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Towing with a dollie
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Picture of L78steve
posted
Anyone have any experience towing with a Dollie? I have a Nissan X Terra that I have to tow back to front,Rear wheels off the ground.
Do I lock the steering column or let it track free?


1990 34 Regency WB
3208 300HP

1993 34 Regency WB
8.3 Cummins 300HP
 
Posts: 133 | Location: Hendersonville NC | Member Since: 02-02-2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 7/17
Picture of Steve VW
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When I bought 86Barth in early 2011, it was in an RV park in the Florida Keys, had not been on the road for 2 years. I had a month to work on it before the maiden voyage back to Michigan.

We drove our Prius south to Florida. After the month, we rented a tow dolly. The first time I ever drove the coach was to back it out of the site. We then hitched the dolly to the coach, drove the Prius on the dolly.

We left for Michigan, no major problems. (Technically the coach was over gross and with the old 454 it was straining on hills.) 1500 miles later, we arrived home. No handling trouble but I was towing front wheels up. We unhitched the tow and I got to drive the coach the first time without a trailer!

Since then I have not towed another vehicle. One of the main reasons I have been rebuilding the engine, trans, driveline was to be able to tow without overloading the old driveline. (Meanwhile I bought the diesel Monarch and that will take care of that!)

Meanwhile I am getting the VW bus ready to tow. Engine is half done. I have a Blue Ox tow bar to tow 4 down. Still working on the vehicle tow bracket design.

Good luck with your towing setup! Tooling Along


8607-3346-33TFPOB------9708-M0037-37MM-01
86 Regal SE 33 Tag axle--"98" Monarch 37
Chev P3(7) 454TBI--------Cummins 8.3 300 hp
400 hp fuel injected-------6 spd Allison, Spartan MM
 
Posts: 3230 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/16
Picture of Kevin
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quote:
Do I lock the steering column or let it track free?


I would think you need to lock the wheel perfectly straight. If it was turned your toad would dog track to one side.
 
Posts: 2586 | Location: Northeast , Ohio | Member Since: 07-29-2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 12/15
Picture of Pgh. Pirate
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Witnessed accident caused by front wheels not being locked up. Tow truck operator permitted people to ride in the towed vehicle. People had a great time turning the steering wheel and "whipping" wide around a corner. Car ran into three cars behind me. Lock it up and secure with a strap.

Additionally, I believe some states do not permit dolly towing rearward fashion.


'92 Breakaway
Diesel Pusher, Cummins 190hp,
No Modifications
Allison AT542
Floor Plan 30-BS-11B
9205-3798-30BS11B
 
Posts: 178 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Member Since: 11-07-2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/16
Picture of Mike/Cindi W
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From what I have read, if the vehicle is being towed facing backwards (rear wheels up), front steering needs to be locked . They even mentioned vehicles that didn't have locking type front steering should ratchet strap down the steering wheel! Unlocked, free steering front wheels would turn into dolly wheels on some turns..

Also, dolly towing a vehicle that is facing backwards shouldn't run afoul of any state laws as long as some sort of assembly is attached to the towed vehicle, hard wired to the towing vehicle lighting circuit so as to show brake, turn signals, and tail lighting activated by the towing vehicle's normal operation...

The additional question arises that, if you are from a state that doesn't require a front license plate installation, you may have to temporarily remount your rear plate along with an illumination device to the now rear facing front end..

****sorry for the dulplicate postings (that I have since deleted..) weird wifi problems at my aunt's house this A.M. ****


food for thought... "...Prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance.."
Nathan Rutstein

M/C-W

1991 early XL-style (maybe 1 of 2?) Breakaway... but prior to that actual (XL) designation...
2nd Barth w/Cat 3208T 250 hp motor
4 spd MT643 Allison trans
Gilig Air suspension chassis/brakes
Data Tag: 9010 3694 34-BG-1B
 
Posts: 288 | Location: Mendo Coast, NorCal...  | Member Since: 08-23-2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/09
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There are several aspects to consider...

(1) Is your XTerra already set up to be towed in this fashion or will you need special equipment/modifications? If it is a 4WD or AWD vehicle, some kind of driveshaft disconnect needs to be in place so you don't damage the transmission or transfer case. Your XTerra owner's manual should have information on this.

(2) How much does XTerra weigh, loaded as it will be when being towed? This will factor into needing brakes on the tow dolly... you probably will.

(3) How much does your RV weigh, same conditions? You need to know whether or not your RV is rated with enough GCVWR (the total amount it can weigh when towing something) to safely handle the XTerra back there.

(4) What is the weight capacity of the hitch on the RV? Many of them (especially on older motorhomes) are limited to 3500# because of the way that are attached to the RV frame. Some fortification by a metal shop may be needed to bump up the capacity.

And YES, always lock the front wheels when towing rear-up! Wink
 
Posts: 465 | Location: Illinois | Member Since: 10-09-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of L78steve
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The X Terra is 4WD so the rear axle must be off the ground.
The dollie I have has surge brakes.
The coach and hitch are adequate for the toad weight.


1990 34 Regency WB
3208 300HP

1993 34 Regency WB
8.3 Cummins 300HP
 
Posts: 133 | Location: Hendersonville NC | Member Since: 02-02-2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/09
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Make sure you look at the XTerra owner's manual for manufacturer instructions on towing your particular vehicle. If it's 4WD then the front wheels also have "drive" ability and may or may not be able to be towed freely (to avoid transmission damage) without disconnecting the drivetrain.

Sometimes drivetrain disconnects are as simple as putting the transmission in neutral or pulling a fuse, sometimes a physical bypass of some kind needs to be installed.
 
Posts: 465 | Location: Illinois | Member Since: 10-09-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of L78steve
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The front wheels do free wheel. I will have to tie the steering wheel, non locking column.


1990 34 Regency WB
3208 300HP

1993 34 Regency WB
8.3 Cummins 300HP
 
Posts: 133 | Location: Hendersonville NC | Member Since: 02-02-2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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