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Old 05-30-2022, 12:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Coral Springs
Posts: 99
My experience towing a car on a dolly across the country.

I know this has been covered a million times but I thought I would write about my experience towing my daughters Mazda-3 across the country. I rented a U-haul dolly and towed my daughters Mazda-3 small car from Delaware to California. First time I ever used a Dolly. Here are random observations. The U-haul dolly had no license plate or brakes. I guess as long as a car is on it the carís license plate covers that requirement. U-haul said I did not need additional lights on the car but I purchased ďmagnetic lights ď from Harbor Freight and used them. I ran the wires for the magnetic lights through the cars cabin and used blue painters tape to secure it along the way. I was surprised that the dolly did not have surge brakes but towing it behind my 34G I can honestly say I could not tell it was back there. If I ever purchase my own dolly I will get one with surge brakes for the additional safety. And I already mentioned I could hardly feel the car back there so obviously it towed great. What I did not realize is that as you go through turns, the wheels of the dolly and the back wheels of the car almost exactly follow the tracks of the back wheels of the RV. So itís very easy to maneuver through parking lots or campgrounds. If you were to look at the tire tracks of the Dolly and the cars back wheels, they go right over the tire tracks of the back wheels of the RV. I probably took the car on and off the dolly to use it a half a dozen times on our vacation/road trip. After doing it a couple of times I could get the car on and off the dolly in 10 minutes including unstrapping or strapping it in. Something I saw at AutoZone the other day is now they have wireless magnetic lights to put on the back of the car. A tiny transmitter plugs in to the trailer connection on the back of the RV, it sends a Bluetooth signal to the two magnetic lights you put on the back of the car. You could set up those lights in a few seconds. As far as what to do with the dolly in the campground I found a it fairly easily to just maneuver it around by myself. Of course the U-Haul dolly was made of heavy steel so the thing is pretty heavy but as long as the campground was level I had no trouble maneuvering it around and just pushing it over to the side so storage of the dolly on the campground was never an issue. Most of the time I just left it connected to the RV. If I was to buy my own I would certainly buy one made of aluminum just cause itís a lot lighter. So, to sum it up we had a positive experience towing the car using the U-haul Dolly on a road trip across the country. Iím sure four-flat would be better and more convenient. As Iím sure most of you know itís expensive to set up a car properly to tow flat. Iíll probably eventually end up buying my own aluminum dolly with surge brakes to tow my wifeís Hyundai Santa Fe behind our rig. They make some really cool aluminum dollies that you can stand up on the side of your garage or on the side of your house when youíre not using them. Have fun.
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Old 05-30-2022, 01:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DonC757 View Post
I know this has been covered a million times but I thought I would write about my experience towing Have fun.
It's great hearing success stories and I'm glad you had a great time!
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Old 05-30-2022, 02:17 PM   #3
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Here is a U-Haul tow dolly tip:

Years back (not sure if they still do this but worth a try), I wanted to rent a tow dolly to try it out for a couple of weeks and asked the local U-Haul people if I could get a two week discount and they said that they couldn't do that but if I called the U-Haul number that they may be able to give me a two week discount. In any case, they did give me a discount and told me that it was because of the availability of dollies in my area and that I was going to bring it back to the same location.

So, if anyone wants to rent a dolly (or trailer I suspect) for a couple of weeks, call the main number and ask as I suspect they may still do this upon request. ~CA
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Old 05-30-2022, 11:10 PM   #4
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Wow, thank you sir for this on the Motorhome Class A threat I have ask a question about flat towing vs tow dolly, the DW and I are throwing the ideal around on getting a Class A but needed a car to go with us so we can go to the store or sightseeing.

The U-Haul tow dolly I thought that they do have surge brake on them, that big box on the front of the tongue underneath is your surge brake. I have been checking on YouTube for all kind of option on flat towing and tow dolly, and I feel that if and when we do get a class A that we might have to go with tow dolly. I have seen that aluminum tow dolly, the one that you can stand up, now that would be ideal thanks for your review.
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Old 05-31-2022, 05:14 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Coral Springs
Posts: 99
Uhaul surge brakes

I did a little internet research and evidently some of the newer Uhaul Dollieís are equipped with surge brakes. So we are both right. Iím certain the one I rented a few months back did not. It didnít look very old. I strongly feel that they should. A couple of times over the course of my fairly long life I have had to slam on the brakes while towing something and believe me you want all the stopping capacity you can have. See picture attached.
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