Dolly recommendations - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #15
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I use a very similar dolly to maneuver my trailer around the driveway. It's pretty easy to do on concrete. In fact it's faster for me to pull forwards up my driveway and into the garage, then unhitch and use the dolly to spin the trailer around, than to back the trailer up the driveway. My driveway is slightly uphill, so when I need help I get my son to pull on a strap wrapped around the rear bumper, while I push with the dolly.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:57 AM   #16
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Keep in mind that the HF dolly uses tubeless tires of not such great quality. The 6 month old one we have frequently looses air and, on occasion has had a tire pop off the bead when used. In short, ya gotta keep an air pump handy and check the pressure before use on the one we have. It's also a bit on the flimsy side, don't put a lot of "Lift" on the ball when using it or the ball mount can bend before lifting the tongue.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:31 AM   #17
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:44 AM   #18
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My dolly, which is typical of the cheap "600 pound capacity" units, is not adjustable for ball height. It works fine with the Boler, but if I were to put much time or effort into finding or building one of these, I woud want to be able to adjust it to suit the trailer. I see that while Northern Tool has a cheap dolly just like mine, they also have one with height adjustment. I have no experience with Northern Tool products - I just noticed that such designs exist.

Roger mentioned the problem of the dolly tires binding against the trailer tongue, and I have experienced this. A dolly is routinely used at angles one would never attempt with a tow vehicle, such as to spin the trailer in place. Larger diameter tires are easier to roll, but more likely to hit the trailer, so this is a compromise with no single right answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Keep in mind that the HF dolly uses tubeless tires of not such great quality. The 6 month old one we have frequently looses air and, on occasion has had a tire pop off the bead when used. In short, ya gotta keep an air pump handy and check the pressure before use on the one we have. It's also a bit on the flimsy side, don't put a lot of "Lift" on the ball when using it or the ball mount can bend before lifting the tongue.
I think mine is from Princess Auto - I bought it locally and we don't have Harbor Freight here. While not a shining example of fine workmanship, it hasn't bent in any way, using it with a utility trailer and our 17' Boler.

The tires - which have tubes - do leak down. I have considered getting "flat-free" (foam-filled) tires for it... as well as the wheelbarrow and hand truck, because they all have this problem to some extent. I expect that flat-free tires will cost at least as much as the $50 dolly itself.

I like Floyd's idea of using a lawn or garden tractor to move the trailer, but mine doesn't have that elevated ball mount, and my tractor is smaller so I think my trailer's tongue weight would be too much for it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I live on a bit of a hill, and I wanted the brakes on the trailer to come on, should I slip and fall, while moving the trailer. This works on the Harbor Frieght type dolly:
Trailer Dolly Brake Control
I think this is a great idea, but since I don't have any significant slope in my driveway I have not been sufficiently motivated to build a similar setup.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
There's always this...
That's how I do it.



I've seen guys on another forum use 12v winch motors to power the dollies. Me, I always figured I would get an old junk rear tine tiller, throw the tiller part away, and have a gas powered trailer dolly.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #21
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I, too, bought one of those "600 pound" dollies several years ago, from Cabela's, I believe. They all come from the same, very large, off-shore land mass country, I'm certain. At the time I had an off-road pop-up (Evolution E-1) with a higher hitch and heavy tongue weight because of the front platform. The ball height on the dolly wasn't right (too low) and the added tongue weight when that low bowed the axle badly, so I took it down to my local steel-working shop, where they welded on a higher extension. $$$. Then, when lowering the handle to tow the trailer, the handle buckled at one of the bolt joints. Back to the welders for steel reinforcing...more $$$. Then, needed a trip to the tire store to replace the sleazy tubes, yet more $$$.

It's marvelous on my little 8' dump run trailer, and with a 320 pound tongue weight on my Escape, it works just OK, but I need to keep the tires pumped up, and the axle still bows a little. Darn glad I didn't buy the 300 pound rated version!
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:00 PM   #22
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I wouldn't pay anyone to modify one of these dollies in any way that wasn't just bolting on a different part (such as a ball or wheels). If the basic $50 unit didn't work for me, and I couldn't buy one that did, I would build or have custom built the right dolly for the job... there just isn't enough value in one of these things to go to any effort or expense to use it. By the time every part is improved, there would be no original parts and starting from the standard unit will have only interfered with building the right design.

As it is, mine works for my purposes, making it a good deal for $50.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:41 PM   #23
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I bought mine to move my 6 X 12 utility trailer around.
And then I bought a 15' jon boat and trailer so I use it for that as well.
Works fine for them.

The TT is just a bit too heavy for this tired out fat boy to try.
'sides, I only have to back up a "S" trail to get it in the barn.

I might give my Bobcat Zero-turn a try with it...........
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:05 PM   #24
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Brian,

You're right.

The vendor likely would have taken it back, but there's many $'s worth of time and hassle to disassemble, re-package (if you still have the carton), tote it down to UPS, etc.,etc. And as I recall the cost was north of $100. Bells would have gone off in my mind if it was only $50!!! Taking a chance on a modification seemed reasonable at the time, especially since I'd never seen a model where one could adjust the ball height, and I did need a taller height. BTW, Cabela's now offers ONLY a model that's adjustable. It's still north of $100, and the reviews are widely disparate. I wouldn't touch it.

Bob
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:23 AM   #25
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I’ll admit that I don’t understand the ball height thing. For the short time I’m moving the trailer around in my backyard you don’t need the trailer to be level. I usually just locate the dolly under the hitch then lower the tongue until the dolly handle rises. After it’s in position I level the trailer.

Sometimes I just park the dolly at the receiver and just lower the tongue until it's an inch or two below the dolly ball.

Even nose down I've never observed axle bending and the trigonomtry just doesn't support much load transfer. But you've seen what you seen I suppose. Obviously YMMV.

Even so, I’ve noticed different height balls available so a 1”-2” height adjustment is even available for my Harbor Fright dolly. There's always enough vertical travel in the jack to lower the tongue enough that the dolly can be used to move the trailer.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:58 PM   #26
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I don't understand the physics of it, either. But a 350 pound tongue weight bowed the axle badly on a 600 pound rated dolly. After raising the ball, while the axle didn't bow as much, the simple act of leveraging the dolly to raise enough to move the trailer bent the frame. Changing the ball height probably affected the angles and stress loads, on a cheaply made piece of equipment to begin with. The old pop-up moved around easier after the tongue was level, and while I don't have the before and after comparison with the Escape, it's functioning OK, but the axle still bows a little.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:07 PM   #27
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Coupler heights vary greatly. If a trailer with a very low coupler is moved with it too high, there can can be clearance problems at the rear; if a trailer with a very high coupler is moved with it too low, there can be clearance problems with the tongue jack or other components.

The tongue weight of a single-axle trailer varies significantly with coupler height. Raise the coupler and the tongue weight goes down, which probably isn't a problem (and might be an advantage) for a manual dolly (although a power dolly would lose traction). Lower it and the tongue weight goes up, potentially too high for the dolly capacity and perhaps making moving the small-wheeled dolly more difficult.

Tandem-axle trailers tend to see the opposite effect, with a too-high tongue forcing the load onto the trailing axle and raising the load on the dolly (potentially to a problematic level), and too-low tongue balancing an excessive share of the load on the leading axle, and less on the dolly (which is likely okay).

Typical fixed-height dollies are fine with average trailers, but I can see how some combinations would be difficult and so ball height adjustment in a dolly could be desirable.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:46 PM   #28
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Harbor freight dolly

The harbor freight dolly works great - thank you guys for the recommendations!! Way worth the $54 bucks.
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