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Old 10-19-2019, 09:47 AM   #1
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Tow Dolly that doesnít use straps

Are there any tow dollies that donít use wheel straps? Seems like someone could make one that uses a baseplate to attach to the tow dolly and eliminate a lot of the issues with dollies. We tow 4 down our truck right now but I would like to have something more sporty behind the coach. Not many sporty car options 4 down. Thank you guys for your help.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:18 AM   #2
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Tow Dollys don't have suspensions. They depend on the cars suspension to absorb the bumps. Otherwise the car and dolly would take a pounding. Ever tow one empty ?

Doing as you suggested sounds like a great idea but there are a lot of obstacles to work out. By the time your done, the front of the car is to high and the cost way up.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:30 AM   #3
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Tow Dolly that doesn't use straps

I have finally found a strapping system that makes sense but I have had an issue that the straps work loose after some miles (especially on rough roads) and the one on the driver side of the toad (a "18" Nissan Rogue) falls off the tire toward the inside next to the car. Do you think it is an operator malfunction? or is their a secret that I am missing? It is a "18" Tow master dolly. Unfortunately the dealer here is worthless on this equipment. Thank you for your advise.

Dave Shirley
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:56 AM   #4
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I have finally found a strapping system that makes sense but I have had an issue that the straps work loose after some miles (especially on rough roads) and the one on the driver side of the toad (a "18" Nissan Rogue) falls off the tire toward the inside next to the car. Do you think it is an operator malfunction? or is their a secret that I am missing? It is a "18" Tow master dolly. Unfortunately the dealer here is worthless on this equipment. Thank you for your advise.

Dave Shirley
We use a Mastertow. I strap the car down and check it within a few miles and usually get one or two clicks on one or both straps. After that it's usually good for the duration. We do check them at every stop, but we seldom need to tighten anymore. Even if I do, it'll be maybe one click.

Ours delivered with standard straps that were supposed to fit 15 or 16" tires. Our Toyota has 17", and the straps were too short for my comfort. The dealer traded for a set of ring adjustable from Mastertow -- bottom set on https://www.mastertow.com/product/All%20Parts/?3|0 -- and they stay very well. Edit: Well, that link didn't work as planned. Search for "straps" on that page.

I have them adjusted so that they go around the top of the tire very well. Make sure you have strap on the inside well below the top of the tire. Just be sure you don't let them get into anything you could break or that would cut the straps.

Make sure you pull all the slack out that you can before tightening. We can tighten the heck out of ours and still have loose strap behind the tire; it binds on top. Be sure to pull that slack out then tighten.

I also discovered that our Toyota works better if I don't let the steering wheel lock. It locks off-center instead of straight ahead, and we'd always wind up with the wheels crooked and the deck cocked. On the Toyota we leave the key in it, and the wheel won't lock. It pulls straight this way. On a side note: I had a key made at a local hardware store that isn't chipped. It won't start the car, but it'll unlock the steering lock.

Yes, the deck turns, but there's a limit. I sometimes get parked and find the deck on the limit and the wheels turned. Had the steering wheel been locked it would have been trying to squirm out from under the straps.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:13 PM   #5
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I use an Acme EZE Tow dolly and the straps and safety chains are the least of my problems. It can take many tries to get it centered which is frustrating for both of us.

"Move the car 1" to the right." Right.

Once you get the straps positioned and adjusted correctly take some pictures. With both sides on mine, I have the straps correct when the horizontal stitching is right as the edge of the hubcap.

Due to the shock tower, I had to move the top strap one loop "in" while the other two are at the outside adjustment. But once it's set, it's set.

Ray
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:32 PM   #6
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I use an Acme EZE Tow dolly and the straps and safety chains are the least of my problems. It can take many tries to get it centered which is frustrating for both of us.

"Move the car 1" to the right." Right.

Once you get the straps positioned and adjusted correctly take some pictures. With both sides on mine, I have the straps correct when the horizontal stitching is right as the edge of the hubcap.

Due to the shock tower, I had to move the top strap one loop "in" while the other two are at the outside adjustment. But once it's set, it's set.

Ray
I put a traction strip on the dolly to aid in wet-weather. When either tire is centered on the strip it's close enough.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:11 PM   #7
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The double straps stay on better than the single

Easier to install also
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:30 PM   #8
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Make sure the straps wrap the winche drums at least one full turn before they start tensioning and then tighten them as tight as you can. At the first stop tighten again.

If you do that, as I do, you should be set for days of traveling.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:08 PM   #9
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I put a traction strip on the dolly to aid in wet-weather. When either tire is centered on the strip it's close enough.
I wish it were that easy. The ramps on this thing are removable and fit in slots. We know which slots to put them in and which way to slide the ramps within the slot but it doesn't seem to help. When we get it right we know that the passenger tire overhangs the right side of its ramp by about an inch. But not always. If we hit the ramp on a very slight angle it's Game Over.

Still, I'll give it a try because maybe it will get us closer. I know that when the car is centered I have 4.5" on each side from the hubcap to the frame. The problem is that the strap winches are bolted to the frame so if the car is off-center so is the tire strap. I can compensate for being 0.5" off either way but that's about it.

Ray
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:12 PM   #10
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Make sure the straps wrap the winche drums at least one full turn before they start tensioning and then tighten them as tight as you can. At the first stop tighten again.

If you do that, as I do, you should be set for days of traveling.
When I crank down on the straps the bottom of each tire really gets squashed and bulges out as opposed to how it normally looks. Doesn't that bother you? It bothers me so I don't do that. I figure the safety chains will keep the car from falling off.

Ray
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:41 PM   #11
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When I crank down on the straps the bottom of each tire really gets squashed and bulges out as opposed to how it normally looks. Doesn't that bother you? It bothers me so I don't do that. I figure the safety chains will keep the car from falling off.

Ray
Doesn't bother me at all. After a few bumps, the straps settle in and let off some of the pressure. What can happen ? I'll bend the tire ?

Think of that tire running down today's highways, do you think it stays round.

The safety chains need to have slack in them to let the car suspension work. That's why you strap the tires tight. I don't want my car to hang off the edge of the ramps, going down the highway.

Do you tighten the safety chains between the dolly and motor home ?
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:50 AM   #12
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Doesn't bother me at all. After a few bumps, the straps settle in and let off some of the pressure. What can happen ? I'll bend the tire ?
I was thinking of the constant sidewall stress well in excess of the static stress.

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Think of that tire running down today's highways, do you think it stays round.
No, but that's intermittent versus constant for hours at a time and with a dolly having no suspension the tire sidewall will experience even more compression from the bouncing. But I'm not a tire engineer. Maybe it doesn't matter.

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The safety chains need to have slack in them to let the car suspension work. That's why you strap the tires tight. I don't want my car to hang off the edge of the ramps, going down the highway.

Do you tighten the safety chains between the dolly and motor home ?
No to your second statement. The set of chains that back up the hitch coupler, between the dolly and the motorhome, have a lot of slack and are crossed. We used to tow a pop-up so we're familiar with how those work.

The EZE Tow Dolly videos show how the car moves normally back and forth on the dolly and emphasizes the need for slack in the underside safety chains. They suggest "an inch of two of slack". My car has had a tire move as much as two or three inches back from the front of the dolly in turns, which is normal for this dolly. Once it's straight, the tires come forward again. As long as the underside safety chains stay in place there is no danger of the car slipping off.

Because my chains need to go through a hole in the cast aluminum control arms and I did not want the chains damaging the control arms with their constant bumping around, I put part of the chain inside a piece of very thick water tubing I got from the hardware store. That section goes through the hole in the control arm to keep the metal chain away from the control arm itself. That gives even more slack because that tubing is very tough to bend.

Then I have five links hanging down outside the "banjo" and a carabiner to keep the chain from accidentally jumping out of the banjo.

Make sense?

Ray
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:53 AM   #13
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I use an Acme EZE Tow dolly and the straps and safety chains are the least of my problems. It can take many tries to get it centered which is frustrating for both of us.

"Move the car 1" to the right." Right.

Once you get the straps positioned and adjusted correctly take some pictures. With both sides on mine, I have the straps correct when the horizontal stitching is right as the edge of the hubcap.

Due to the shock tower, I had to move the top strap one loop "in" while the other two are at the outside adjustment. But once it's set, it's set.

Ray
On my Acme dolly for the Mini Cooper I used 4 pc. of 1" black pipe to create exactly centered parking area. Measured everything out and tack welded these on dolly frame. Put the ramps on and have wife pull up and it was easier to see how far to maneuver. Didn't have to worry about car sliding left or right if deck was wet going down the road.
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:18 AM   #14
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Our toad is the wife's Hyundai SantaFe. It has 18" tires. The adjustable straps that came with our Master Tow dolly had a single strap and hook and always seemed to wiggle loose. I bought a set of extra large straps that has two strap/hooks and fixed "basket" straps that are a lot easier to install and seldom need more than one or two clicks adjustment after a few miles. The "basket" portion actually fits more toward the top of the tire than the picture shows.

https://www.uscargocontrol.com/Blue-...ith-Flat-Hooks
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