Your RWD car just broke down on the highway. Now you’re considering your options for getting the poor car off the highway. You consider towing to be a better option, but you don’t know how to tow your car since it’s a rwd, now you want to know how to tow a rwd car with a dolly.
How To Use A Tow Dolly
Using a tow dolly makes moving your car very easy, it reduces the amount of weight placed on your towing vehicle while towing the car.
With a tow dolly, the rear wheels of your car roll on the ground when it is being towed. This technique is more effective when towing a front wheel drive, however, if it is a rear wheel drive, you have to disconnect the driveshaft of the vehicle to travel long distances.
However, don’t forget to not exceed the towing capacity allowed in your region
Here is a step by step guide to towing your car with a dolly (and it applies to your rwd!), special instructions are given when the process is different for a rwd car:
Connecting The Dolly
To connect the dolly, you have to start by attaching the dolly to the hitch ball on your towing vehicle. This is at the back.
Securely sit the coupler on your hitch ball until you have a secure and tight connection between both vehicles (you can test the security by driving the tow vehicle)
Next, attach the safety chains from the dolly to the tow vehicle, this will keep the dolly attached to your tow vehicle even if the coupler comes off. If you are traveling a long distance, make sure to check your coupler and hitch at intervals.
Loading Your Car
After connecting the dolly, you have to drive in or load in your car on the dolly ramp facing forward.
For rwds, it is advisable to load in your car the other way around, that is, the car facing backward.
Make sure the entire width of your car fits on the ramp of the dolly and look out for air dams, spoilers, etc.
After loading, ensure you check that your wheels are properly placed against the wheels stops on the dolly, gkh can fast both front wheels with tyre straps or any strong rope.
Disconnecting Your Driveshaft
This is very important if your vehicle is a four-wheel drive or rear wheel drive (rwd). Disconnecting your driveshaft helps protect your transmission from being damaged.
For this process;
- Find the point underneath where the driveshaft connects to the differential.
- Locate the point, look for the u-joint that holds the driveshaft to the differential housing. secure the driveshaft to the undercarriage of the towed vehicle with the help of bungee or strap.
- After you remove the four bolts at the u-joint, push the driveshaft as far as possible to adjust the bungee cord or strap.
If you are unsure of being able to tow your car yourself or you don’t have the necessary equipment to do so, it’s advisable to call a towing company to do this for you.
How To Tow An RWD (Manual & Automatic Transmission)
Towing a rwd can be quite challenging, although when compared to towing a fwd, the process seems easier.
When towing a rwd, the primary thing to be concerned about is your transmission. In cars with Automatic transmission, towing the wrong way can spoil the transmission.
However, do not fret, the process is still within the level of DIY and does not require you to have any special skills.
Manual Transmission rwd cars
- Tie the tow strap to the front of the vehicle’s frame, some vehicles have tow eyelets that were used to secure them during transport for dealership, you can toe the tow strap there.
Avoid using chains tow or attaching the strap to the engine of the car.
- Tie the tow strap to the towing vehicle, a trailer hitch or a towing eyelet is safer.
Do not attach to the bumper or exhaust system, they are too weak and are not made for pulling other vehicles.
- Shift the transmission into neutral and release the parking brake. Allow the vehicle to roll back to take up the slack. If not possible, allow your vehicle to go forward to take it up.
Automatic transmission rwd cars
- Raise the rear of the vehicle with a floor jack and jack stands. Place the jack stand in a way that supports the weight of the vehicle
- Remove the driveshaft by removing the bolts that secure it to the rear differential. Slide it forward into the transmission. Then lower it, and pull it from the rear of the transmission. Secure the U-joint caps with a piece of tape to prevent damage to the U-joint.
Why Use A Tow Dolly?
The most important advantage of using a tow dolly is that it can be used to pull a front-wheel-drive, if you use one of those automatics, you’ll know that a lot of them need extra accessories before being hauled. This is why a tow dolly is handy. It is easier and faster to use.
Another advantage is that tow dollies keep your odometer from adding on mileage while towing.
There are types of vehicles that the odometer keeps on adding mileage even when the ignition is off, as long as the front wheels are rolling. A tow dolly keeps your front wheel off the ground which is a simple answer to that problem.
However, there are different types of dollies to be used for different vehicles, so before you buy one for your hauling, make sure it is what you need.
Disadvantages Of Using A Tow Dolly
A huge disadvantage of using a dolly is that you can’t reverse or back up. Although some experts might have tried braving this successfully, instructions manuals for dollies expressly state a no backing up instruction.
So if you need to reverse while towing, you have to disconnect all hooks and move the towed vehicle and the towing dolly, then start hooking them up again.
This can be quite stressful for those who are not used to towing every time. Although this is the same case even if you are towing with different equipment so, no big deal.
Tow dollies could get damaged easily if care is not taken, measures like inspecting potential towing problems like hanging parts of the vehicle e.g spoilers, air dams, ground effects, etc. These parts should be removed before the vehicle is loaded on the dolly.
Some towers have had unfortunate incidents where they drive on large bumps of potholes and the car being towed jumped out of alignment. Having to fix this back is a hassle. Especially if you are not an expert at it.
Also, towing an empty dolly without a vehicle to suspend it can make driving a challenge due to the vibrations coming off it. It can also damage the dolly if care is not taken.
Also, tow dollies are quite heavy, they weigh more and cost more to maintain, they also need more items to function. Dollies can add an extra 230 to 680 unwanted kilograms to your two which affect the trailer weight when calculated.
If you are in a region where you are limited to only a certain amount of weight when towing, dollies can do you more than good if the vehicle you are towing is already past the weight limit.
There are some car warranties that are invalidated by some towing methods, like dollying. So if you have a car warranty, make sure you are not towing in a method that invalidates it or that towing with a dolly does not affect it.
Sometimes this information might not be provided in your owner’s manual or an accessible place like the internet, so your option, in this case, is calling and asking your dealer or manufacturer.
If your dealer or manufacturer says yes, make sure you get his response in writing and possibly signed.
In some regions and states, tow dollies are considered to be additional vehicles that need special licenses to be driven. So if you are towing across states, make sure you are complying with the laws in the states you are driving through.
This is especially important if your vehicle is over a certain required weight, so check out the law before you start that road trip.
Lastly, towing dollies take a lot of space and can be hard to maneuver. Most of the time, it takes two people to properly connect a dolly which is a hassle if you live alone.
This also means it is more advisable to not travel alone if you’re going a long distance with your dolly.
Towing dollies can also be a bit of an eyesore when placed in a place so they are quite difficult to keep around if you don’t use them frequently. Keeping them in a slant position helps sometimes though.
Conclusion – How To Tow A RWD Car With A Dolly
So towing your rwd is easier than towing a fwd, I’m sure you know that now. The best way for you to tow your rwd however is using a tow dolly if you can’t afford to call a towing company or call for a trailer.