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Old 07-12-2020, 01:37 PM   #1
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THOR #15515
Tightening Straps on Tow Dolly????

How tight do you keep the straps on your to dolly? It seems no matter how tight I get them I have to re tighten them almost every stop. I also noticed that if the dolly is not straight with or inline with the RV one tire or the other is not touching the stop, is that normal? I am thinking that they don't have to be that awful tight.

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SR
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
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I keep the straps as tight as possible but only have to re-tighten after about the first couple of miles and they stay tight through the trip. Both tires should be on the stops before you tie the toad down. Sometimes you have to swivel the dolly platform to get the stops lined up for the car. My straps have a ratchet buckle on them and there is a lock down on them you thread the strap through to keep the buckle from loosening up. Make sure you have the strap snug on the tire and the clips to the rear bars tight before you star to ratchet the straps down. Hope this helps!
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:42 PM   #3
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Dolly straps will stretch significantly over the first one or two trips and then slightly as they wear. They should be as tight as possible and then checked after a short distance of driving that includes left and right turns. My first two trips with a dolly I was tightening straps every stop.

You don't mention whether or not your dolly had a rotating bed. If it does line the bed up before loading the car. If not make sure the car is straight when loading, tighten your straps or both.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:48 PM   #4
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...As tight as possible... and then a little bit more!
It's just the nature of nylon woven straps to stretch and loosen. Every stop requires a quick inspection (and tightening: if necessary!).
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:18 PM   #5
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What they all said

I had a strap actually come off. Not unbuckled, but over/under the tire/wheel so that it was no longer holding the vehicle down.
We can laugh about it now, I re-tied once I discovered the problem, and continued on with my trip.

However...I noticed that the straps I was using were made for a much larger tire/wheel, thus there was too much space between the sewn webbing/straps. And the tire slid thru it during vibrations and movement on the dolly.

So I purchased another set of straps for smaller tires.

I am always re-tightening them while underway.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:50 PM   #6
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Thanks all.
I have only done one 500 mile trip with it and am leaving tomorrow on a little
300 mile trip. It must be that they are still new enough to still be stretching a bit. I thought 500 miles should have done it. I will always check them at each stop no matter what.
Thanks to all.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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Tighten straps

As stated, make sure the straps fit your tire size. I load in my driveway (both tires touching the stops), drive 50 feet up my driveway (making several stops), stop & tighten again, pull out of my drive (sharp 90 degree turn), stop and tighten again, drive to the end of my street, stop and tighten again. After that I rarely have to tighten the straps again.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:47 PM   #8
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I check/tighten them after every stop.

As stated above: When they are new they stretch a lot. Was a good 2 or 3 trips before ours stopped.

You also want both tires hitting the front stop as much as possible. On ours if they aren't even after a couple of stops and tightens the tire that is off the stop ends up getting "crushed"--at that point I end up having to readjust everything.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:04 PM   #9
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Hi Jamie, What ends up getting crushed? Sorry but I am not understanding your post. It is very difficult to get both tires perfectly up against the stops. Thanks a lot
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:13 PM   #10
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That's the game, we even bought best straps we could find, you are yanking your car around pretty good on it! We crank them down at every stop.
My safety chains work real good! we just stopped on base to get gas and check the straps!! Have to check car and yaks!
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrooney View Post
Hi Jamie, What ends up getting crushed? Sorry but I am not understanding your post. It is very difficult to get both tires perfectly up against the stops. Thanks a lot
What dolly are you using? (It may help many of us commenting because there is subtle differences between them.)

The tire: Sadly I don't have a pic of what happens, can only describe it (never thought to snap a pic was more interested in getting everything right).

What happens with our Acme dolly is that when there is a gap at the front the strap is pretty much tight around the wheel any further racheting down on the strap pulls down on the wheel/tire "crushing" the tire. Of course in this case the straps are tight its just that the wheel can't roll forward as you tighten, it just pulls "down" on the wheel/tire.

It doesn't hurt anything--I've left it that way for a few hundred miles and then when removing the car off the dolly everything is ok (you know rubber is flexible LOL).
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:41 PM   #12
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Thanks Jamie. I have an Acme as well. When I have a gap and tighten it up the wheel moves forward to the stop. Thanks again
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:42 PM   #13
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also make sure any extra strapping is tucked in well, I had one wrap around the wheel and had it gone on for long could have been a real problem - tuck them in and knot them so they don't come loose.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:01 PM   #14
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I agree: tie them off so that no loose ends can get somewhere that they don't belong..,
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I agree: tie them off so that no loose ends can get somewhere that they don't belong..,
Yeah or they just hit the road and fray.

Note how I have them looped back on themselves here:
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:50 PM   #16
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I always worried about them getting wrapped around a hub, and making a real mess of things..,
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Yeah or they just hit the road and fray.
Note how I have them looped back on themselves here:
I agree with Jamie, strap through the ratchet and double it back with slack at the strap to tighten, keep loose end and tightening strap flat on each other and tighten fully. No loose end to catch, fray or cause issues. Works excellent on my American Car Dolly.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrooney View Post
Thanks all.

I have only done one 500 mile trip with it and am leaving tomorrow on a little

300 mile trip. It must be that they are still new enough to still be stretching a bit. I thought 500 miles should have done it. I will always check them at each stop no matter what.

Thanks to all.
Tires need to be touching the front rail evenly

Use double strap hooks vs single hooks, they hold tension much better

Tighten them until you see the tire squish down slightly

Check in 50 miles
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:24 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:59 PM   #20
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How tight should they be

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrooney View Post
How tight do you keep the straps on your to dolly? It seems no matter how tight I get them I have to re tighten them almost every stop. I also noticed that if the dolly is not straight with or inline with the RV one tire or the other is not touching the stop, is that normal? I am thinking that they don't have to be that awful tight.

Thanks
SR

We generally stop within 50-miles and retighten them. They are good until we get to our destination. As for the being close to the stops, it is not necessary. The stops are there to stop going forward when loading the car.

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