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Old 05-27-2016, 10:52 PM   #1
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THOR #4032
Demco Kar Kaddy Warning

We purchased a new Kar Kaddy SS a few weeks ago from a major RV Dealer in Billings MT. They supplied the hitch setup and took the time to show me how to load my VW Beetle on it (I did not have the car with me)... a couple weeks later I loaded my car on it and when I did I heard a loud sound but figured it was normal. Later when I backed it off it did severe damage to the front bumper cover (read $1K)...

In checking with Demco the first thing I had to determine was a formula (not difficult) to see it in fact my vehicle should be loaded on the KarKaddy. No problem, it passed that test with flying colors.

Next I talked with Demco and they looked at several photos I took and we determined the following:

1. The hitch setup was two inches short of what it should be. It was not likely though that this in itself caused the damage I described.

2. The "Latch Catch" was under the platform. Nobody knows how this could have happened, but it should have been on top as being under would not allow the tilt to be properly latched down. Still not sure this caused the damage and I was able with the help of a friend to put it where it belonged.

3. When I took delivery the ramps were unfolded during the demonstration but the man said they looked "too low" to tow it like that so he folded them up and away I went (empty) to my home with it. At this point alarm bells should have been going off but at that point I didn't really understand all the different parts ....and how they worked.

4. When you lower the ramps you must put them down, and PUSH them forward to lock them in place after which there is a knob that allows you to lock them in place. Someone had tightened the bolts on the sides of the ramps so tight there was no way to push them into a locking position, but again, I didn't realize it because the person who demonstrated the dolly when I bought likely didn't realize they had to go forward and lock into place. Because the ramps were tilted due to the bed not completely flat, and the ramps not being locked tight the representative at Demco was fairly certain this condition caused the damage to the bumper cover.

Conclusion: If you buy a car dolly, even if you have used a different brand before, read the instructions very, very carefully. Do not rely on the counter guy who sold it to you to know what he is talking about. He is likely doing the best he can BUT if he has not used this model for himself, indeed if he does not use a car dolly take what he says with a grain of salt.

READ the instructions, read them again, make sure the mechanical parts are working as they should. Don't assume it was properly assembled prior to your putting money on the counter.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, and I realize I might have avoided this if I had taken the time to really read the manual. Looking back, I would have bought the ACME Dolly and saved a lot of money. It is a much simpler design and what happened could not have happened with their model. I like the way the Demco works, but I could have bought two ACME Dollys for what this has cost me.

Lesson learned the hard way.

P.S. I did ask the dealer to take the dolly back and get a refund. Good luck with that. Long after he forgets this I will remember and when it comes time to trade in my ACE I may go elsewhere. I am not sure, but this is how I feel today.
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:02 AM   #2
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THOR #3219
Swallowed that same pill. Only difference was I ordered my Kar Kaddy SS and assembled it. I was excited and in a hurry to load my Malibu that I did not Push the ramps up and lock them (I had tightened the bolts too tight). It also did about 1K damage. I too wish I had read the instructions more carefully and had taken my time loading it for the first time.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:10 AM   #3
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THOR #4032
It would be nice if there was a real caution somewhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidabailey View Post
Swallowed that same pill. Only difference was I ordered my Kar Kaddy SS and assembled it. I was excited and in a hurry to load my Malibu that I did not Push the ramps up and lock them (I had tightened the bolts too tight). It also did about 1K damage. I too wish I had read the instructions more carefully and had taken my time loading it for the first time.
Yes, if we had been cautioned somewhere....what a hard lesson to learn. How is your Kar Kaddy SS working for you now? Any other problems?
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:37 AM   #4
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We have only used it on a short trip here in Fl but are fixing to go to SC VA & Washington DC. will be gone a month. No problems.
Am looking to buy a Colorado next year and the owners manual says to tow it backwards but Demco says not to load backward. Am going to have to do more research before we buy
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidabailey View Post
We have only used it on a short trip here in Fl but are fixing to go to SC VA & Washington DC. will be gone a month. No problems.
Am looking to buy a Colorado next year and the owners manual says to tow it backwards but Demco says not to load backward. Am going to have to do more research before we buy

There is likely a very good reason they say to always have the car or truck facing forward so I would give them a call. I have a feeling it has something to do with the way the dollys wheels swivel. The last thing you want is to have it unload while being towed or some other disaster.

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Old 05-28-2016, 04:53 PM   #6
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THOR #4032
Anyone else tow a VW? Have any problems or concerns?

I think the Demco Kar Kaddy SS is a nice design. But as outlined, it can get you into trouble if not set up exactly right. Have any other readers had any experiences with this unit, good or bad, and what kind of cars to you tow? Any and all comments are desired and welcome. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:14 PM   #7
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I am hoping to bring thread back to life as I have been going back and forth between the Kar Kaddy and the ACME dolly. After reading this, I think I am sticking with the ACME. I read the Kar Kaddy manual and it says you have to lock the steering wheel in a straight position. Well, I think car manufacturers stopped making locking steering wheels so how does one "tie down" their steering wheel in a straight position? Also, I watched several videos and it doesn't look like the Kar Kaddy has evolved at all over the last 10 years. Any additional input from owners of both would be great.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:42 PM   #8
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Very Pleased with Kar Kaddy SS

Demco sales a steering wheel tie down strap. We just returned from a 2000 mile trip pulling our Malibu on our Kar Kaddy SS. Had no problems and am very pleased with this combination.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:46 PM   #9
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Dave, thank you for the feedback. Of course the online threads only have the negative so I was looking for the positive from a few owners.
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Old 07-30-2016, 05:38 PM   #10
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So after reading the owner manuals of the Kar Kaddy and the ACME tow dolly, I do believe the Kar Kaddy is superior. Of course with any mechanically moving item, you must read the instructions and understand how it work before operating. I think the issues people have had in the past are primarily associated with not following directions or reading them.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:10 PM   #11
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I believe the issue concerning the locking of the steering wheel is due to the rotating bed on the Demco vs non rotating bed on the Acme. I have a Master Tow with a rotating bed and it also requires the steering wheel to be locked and the transmission in Park. I believe the Acme wants the trans in Neutral and I'm not sure how Demco wants the trans.

Some folks have reported issues with the rotating beds causing damage to the side of a car but I have not had any issues with my dolly towing a Ford Fusion. Just make sure the car is centered on the dolly.
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Old 12-07-2016, 07:47 PM   #12
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Post have both acme and demco ss

I have both the acme tow dolly and a demco ss. both are new in 2016 and are great tow dollies but have unique applications. the acme has a fixed tow bed and the demco has a pivoting bed. basically if your toad has a locking steering wheel use the demco. both dollies are nearly identical in performance. the demco is slightly easier to load and unload as the ramps are always attached. i tow either a 2006 solara convertable or a 2014 kia soul. note the acme costs 2/3$ of the demco. the demco dealer was totally uninformed as to the characteristics and usage of the dolly. read the manual or call demco be4 your first use. also be sure to set the hitch ball to the correct height for each dolly. once u center the ramps on either be sure to mark the positions, makes reloading much easier.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:19 AM   #13
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THOR #13712
Tow Dolly Selection Help

We are looking for a tow dolly that will not break the bank and yet still allow us to tow our 2014 Ford Fusion front wheel drive. We have a Thor Palazzo 36.1 that has a 10k hitch that should handle anything. We are looking at the threads and still are unsure which unit is the best value for the money.

Thanks for any advice you care to share.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:05 AM   #14
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We've been happy with our Acme EZE-Tow Dolly. So far we've pulled four different cars with it without issue.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:00 AM   #15
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I have used two different Acme tow dollies, and have had no problems with either.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:25 AM   #16
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I bought a Acme Ez-Tow pre owned, and it works great for our 15 Ford Edge. We traded for a Explorer hoping it fits! According to my measurement it is the same width at the outsides of the front tires, and is only about 300lbs heavier.
Couldn't tell it was behind us, except of the image in the rear camera !


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Old 01-14-2019, 12:50 PM   #17
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We use a Master tow dolly for a 2017 Ford Focus and have had no issues, just wrap the steering wheel with the seat belt and slide the seat back. Went with the Master tow because tires/rims are standard at any Walmart in case we were to ever have a problem.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:57 PM   #18
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KarKaddy SS

IMO, nothing out there beats the SS. I've hauled 2 different Focuses on mine and am currently hauling a 2014 Escape. You do have to read the instructions!
One of the earlier posts mentioned tying the steering wheel down - just use the seatbelt. Run the seat forward, pull the belt all the way out, wrap it around the bottom of the wheel (or post) several times and run the seat back. I've never had it move, even during a catastrophic blowout.
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