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Old 11-03-2014, 10:17 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Several questions about the dollys:

A. There are several Stehl dollys for sale in the area. Are they good, bad or ugly?

B. What about swivel? Why would it be needed, and what swivels? Do they come with or w/o the swivel feature?

C. Do they come with or without brakes?

D. If electric brakes, how do they get wired into the coach's braking system, and is there a controller, similar to what our pickup trucks have?
Stehl dollies are simple and affordable. Stehl has a low price because they are painted vs. powder coat or galvanized, they have a lower weight capability than other dollies and have equipment omitted (optional) so, if buying used the options might not have been ordered, like brakes.
See: Home

A "swivel" (often called a pivot pan) is a frame that rides on a king pin in the center of the dolly. The frame holds the car connected to the car's front wheels. This swivel frame pivots to allow the dolly to negotiate turns. Stehl uses the swivel design.

Stehl dolly's would come with electric brakes - if optioned. Electric brakes engage using 12VDC power sent from a brake controller in the RV's cab along the frame to the bumper plug at the hitch. Most common in Towable RV's.
See: http://stehltow.com/pdfs/Brakes.pdf

Electric brakes work, but notice that there is a BIG difference in braking power needed from loaded to unloaded - so unlike surge brakes used on dollies like Demco and Acme, the electric brakes will require adjustment from loaded to unloaded to prevent lock-ups/tire damage from skidding.

If unlocking the steering of the Lexus (or OP's Camry) is a problem, then a swivel (pivot pan) or steering axle dolly is probably a better buy than a fixed frame type dolly for you.

Best luck
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:03 AM   #30
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I have a Stehl dolly with surge disk brakes. Use it fulltime. About 7000 miles so far, no problems with dolly. I did make some real sharp turns, towing my KIA Soul. Broke the steering lock pin, dont lock anymore.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:10 AM   #31
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We are on our second Demco Tow Dolly, we let our first go when we sold our old coach. They are well built and rugged. Never a problem. The newest one has a folding tongue to make it easier to store. I recommend them highly. PPL drop shipped our new one to our home in a crate. (Some assembly required.)

The Kar Kaddy 3
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:12 AM   #32
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Here is the one with the folding tongue.

PS. The ramps fold up also.

Tow Dollies - Kar Kaddy SS
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:15 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
I have a Stehl dolly with surge disk brakes. Use it fulltime. About 7000 miles so far, no problems with dolly. I did make some real sharp turns, towing my KIA Soul. Broke the steering lock pin, dont lock anymore.

Didn't know surge discs were an option for Stehl.
It is not cheap if optioned, see: Hydraulic Surge Disc Brake Kit

But having surge discs on our dolly, I would say it is well worth it
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:54 PM   #34
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Quote:
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. I did make some real sharp turns, towing my KIA Soul. Broke the steering lock pin, dont lock anymore.

What year is your Soul? My 2013 6 speed Base does not lock. I went on the KIA forum and it was a mixed bag, some said they locked, some said no. They have electric assisted steering so they are very hard to turn setting still with the key off, but easy when rolling. First time I towed I left it on acc, then explored further and found it was not locking (let it roll down my sloped driveway steered good). Bit of a mystery.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:28 PM   #35
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I bought an ACME EZE Tow as well. My car is a 2008 Malibu and you can flat tow it. I went back and forth between flat towing and the dolly. However, if I flat towed the car, the front radiator baffles need to be cut for the tow bar along with part of the grill. This is not acceptable to me. Additionally, there is a 65 mph speed limit when towing and the car needs to be run each morning prior to towing, etc.

The dolly is a bit more work to get ready to go and loading or unloading the car in the rain in mud is simply not fun. I have thought a few times maybe I should have flat towed because of this. However, after 3,000 miles so far my car is still in showroom condition and there is no wear and tear on my drive train.

As for the ACME EZE Tow, I did have an issue with the straps rubbing on my strut assembly. I called ACME and sent them some photos. I received a call back from Richard a couple of hours later (note that I called when they were still taking off their coats in the morning ) to discuss the issue. Not too many products that you can buy where the owner of the company calls you up to discuss how to correct the problem you are having.

I also looked at other dollies prior to purchase of the ACME EZE Tow. The Kar Kaddy SS was top on the list, primarily because it was galvanized. I looked at many used dollies on Craig's List. Most were Tow Master or Stehl. All were heavily rusted.

I am very happy with the ACME EZE Tow dolly. It is simple, well made and easy to use and move around. In the campgrounds where a dolly can't be kept on your site, I have a small hitch on the Malibu and I simply hook up the dolly and move it to where the campground wants it stored. Takes two sections to drop on the car and tow it away.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:40 PM   #36
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WOW, so many great answers to my question. Thank you so much. I also see many, many Stihi dollys on Craigslist that scares me a little. Why is everyone selling them? I still have to check our car to see if it locks but my wife has it at the airport. One more question if car is front wheel drive and on a dolly no added mileage on the car, right?
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:43 PM   #37
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Only the rear wheels.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:45 PM   #38
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I meant on the odometer
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #39
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Have used dolly, trailer and 4 DOWN
4 Down beats the others hands down/

HOWEVER: not all vehicles can be towed 4 down, some can be modified for 4-down towing, some can not, some can not even be towed 2 down (dolly towed) and some need special actions even if you trailer them.

So you need to know the car you will tow before you decide how.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:54 PM   #40
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Quote:
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WOW, so many great answers to my question. Thank you so much. I also see many, many Stihi dollys on Craigslist that scares me a little. Why is everyone selling them? I still have to check our car to see if it locks but my wife has it at the airport. One more question if car is front wheel drive and on a dolly no added mileage on the car, right?
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I meant on the odometer
That is correct, the front wheel drive system is totally insulated from any wear while moving on a dolly...and the front of your car is up-high away from rock strikes too

Dollies end up in the classifieds/Craigslist for many reasons - like the folks here who have posted here about buying a car that can be flat towed and invest the $$ to do so. We bought our EZE-tow second hand because the owners "right-sized" to a Class C that couldn't tow their car. They just take bikes and drive the Class C around.

It is noteworthy that the dollies are still operational after these folks have used them...still going strong. So, if you don't want to buy a car "just" so you can flat tow, a dolly is great

Safe travels
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:56 PM   #41
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I meant on the odometer
No, there will be no added miles.

One thing you will find is that the car smells like burning rubber when you take it off the dolly and drive it. I didn't know this at first and pulled over thinking there was something wrong. I have since learned the car picks up small bits of rubber from the road from other cars tires when towing, and because the exhaust is cold it just sits there where normally it burns off in such small amount you never notice. However, after towing for miles and then starting the car it all burns off at once and you will smell it.

Only letting you know so you aren't alarmed as I was.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:21 PM   #42
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No, there will be no added miles.



One thing you will find is that the car smells like burning rubber when you take it off the dolly and drive it. I didn't know this at first and pulled over thinking there was something wrong. I have since learned the car picks up small bits of rubber from the road from other cars tires when towing, and because the exhaust is cold it just sits there where normally it burns off in such small amount you never notice. However, after towing for miles and then starting the car it all burns off at once and you will smell it.



Only letting you know so you aren't alarmed as I was.

Good to know, thanks
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