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Old 05-20-2015, 10:55 PM   #1
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correct way to use a tow dolly

I got a free tow dolly with my new unit, it does not have brakes. That is on my list to upgrade.

I have been told 3 different ways to set the car up
1) leave the key in and have the wheel free to spin
2) have wheel locked and park or neutral
3) have the car in neutral and tie the wheel down (how is this done)

What is truth here...
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:37 PM   #2
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I recently requested information from Dodge about dolly towing my new car and this is part of what they sent back:

When using a tow dolly, follow this procedure:
Properly secure the dolly to the tow vehicle, following the dolly
manufacturer's instructions.
Drive the front wheels onto the tow dolly.
Firmly apply the parking brake. Place the transmission in PARK.
Properly secure the front wheels to the dolly, following the dolly
manufacturer's instructions.
Release the parking brake.

It's pretty basic and general but the biggest take away from it is that you should try and find the manufactures info.
Tie down straps can be purchased at different places, I think Harbor Freight has some, but a lot depends on the design of the dolly.
I take my keys out because the deck the car rides on, on my Master Tow, pivots so the wheels don't turn yours may be different.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:56 PM   #3
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The years that I have used a tow dolly, I would secure the wheels with straps remove key and leave in park for automatic transmission and neutral for standard transmission. I always used safety chains to secure to car chassis. Once or twice the steering would lock, but never an issue. You cannot go in reverse in MH with car on dolly.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:00 PM   #4
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I would put my manual transmissions in 3rd gear so, God forbid, if the car came off it would slow down and stop quicker. I'd use 3rd gear so the engine wouldn't over rev.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:52 PM   #5
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Depends

It actually depends on the tow dolly and the vehicle. For example, the Acme Tow dolly is a bit different and the wheels on your towed vehicle must be able to move. As a result, you must either have a vehicle without a locking steering column or you must---after securing the vehicle---have the key "on" to release the column lock. Check out their website, it has a very nice video on this.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:44 PM   #6
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FRONT WHEEL DRIVE ;
If the dolly wheels pivot then the cars front wheels must pivot , so to do so your steering wheel would need to be unlocked !
And the tranny should be in park or 1st gear
With emergency brake off !
There are lots of places that sell the straps that
Go over the tires , NORTHERN TOOL is one .

REAR WHEEL DRIVE ;
Steering wheel unlocked and manual tranny in nuetral !
If 2wd and auto tranny i have taken drive shaft off or tied it up out of the way .
If 4x4 then transfer case in nuetral , manual tranny in 1st gear , auto tranny in park .
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj06 View Post
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE ;
If the dolly wheels pivot then the cars front wheels must pivot , so to do so your steering wheel would need to be unlocked !
park .
^^ Not true. The lower deck of the dolly pivots and the section above it that the front wheels are on stay straight. Steering wheel can be locked . This is true for Master brand Dolly's. Is not true for some other less expensive brands where you do need to have the wheel unlocked. .
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