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Old 12-21-2017, 02:53 PM   #1
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Pros/Cons on Fixed vs Swivel Dolly

Thinking about a tow dolly so we can occasionally take my wife's Mazdarati 3 FWD along. I like the swivel dollies, but also have been looking at fixed dollies as well. Any opinions () out there?
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:01 PM   #2
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We are looking to purchase a dolly also. From what I found, if you have a swivel dolly, the steering must be locked, or the car may come in contact with the dolly fenders when you turn. I'm still looking. Was thinking of the Master Tow Dolly, 80" one.
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:58 PM   #3
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Does your steering lock? If not, look at the ACME. Happy with mine.
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:12 PM   #4
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I have a Stehl Tow ( clone of Mastertow ) dolly.

No locking steering, no fender contact, no ramp contact.

I can not turn sharp enough to make the fenders hit. I tow a Kia Soul.
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Old 12-21-2017, 07:39 PM   #5
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Do the wheels want to walk back and forth in the trays on turns with a fixed dolly? Seems that they would, or isn't it a big deal?
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Old 12-21-2017, 07:54 PM   #6
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15k trouble free miles with an electric brake stehl carrying caddy SRX, Nissan Leaf and Honda Odyssey. I wrap the seat belt around the bottom of the steering wheel and move the seat back to tighten it. Holds it centered. Simple.
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Old 12-21-2017, 09:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Unplanned View Post
Do the wheels want to walk back and forth in the trays on turns with a fixed dolly? Seems that they would, or isn't it a big deal?
Happy Glamping.
The video shows them walking. Don't know how sharp the turns were. They say not to make sharp turns.

When my swivel plate dolly reaches the stops, my tires walk a bit too. That's during a sharp turn.
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:06 PM   #8
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The only real issue is whether or not the steering column locks. There needs to be some give in the steering to allow the car to track. If the column locks then the swivel pan or rack and pinion steering feature solves the problem. If the column does not lock then a plain dolly will let the car turn enough to track. It does not take a lot because the turning radius behind a MH is fairly large.

That said, if I had to choose again I would go with a swivel. The rack and pinion strikes me as overly complicated. I've used rental versions so I know they work. I run a Stehl tow instead because it works and is less complicated. If we end up with a non locking column in the future all I will do is secure the steering wheel as I prefer letting the swivel do the rotating instead of forcing the steering box to respond as I don't trust electric power rack and pinion steering won't have high internal forces when run backwards with the power off. Securing the column will limit chances of any excessive turning.

As far as excessive turning goes the only way that happens is if somebody is too stubborn to unload the dolly and get out of trouble without the towed connected. One problem was more than enough to convince me that the few minutes it takes to unload and reload beats the heck out of beating up the equipment and probably breaking something.
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:17 AM   #9
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Ackerman Principle

Just thinking about how far the front wheels move when making a turn like of a city street (90 degrees). The Ackerman Principle will cause the outside front tire to try and fall back as the steering is turned.
http://www.liverc.com/pictures/news/...p_ackerman.jpg
I guess that's why they say no sharp turns. This would only be a problem with the fixed dolly.
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:40 AM   #10
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Acme Tow Dolly

Watch this very detailed video of the ACME EZE TOW TOW DOLLY With a fixed pan. There is undercarriage video of the car on the highway and in 90 degree turns. You will see that turns are not an issue. If you have a locking column you can easily leave it unlocked.

www.cartowdolly.com
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:33 AM   #11
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American Car Dolly should be considered

After looking and reading reviews and talking to rv'ers for almost a year I bought a dolly from American Car Dolly. It arrived and was real impressed with the construction and overall quality. Price is delivered price no tax no dealer fee etc. $1695.00 They also have a brake controller box for the electric brakes that works off the power to your brake light wire so no need to have a brake controller installed inside your rv cost $120.00

The dolly has swivel pan so the worries about stress on your front end goes away. The ramps remove which also eliminates a possible area of damage. It has 84 inches between the fenders for extra clearance side to side. Weighs 455 lbs.

A nice feature for older farts like me is the ratchets are out at the outer edge of the dolly and the ratchets are connected to a split rod where you put the strap into depending on the size of your car. With the ratchets out to the edge it is just easier to hook up. Took it for a trip very happy

Overall I consider this the best most practical dolly out there and the Acme Ezze Tow is a strong contender. They both are well built and yet lighter weight than others. BOTH built in USA .
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ajsfla View Post
<snip> Weighs 455 lbs.

.
At that weight, how easy is it to move around by hand? I forget the weight of the ACME, but it is pretty easy to move.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:26 AM   #13
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I have had the ACME EZEE tow for over two years. I have towed a Toyota RAV and my Elentra. No issues at all or problems towing. Yes the straps can loosen a bit either thru stretching or if it is wet out. I check them at every gas stop and tighten as needed. Usually it my be a turn or two. The ramps stow on dolly but i prefer to put them in the trunk. I have loaded on Gravel, asphalt, heavy rain, light rain, never an issue with the new ramp design. It is easy to move and i generally just leave it hooked up or stow it under the rear of the Coach. For the price and no other needed item( surge brakes), i think its a fantastic towing option. The others are good as well but more expensive and quite a bit heavier. The only think on the EZEE Tow is i wish they included a solid area where the wheels set, I cut two heavy cutting boards for my wheels to set on for mine. JMO
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:12 PM   #14
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It's about 50 lbs more balanced pretty well rolls easy. If the ramps aren't on the hitch it makes it easier
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