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Old 04-15-2022, 03:59 PM   #1
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Choosing a Tow Dolly

I've been shopping dollies for the past week. Pretty sure I've seen everything out there. Here is what I've learned:

It will be no surprise to anybody that prices are up sharply since I was shopping three years ago. I'm guessing nearly 50%.

After eliminating the junk, I found 11 models to consider. Including tax and shipping, the prices ranged from $2100 to $5500

What type of brakes? You can get surge-disc brakes, or surge-drum brakes, or electric-drum brake. But, I have not found anything with electric-disc brakes. Disc brakes are simpler, more effective, and require less maintenance. But, if you want them, they only come with a surge actuator.

There are three types of steering mechanisms:
1. fixed deck. The steering wheel of the toad is left unlocked so the wheels can turn. Least expensive.
2. pivot deck. The steering wheel of the toad is immobilized. The front wheels of the toad sit on a deck that pivots through turns. Most common.
3. dolly wheels steer. Like a grain wagon, the wheels of the dolly turn to follow the hitch. Easiest on the tires, but most expensive.

Painted or galvanized? Galvanized is much more expensive.
There are no aluminum dollies.

Assembled or unassembled? If you don't mind lugging a 500 lb axle in your garage, you can have a tow dolly shipped to your home and you can assemble it yourself. That will save you over $1000 compared to picking it up at a terminal.

For me, the Demco Kar Kaddy SS was the clear winner if price is no object.
Sadly, price does matter, so I will have to skip galvanized, wheels that steer, and the folding tongue/ramps.

The Kar Kaddy X has everything else that I want:
low profile, LED taillights, easy tilt-latch mechanism, good quality ratchets, plastic fenders, big radial tires, quality construction, and yes, surge-disc brakes.

I may be back here in a year to tell you all why I hate it, but for now, I'm giving it a go.
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Old 04-15-2022, 04:29 PM   #2
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I found a one yearold Kar Kaddy SS gently used.

It's nice to have the folding tongue, the disc brakes work as advertised and the LED lights don't cause problems and, other than some lubrication here and there, it's maintenance free(ish).

All your points are valid; I think it's the best one out there. Close one eye and buy it...

Or search some forums/boards and maybe a used one will pop up. Good luck...
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Old 04-15-2022, 07:12 PM   #3
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After dealing with electric drum, I'd suggest surge disc. I have a master tow dolly and it's fine for my needs.
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Old 04-15-2022, 07:31 PM   #4
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I recently bought a Cartowdolly (that's the name) on Craigslist. It looked like new but the guy said he did use it twice. Came with a spare tire, extra tow straps, spare hubs, and spare brake pads all for $1,500. The guy had other people lined up but I was first with the cash. Stole that sucker!
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Old 04-15-2022, 07:36 PM   #5
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I found a like new Master Tow dolly with drum surge brakes .We have done summer trips to Colorado and winter trips to Florida..have always found campsites are happy to store it if it cant be left on the rig.A fellow camper stated the drum brakes are better protected from the salt air and are a better choice over discs for that type of environment..Whatever you choose it will serve you well...Very happy with the set up.
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Old 04-15-2022, 07:44 PM   #6
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Wow. Didnít know they were worth that much. Iíve been stumbling over one in my sisterís rv building (she sold rv) for a long time. I maybe ought to shine that thing up and peddle it off to someone. Lol.
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Old 04-16-2022, 06:48 AM   #7
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Yesterday, I placed my order at ETrailer.com
For the Kar Kaddy X, in a box, shipped to my home, I had to pay $3251.
That includes VA sales tax and a discount code that I found on the Internet.

When it arrives, I'll need a second person to help with the assembly.

Like most things these days, there is a shortage of product. It won't ship from ETrailer for a week or so. So, I still have time to cancel if I find a better alternative.

[Mod edit]

The only other dolly I've seen with disc brakes is an EZ-Haul from USA Trailer Sales in SC, but I don't have a lot of confidence in those guys.
BTW, they buy the brakes from Demco.

If anybody wants to see my spreadsheet of all tow dollies, I'm happy to share it. Just PM me.
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Old 04-17-2022, 04:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for offering to share your dolly info. PM coming.
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Old 07-20-2022, 03:29 PM   #9
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I'm just getting into the MH and towing a Toad but I had a Camco Kar Kaddy SS lighly use giving to me, it's a not brainer I also was thinking about flat towing but that would have been a little more money maybe one day in the future but since the KK was giving to me I want worry about it.
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Old 07-20-2022, 03:44 PM   #10
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8 years with a StehlTow dolly. Came with surge disk brakes, turntable for cornering, LED lights and 14 inch tires.

I have over 40,000 miles on it and have replaced 1 set of brake pads and one set of standard ST 205 14R tires.
It's getting near time to replace the straps.

Towed a Kia Soul, a Jeep Renegade, and now a Honda Ridgeline 4 door pickup.

Nothing wrong with surge brakes, UHaul uses them on all trailers.
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Old 07-21-2022, 02:20 AM   #11
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I notice that not too many people are using tow dolly but I figure that since I am new with my MH and using a tow dolly is a little cheaper and since you can fold the tongue and the ramp I can just fold it up and tuck it under the back of my MH.
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Old 07-21-2022, 03:47 AM   #12
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For me, surge brakes will always be better than electric brakes. No problems with wiring corrosion, loose or broken wires, controller that needs wiring and installing.

And they just plain work! Progressively also, I might add. So the harder you stop, the harder they work.
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Old 07-21-2022, 06:34 AM   #13
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I would definitely be looking at an American Car Dolly. https://americandolly.com/ Really well built. We've towed ours with 7 different vehicles over the past 8 years - over 90,000 miles with 2 motorhomes in almost every state including Canada and Alaska on every type of road. Its a very well built and stout dolly

We alternate towing a FWD SUV and an S-10. (S-10 towed backwards-front wheels down) for all our travels. The electric brakes work fine. I carry a mounted spare but have never had to use it. maintenance is very easy. We maneuver the dolly around our driveway with relative ease.
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Old 07-22-2022, 03:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Americanrascal View Post
I would definitely be looking at an American Car Dolly. https://americandolly.com/ Really well built. We've towed ours with 7 different vehicles over the past 8 years - over 90,000 miles with 2 motorhomes in almost every state including Canada and Alaska on every type of road. Its a very well built and stout dolly

We alternate towing a FWD SUV and an S-10. (S-10 towed backwards-front wheels down) for all our travels. The electric brakes work fine. I carry a mounted spare but have never had to use it. maintenance is very easy. We maneuver the dolly around our driveway with relative ease.

Those look pretty nice and the cost is not bad, which one did you get the 8' 1/2 or the 9' one?
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