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Old 07-19-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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Towing backwards with Car dolly

this is probably a dumb question, but can you tow a rear wheel drive car backwards on a car dolly(ie. rear wheels up and front wheels on the ground)?

Tom
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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Sure, but no dolly manufacturer endorses it. The steering geometry is set for the vehicle to go forward, not backward at high speeds. You will have to tie the steering wheel so the wheels don't steer.
I would never do it but some do.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:32 PM   #3
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Better do quite of bit of research on this one before you proceed. My opinion is that with today's auto, unless it is recommended by the mfg, I wouldn't do it. Too much pain if you're wrong!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:03 PM   #4
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Suggest you don't try it. Cars are not designed to tow that way for any distance. As others have stated, it is not recommended by any dolly mfg.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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Some don'ts for towing...
  • Do not allow anyone to ride in a towed vehicle.
  • Do not use the towed vehicle to carry cargo.
  • Do not back up when towing.
  • Do not tow a vehicle backwards.
Have a great day!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:45 PM   #6
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Used to tow a small pickup backwards on a tow dolly. Not a pleasant experience. It can be be done, but the weight is behind the pivoting dolly making the dolly tend to wander. It was difficult to handle. Have since put FWD car on the dolly. Don't even know it is back there.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #7
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The old tow truck drivers knew how to tie the steering wheel to the wing window and keep the car straight. Oh, no more wing windows. Just get a auto trailer.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:16 PM   #8
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Just turn the key off. Don't that lock the steering wheel?
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a k View Post
Just turn the key off. Don't that lock the steering wheel?
Not always in a straight position, some are locked offset.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:30 PM   #10
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Our 98 Tracker required that it be backwards on the dolly. I tied off the steering wheel to the seat framing and it worked fine. It gave the front wheels a little flex without too much freedom. The steering lock is not designed for that much torque and often locks the wheels off center. I only towed it that way a couple times. Much better to tow 4 down.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:32 PM   #11
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The problem is that for a stable tow, the front end geometry is not correct for it to be towed backwards. The toe, caster and camber are all set for the vehicle to be stable when moving in the forward direction. Backwards, it will basically not be stable.

As for locking the steering wheel, leave it unlocked and tie it off in a straight position with a heavy cord. If the wheel tries to jerk back and forth, it will damage tthe locking pin and you may wind up with a jammed steering lock. If it is unlocked, the vehicle can wander back and forth.

ken
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:18 AM   #12
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Towed a station wagon backwards for about 50 mile due to an emgerency once. Never again
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:36 AM   #13
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Found this thread on an unrelated search so I'm not intentionally bringing back such an old message but some of the replies are just silly. I've used a tow dolly to haul RWD cars with the back in the air dozens of times with no issues, many of those for a 1,000 miles between DC and Florida. As long as you tie off the steering wheel to the seat frame in two spots, you are fine.

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Old 01-23-2015, 09:13 AM   #14
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Hi pip8688,
Towed a car(s) backward for about 10 years. Never had a problem.
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