First and foremost is the dreaded man eating tow dolly. It won’t take you too long to realize that driving a motor home to some exotic location loses a lot of its luster when, upon arriving you find you can’t go anywhere. Confining is the word that best describes it. Quickly you will decide you need a car and that’s where the tow dolly comes in. What a wonderful invention! Let’s you tow your car behind the RV. Nothing to it.
As you look at the tow dolly above, your probably thinking “What could be simpler? Couple of tires, platform and a ramp. Be aware, this seemingly docile structure will bring you to your knees.
The first issue is what I call the peril of the overshoot. That happens when you drive your car up the ramp, onto the platform and then over the front side of the dolly. This places your car’s front tires past the front tires of the dolly. You car and the dolly now resemble two dogs in the mating position. Getting out of this position requires the assistance of a tow truck and a high tolerance for embarrassment as you explain what happened to the driver.
The second thing to watch out for is the off center entry on to the dolly. This causes the wheel cover on the dolly to bend and your car to be scratched as you hit the wheel cover. The wheel cover now rubs against the tow dolly tire. You will not know this has happened. After driving down the road for awhile you will notice smoke coming from the tow dolly tire. This happens right before the tire blows out. With any luck you can stop the RV without killing yourself. Changing the tire is no issue except the tow dolly comes with no spare tire
The third thing to watch for is what I call sparkler syndrome. This occurs when the car slides back on the platform because the tie downs have loosened. Because the tow dolly is designed like a teeter-totter, the shift in weight causes the ramp to lower and ride on the pavement. This in turn causes a massive rooster tail of sparks. If you have no gas leak the fix is easy enough. If you are leaking gas the solution is more problematic.
Lastly, tow dollies also have a tendency to want to go home without you. This occurs when you are not careful to seat the dolly connector on the tow hitch. As a result when you hit the first large bump the dolly will disassociate itself from your motor home. You will know when this happens by using your side mirrors. If you see the tow dolly with your car on top of it attempting to pass you, recognize immediately that this is not the normal configuration for the tow dolly and the RV. Disaster looms. The best solution for this dilemma, whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, is prayer. Unfortunately, the statistical analysis of the outcomes from this condition are not in your favor no matter how close to God you think you are.
Where the tow dolly is concerned “forwarned is forarmed.” Every adventure has its price.
Harry McHugh… first a corporate blue suiter then an entrepreneur. Writes to relive the adventure. Big believer in jump before you look. The results are usually hysterical. Catch Harry’s stories at: funnierthanwethink.blogspot.com/