Towing Dolly Q - Handbrake on but still reversible?? - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 07:32 Thread Starter
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Towing Dolly Q - Handbrake on but still reversible??

Hello guys!

Hope you are all well.

I am new to the towing scene and have recently purchased a McCardle braked towing dolly. It was bought second hand so there were no instructions.

The issue is, this dolly has a handbrake, once I apply this handbrake, the dolly doesn't move forward but is still able to be pushed back??

I am a bit confused wethere this is normal or not, would be greatful of you guys could shed some light onto this with your expertise??

Thank you all in advance and I look forward to your response
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 07:56
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Hi and welcome.
Are you talking about wheels that fit under the front of the towed car?
This would be illegal to use for towing a car behind a motorhome, unless recovering the car.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 08:31
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This is normal on modern trailers due to auto-reverse brakes. It catches a few caravaners out too when the van rolls away backwards even with the handbrake on.
As stated the are NOT legal for transporting cars, only for recovering breakdowns, & then usually restricted to 40mph.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 08:45
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This is only a guess but when the dolly is pushed backwards the shoes collapse away from the drum as it goes backwards in the normal caravan type system.

On a caravan you must not put the handbrake on if your final movement was a reverse but should pull forward slightly to reset the shoes.

is it like the one in the photo?

Last edited by rayc; 29-03-2015 at 09:46.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 10:08
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Towingmania ,

I take it that you are vehicle recovery operator. Because you obviously know it is illegal to use a 'dolly' for anything but recovery of a broken down vehicle.

tony

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 15:51 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all your input, yes the dolly is similar as pictured.

GEMMY - thanks for your response as well but no I am not a recovery operator YET. I'll need to figure out how to use this first before actually recovering any vehicles.

So is this normal then? For a dolly to be able to roll back despite ye handbrake being applied? The brakes seem solid as the dolly doesn't pull forward once the handbrake is applied.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 16:48
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Hi
So are you planning to tow a car recreationally behind a MH with this dolly?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 21:45
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Quote:
So is this normal then? For a dolly to be able to roll back despite ye handbrake being applied? The brakes seem solid as the dolly doesn't pull forward once the handbrake is applied.
The hitch looks like a normal Alko caravan spring cylinder version used since the early 80's. Can you confirm that the dolly can be pushed backward at least a wheel revolution with the handbrake on without the brakes applying?
Have you also tried when prior to applying the handbrake the last movement of the wheels was forward? If it was and the handbrake has been applied correctly then the brakes should be on both forwards and back but take note of the warning against fig 5 in the link below.

"It must be noted that when the handbrake is applied, the vehicle may roll approximately 25 cm (10 inches) backwards before the
parking brake force is used to itís fullest extent"

http://www.al-ko.co.uk/edit/files/ha...m-handbook.pdf
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 22:00
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Looks like the same brake setup as my trailer.
No matter how I apply the brakes if I push back hard enough or it is loaded on a slope then the brakes release as it moves back.There is no way it can do anything else as the hand brake pulls the same cables as the overrun so there is no difference between them.
I am aware of this so always make sure it is pointing downhill or chocked behind the wheels.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 18:49
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It's for this reason that A frames cannot be legal because as soon as you reverse the A frame applies the towed vehicles brakes and the requirement is that the trailer can be reversed a reasonable distance without the brakes dragging and without intervention from the driver. That's why caravans (and the op' dolly) CAN be pushed backwards, they are designed that way to comply with the law.

I was wondering when I would get the chance to start up the "A frames are they legal or not" debate-yet again :

Its not the destination that matters.

It's who you share the journey with (even if like me, itís in a caravan!)
I am very fortunate to have Mrs Plodd to share mine with
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