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Old 08-06-2017, 07:19 AM   #43
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I own an Acme with 10,000 miles on it. I've heard some negative comments about it that simply don't make sense to me given my experience.

1. You have to crawl under it to attach ramps.

This simply isn't true. I have two bum knees and a recent back surgery and I can easily attach the ramps (with the car on the dolly) without getting on my knees or extraordinary bending and twisting.

2. Tires wear excessively.

I'll take a picture of mine if someone doesn't believe me but they don't. Now given that, would I prefer 14 inch tires? You bettcha, bigger is better. However, my current usage indicates the 12 inchers are appropriate and substantial. I've driven through the Rockies and over many dirt roads. Hell it even survived driving I-40 West of Flagstaff which I consider certification for off-road use.

3. Unlocking the steering wheel.

I made a dummy key for $6. Drove it for 5 days straight on the dolly. Batteries didn't drain. Also this business about excessive front-end wear is rubbish. Folks who flat tow have to unlock their steering columns and allow the wheels to turn. Don't hear them complaining.

4. Frame safety chains.

You have to crawl under to attach them. Far as I know, this is true of all tow dollies. I've seen folks use cables looped through the wheels. This is clever but not legal. It could negate an insurance claim and open you up to additional liability. That said, it's a pretty cool idea and a personal choice.

In the end, all the tow dollies do their job well with pluses and minuses. I chose my dolly because I could stand it up and store in my garage out of the weather. Otherwise, I probably would have gone with a Stehl/Master Tow dolly simply because I can buy them locally for about $500 less than the Acme.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:40 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waywards View Post

4. Frame safety chains.

I've seen folks use cables looped through the wheels. This is clever but not legal.
Can you expand on that not being legal ?

I found numerous instances that mention " safety chain or cable " in this site.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/393.70
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:22 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Arkansas RV View Post
Twinboat, would you have a pic or two of your hold down straps/chains?
Here are some pictures. I used a 8 or 12 ft, pre-made cable, so I had 2 loops. I cable clamped the cut ends.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:54 AM   #46
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Some states require attachment to the frame of vehicle.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:07 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Waywards View Post
Some states require attachment to the frame of vehicle.
I found very little information on safety devices ( chain/cable ) between cars and tow dollys.

There is some info on tow bar safety devices, but not a specific attachment point. Obviously not the spinning tires.

I use cables thru the wheels. If this is not legal some places, I'd like to know where.

Now you mention that some states require attachments to the frame ?

Would a S hook, stuck in a hole, in a unibody frame, be stronger then the 2 cables wrapped around the front tires ?
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Old 08-06-2017, 02:19 PM   #48
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You're right that the guidance is poor.

I was reading some federal guideline a while back and it stated safety chains have to be attached to the frame or an extension of the frame of the vehicle in tow. Now here's the rub. Is the vehicle the tow dolly or the car in tow? I couldn't say with certainty.

California explicitly calls for safety chains as do other states. They don't mention if cables are an acceptable substitute for chains. Again it's not clear if the chains are required for the tow dolly or the vehicle in tow (or both).

Also, read you the instructions for the tow dolly. I found that many of them explicitly say to attach the chains to frame of the vehicle. A clever lawyer might argue you did not use the dolly in accordance to the manufactures specifications.

All this says that to me that if one were to wind up in court because of an accident for instance, depending on the judge and lawyers you could be found in violation and liable for damages.

I think it's a clever solution and acceptable from a safety standpoint but I wouldn't do it for the reasons I already stated.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:46 PM   #49
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I use these 4,000 lbs. rated straps to go through the rims of my Ford Edge.
No worry of them coming off or breaking. Also no need to get down on your knees to install them. I'm sure not worried about not following the manufactures operators instruction. As I bought mine used and it's a 2008 or 09 no operator manual came with it. I'm also not using the factory straps to tie the tires down. They wouldn't fit my 20" rims. So I bought a pair that would
So does that make me against the law?
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:10 PM   #50
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I can tell you that there is no solid frame member to attach to on Ford escapes. I would think they are typical of today's vehicles. Welded stamped sheet metal with few places to hook anything. It's the same problem trying to put tow hooks on a lot of the smaller P/U's.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:35 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54bob View Post
We just bought our EZ tow dolly a few months ago and have used it on 3 short trips to work the bugs out. After reading these posts I have issues with ACME. The fact that obvious problems have been presented to them and they deny them. Yet you can go online and find these problems are common issues. We are newbies to RVing. For the most part the dolly performs as advertised. Here are a few things that I think customers should know. The storing of the dolly upright is not feasible due to the leakage of the brake fluid. Most of us know what kind of damage brake fluid does. We received our dolly it was in the upright position with a wad of paper placed inside the frame to soak up the fluid leakage. The fluid had eaten away the paint. When we called Acme we were told that was unusual. So why was the wad of paper placed there? We also had to put more brake fluid in the reservoir to bring it up to level. Acme told us we could repaint the damaged area and then file a complaint with the trucking company and get reimbursed $250 from the trucking company!!!. ACME did send us a pair of straps. Sorry but I don't pay $1500 dollars and then have to touch up the unit. To be done right the damaged area had to be taken down to metal and all brake fluid residue had to be removed prior to repainting. Then there is the issue of getting money from a company that was not responsible for the damage. That really rubs me the wrong way. The more important safety issue that I have is that the front wheels do not stay butted up to the front rail of the dolly. The car is nice and straight when placed on the dolly. At that point I tighten the straps and it just pulls the tire down and not forward. I would really have to loosen straps and drive the car forward again and retighten the straps. Does anyone else have this issue? It is a front wheel drive Honda accord and the steering is left unlocked with the car in park. ACME responded that this was common. Call me anal, OCD or whatever other term you would like to use. Towing a vehicle needs to be taken seriously. It would not take much to have a tragic accident. I have designed a tire chock that bolts on to the frame of the dolly and wedges the wheel up against the front frame of the dolly. Since then no issues tires stay put. I can drive with one less thing to worry about. As for ACME good product but I would listen to the customer and solve the issues that are reported and not recommend to fraudulently acquire money from another company. We will be calling that transportation company and reporting this issue.
I would be interested in pics of chocks you made as I have seen the same problem on mine and it's 8 months old. I have read on other forums that it's not unusual to have one wheel not touching especially if the centerline of coach and toad are not the same; such as in a slight arc, this usually corrects when driving ahead straight. But like you that bothers me. I'm very interested in how you corrected the problem. I also had the misfortune to have a pin brake that holds the 1 1/8 nut that tightens the ratchet on one ; they are sending a new ratchet.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:20 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Waywards View Post
You're right that the guidance is poor.

I was reading some federal guideline a while back and it stated safety chains have to be attached to the frame or an extension of the frame of the vehicle in tow. Now here's the rub. Is the vehicle the tow dolly or the car in tow? I couldn't say with certainty.

California explicitly calls for safety chains as do other states. They don't mention if cables are an acceptable substitute for chains. Again it's not clear if the chains are required for the tow dolly or the vehicle in tow (or both).

Also, read you the instructions for the tow dolly. I found that many of them explicitly say to attach the chains to frame of the vehicle. A clever lawyer might argue you did not use the dolly in accordance to the manufactures specifications.

All this says that to me that if one were to wind up in court because of an accident for instance, depending on the judge and lawyers you could be found in violation and liable for damages.

I think it's a clever solution and acceptable from a safety standpoint but I wouldn't do it for the reasons I already stated.
Wonder where my setup falls in this. I just purchased straps to go through the wheels but now question whether I should do this as I wasn't aware of the frame attachment requirement. However, the only place I can place the ACME safety chains I have used until now on my car is around the lower control arm, which technically isn't the frame.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:37 AM   #53
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Wonder where my setup falls in this. I just purchased straps to go through the wheels but now question whether I should do this as I wasn't aware of the frame attachment requirement. However, the only place I can place the ACME safety chains I have used until now on my car is around the lower control arm, which technically isn't the frame.
I read the " Frame attachment " statement being relateted to a tow bar, as in 4 down towing.

It also mentions " If using 2 devices, connect each to the widest part of the frame ". The wheels are the furthest apart on any car and are, although not the chassis, definetly part of the framework of the car.

As far as material, there are quite a few mentions of " Chain or Cable " Both chain and cables are readily available at stores that sell safety chains for trailers.

Not sure about using something like a nylon strap that can be cut on the sharp edge of a steel wheel.

I'll take my chances with my vinyl coated steel cables.
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Old 04-26-2018, 01:39 PM   #54
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Tip for Prius owners using an EZE Tow Dolly (or possibly any other dolly).
I installed 2 eye hooks through the lower control arms, the holes are already there. This allows easy connect / disconnect of the safety chains without lying on the ground to loop them over the lower control arm. The eye bolts I used have one inch inside diameter eyes and 3/8" by 2 1/2 inch threaded shafts, just long enough for the bolt to stick up through the top hole in the control arm to put on the lock washer and nut. A deep socket fits nicely down the top hole to secure the nut.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:58 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by 54bob View Post
We just bought our EZ tow dolly a few months ago and have used it on 3 short trips to work the bugs out. After reading these posts I have issues with ACME. The fact that obvious problems have been presented to them and they deny them. Yet you can go online and find these problems are common issues. We are newbies to RVing. For the most part the dolly performs as advertised. Here are a few things that I think customers should know. The storing of the dolly upright is not feasible due to the leakage of the brake fluid. Most of us know what kind of damage brake fluid does. We received our dolly it was in the upright position with a wad of paper placed inside the frame to soak up the fluid leakage. The fluid had eaten away the paint. When we called Acme we were told that was unusual. So why was the wad of paper placed there? We also had to put more brake fluid in the reservoir to bring it up to level. Acme told us we could repaint the damaged area and then file a complaint with the trucking company and get reimbursed $250 from the trucking company!!!. ACME did send us a pair of straps. Sorry but I don't pay $1500 dollars and then have to touch up the unit. To be done right the damaged area had to be taken down to metal and all brake fluid residue had to be removed prior to repainting. Then there is the issue of getting money from a company that was not responsible for the damage. That really rubs me the wrong way. The more important safety issue that I have is that the front wheels do not stay butted up to the front rail of the dolly. The car is nice and straight when placed on the dolly. At that point I tighten the straps and it just pulls the tire down and not forward. I would really have to loosen straps and drive the car forward again and retighten the straps. Does anyone else have this issue? It is a front wheel drive Honda accord and the steering is left unlocked with the car in park. ACME responded that this was common. Call me anal, OCD or whatever other term you would like to use. Towing a vehicle needs to be taken seriously. It would not take much to have a tragic accident. I have designed a tire chock that bolts on to the frame of the dolly and wedges the wheel up against the front frame of the dolly. Since then no issues tires stay put. I can drive with one less thing to worry about. As for ACME good product but I would listen to the customer and solve the issues that are reported and not recommend to fraudulently acquire money from another company. We will be calling that transportation company and reporting this issue.
Pictures of this "tire chock" please!
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:12 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Waywards View Post
I own an Acme with 10,000 miles on it. I've heard some negative comments about it that simply don't make sense to me given my experience.

1. You have to crawl under it to attach ramps.

This simply isn't true. I have two bum knees and a recent back surgery and I can easily attach the ramps (with the car on the dolly) without getting on my knees or extraordinary bending and twisting.

2. Tires wear excessively.

I'll take a picture of mine if someone doesn't believe me but they don't. Now given that, would I prefer 14 inch tires? You bettcha, bigger is better. However, my current usage indicates the 12 inchers are appropriate and substantial. I've driven through the Rockies and over many dirt roads. Hell it even survived driving I-40 West of Flagstaff which I consider certification for off-road use.

3. Unlocking the steering wheel.

I made a dummy key for $6. Drove it for 5 days straight on the dolly. Batteries didn't drain. Also this business about excessive front-end wear is rubbish. Folks who flat tow have to unlock their steering columns and allow the wheels to turn. Don't hear them complaining.

4. Frame safety chains.

You have to crawl under to attach them. Far as I know, this is true of all tow dollies. I've seen folks use cables looped through the wheels. This is clever but not legal. It could negate an insurance claim and open you up to additional liability. That said, it's a pretty cool idea and a personal choice.

In the end, all the tow dollies do their job well with pluses and minuses. I chose my dolly because I could stand it up and store in my garage out of the weather. Otherwise, I probably would have gone with a Stehl/Master Tow dolly simply because I can buy them locally for about $500 less than the Acme.
Where did you hear that ? Please back up this claim that it's not legal .
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