Tips on using the H/F Tongue Dolly - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-20-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Tips on using the H/F Tongue Dolly

Just so other know what I have learned the hard way about the Harbor Freight Tongue Dolly. In a few words, it's cheaply made and the tires suck.... To make it last longer:

1. Never try to use the dolly as a lift for the tongue: Anything more than a couple of inches of lifting can cause the metal strapping that holds the ball to fold over.

2. Keep the tires inflated to 30 PSI and check them before use. I lifted a 250 lb tongue about 2" and one of the tires blew out a side wall. Upon checking I found that the other tire had leaked down to about 15 PSI in about 3 months, I suspect the same thing happened to the one that blew out it's side wall.

3. Always store the dolly inside. Mine had been outside for less than 6 months when the tires started showing severe cracking between the treads.

4. Watch for replacement tires to go on sale. The replacement tire and wheel lists for about $20 but I was told that they have recently been in the sale flier for $10.

Keep in mind that it's an inexpensive tool, take care of it accordingly, and it might last a while.

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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Name: Gage
Trailer: 13' Burro
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I guess everyone has their own type of problems. I've had one for going on 10 years now, use it all the time. I also check the air every time I use it. That's just good common sense. I live in the high desert and my dolly stays out but under a canopy. Use it as it's supposed to be used and it will last a long time.

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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I bought mine second hand, about two years ago, for $40. It lives in the snow at the moment. The tires do go flat, so I pump them up when I use it. Otherwise, no problems.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
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I also have a used one, but don't know if it is HF, but I did replace the flat prone tires with solid rubber ones from HF..... now I will need to weld the handle back on the flimsy metal bar.
Dave & Paula
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Escape 19
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I bought the same product from another source (Cabela's, I believe), and it's been to the metal shop twice now. First was to raise the ball height to accommodate my raised trailer. Second time was to weld in reinforcing bars where it folded like a lawn chair. Supposedly I got the model rated for 600 pounds, but it couldn't handle my 320 pound tongue weight. The tires have also been to the tire store for new tubes. A true "Triple C" product...that would be Cheap Chinese Crap.
2009 Tacoma 4DR TRD 4wd
2007 Tundra 4DR TRD 4wd
2012 Escape 19
2007 Norwegian Elkhound "Baxter"
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
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I only use mine for the 6 X 12 cargo trailer.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:14 PM   #7
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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I've had a similar wheelbarrow wheel blow out too. It's like anything with tires... whether a bicyle, tongue dolly or wheelbarrow.... pay attention to the needs of the equipment.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette
Posts: 567
Most of the time you get what you pay for at Harbor Freight. Usually I buy there for "one use" tools. If it does the job once, it has met my expectations, and priced accordingly. Sometimes you find a jewel there, and it performs for several years. I purchased their receiver mounted rear cargo carrier for about $50.00. I couldn't locally buy the metal to make it for that cost. The design looked viable to my seat of the pants engineering department, and I plunked down the money. After 2 months the paint started rusting through, so I applied a coat of Rustoleum. The rack has performed well and was a good buy.

I went wrong on my other purchase though. I selected their LED tail light kit to attach to the carrier. The cost was $ 30.00ish as I remember. One of the lights went intermittent and if I don't figure out why will require replacement. They don't sell just one, so that means buying a set. I checked the power and ground wiring and all OK. When I back off a lens screw the light turns back on, so you would think the screw is touching the power wire, but I can't see the contact point. It's got gremlins in there, and I'm not happy with that purchase.

I purchased a polishing machine for rubbing out the chalky paint on my work truck. $29.95 on sale. It actually lasted through the truck job and did the Scamp twice before going up in a glorious cloud of smoke! Ahhh, the smell of burning electrics in the morning. I suppose I got my moneys worth, but I didn't realize what I was missing until replacing the machine with a Dewalt. The Harbor Freight grinder sounded like a bag of rocks when running, had a jerky trigger control and flung rubbing compound all over the neighborhood when starting. In contrast the Dewalt starts slow and smooth with very precise trigger control. Everything about the machine shows that it was designed to compete in a highly competitive business. Both machines are made in China, but Dewalt is a name brand that has to be protected to remain in favor with their customers. Harbor Freight doesn't have that same requirement because they sell only on price. Quality doesn't come into play. People know they are buying crap, and keep coming back. We chooses our poison.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
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Name: Alice
Trailer: 2015 T@B M@X CS-S - Condo A-Go-Go
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For those of you with the dolly, is it easier to push a trailer around (I have a 13' Scamp, 1850# loaded) with the dolly, than to have a wheel on the front and push by hand? The driveway has a slight incline, but I only have to push the trailer about 20 feet into the garage. The biggest problem I have is stopping, and throwing down a block, to check my aim and adjust the steering into the garage, then to get the momentum up again.

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Old 12-27-2013, 02:35 PM   #10
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
I find the ability to control the trailer brakes helps:
Trailer Dolly Brake Control

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