from the master tow website (options) and is similar to what came with my stehl dolly. the end that attaches to the car has hooks, just like the master tow picture. my chains were quite long. i shortened the chains to accommodate my car by installing grade 8 bolts, washers and nuts from ace hardware.
i don't use the cars ''axle'' to tie the car down. my '02 nissan altima does not have a front axle. i could have drilled larger holes in the sub frame to attach the hooks. instead, i use the 2 tiedown shipping loops that nissan installed on the lower front of the car.
if this isn't enough info, i can take a picture of my dollies safety chain installation tomorrow and post it here.

MASTER TOW INC. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:47 AM   #10
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All good posts. I am not as experienced as many of the previous posters, I have only towed my dolly for the last two years (about 3000 miles) and have not used chains. I am very careful to check and re-check straps. All the posters who use chaines are probably right to do so, I hope I never have to find out that not using them was a bad decision. I tow a Mazda 3, less than 2500lbs, and have surge brakes. Has been a good set up for me so far.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #11
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Bought the chains

Went to a auto parts store today and bought a set of safety chains, Then I went to the local hardware store and bought 2 1/2" eye bolts and bolted them to the dolly. Off tommorow to pick up our toad. Yeas as asked I had a electric brake and 7 pins light conn. I also bought a set of magnetic lights for the back of the toad. 1996 escort wagon. cheap and depedable. also only 2700#. Thanks for the helpfull post. We leave this Thur. For Fl. Via Branson....

Safe trails to all......

Jeff/ Sherri

Heather / Robert our 2 beautiful special needs kids

Sparky, Fozzy, Olly

In a 2003 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager Workhorse

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