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Author Topic: Question on tow dolly  (Read 410 times)

RVRAC

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Question on tow dolly
« on: August 21, 2017, 05:36:04 PM »
I am learning with my first car dolly.  One thing I noticed is that although when I load the car it is  all the way up to the front bar, at times when I stop and look I can find the tires as much as an inch moved back from the it.  The straps are as tight as I can.  Is it because I use basket type straps? Is this because the base where the tires stand on the dolly swivel? What am I doing wrong?
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

BinaryBob

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 06:57:54 PM »
I have the same dolly. It's normal for the tires to be set back an inch or so from the top bar. Not sure what you mean by "basket type straps."

Edited to add: I just looked up "basket type". Never heard that term before. Yes. I have the same ones. As long as the tire is straight, seated on the platform, and the straps are tight. No worries about the top bar.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 07:06:27 PM by BinaryBob »
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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John Stephens

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 10:56:05 PM »
If you check your straps when the dolly isn't perfectly straight to the coach, one wheel may be further back than the other. If you are tightening the strap wenches as tight as you can physically get them, they may be too tight. Do your tires begin to look like they are flattening out as you tighten the straps? If so, you have gone too far. Just make sure each of the hook straps and the front strap is good and tight and can't be wiggled. Also make sure your hooks aren't turned so they can loosen down the road.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
Acme EZ Tow Dolly and 2007 Azera

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 08:31:01 AM »
I've never heard of tightening the basket straps "too much". All the dolly manufacturers instruct to tighten as much as humanly possible, and then tighten some more after towing a few miles. The straps stretch a bit and settle down more tightly on the tire as well.

It's not the straps - it's pretty much normal to loosen a bit after some driving, and typical instructions are to stop and tighten after 15 miles or so. That's somewhat of a CYA for the dolly manufacturer, since they have no idea whether you originally tightened the straps properly in the first place. If the movement is no more than an inch, I wouldn't worry much.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John Stephens

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 03:24:10 PM »
Gary - I thought I had to tighten the straps so much that it began flattening the tires, just as you said. I mentioned that to my mechanic and he said that was too tight. He suggested tightening them until you saw them going flat as long as the hook straps could not be wiggled. I have made this trip with that in mind and have not had a problem.

Common sense tells you to check the straps after a few miles, especially when they are new and need to be stretched out. I check mine after I have made a few turns in both directions and then every time I stop, which is about every 100-125 miles.

What is humanly possible for one person may be completely different than what it might be for another person. A better way to describe the proper torque would be to specify using a torque wrench and tightening to a specific number. If someone can tell me what that amount should be, I'll be happy to follow it.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
Acme EZ Tow Dolly and 2007 Azera

RVRAC

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 07:45:23 PM »
Thank you folks for your response.  I traveled today 160 miles with no problem.  It seems I am ok.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 08:15:05 PM »
Maybe I'm out in left field, but my suspicion is that your tires are too soft if you can squash them with that little ratchet on the straps. In any case, so what? Tires are designed to flex under load.

With all due respect to your mechanic, where does his vast dolly expertise come from?  I'm not saying I'm any more right than he is, but wearing the "mechanic" label on your chest does not grant omniscience.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John Stephens

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 03:25:12 PM »
Maybe I'm out in left field, but my suspicion is that your tires are too soft if you can squash them with that little ratchet on the straps. In any case, so what? Tires are designed to flex under load.

With all due respect to your mechanic, where does his vast dolly expertise come from?  I'm not saying I'm any more right than he is, but wearing the "mechanic" label on your chest does not grant omniscience.

My apology to you if I offended you by providing a differing viewpoint, Gary. I keep my tires at 30 psi, per manufacturer's guidelines, so yes, they are a bit softer than those kept at 35. My mechanic has been proven wrong before, but I tend to listen to what he says because he has been an RV mechanic owning his own very successful business for 40 years. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised you would be this defensive over something this trivial.

I have a chunk of sidewall missing from my right front tire on my car from being forced into a curb by a drunk driver. The steel belts are exposed but the tire is still drivable. When I asked my mechanic if it was going to be safe to tow, especially when I tighten the tire straps down to the point of flattening the tires and putting additional strain on the sidewalls, he told me not to tighten them that much. The man has driven and worked on RV's for a lot longer than me, so I tend to follow his advice. You fall into the same category and I also listen to what you have to say. I meant no disrespect.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
Acme EZ Tow Dolly and 2007 Azera

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Question on tow dolly
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 12:07:29 PM »
Quote
Frankly, I'm a bit surprised you would be this defensive over something this trivial.

I guess I did, and I apologize.  Yes, I do get a bit piqued when somebody is cited as an "authority" on some topic when that somebody has no more basis for an opinion than anybody else. Having some dirt under the fingernails doesn't confer omniscience in all things mechanical.  But I don't know your guy's credentials, so maybe should have been more polite.

Disclosure: I have only one year of dolly towing experience myself, so my opinion ain't worth a crap either.  :-[
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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