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Old 08-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
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Towing a car

I browed a Tow Master from a friend of mine.

I was towing my 09, Ford Escape. When I did a sharp turn I heard a loud clunk. Looking at the swivel base on the tow it looked like I turned too sharp and it binded and caused the noise.

My question is should I tow my Escape with the steering wheel unlocked?

I was towing with it locked.

I asked my friend and he didnt know either.

Larry
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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You MUST tow with the steering UNLOCKED!!
I would strongly recommend you not drive the car until you've had the steering inspected. It's very possible you've broken something.
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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Holly sh!! Yes always there is no way to turn to sharp in a MH and never ever back up.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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I am assuming the Tow Master is a tow dolly. When towing a vehicle on a dolly you should drive the vehicle to be towed onto the tow dolly until the front wheels rest against the stops on the front of the dolly. Make sure the steering wheel is straight ahead and locked. Do not set the parking brake.

Perhaps with the type of dolly you were using the turning radius was a little to much. I doubt that it hurt your car.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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Yes, the Tow Master is a tow dolly. I know if you tow 4 wheels on the ground you must unlock the steering.

This is a tow dolly that I drive the front wheels onto and strap down. Do I still need to unlock the steering?

Larry
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:57 PM   #6
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You're okay! The noise could have been a tire strap popping or most likely it was the turn table moving and possibly binding. Do lock the steering wheel, place the transmission in park and do not set the park brake.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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Sorry my bad I was thinking or not thinking tow bar, not tow dolly.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:45 AM   #8
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The technique differs with the type of dolly. Some have movable turn tables that the front wheels rest on - I don't think you need to leave the steering unlocked with that type. Others have a fix plate for the front wheels - on those the steering should be unlocked.

Is the brand "Master Tow" rather than "Tow Master"? Does your friend have manual for it, telling you how to use it?
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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I may have the name backwards. He bought it used and no manual.

However you bring up a good point. I could check to see if the manual is online


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Old 08-22-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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And contact the Master Tow people for advice.

MASTER TOW INC. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :

Link to manual for Master Tow dolly:
http://www.mastertow.com/pdf/manual.pdf
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:22 PM   #11
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HI,

I have been towing using a Roadmaster Tow dolly with steerable wheels for better than 8 years and the steering wheel on the car should be locked.

The noise you heard was probably the moveable bed moved to far to one side. Check the bolts on the moveable plate.

I now tow a 2011 Ford Escape on my dolly and those wheels are not lockable so I have to make sure the straps are very tight and check them often as I go down the road. Once the wheels are in their correct position they should NOT turn.

Hope this answers tour question, lock the steering wheel on the car and leave the foot brake OFF.

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Old 08-30-2011, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom-NC View Post
HI,

I have been towing using a Roadmaster Tow dolly with steerable wheels for better than 8 years and the steering wheel on the car should be locked.

The noise you heard was probably the moveable bed moved to far to one side. Check the bolts on the moveable plate.

I now tow a 2011 Ford Escape on my dolly and those wheels are not lockable so I have to make sure the straps are very tight and check them often as I go down the road. Once the wheels are in their correct position they should NOT turn.

Hope this answers tour question, lock the steering wheel on the car and leave the foot brake OFF.

Tom, just courious, I'm getting ready to set up my 2012 Escape for towing, what made you decide on a dolly as opposed to flat towing?
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:46 PM   #13
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Hi,

I decided to use the tow dolly because I had it and had towed a Honda Civic. All I had to do was get bigger tie down straps.

If I was to tow four down I would have to buy everything such as tow bar, car brackets and a brake controller. I also read that some Escapes were having trouble with Tranny.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:04 PM   #14
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I have towed both 4-down and dolly and trailer.. I agree with the better guesses above as to the source of the noise.

One suggestion.. Since you bought the dolly used, no manual.. Check the roadmaster site to see if the manual can be downloaded.. Download is often better than paper (harder to misplace don't you know)

On, and after you download... If you do not already, back up your hard drive.

(I do mine from time to time)
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