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Old 02-14-2020, 12:29 PM   #99
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No Longer Dolly Tow

Years back towed my wife's Solara Conv. on a dolly and later my Explorer. The bottom line - I got tired of the hookup and unhook process. Now tow with a Blue Ox system and RVI Brake. A bit more expensive, but much worth it in ease of hook up and unhook.


I am flat towing my 2011 front wheel drive Explorer which has about 175,000 miles. The only downside is the limited number of replacement vehicles that can be flat towed.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:31 PM   #100
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We have been looking for a dolly for some time now and one of the things I did was check Craigslist for "Car Dolly" and "Tow Dolly". What I found, other than units for sale by retail stores and manufacturers, was that there are a great number of dollies for sale, but hardly any "American Car Dolly", "Tow Smart Tow Dolly" or "Acme Tow Dolly" units for sale in the Phoenix metro area.

There are a ton of "Master" and "Stehl" units as well as "Demco", but hardly anything else. I don't know if that means that those with American, Tow Smart and Acme continue to be happy with their units and don't want to sell them or that they sell so few that there are not many for resale.

The prices for used units are about half of what the new units may be but given the number of them for sale I would suspect that selling a used unit may be difficult. Certainly if I had found any "American" or Tow Smart" dollies for sale at reasonable prices I would have bought one instead of ordering a new one.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:54 PM   #101
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Acme !

I’ve had Demcos .
I once bought a used Acme and returned it and got money back. PO misrepresented the condition.
Finally just drove to factory for pickup. The factory is an historic tobacco barn .
The town has several historic sites.
We went to a house museum which we enjoyed immensely.
Imho the Acme is the only way to go . Fat tires, disc brakes, a 12 year old can assemble it . There was no extra charge for pickup. I hauled a 2000 Buick Le Sabre . Sold car and dolly to a couple we met at Amazon Camperforce. Last i heard they still had both on the rode . They towed with a class C. I towed with a 28ft class A.
Travel the 8 hours, its a fun drive right ? You wanna be an rver right ? Make it a fun two day trip . Pickup on Saturday morn . Assemble it there. With your grand kids. Stay in town and enjoy some history.
Or just stay home and whine , lol .
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:39 PM   #102
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerner...North_Carolina
We went to Korners Folly, most interesting. Amiable staff.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:06 PM   #103
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[QUOTE=AJMike;5147880]We have been looking for a dolly for some time now and one of the things I did was check Craigslist for "Car Dolly" and "Tow Dolly". What I found, other than units for sale by retail stores and manufacturers, was that there are a great number of dollies for sale, but hardly any "American Car Dolly", "Tow Smart Tow Dolly" or "Acme Tow Dolly" units for sale in the Phoenix metro area.

There are a ton of "Master" and "Stehl" units as well as "Demco", but hardly anything else. I don't know if that means that those with American, Tow Smart and Acme continue to be happy with their units and don't want to sell them or that they sell so few that there are not many for resale.

The prices for used units are about half of what the new units may be but given the number of them for sale I would suspect that selling a used unit may be difficult. Certainly if I had found any "American" or Tow Smart" dollies for sale at reasonable prices I would have bought one instead of ordering a new one.[/QUOTE

I agree that used is generally cheaper . But make sure to get hands on inspection of bearings , seals , brakes, coupler etc . You dont want to buy something all worn out. You want a spare and new or very good tires. Dont ask why. If previous owners dont let you test it with car on it , walk away.
The used one i bought for 1000 had badly worn pads and rotors but were so rusty it went down road like new . ( and my vision nearsighted is much to be desired) head bang! A couple hundred miles and i could feel something grinding. Holy crap!
Called guy back and demanded my money back in a nice tone of voice. He said return it and left an evelope in the yard with an extra 100$ for my troubles with apology note.
You done hear those kind of stories often huh?
I guess the last time it was used was loanedout to someone who was less than honest when returning it.
Over the years i learned never to loan out my trailers w/o hefty deposit or signed snd witnessed contract . Too mant horror stories to tell as they never comeback in better shape than they left . Guaranteed! Never! Always a smashed tail light or lost ramp or bent hitch or dragged harness. One time wheel missing , spindle n all gone. I said fix it or buy it! He bought it, a three wheel trailer. Found out from someone he jack knifed it loadedin aditch.
Im too old for that crap any more. When someone asks i say just buy itoff me. When you’re done ill buy it back maybe lol.
I have guys write acheck and they can have check back if no damage. If damaged I charge accordingly usually double yhe cost of repair. Or tell em to go to uhaul if they have a problem with that.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:27 PM   #104
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A dolly question.

All of the dollies I have looked at have turn signals and brake lights, and I am pretty sure those are required by law. My question is whether or not most dolly users just use those lights or add extra lights at the back of the car to make sure others see the stop and brake lights.

I know there are magnetic light kits available just for that but I don't know if they are actually needed or worth getting. It does seem that magnetic lights will damage the car they are put on, but am not sure if they are worth the trouble if not required by law.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:03 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
A dolly question.

All of the dollies I have looked at have turn signals and brake lights, and I am pretty sure those are required by law. My question is whether or not most dolly users just use those lights or add extra lights at the back of the car to make sure others see the stop and brake lights.

I know there are magnetic light kits available just for that but I don't know if they are actually needed or worth getting. It does seem that magnetic lights will damage the car they are put on, but am not sure if they are worth the trouble if not required by law.
The ACME does have brake and turn signal LEDs that work fine. That said, they are not at the rear of the car, but, IMO, they should be easily seen.

I did buy the mag lights from Harbor Freight for ~$40 and wired in another socket on the dolly to plug them into. So now I have both. We rarely drive at nigh but I believe the mag lights help in the rain/snow. The mag lights have a felt bottom and the magnet is quite strong.

I know some people wire the car so the rear lights work - I was lazy and didn't do that.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:40 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
A dolly question.

All of the dollies I have looked at have turn signals and brake lights, and I am pretty sure those are required by law. My question is whether or not most dolly users just use those lights or add extra lights at the back of the car to make sure others see the stop and brake lights.

I know there are magnetic light kits available just for that but I don't know if they are actually needed or worth getting. It does seem that magnetic lights will damage the car they are put on, but am not sure if they are worth the trouble if not required by law.
I use the extra lights with an Acme but I use a bungee cord to attach each one to the back of the rear headrests inside. No paint damage, no worry about them coming loose, etc.

Why? A lot higher and further back than the ones on the dolly. If they ever keep someone from hitting the car they're worth the time and effort.

One issue is you need to somehow secure the wiring or the wires hitting the car will scuff the paint. I had that happen on my 90-minute first use.

Ray
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:17 PM   #107
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The Acme tow dolly I just sold a week ago (2016 model) had the wiring harness setup from the factory to drive the dolly lights and had a harness for the car on the dolly as well. My local RV dealer setup my Nissan Rogue to use that harness for the rear lights for about $300.

On my Expedition I installed the harness myself for under $100 in parts.

- Richard
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:08 PM   #108
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<snip>
One issue is you need to somehow secure the wiring or the wires hitting the car will scuff the paint. I had that happen on my 90-minute first use.

Ray

I use blue painters tape to hold the wires in place.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:51 PM   #109
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My tow dolly wiring harness has a 4 flat pigtail attached to the 7 pin connector to power the LED lights attached to the rear hatch of my toad with double-sided sticky tape. I bought the lights, a roll of 4 flat trailer wire and connectors for both ends from Walmart. One end of the 4 flat wire with a connector for the tow dolly pigtail terminates behind the grill of the toad.
The long length of wire is zip-tied under the car from front to rear and the other end connects to the LEDs below the rear window. They give the toad taillights, brakelights, turn signals and emergency flashers without modifying any toad wiring.
My American Car Dolly came with typical trailer lights. One 1157 bulb in each fixture with one filament for taillights and another filament for brake, turn signal and emergency flashers.
I was concerned about the toad and dolly getting T-boned at night because there were no lights visible from the side of the car or dolly. I was cruising through Tractor Supply one day and saw a pair of trailer lights with an additional red light on the side of each fixture. I bought them and installed them on the tow dolly. Much better!
I did some research online and discovered that trailers wider than 80 inches are required to have light(s) on each side. I believe it is a federal regulation for trailers and I know there are differences in opinion on whether or not tow dollies need to follow regulations that mention trailers but don't specifically mention tow dollies.
I don't care. All I care about is that the probability of someone wrecking my toad is reduced.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:16 PM   #110
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That is pretty scary. Did you end up getting at least most of your money back? And did you think about challenging the charge on your credit card?
Yes, I got back all but the “bank fee” they kept. I did thing about challenging the charge but never did.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:57 PM   #111
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My tow dolly wiring harness has a 4 flat pigtail attached to the 7 pin connector to power the LED lights attached to the rear hatch of my toad with double-sided sticky tape. I bought the lights, a roll of 4 flat trailer wire and connectors for both ends from Walmart. One end of the 4 flat wire with a connector for the tow dolly pigtail terminates behind the grill of the toad.
The long length of wire is zip-tied under the car from front to rear and the other end connects to the LEDs below the rear window. They give the toad taillights, brakelights, turn signals and emergency flashers without modifying any toad wiring.
My American Car Dolly came with typical trailer lights. One 1157 bulb in each fixture with one filament for taillights and another filament for brake, turn signal and emergency flashers.
I was concerned about the toad and dolly getting T-boned at night because there were no lights visible from the side of the car or dolly. I was cruising through Tractor Supply one day and saw a pair of trailer lights with an additional red light on the side of each fixture. I bought them and installed them on the tow dolly. Much better!
I did some research online and discovered that trailers wider than 80 inches are required to have light(s) on each side. I believe it is a federal regulation for trailers and I know there are differences in opinion on whether or not tow dollies need to follow regulations that mention trailers but don't specifically mention tow dollies.
I don't care. All I care about is that the probability of someone wrecking my toad is reduced.
Here's what I am thinking of replacing the lights on the back of my toad with using the existing wiring.
6-Functions 60'' Triple Row LED Tailgate Reverse Brake Signal Light Bar Strip Truck IP68 Waterproof 12V

http://www.walmart.com/ip/6-Function...-12V/945466957
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Old Yesterday, 05:50 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
A dolly question.

All of the dollies I have looked at have turn signals and brake lights, and I am pretty sure those are required by law. My question is whether or not most dolly users just use those lights or add extra lights at the back of the car to make sure others see the stop and brake lights.

I know there are magnetic light kits available just for that but I don't know if they are actually needed or worth getting. It does seem that magnetic lights will damage the car they are put on, but am not sure if they are worth the trouble if not required by law.
I carry an extra set of magnetic lights with a splitter at the electric connection. But I've only used them 2 x in 6 years- and then briefly- and only because I had a blown light bulb on the American and didn't have a spare ot could not change it at the moment. I really don't like the magnetics as the flopping power wire and magnetic attachments really don't do the paint job any good on the car. And I've always worried about them coming loose in the wind. I only carry them as a "spare" light set up and is more excess weight than I really need to be hauling I guess.

The lights on my American have an exposed side light to help warn others
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