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Old 06-25-2018, 09:34 AM   #1
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Leveling with dolly and car attached

I don't think there's a problem here but I seek the combined wisdom of the members.

We dolly tow our toad behind our Class A motor home and we are about to set out on our first long trip. Our first stop is an overnighter in a pull-through site and I don't anticipate a need to drop the toad off the dolly. I currently plan to just pull in, drop the stabilizers and pop out the slides for the night leaving the dolly and toad connected for travel. To check things out I have attached the dolly to the coach with it all set up and it is not lifted enough to cause any concern.

Is this common practice or is there a potential problem I am not aware of?
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:41 AM   #2
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We used to do it all the time. Flat tow, not dolly, but still applies.

Only time I disconnected was in a sloped site where the back end of the RV was going to be raised a lot. That was too much angle for the tow bar.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:01 AM   #3
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You should be fine leaving the dolly connected just don't over do it with the stabilizers. If you find that once you are set and level that a corner of the coach is high enough that a tire is off the ground the retract, disconnect the dolly and re-level. Makes for an easy to remember limit.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:13 AM   #4
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If you are reasonably level I don't see any issues.

For those that are flat towing I suggest you make sure you are not in gear or have you park break on during the time you are leveling. You want the toad wheels to freely roll. As an example, our Spartan Chassis rolls forward a few inches while deflating the air bags and then rolls back the same distance when you inflate them. Add that to the geometry change between the hitch and the tow plate and you could see some odd things happen.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:20 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the quick replies. I did figure that it all depended on how much lift was required for the rear.


Safe travels to all . . .
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbriar View Post
You should be fine leaving the dolly connected just don't over do it with the stabilizers. If you find that once you are set and level that a corner of the coach is high enough that a tire is off the ground the retract, disconnect the dolly and re-level. Makes for an easy to remember limit.
We use a Master Tow dolly, and if the tongue is raised too high the rear of the ramps will bottom. That being said, we level with the tow dolly attached unless it'll raise the tongue of the dolly so high it causes the ramps to bottom. And that's never happened.

I don't think there's really enough weight on the trailer ball to be concerned about as long as the dolly wheels are firmly on the ground.

I have never unhooked the dolly with the car loaded and am not sure that's a good idea. Maybe someone who has will weigh in.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:18 PM   #7
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Dolly towed one year and flat tow now. Iíve pulled in, plugged in, dumped the air bags, hit the auto level, popped the slides out, and popped a top in both scenarios. No problems.
Safe travels!
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:41 PM   #8
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You CAN damage the coupler or ball/drawbar or both if you have to raise the rear end a lot. For me, I choose to pull up, remove the car from the dolly, then unhook the dolly and stand it up on its end (EZ tow dolly) and THEN chock the wheels and hit the auto-level button. I saw somewhere where this came up and someone actually "spread" the coupler pocket so that the trailer would not reliably lock on to the ball. Not that hard to unhook first, I can do this in 60 seconds once vehicle is off the dolly.
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:59 PM   #9
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I have uncoupled my dolly with the car still on it.

I initially used a bottle jack to lift it off the ball and support it, but the DW hit R instead of D, while moving the MH ( yikes ) and knocked it off the jack.

When hooking it back up I found that the tongue weight was only 40 or 50 lbs.
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:58 PM   #10
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I have uncoupled my dolly with the car still on it.

I initially used a bottle jack to lift it off the ball and support it, but the DW hit R instead of D, while moving the MH ( yikes ) and knocked it off the jack.

When hooking it back up I found that the tongue weight was only 40 or 50 lbs.
Thank you, Sir. I've wondered if it'd be safe. I could just see the hitch suddenly flying up and hitting me in the chin or something.
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:19 PM   #11
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Thank you, Sir. I've wondered if it'd be safe. I could just see the hitch suddenly flying up and hitting me in the chin or something.
I though the same thing so I snugged up the safety chain before uncoulping. I ducked so it wouldn'tt hit my chin.
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:27 PM   #12
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We've been on a few sites where the front end of the coach was high, meaning the levelers will raise the back a lot. I've seen our flat-tow tow bar at a sharp angle, so a dolly could be really stressed and the ramps could bottom out. Probably fairly rare, but nonetheless something to be on the alert for. With a 40 foot coach, it isn't always obvious that there is a 20-24" height difference from front to rear, but it becomes obvious as the tow bar or dolly tilts up.
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:22 AM   #13
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I have towed a Demco for 10 years and do not worry about un hooking the dolly. If you have the proper drop hitch as recommended for your dolly you will not have any problems. For proper operation the tongue has a recommended height. You use a drop hitch [mine is 4in] to achieve this.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I have towed a Demco for 10 years and do not worry about un hooking the dolly. If you have the proper drop hitch as recommended for your dolly you will not have any problems. For proper operation the tongue has a recommended height. You use a drop hitch [mine is 4in] to achieve this.
Yep, have the 4" drop hitch and a Master Tow dolly. We currently have the coach at home on level ground with the levelers extended. I hooked up the dolly and it's only a couple of inches higher than level at the hitch and the ramps are still about three inches off the ground.

Quote:
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I have uncoupled my dolly with the car still on it. . . When hooking it back up I found that the tongue weight was only 40 or 50 lbs.
That's nice to know if we end up with a pull-through site with the front high.

Thanks again all for the great input.
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