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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- Car dolly
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Car dolly
Bug, Baja, Thing and Buggies. Most every thing that will not fit any any other area. See list of other Forums for better topic placement...Volkswagen General Discussion
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locutisj
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Post Post subject: Car dolly
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 03:43 AM
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Ok. I consider myself pretty knowledgable with trailers and such.
What I'm not familiar with is car dollies.

My question is, can you tow from the front or rear of a vehicle. Meaning front or rear of the towed vehicle on the dolly.

My limited knowledge of physics tells me NO. Only the front.

BUT. I see wreckers towing vehicles with the rear hoisted up and the front dragging behind all the time.

This is due to a previous post about trailering a VW rail/baja in case some thing breaks. Not that I will rough it up as much as some of you guys do. Twisted Evil
Any-hoo. That post got me to thinking about what if?


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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 09:13 PM
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When tow trucks tow from the rear, they tie the steering column so it can't move much. I don't see why you couldn't do the same.


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VIN70
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 02:37 AM
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i think with wreckers it depends on if the car is fwd or rwd. say if they are repo'ing it and dont have the ability to put it in neutral they would tow from the non-drive wheels.


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az350x
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 05:16 AM
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I agree- I don't think it matters. I've seen cars being dragged backwards by a tow truck and they're going down the road all crooked because the front wheels aren't straight. That would drive me NUTS!


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57baja
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 08:41 AM
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Tow dollies are designed to tow front wheel drive cars with the front wheels only. Dollies actually pivot in the middle to steer. The immobile rear axle tracks along when the front tires are strapped on to the dolly. The tires on the dolly will turn, just like your front axle does. According to ALL of the dolly manufacturers, you are not to dolly a car backward under any circumstance.

Speaking from someone with 20 years of professional experience in the RV and towing industry, I wouldn't recommend it ever.

Yeah, if you made your front axle completely immobile, you might get away with it, but if you ever got in an accident you would expose yourself to unlimited liability, as you deviated from the manufacturer's recommended towing procedure.

Flat tow your bug.

Then you don't have a third vehicle to mess with when you get there, anyway.


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az350x
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 04:50 PM
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Don'tcha hate it when someone who actually KNOWS something comes along and just annihilates all sorts of well thought out logic? Laughing


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DutchBug
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 06:22 PM
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Ah, doesn't matter, 'bar-talk' is great Smile

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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:03 AM
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az350x wrote:
Don'tcha hate it when someone who actually KNOWS something comes along and just annihilates all sorts of well thought out logic? Laughing

You can also tell 57Baja is from CA, and from a dealership management background. A lot of answers involve liabilty, and black/white, no gray areas!

I forget what it was like going to court every single month, having the dealer I worked at being sued for something redicules. I am glad I am not in CA anymore. Cool


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57baja
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 07:38 AM
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LOL.

You guys are too funny.

Think about this from a purely mechanical perspective (leaving out the liability crap). Your rear wheels are perfectly parallel to your plane of travel, and parallel to your front axle, right? At least they were designed to be. Now put those wheels on the dolly and tow with only your front wheels on the ground. If you lock your front wheel steering, and they are even only 1/2" from tracking correctly, they are going to be dog-tracking, exerting excess pressure on one side of each tire, skipping across the ground, and putting forces on your steering components on only one side. Besides this, when you are going over a bump, your suspension will not cycle backward and upward (absorbing the force) like it was designed to do, it will have to move forward as it moves upward, putting more strain on steering and suspension components, rather than relieving pressure. These things can't be healthy.

For this same reason, I wouldn't advocate driving over 60 mph in reverse, either. (chuckling)


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az350x
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 08:05 AM
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I guess I should have clarified the scenario I was referring to. In a pinch, at safe (like 45-50 mph), for short distance. I wasn't referring to a coast-to-coast, 80 mph jaunt. I believe the original post implied something was broken, for example and you needed to drag the car home...


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locutisj
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Post Post subject: Re: Car dolly
Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 06:46 PM
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Well, alrighty then.

My towing would be 300-400 miles. I was planning on flat towing (tow bar) but after some discussions in another post, I thought maybe I should think differently. A tow dolly was the only other option as I don't have a large enough towing vehicle to pull a full trailer with the baja on it.

57,
I had the same toughts about the load against the front steering componants as well as the car pulling it. I figured it would be a bit tough on the driver unless you were driving some thing with some weight and power and had the towed vehicles front wheels perfectly straight.
All I have is an Acura MDX to pull with so I'm stuck with flat towing.

Thanks for the replies guys.
Sorry I took so long. Went out of state for a wedding this past weekend, then replaced the front motor mount on said MDX as soon as we got back Sunday. Boy that was a b%*#@ but thats another story.


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