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Old 08-30-2011, 07:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanart View Post

In their online owners manual it says, "If your car uses a locking steering column, we recommend that you leave you keys in the accessory position to allow your wheels to turn freely."

Art
Good news, there's your answer.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by wanart View Post
Hi Mick,

In this case, I think the comparison to towing 4 down does apply. This particular dolly is fixed. The wheels have no steering and the platform does not pivot. In their online owners manual it says, "If your car uses a locking steering column, we recommend that you leave you keys in the accessory position to allow your wheels to turn freely."

Art
Well I have news for them. Most cars that have a locking column are still locked in assessory position.
There is a position inbetween off and run that doen't lock the column and wont run the battry down with anything on.
That is most likely what they ment to say.
This position is there so that is the throttle sticks you can turn the engine off withOUT locking the column.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #17
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The vehicle I towed was a Honda Civic and now I tow a Ford Escape and both tow very easy and are easy to load and unload. THere was one problem towing the Escape and that was I had to get bigger tie down straps as tires are 16" against the 14" on the Honda.
Hi Tom,

We intend to tow our 2011 Escape on a dolly but since the steering wheel is not lockable how do you manage with the swivel tray? Do you tie down the steering wheel?
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #18
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HI,

I don't have a swivel table . The table is stationary but the wheels steer and follow the same track as the motorhome.

After Escape is loaded I tie down the wheels very tightly with the tie down straps but do not tie the steering wheel and find it works quite well. After driving for awhile I stop and retighten the straps or at least make sure they are still tight.

Where are you connecting the safety chains? I found a slot in front of the tires on the chassis rail and that is where I put my chains as there are no hooks under the chassis.

Safe travels and you picked one fine automobuile as we like ours.

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Old 09-24-2011, 07:50 AM   #19
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I towed it once with a rental dolly and I did the same thing you did with the safety chains. The dolly had a swivel table and even with the steering unlock the Escape tracked with no issues. Just after our trip I was mad aware that the steering wheel should had been locked. I wonder if there could a problem with the steering unlocked?
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:21 AM   #20
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We use a "Master Tow" tow dolly and it has the swivel platform. We tow a 2003 Lexus RX300 & we lock the steering wheel when we are towing. We just returned from a 7K trip and had no issues with the tow dolly or while towing the car at all. We always re-check the hold down straps after about the first 20 miles or so, and then as we stop for a break after that.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:19 AM   #21
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The first tow dolly's did not have a swivel platform so you HAD to unlock the front wheels else ruin the front end of the toad.

The advent of the swivel based dolly solved two things, 1. Your can tow without unlocking the auto steering (pivot point), and 2. You can (but not recommended) tow backwards if needed.

If you have a swivel base it is not recommended you also unlock the steering because the double swivel effect can allow your auto to hit the dolly wheel fenders on sharp turns. Or, on some dolly's you can lock the swivel base and then you do not lock the car's steering.

I was manager of a large U-Haul moving center in the era no swivel based units and had to explain to keep the steering unlocked, and have the customer acknowledge that by signature as to now hold U-Haul responsible for the steering system damage resulting from mis-use.

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Old 09-26-2011, 03:07 PM   #22
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My dolly is fairly old and does not swivel. Steering wheel has to be unlocked and the wheels turn as we go around a corner.

I have a car that I regularly take to the track. In that one I removed the locking pin so I don't have to keep the key in it.

I've rented swivel dollies before. I like mine better.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:29 PM   #23
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Original questions on this thread..........

Q. "On the other hand, every other dolly manufacturer has built in either caster steering, or a pivoting bed. There must be a reason for that."

A. The reason is so they can make you pay more for their dolly by adding things that aren't really necessary.

Q. "Is some kind of steering ability on the dolly necessary? If so, why?"

A. The obvious answer is 'No'. The fact that myself and thousands of others have put thousands of miles (myself over 7K) on dollies without steering/pivoting abilities, proves that they are not necessary.
Dollies were around for a long time before anyone added steering or pivoting to them, again proving they aren't necessary.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sequim Guy View Post
Original questions on this thread..........

Q. "On the other hand, every other dolly manufacturer has built in either caster steering, or a pivoting bed. There must be a reason for that."

A. The reason is so they can make you pay more for their dolly by adding things that aren't really necessary.

Q. "Is some kind of steering ability on the dolly necessary? If so, why?"

A. The obvious answer is 'No'. The fact that myself and thousands of others have put thousands of miles (myself over 7K) on dollies without steering/pivoting abilities, proves that they are not necessary.
Dollies were around for a long time before anyone added steering or pivoting to them, again proving they aren't necessary.

my parents have one of the acme ez tow dollies.
i have watched it go around corners...its does not pivot...it actually lets the dolly wheels scrub through the corner and the rear of the car tracks like its pivoting at the hitch ball . with a small amount of steering wheels on the car allowing some "give" think of the whole thing as one trailer and the dolly wheels are sort of ilders...
according to dad...it tows pretty well, just loading it up is hard on them.
it has had lots of quality issues and lights falling off. they made new ramps from 2x12's and ramparts clamps. the plastic ramps included just dont work with the fiesta,

my dad is hard on gear....but the metal work on this thing is marginal
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:29 PM   #25
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Ok for a late entry? The physics of towing 4 down and on a dolly are different. Towed 4 dn for a couple of years , didn't like it and bought a dolly. If you don't have a swivel pan or steerable dolly, all the stain of turning is borne by steering mechanisms of the car. Example, when you turn the mh left, everything behind the ball begins to turn right before it turns left. If you're making driveway or parkinglot turns eventually everything gets drug around. We pulled a tframe dolly around with a swivel pan around For 15 years and it did a good job. You have to keep the steering unlocked in any case.
Bought a steerable aframe dolly couple of years back and am real happy with it. The dolly tires don't get scrubbed or dragged around . Still have to unlock the steering for best results and that's accomplished by leaving key in ignition after turning off engine and running the seat belt thru steering wheel and buckeling it. Hope this information you can use.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #26
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Sequiemguy,

I guess I will have to disagree with you. I have been towing a tow dolly since 1996 and you DO need the steerable dolly rather than scuffing tires.

The tow dolly follows in the rear tire footprint of the motorhome thereby if the motorhome clears it so will the dolly. I have towed my previous car a 1998 Honda Civic to Alaska and home (11,361 miles) and never worried about it, it did whatever I needed it to do and it tracks perfectly behind my RV. I now tow a 2011 Ford Escape and it tows great too.

My particular tow dolly even has a pin in it so that you can maneuver it around such as backing it up (with car off of it of course) into a campsite or if you have to disconnect it you can push it wherever.

So in closing I will state that you definetley need some sort of steering in place preferably a regular steering system and if not then a pivot bed. I prefer the Roadmaster 2000-1 with electric brakes and highly recommend this unit so much so that a friend of mine just bought one and he likes it to. Make sure you put a third wheel on it as it makes it easier to push around.

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:05 PM   #27
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Not sure who you disagreed with. But I agree with you. If you care to, check out Landgreb Dollys at Towtrailers.com . This is an A-frame dolly not the usual T-frame.
No stress points or outriggers. 102 in wide with 82 in ramps & 89 in between the fenders. Had a f-250 on it once for a friend. Surge brakes and light plug on drivers fender. Self locking tilt and loads or unloads in less than 2 min. I'm proud of mine as if you couldn't tell.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:31 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Original questions on this thread..........

Q. "On the other hand, every other dolly manufacturer has built in either caster steering, or a pivoting bed. There must be a reason for that."

A. The reason is so they can make you pay more for their dolly by adding things that aren't really necessary.

Q. "Is some kind of steering ability on the dolly necessary? If so, why?"

A. The obvious answer is 'No'. The fact that myself and thousands of others have put thousands of miles (myself over 7K) on dollies without steering/pivoting abilities, proves that they are not necessary.
Dollies were around for a long time before anyone added steering or pivoting to them, again proving they aren't necessary.
I have to agree with Tom-NC on the steering. Each axle that doesn't steer cuts the corner sharper than the one in front of it. Watch as a motorhome goes around a corner. The rear (non steering axle) cuts the corner sharper than the front (steerable) axle. If you tow with a dolly that has no steering the dolly axle cuts the corner sharper than the rear axle of the motorhome. Then the non steering rear axle of the towed vehicle cuts the corner even sharper.

While you can get around corners with this arrangement it certainly takes more room. The steerable tow dolly axle follows in the path of the rear axle of the motorhome. That's one less axle cutting the corner. We put over 25,000 miles on our Roadmaster (steerable axle) dolly towing a Buick LeSabre. It was nice to be able to count on the dolly following in the tracks of the motorhome.
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