Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Toads and Motorhome Related Towing
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-15-2021, 04:43 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Master Tow dolly problem

Could use some advice,

I have a Master Tow Dolly that I spent this past winter to rebuild for this summer use. I bought it to haul my 2010 VW Beetle automatic. I loaded it up today (prior to my first trip of the year at the end of the month) because I wanted to make sure I had no surprises on our trip.

Well, got it loaded OK using my pick up as the tow vehicle, pulled out of my driveway on a long arch, when the dolly bed turned and wedge between the fenders and I had to unload the VW in the road, removed the large center bolt that holds the bed to the frame, lift it off and re-centered it and replaced the large bolt.

Started over, reloaded, tied down, slowly started my turn again, and again it wanted to wedge again between the fenders????

Any idea why this is happening? I search all over looking for help without any luck?

Is this unit able to haul a short wheelbase VW?

Can I drill holes in the bed and bolt it solid to the frame eliminating the swivel?

Any help would be appreciated.

Just a note, when I said it "wedged" it wedged between the fenders and ended up bending the bed up 2" and ended up on the axel support steel frame and the running board on the right side of the VW bent against the inner fender of the dolly. The bed swiveled too far and as I tried to pull forward to straighten the dolly out, it wedged more?
highwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-15-2021, 05:06 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
geordi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 965
I don't think you are understanding how a tow dolly is supposed to work. The plate with the car's wheels on it IS SUPPOSED TO SWIVEL. If it doesn't, you risk ripping open the steering system on your car.

The plate won't get stuck, it will swivel back when you straighten out, it is there to reduce the turning stress on the towed car from tight turns. With an RV this is rarely even noticed (because you aren't looking) but that long overhang behind the RV actually can make a turn more severe for a trailed vehicle and cause tire scrubbing / stress on the steering in a 4-down. The swivel plate reduces this stress on a dolly-towed vehicle. The tradeoff is using a dolly with smaller tow vehicles can increase the instability (sway) at speed.

You don't want the plate locked.
__________________
03 40' Monaco Diplomat: 1020 watts solar, Victron inverter. FASS, TRW steering, 23 cuft Frigidaire, D/W, W/D, Magneshade, Wood Floor, New cabinets, diesel heater
geordi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 05:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 27,466
There should be solid stops to limit the plates amount of turn. It shouldn't hit the fenders, but its designed to turn.

Take some pictures and post them, so we can compare.
twinboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 05:30 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
There should be solid stops to limit the plates amount of turn. It shouldn't hit the fenders, but its designed to turn.

Take some pictures and post them, so we can compare.
Just a note, when I said it "wedged" it wedged between the fenders and ended up bending the bed up 2" and ended up on the axel support steel frame and the running board on the right side of the VW bent against the inner fender of the dolly. The bed swiveled too far and as I tried to pull forward to straighten the dolly out, it wedged more?
highwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 07:23 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 389
I suggest considering for this specific application, selling the dolly you have and replace with the Acme EZ tow dolly. I’ve been using it for 8,000 miles and it won’t (can’t) do that.
__________________
Marvin (and Eileen) - Weekend RVer On A Budget
1997 34’ Gas Bounder / F53 Chassis | Towing 1996 Ford Ranger on Acme Dolly
MarvinG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 07:50 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
ArtJoyce's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Thornville, Ohio
Posts: 875
I dont think the steering wheel on the VW is locking into place. Or maybe it does not lock into place?? But if the dolly platform swivels, the steering wheel of the car being towed should not turn.
__________________
Art & Joyce
Thornville, OH
35' DP Endeavor being pushed by a Kia Soul
ArtJoyce is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 08:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
geordi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 965
Quote:
Originally Posted by highwalker View Post
Just a note, when I said it "wedged" it wedged between the fenders and ended up bending the bed up 2" and ended up on the axel support steel frame and the running board on the right side of the VW bent against the inner fender of the dolly. The bed swiveled too far and as I tried to pull forward to straighten the dolly out, it wedged more?
VW steering wheels should absolutely lock into place when the key is removed.

I'm having a hard time visualizing what you are describing.... Just a thought here - did you have to assemble this dolly or did it come complete? I had a Master Tow before and I remember the tray "pockets" were situated somewhat further back from the center pin, so that the wheels / axle of the car when fully-forward in the pockets were just forward of the pivot point. The rear ends of the pockets were 6+" behind that center pin, and overlapping the ramps. So when swiveling, the forward midpoint of the pockets would contact the vertical end stops, there shouldn't be any way that the pocket can bend upward.

What I'm wondering - is it possible that the tray is somehow installed backwards? Pictures of your setup would be very helpful here.
__________________
03 40' Monaco Diplomat: 1020 watts solar, Victron inverter. FASS, TRW steering, 23 cuft Frigidaire, D/W, W/D, Magneshade, Wood Floor, New cabinets, diesel heater
geordi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2021, 06:20 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvinG View Post
I suggest considering for this specific application, selling the dolly you have and replace with the Acme EZ tow dolly. I’ve been using it for 8,000 miles and it won’t (can’t) do that.
Thank You for the reply,

Now, I'm thinking when I bought the dolly used, the "pan" was bent, I straighten it out, bought new nylon pads and I thought it was perfect.

Now I'm wondering by straightening the pad out, after it was bent up, (guessing the previous owner "jackknifed" the dolly before he sold it?)

I'm wondering if it weaken the steel pan at some point which might explain why it buckled on me so easy?
highwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2021, 03:22 PM   #9
Senior Member


 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: NY State
Posts: 1,073
If sounds as if the wheel pan (the upper part of the dolly you park the front wheels on) is either not turning at all or binding. With the car off the dolly, make sure the wheel pan turns freely in both directions. Than go to a parking lot with an observer and try progressively tighter turns in both directions. It must be able to rotate freely and it (not the underlying frame) should remain aligned with the toad.
__________________
John
1976 Southwind 28', '96 Winnie 34WK,
2006 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40QDP
n2zon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2021, 03:24 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by geordi View Post
VW steering wheels should absolutely lock into place when the key is removed.

I'm having a hard time visualizing what you are describing.... Just a thought here - did you have to assemble this dolly or did it come complete? I had a Master Tow before and I remember the tray "pockets" were situated somewhat further back from the center pin, so that the wheels / axle of the car when fully-forward in the pockets were just forward of the pivot point. The rear ends of the pockets were 6+" behind that center pin, and overlapping the ramps. So when swiveling, the forward midpoint of the pockets would contact the vertical end stops, there shouldn't be any way that the pocket can bend upward.

What I'm wondering - is it possible that the tray is somehow installed backwards? Pictures of your setup would be very helpful here.


Thank you Again,

I think I might have corrected the problem.

When I bought the dolly the "pan" was racked, the driver side was bent up 3"and I didn't think much about it, I took it apart, drove over it and straighten it out and thought it was fixed. But even though I straighten the "pan" it still had a "weak" point in the steel itself. After loading the VW up, strapping it down, when I slowly made a right hand turn out of my driveway the "pan" on the driver side rose up 3" and above the stop and twisted far enough to hit both fenders.

Today I straighten it out again, but this time welded a support angle across the front of the "pan" and reinstalled it.
Loaded the VW again today, tied it down and took a test drive out of my driveway again, and success, the "pan" only rose up about 1" and after straitening the truck out it lowered down to it proper possession, but not sure if that is normal?
The big test is to hook it up to the motorhome and give it a try.

Finding: if someone runs into a situation where their "pan" buckles because of turning too share and think they can do what I did and just flatten it out and call it good, before you reassemble it find someone who can weld and put a support angle on the "pan" to reinforce it. well worth the few bucks.

Thank you to everyone that help me out on this.
highwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2021, 06:05 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
geordi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 965
Ah, I see says the blind man.

The pan being bent and getting past the stop, THAT is the problem. That stop block should not be able to be bypassed, sounds like either a defect or someone damaged that plate such that it is now able to bypass that stop point. Since you are able to weld, perhaps reinforcing / extending the stop with some angle steel around the corners would also be a good idea.

Hopefully your brace is sufficient though - the pan on my Master Tow seemed sturdy enough that it wouldn't be able to warp and bend like that, but maybe yours is a different design / something already damaged so easier to get into trouble with. Good luck with it.
__________________
03 40' Monaco Diplomat: 1020 watts solar, Victron inverter. FASS, TRW steering, 23 cuft Frigidaire, D/W, W/D, Magneshade, Wood Floor, New cabinets, diesel heater
geordi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 06:06 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by geordi View Post
Ah, I see says the blind man.

The pan being bent and getting past the stop, THAT is the problem. That stop block should not be able to be bypassed, sounds like either a defect or someone damaged that plate such that it is now able to bypass that stop point. Since you are able to weld, perhaps reinforcing / extending the stop with some angle steel around the corners would also be a good idea.

Hopefully your brace is sufficient though - the pan on my Master Tow seemed sturdy enough that it wouldn't be able to warp and bend like that, but maybe yours is a different design / something already damaged so easier to get into trouble with. Good luck with it.

Thank you, I'll find out for sure at the end of the month on our first short RV trip of the year.
I will certainly keep a sharp eye on how it's doing before we hit the freeway.

Thank you for all the comments, and stay safe.
highwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2021, 01:10 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 233
The OP's post has me confused. After reading thru all the posts, I put down my beer and took a look at my very dirty 2016 Master Tow dolly at the back of our state park campsite. The bottom of the fenders are 5" above the pan and I can see no way the pan can get past the stops, there just isn't enough clearance. The pivot bolt is located well behind the center of the pan. I guess his pan is bent far worse than the description to get past the stops. I hope someone can help the OP out. I'll try to attach a pic of the area in question from my dolly.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20210517_145209.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	546.3 KB
ID:	328580  
__________________
Steve & Cheryl Walsh
2006 National Sea Breeze 1350
Orange Park, FL
StephenW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2021, 12:52 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 6
Ah, the picture helps, your unit must be newer then mine my unit is dated 1998 and looks like they corrected the problem on yours.
On mine the distance between the top of the pan and top of the block is 1", looks like yours is at lease 2"?
My pan only needs to be racked about 1-1/2" to clear the stops.
highwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dolly, problem, tow, tow dolly



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Acme EZ tow dolly versus American car tow dolly EddieM Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 10 03-01-2021 09:05 PM
Master Tow or Stehl tow dolly bolt pattern Happy Pat Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 5 01-18-2019 01:56 PM
Towing Dolly: Master Tow Dolly vs. Demco Kar Kaddy SS Theluckys Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 26 08-02-2014 04:38 AM
Master Tow Tow Dolly RV LYONS Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 16 09-17-2013 09:40 PM
Master tow 80thdsb tow dolly available mvpmich Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 0 05-13-2013 06:02 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.