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Old 12-08-2013, 03:16 PM   #1
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Is a Steering wheel lock needed with a dolly?

I was always under the impression that a tow dolly required that the steering wheel be locked on the towed vehicle. Can anybody confirm this for me? My 2012 Mazda 5 has no steering wheel lock which will mean I will have to come up with a custom solution if this is so.

Mike
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
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Yes, it does need to lock. I confirmed this when we were trying to decide to tow 4 down or tow dolly. Our Equinox easily supports towing 4 down so I bought and installed the Blue-Ox setup.
Anyway, what I learned on the tow dolly option is that the car will tow out of line (the line-up of the tow dolly wheels to the towed vehicle rear wheels). As you turn with the tow dolly, the tow vehicle front wheel will want to turn with the pressure but it won't re-center and cause the back end of the tow vehicle to ride off center.

I asked the guy at the trailer shop about non-locking steering and he told us what some folks do is wrap the seat belt through the steering wheel and lock it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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Would a steering wheel lock like The Club or the one here work for your purpose? You would also have a theft deterrent too.
SVAT AUTOLOCK200 Auto Steering Wheel Security Lock Vehicle Anti-Theft Device for Cars, Pickup Trucks, Minivans & SUVs : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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I did a ten mile loop pulling the car on the dolly Sunday without locking the steering. I put a loop of tape on the steering wheel at the 12 o'clock position and watched it while driving using the rear view camera. It would move on turns but then re-center itself after a short while.

I am going to try the seatbelt trick, it seems easy.

Mike
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:24 PM   #5
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Mike, you may want to check into the owners manual of your tow dolly. All the ones I looked into stated you must lock the steering wheel.
Here is Roadmaster caution:
Failure to lock the steering wheel will allow the
towed vehicle to pivot on the bed, causing it to
hit the fender and wheel assemblies of the dolly.

Severe damage to both vehicles will result.

The one on Master Tow:
On vehicles not equipped with steering lock mechanism is imperative that the steering wheel be immobilized by tying it to the seat frame or other suitable point with a ratchet strap or other device.


And on Demco:
Shift loaded car into “park” and lock steering wheel with front tires in a straight position. If the car
does not have a locking steering column the steering wheel must be tied securely with front tires in a straight position.


If you bought your dolly used you might try to research a manual on it.
I was looking at the Roadmaster and the Demco. Both are good dollies with Demco a little better. I was literally just about to go buy the Demco because I didn't want to hook-up all the tow bar stuff on our new Equinox but in the end I'm glad we went with the tow bar.

Bobby
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:50 PM   #6
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The seatbelt trick would not work easily on the Mazda, but I think a ratchet strap tied to the seat frame likely will.

Mike
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeA View Post
The seatbelt trick would not work easily on the Mazda, but I think a ratchet strap tied to the seat frame likely will.

Mike
Tilt wheel?
Be gentle!
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:23 PM   #8
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Actually it depends on the type of tow dolly. The Acme EZ Tow dolly requires that the steering wheel be able to move freely. Though the tires are secured, the car tracks the tow vehicle. There is a much clearer explanation on their website. I have this tow dolly and it works great.
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