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Topic: car dolly eating tires

Posted By: Capt Rick on 09/22/11 06:03am

I have a Master Tow car dolly, have used it for 4 years. The problem is that it is hard on tires. I've adjusted everything per owners manual, keep the tires inflated properly but the tires wear out in 4,000 miles. One tire worst than the other with wear on the inside of the tire. Has any one had this problem? And where would you go to get this fixed? Please don't tell me to dump the car dolly and tow 4 down, that's not what I want to do, I like the car dolly!


Capt. Rick and JoAnn
Key Largo, Florida



Posted By: wilpower on 09/22/11 06:10am

IIRC the Master Tow is a "pivoting pan" type of dolly, vs. the "steering tires" type? We had a "pan" type, and could not keep tires on it. We have since switched to a KarKaddy, which is a "steering" type, and the tires don't wear as bad. Only thing is to keep the alignment, as per the manual, so the dolly turns properly.


Wil & Cyndi & Einstein (African Gray)



Posted By: TampaSean on 09/22/11 06:38am

Same dolly, same issue here as well


Sean, Deb, Reagan, Fin & a couch potato named Yogi
2000 35' Gulf Stream Sun Voyager
V-10 w/ Banks PowerPack
FMCA F403706


Posted By: Ivylog on 09/22/11 07:23am

Pretty sure you will find that you have a bent axle support causing the two tires to be out of alignment. Going over rough roads causes a pounding on the axle supports which in time bend them and then the tires wear out. A welding shop may be able to straighten/align and then add more support.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

04 Monaco Dynasty 42' quad slide
Where am I?
How I tow.


Posted By: jrclark on 09/22/11 07:47am

Ditto to all the above. I would not have a Master Tow dolly again. Quality is lacking.


2003 Damon Ultrasport 3677



Posted By: topflite51 on 09/22/11 08:58am

I would also have the hitch on the MH checked, if it is not square to the MH, it can cause uneven wear on whatever is being towed by the MH.


David
Just rolling along enjoying life
w/F53 Southwind towing a 87 Samurai or 01 Grand Vitara looking to fish
Simply Despicable
Any errors are a result of CRS.


Posted By: crasster on 09/22/11 09:32am

Have you by chance tried any 80,000 mile warranty michelins? At least then you could claim warranty fixes if they keep failing.


4 whopping cylinders on Toyota RV's. Talk about great getting good MPG. Also I have a very light foot on the pedal. I followed some MPG advice on Livingpress.com and I now get 22 MPG! Not bad for a home on wheels.



Posted By: Wrong Lane on 09/22/11 09:45am

Most pivot pan dollies wear out tires fast, edges first regardless of inflation.

The problem is that on 90 deg. turns the tires get dragged a little sideways. If you want to see for yourself just get someone to turn to the right out of your driveway at a sharp angle while you watch the loaded tow dolly. The pivot pan will turn only until it hits the metal stop (in place to keep your car off the fender) and then the dolly will start to drag the tires around the corner.
On paved roads and a hot day the dolly will leave light skid marks during tight turns.

The sideways drag wears the edge of the tires prematurely.

I try to avoid tight turns and it helps extend the tire life. Sometimes the tight turns can't be avoided and I just grit my teeth and drive.


2006 Damon Challenger 348F Ford V10
2013 Ford Taurus SEL AWD
Blue Ox Aventa & Brake Buddy



Posted By: supermod38 on 09/22/11 10:54am

I have a Master Tow Dolly, been towing with it five years, same tires, no problem.

you have something out of alinement.


95 Southwind


Posted By: wallynm on 09/22/11 11:45am

This would fall under abuse and that is what is wrong with America. Something for Nothing or Something that the other folks pay for but not me.

crasster wrote:

Have you by chance tried any 80,000 mile warranty michelins? At least then you could claim warranty fixes if they keep failing.



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Posted By: tohare on 09/22/11 12:00pm

we had the same problem. went thru 2 sets of tires in a hurry..then bought carlisle radial trail (st205/75r14c1) have dragged them 12000 miles with no sign of wear. bought them at discount tires.. hope this helps..


Posted By: Coach-man on 09/22/11 01:32pm

I replaced the original tires on my Master tow because of dry rot, tread looked fine. New tires still ok, this will be 6 years since I purchased the dolly.


Posted By: Capt Rick on 09/22/11 02:52pm

I would like to thank everyone for their reply's and ideas, it's always good when you can put many minds together and come up with an answer. This board is a great thing, now if we could only take care of the political problems with our country!


Posted By: webhannet on 09/22/11 09:20am

Take it to the factory in Fayetteville, NC to have it checked on the welding jig. I overnighted in the parking lot.

It's a "price" item - pay more for something better, if you wish. I'll never bother with another dolly!


Posted By: hohenwald48 on 09/24/11 02:44pm

topflite51,

For discussion, let's 1st establish that the COUPLER is the part of the hitching connection that is incorporated and a part of the trailer (or dolly) and the HITCH is the ball that is mounted on the towing vehicle.

The trailer COUPLER does, in fact, have to be centered and squared in relation to the trailer (or dolly) to make the trailer (or dolly) track straight.

However, the location or "squareness" of the HITCH ball mounted to the tow vehicle has nothing to do with trailer (or dolly) tracking. It is a single point pull and can not cause the trailer to track sideways. You could mount the HITCH ball directly behind the tow vehicle rear tires and it would have no impact on trailer tire wear.


2008 Fleetwood Jamboree 25G
1999 Jeep Wrangler
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Posted By: topflite51 on 09/24/11 07:38am

camperkids1025 wrote:

I had a similar problem with mine, after an 1800 mile trip my tires had abnormal wear. I started thinking about the recommended tire pressure (50 lbs) which seemed high when I hauled my little Hyundai Accent so I lowered the pressure to 35-40 lbs and on the next trip it made a world of difference in tire wear and handling. I can see having the tires at a higher pressure if the dolly weight is at its max and if running it empty at 10 lbs to keep it from bouncing down the road. (specs from Master Tow 50 lbs loaded and 10 lbs empty)
Then there is the other side, people who ignore the tow capacity of the dolly and load whatever. I also adjusted tire pressure for the weight of the tow, it totally makes no sense to have the max pressure for 4380 lb vehicle, when the vehicle you are loading is only 2500 lbs. Tow dolly manufacturers don't talk about this because it would be too complicated for most users(men) to figure out. I don't use my Master tow dolly anymore, but it is ready to go except for tires, they are not worn out only have 20K on them just showing their age.


Posted By: supra24valve on 09/24/11 07:04am

Real simple check is to take a string or a tape measure, and check the distance from the back of both inside rims, and write it down and then do the same for the front side. If they are within a 1/4 inch, not bad. Any more, you have a bent or misaligned spindle. I had this problem too when I used a tow dolly before going 4-down. My right side spindle and hub was bent 1/2 inch off. Wore one tire on the inside like a toe out issue on a car. I heated the spindle and bent it back into place with a torch. Bought a new hub, no more wear.


Posted By: topflite51 on 09/24/11 07:07am

Didn't say it wouldn't track directly behind the hitch ball. Don't know if hitch installation instructions still say it, manufacturers probably decided nobody read them any way, but the instructions used to say be sure that the hitch is centered and ALIGNED before final install to avoid towability issues. Ever wonder why? For those of you who don't believe it has to be aligned, sure hope you do not install hitches for a living.


Posted By: topflite51 on 09/24/11 07:58am

No tire wear on dolly would result because of not towing dolly level. Towing height of dolly would only have minimal affect on the caster axis, and caster does not cause tire wear.


Posted By: bigred1cav on 09/24/11 12:20pm

How about dolly tires are a fraction of the bus tires and must rotate twice as much or more?






Posted By: Capt Rick on 09/24/11 06:47am

michahicks wrote:

topflite51 wrote:

Think of it as an isosceles triangle, if the hitch is not square to the back of the motorhome, the sides of the triangle will not be equal. It will have the same effect as having one side of the axle closer to the hitch, therefore wearing out one side of a tire more than the other. It will cause tire scrubbing, all too often this condition exists and is diagnosed as an alignment problem of the trailer, when in actual reality it was a poorly installed hitch. That is why it is important for hitches to be centered and square to the rig it is being installed on. When I was in business, we were just down the street from a UHAUL center, corrected many improperly installed hitches. The customers main complaints was the fact that the trailer did not appear to be tracking straight while towing and that the tire(s) were wearing off one side or the other.


The trailer (dolly) is going to track directly in back of the hitch ball - no matter where you mount it. If the hitch is offset to one side or the other, the trailer is going to track to one side the same amount. If taken to the extreme, guessing the offset might cause some wierdness as far as tow vehicle handling - but the trailer isn't going to care one bit.

The triangle to be concerned with would be formed by the coupler, and it's distance to each tire. If those didn't match, THEN you'd have issues.



Posted By: Capt Rick on 09/24/11 06:49am

michahicks wrote:

topflite51 wrote:

Think of it as an isosceles triangle, if the hitch is not square to the back of the motorhome, the sides of the triangle will not be equal. It will have the same effect as having one side of the axle closer to the hitch, therefore wearing out one side of a tire more than the other. It will cause tire scrubbing, all too often this condition exists and is diagnosed as an alignment problem of the trailer, when in actual reality it was a poorly installed hitch. That is why it is important for hitches to be centered and square to the rig it is being installed on. When I was in business, we were just down the street from a UHAUL center, corrected many improperly installed hitches. The customers main complaints was the fact that the trailer did not appear to be tracking straight while towing and that the tire(s) were wearing off one side or the other.


The trailer (dolly) is going to track directly in back of the hitch ball - no matter where you mount it. If the hitch is offset to one side or the other, the trailer is going to track to one side the same amount. If taken to the extreme, guessing the offset might cause some wierdness as far as tow vehicle handling - but the trailer isn't going to care one bit.

The triangle to be concerned with would be formed by the coupler, and it's distance to each tire. If those didn't match, THEN you'd have issues.


That is absolutely correct!


Posted By: camperkids1025 on 09/24/11 07:17am

Capt Rick wrote:

I have a Master Tow car dolly, have used it for 4 years. The problem is that it is hard on tires. I've adjusted everything per owners manual, keep the tires inflated properly but the tires wear out in 4,000 miles. One tire worst than the other with wear on the inside of the tire. Has any one had this problem? And where would you go to get this fixed? Please don't tell me to dump the car dolly and tow 4 down, that's not what I want to do, I like the car dolly!
I had a similar problem with mine, after an 1800 mile trip my tires had abnormal wear. I started thinking about the recommended tire pressure (50 lbs) which seemed high when I hauled my little Hyundai Accent so I lowered the pressure to 35-40 lbs and on the next trip it made a world of difference in tire wear and handling. I can see having the tires at a higher pressure if the dolly weight is at its max and if running it empty at 10 lbs to keep it from bouncing down the road. (specs from Master Tow 50 lbs loaded and 10 lbs empty)


The Camperkids Jim & Lois
3 Grandkids Maria, Christian, Antony (part timers)
1999 Newmar Mountain Aire 37.5ft, Ford V-10, F-53 Chassis, Bilsteins Shocks W/ Bilstein Steering Stablizer, HWH Levelers


Posted By: michahicks on 09/24/11 07:35am

Those having tire trouble, is the dolly being pulled level, using the correct ball height, or could the dolly tongue be way high/low?

I was thinking if the tongue of the dolly was being pulled much higher (or lower) than it should be, THAT might cause the tire wear due to alignment issues? Even if you had the alignment checked, the people checking would likely have the tongue at the proper height - where it would check out fine? Just a thought.


1997 38' HR Endeavor, 275 Cat, Freightliner
2003 CR-V Toad, Blue Ox, Ready Brake


Posted By: racer99 on 09/23/11 04:43am

The trailer hitch is not causing the problem-the hitch and trailer doesn't know if it is centered-I would bet you could have your hitch a mile off center and it wouldn't hurt anything but sticking out on one side more than the other--LOOK into the trailer itself for the problem or sell it and buy a used Demco -your problem will go away--Don't ask me how I know!!!Rich
1991 bounder/454/P-30/31ft/Used Demco Dolly


Posted By: michahicks on 09/23/11 07:02am

topflite51 wrote:

Think of it as an isosceles triangle, if the hitch is not square to the back of the motorhome, the sides of the triangle will not be equal. It will have the same effect as having one side of the axle closer to the hitch, therefore wearing out one side of a tire more than the other. It will cause tire scrubbing, all too often this condition exists and is diagnosed as an alignment problem of the trailer, when in actual reality it was a poorly installed hitch. That is why it is important for hitches to be centered and square to the rig it is being installed on. When I was in business, we were just down the street from a UHAUL center, corrected many improperly installed hitches. The customers main complaints was the fact that the trailer did not appear to be tracking straight while towing and that the tire(s) were wearing off one side or the other.


The trailer (dolly) is going to track directly in back of the hitch ball - no matter where you mount it. If the hitch is offset to one side or the other, the trailer is going to track to one side the same amount. If taken to the extreme, guessing the offset might cause some wierdness as far as tow vehicle handling - but the trailer isn't going to care one bit.

The triangle to be concerned with would be formed by the coupler, and it's distance to each tire. If those didn't match, THEN you'd have issues.


Posted By: Beverley&Ken on 09/22/11 06:55pm

Our tow dolly had a similar problem. Local shop found that it had a 3/4 tow-in on the wheels, poor quality dolly and that company is now out of business. I was suggested that I take it to a TRUCK Frame and Alignment Shop. That solved the tire problem.

Beverley and Ken


2006 Winnebago Outlook 29B E-450.
2012 Honda CR-V AWD
Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar and Brake Buddy Vantage.


Posted By: hershey on 09/22/11 08:38pm

topflite51 wrote:

I would also have the hitch on the MH checked, if it is not square to the MH, it can cause uneven wear on whatever is being towed by the MH.



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Posted By: topflite51 on 09/22/11 10:08pm

Think of it as an isosceles triangle, if the hitch is not square to the back of the motorhome, the sides of the triangle will not be equal. It will have the same effect as having one side of the axle closer to the hitch, therefore wearing out one side of a tire more than the other. It will cause tire scrubbing, all too often this condition exists and is diagnosed as an alignment problem of the trailer, when in actual reality it was a poorly installed hitch. That is why it is important for hitches to be centered and square to the rig it is being installed on. When I was in business, we were just down the street from a UHAUL center, corrected many improperly installed hitches. The customers main complaints was the fact that the trailer did not appear to be tracking straight while towing and that the tire(s) were wearing off one side or the other.


Posted By: 427435 on 09/22/11 10:13pm

Take it to a truck alignment shop. They will have the equipment to bend the axle and get the tire into alignment. I had a boat trailer that was eating tires also. After a session with a truck alignment shop, no more wear.


Mark

2000 Itasca Suncruiser 35U on a Ford chassis, 80,000 miles
2003 Ford Explorer toad with Ready Brake supplemental brakes,
Ready Brute tow bar, and Demco base plate.



Posted By: michahicks on 09/25/11 05:38pm

racer99 wrote:

there isn't any caster and camber on tow dollies since it is a straight axle and each wheel rolls independanly from each other if he is wearing tires he is either way off on pressure or weight- or something is bent--Rich


Ever notice the way a trailer axle bows up in the center while following behind one?


Posted By: racer99 on 09/25/11 08:28am

there isn't any caster and camber on tow dollies since it is a straight axle and each wheel rolls independanly from each other if he is wearing tires he is either way off on pressure or weight- or something is bent--Rich


Posted By: topflite51 on 09/24/11 03:43pm

hohenwald48 wrote:

topflite51,

For discussion, let's 1st establish that the COUPLER is the part of the hitching connection that is incorporated and a part of the trailer (or dolly) and the HITCH is the ball that is mounted on the towing vehicle.

The trailer COUPLER does, in fact, have to be centered and squared in relation to the trailer (or dolly) to make the trailer (or dolly) track straight.

However, the location or "squareness" of the HITCH ball mounted to the tow vehicle has nothing to do with trailer (or dolly) tracking. It is a single point pull and can not cause the trailer to track sideways. You could mount the HITCH ball directly behind the tow vehicle rear tires and it would have no impact on trailer tire wear.
The problem of tire wear/scrubing becomes apparent when the hitch is not centered and aligned in turns. If I remember the math correctly a mere 10 degrees off on the hitch alignment will scrub something like 5 feet sideways every mile of turns in excess of 20 degrees, and after some of the roads that I was on this summer that can be a significant number. The more degrees it is out of alignment will simply increase the scrubbing affect. Soon tires will take on the appearance of suffering from either a toe in/or toe out problem depending on which way it is off, yet the actual alignment of the dolly/trailer is dead on perfect. This is not something I have dreamed up, it is something that came up in both Bear and Hunter alignment classes. I am not saying that this is a common problem, but rather I am saying if everything else checks out, it is something to definitely look at. I have encountered hitchs that were mounted off center and not aligned that caused no problems and I have encountered those that have caused problems.


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