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Author Topic: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly  (Read 818 times)

naugens

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Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« on: April 27, 2017, 04:46:53 PM »
I am looking for a way to disconnect a loaded tow dolly from my MH, if caught in a situation of no room to turn the RV with trailer still attached.  It seems that if the average tongue weight of a loaded dolly is about 300lb, then one might utilize a wheeled trailer jack, to disconnect long enough to turn the RV and then reconnect.  I am sure this is not recommended, but that is not my question.
Nick
2016 Winnebago Itasca/Solei R38 DP
Grants, NM

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 05:43:37 PM »
Assume you have a wheeled trailer jack and you remove the 3500 lb car.

Then you move the motorhome. How are you going to move the 3500lb car back to hook it up? 

I'd also be curious where you are going to carry that wheeled trailer jack.

In 13 years and 80,000 miles I had to disconnect my toad once. It was at a gas station where I had plenty of room to maneuver however there was a hidden roof extension I couldn't see until I had pulled into the pumps.   

2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 80,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
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naugens

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 06:33:50 PM »
Hi Arch,

Sorry.  I tend to think of the worst case scenario, most of the time.  I got into that pickle, while towing a flatbed and that was fun enough.  My plan goes something like this: Back up to cock the trailer at 45 degrees from the RV.  Unhook, move the RV 90 degrees and reconnect.  I would not plan to move the toad.

The wheeled jack trailer is the dolly with a clamp on crank actuated post with wheel.  It swivels out of the way, when not in use.  As to your 13 years and 80,000 miles, with one disconnect, I suspect you may be a better planner than I.  It takes me about 1 hour to remove the toad from the dolly and the same to reconnect.  Yes, I am working on the necessary speed trials to get that down to 20 minutes, but not there yet.  :)  Just trying to avoid a potential 2 hour "lets see you get out of this one" bind.

Thanks
Nick
2016 Winnebago Itasca/Solei R38 DP
Grants, NM

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2017, 08:56:50 PM »
You can use the swing down, crank down tongue jack on a dolly - I had one on mine just to make it easy to move it around my yard when at home. Makes moving the dolly by itself much easier. Since the car wheels usually sit right over the dolly axle, tongue weight is usually relatively light, likely less than 100#.

I'm not so sanguine about your technique of leaving the car on the dolly, but I guess it would have to be tried to prove or disprove.  I don't think it is going to be practical to re-hitch the dolly after that 45-then-90 degree shuffle you described. Just getting the ball close to the coupler is going to be a struggle, and if the road isn't wide I don't see how the coach is going to get at a suitable angle to hitch at all. Maybe you have a shorter coach than I'm imagining, but if it's short you could probably make a U-turn too. I suggest you take the dolly alone somewhere with the coach and give it a try.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

naugens

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 10:31:37 PM »
Hi Gary,
Are you intimating that I ought to dry run this, before really putting my foot in it????  Great idea!  This gives me an excuse to make an emergency run to Harbor Freight, to buy their trailer jack, while it is on sale.  I suppose if it works, I should come back here and brag about it.  If it fails, I suppose I should just fade into the background, hopefully not an ER.  To make it work, I would be relying on my wife's keen eye and a fairly sharp back up camera.  I have yet to see how much maneuvering of a loaded dolly I can do.  If I can move it 5-6", I am betting I can get it back on the hitch.  Then there is the Come-a Long approach.  Meanwhile, off to the parking lot to check out the impracticality of all this.
Nick
2016 Winnebago Itasca/Solei R38 DP
Grants, NM

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 01:14:56 AM »
Hope you remember to chock the wheels on the toad...hate to see that baby roll away.

I'd really be leery of what's going to happen once the hitch comes off the ball.  Have you wife video it so you can win $100,000 on World's Funniest Videos.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 80,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

John From Detroit

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 07:05:34 AM »
Have never unhooked a loaded dolly.. Did hook one up once however.. I do not recommend it.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

blw2

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2017, 09:18:15 AM »
I don't know.... I can't imagine it much different than hitching and unhitching a large boat trailer
I sure can imagine it a bit more difficult to maneuver the ball on a large MH, as compared to a pickup truck but possible I suppose with patience and a decent rear view camera.
Maybe pick up one of those at HF while you're there....to mount just above the hitch to get a ball's eye view

All that said though, it seems like a lot of thought, effort, and expense for something that rarely if ever presents as a need to the thousands of folks towing on dollies every day....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

RedandSilver

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 10:22:35 AM »
I thought one reason people use a dolly instead of towing 4 down is that you can back it up some.
Yes I assume it would be very easy to jackknife the dolly.  But it could be done more so then backing up a toad 4 down, right?

I agree that with some planning it will be very rare, if ever, that you should have to unhook a loaded dolly.

I also understand that many times IF you have something with you - you will not need it - IF you don't, you will wish you did.   ;D

2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

mel s

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 11:15:02 AM »
I am looking for a way to disconnect a loaded tow dolly from my MH, if caught in a situation of no room to turn the RV with trailer still attached.  It seems that if the average tongue weight of a loaded dolly is about 300lb, then one might utilize a wheeled trailer jack, to disconnect long enough to turn the RV and then reconnect.  I am sure this is not recommended, but that is not my question.
naugens
If the tongue weight of your loaded dolly is less than 1000 lbs a Swing-Back Trailer Jack like this is what you need: http: //www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb-swing-back-trailer-jack-41005.html

BinaryBob

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 11:24:32 AM »
I'd be interested to hear the results of your dry run.
It's hard to imagine the practicality of rolling a trailer jacked dolly with a loaded vehicle any distance to get out of a pickle. Sounds like it will take two strong people.
I've never had to remove the toad in a jam, but I am able to back it up about 4 feet without any problems.
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B

"Every hobby perpetuates its arcane mysteries. How else would we impress the newbies with our superior knowledge?"
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mel s

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 11:44:17 AM »
I'd be interested to hear the results of your dry run.
It's hard to imagine the practicality of rolling a trailer jacked dolly with a loaded vehicle any distance to get out of a pickle. Sounds like it will take two strong people.
I've never had to remove the toad in a jam, but I am able to back it up about 4 feet without any problems.
BinaryBob
I've gotten my 4 down toad in one of those "pickles" 5 times in 16 years, 121k miles.
BTW I can only backup without damaging/bending my tow bar if/when my toad is directly inline with my coach.

naugens

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 01:54:23 PM »
I'd be interested to hear the results of your dry run.
It's hard to imagine the practicality of rolling a trailer jacked dolly with a loaded vehicle any distance to get out of a pickle. Sounds like it will take two strong people.
I've never had to remove the toad in a jam, but I am able to back it up about 4 feet without any problems.

It will be a week or two until it happens, but will be glad to post.  It finally dawned on me that I can do a 180 with this approach.  I can cant the toad at 90 degrees to my rig, disconnect, turn around and pick it up on the other side.  With the camera and the ability to move the toad a few inches fore or aft by hand, it should not be very difficult at all.  If it takes 2 people, I figure I can guide and my wife can push.  Just kidding.
Nick
2016 Winnebago Itasca/Solei R38 DP
Grants, NM

scottydl

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 08:16:21 PM »
Why would you not just unload the tow dolly first?  (Back the car off.)

Drive the car somewhere nearby and park it.  THEN disconnect the dolly and drag it out of the way temporarily too (much easier unloaded!) while you get the RV turned around.  Hitch & load everything back up.

I bet that wouldn't take much longer, and it would massively save your back.  And of course, it's unlikely you would be in that situation in the first place, as long as you keep your eyes ahead and plan your routes as much as possible.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

naugens

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2017, 01:25:28 PM »
It does seem to have been a bit longer than the anticipated 2 weeks to check out the concept.  It does work quite well.  I attached a rotatable wheel dolly to the dolly and can do the turn.  I have not tried to move the toad by hand, in the process, nor do I plan to go that way.  The inexpensive jack is too long to clear the ground, when the dolly is attached to the RV, so I must extend the rear jacks to effect the disconnect and reconnect, but it is much quicker than removing the toad and then the dolly.
Nick
2016 Winnebago Itasca/Solei R38 DP
Grants, NM

grashley

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2017, 05:35:13 PM »
Very interesting!  So you had no significant issues realigning the MH and toad?  Good to hear!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

naugens

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2017, 07:01:00 PM »
Preacher Gordon,

Ya gotta love those back-up cameras! :)
Nick
2016 Winnebago Itasca/Solei R38 DP
Grants, NM

HueyPilotVN

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Re: Disconnecting loaded tow dolly
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2017, 07:27:27 PM »
I tow my Stacker using a Trailer Toad that is similar to a heavy duty tow dolly.

When I need to backup with my Trailer Toad, I have large pins that drop down into holes to lock the axle from pivoting.

This might be a good modification for users of tow dollies to have this feature.
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

 

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