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Old 08-06-2015, 09:02 AM   #1
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Tow Dolly Strap Troubles

Towing a 2003 Hyundai Sante Fe on the dolly. I find that the straps come off the tyre when towing. I have towed with Dollys many times over my life and have never had this trouble. I have tried straps with a single clip on the back and with double clips. Both single "over the tyre" (the side to side strap) double and single. The only thing that makes me suspicious is the the steering wheel does not lock in the center position on this car. I find that it does lock about half a turn one way or the other making the tyres slightly crooked. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:23 AM   #2
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The best advice I received from a veteran dolly user was to put the car in neutral after the car is loaded and snug up the last few clicks on the straps. Then put it in park to hold it. This has served me well over 30-40k miles of towing. If the straps are coming loose, there is a reason. Either they were never tight in the first place. Or something has failed. I have learned to check to be sure that the strap hook is seated correctly when put on. I also believe that you can over tension the ratchet mechanism. Just my $ 0.02.


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Old 08-06-2015, 07:36 PM   #3
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Reason # I long since lost count to tow 4 Down
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:43 PM   #4
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Reason # I long since lost count to tow 4 Down
Don't dolly tow? Don't comment!
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Are you using a swivel plate or steering dolly? If not, you want to leave the steering unlocked.


Another point about some swivel plate dolly's, during sharp turns you can run the swivel plate to it's limit. With the steering locked, the straps could take a lot of strain. On a light car the dolly wheels will skid sideways, but a Sante Fe is a heavier car.


You sound like you have experience strapping tires but just a reminder to make sure you have at least 1 wrap on the winch drum, before the straps start tightening.


I tow a Kia Soul and during an episode in a crowded gas station, I turned too sharp and broke the steering lock pin. I never fixed it and it tows fine without it.
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:21 PM   #6
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Knowing more about your dolly type and straps would be very helpful.
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:21 PM   #7
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Every time I load I tighten as tight as the system lets me. I pull out taking a couple of corners and look for a place where I can do a couple of turns and safely stop and check tightness. I always get a ratchet click or two on each side. We stop every 1-2 hours depending on where the convenient places are to stop. I get out and walk around the setup checking tire temps, hub temps and strap tightness. I often get another click on the first run around. That leaves me thinking that the strap weave and vehicle position have enough wiggle room settling in to make that necessary. Anybody who does not do it is asking for trouble.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:49 AM   #8
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I appreciate all of the advice. Yesterday I bungee'd the steering wheel as if it were locked in the straight ahead position and it was better but still not 100%. I am using a swivel dolly and have NOT thought of the turn sharp and see how it is idea. According to the manufacturer you cannon overtighten the straps so they have always been initially tightened to the max. I will try putting it in neutral till I get it tightened up.

I think there is something fundamentally wrong with my setup/tow vehicle set up. I have towed on dolly's many times under many different circumstances and never had any trouble whatsoever. I will try a couple of these ideas and report back. Thanks again
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:56 AM   #9
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It's not a 4X4 Sante Fe, right?
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:56 AM   #10
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Every time I load I tighten as tight as the system lets me. I pull out taking a couple of corners and look for a place where I can do a couple of turns and safely stop and check tightness. I always get a ratchet click or two on each side. We stop every 1-2 hours depending on where the convenient places are to stop. I get out and walk around the setup checking tire temps, hub temps and strap tightness. I often get another click on the first run around. That leaves me thinking that the strap weave and vehicle position have enough wiggle room settling in to make that necessary. Anybody who does not do it is asking for trouble.
This is good practice. After I load up and strap down I will stop after about 10-15 miles and tighten straps. They almost always need it. Then again after a couple of hours driving. They do not always need it then. However, in rain they get looser so it's important to tighten more often.

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Old 08-07-2015, 08:10 AM   #11
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However, in rain they get looser so it's important to tighten more often.
Don

If rain makes straps stretch a bit, does anybody soak their straps before installing them?
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:50 AM   #12
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If rain makes straps stretch a bit, does anybody soak their straps before installing them?
Might not hurt but if they start out wet and tight, then dry out on the road they will draw up so tight they will be hard to release from the ratchet. Been there.

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Old 08-08-2015, 06:44 PM   #13
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Might not hurt but if they start out wet and tight, then dry out on the road they will draw up so tight they will be hard to release from the ratchet. Been there.

Don
Dang, is there a, "best way"? I have the dolly, have never used it (yet) with two sets of straps...and this thread is making me want to get a flat-bed trailer
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:53 PM   #14
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When I had a dolly. I put car tires at rear of tire plate before starting to ratchet down the straps. Then tighten straps down. This solved the straps coming loose after driving awhile problem. My dolly was a Demco.
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