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Old 10-24-2019, 08:49 PM   #1
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Mini Towing

I will be using a Master tow Dolly with surge brakes to tow our Mini to Florida..I seem to have read somewhere that I will need to tie off the steering wheel so the tires maintain a straight ahead position because there is no lock on the steering column. Anyone have any information or past experience using a Dolly and a Mini Cooper with automatic transmission? I have searched the forums but came up empty.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:57 AM   #2
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I have read that also, however I have towed my KIA many many miles on a dolly without any problem. I will say that if I turn a very sharp 90 turn I have noticed that the front wheels change position. Its so little that I really do not worry about it. I use fully basket straps that go over the wheels, that to me gives it a very positive connection to the dolly.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:07 AM   #3
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This will be the first time towing the Mini so I want to be sure it stays on the tow dolly I experimented with the car up on it and the nylon straps really do envelope the front wheels and I can't imagine it can get away.There is no steering lock on the car so that is my concern. On your KIA when you remove the key does the steering lock automatically? The number thing I am getting from the forums is to stop and check the tie downs frequently.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:46 AM   #4
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There was some talk on irv2.com of someone with a Coupe using a dolly and it tearing up the bottom trim (the black trim under the door - or painted if you have the JCW exterior package). They switched to flat-towing because of that. A quick search over there may help as there have been a couple threads on the subject.

I thought that on the dollies that the front end steering needed to move with the dolly platform? IE when you turn the mounting point of the dolly actually moves a little to help with steering? We only considered using a dolly on our Roadster for a few days before deciding to go 4-down.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:57 AM   #5
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Maybe try to post/revive this one? Dolly Tow - Mini Cooper - Safety Chains/Straps - iRV2 Forums
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:04 PM   #6
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many thanks ThomB Cables through the wheels look very effective and simple Problem solved!....
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:23 AM   #7
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It looks like you got the tie down part solved. You asked about checking the straps. I will drive a few miles then find a spot to turn into to check the straps. I have always found that they needed and extra few clicks to get them tight again. I will check them when stopped for fuel also.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reniram View Post
I will be using a Master tow Dolly with surge brakes to tow our Mini to Florida..I seem to have read somewhere that I will need to tie off the steering wheel so the tires maintain a straight ahead position because there is no lock on the steering column. Anyone have any information or past experience using a Dolly and a Mini Cooper with automatic transmission? I have searched the forums but came up empty.
Depends on the dolly:
IF tow dolly is articulated, lock steering. ( tie off steering wheel )
IF tow dolly is solid, UNLOCK steering. ( let it turn )
As the other guy said, always stop after about 10 miles or so,
recheck straps, tie downs etc. then should be ok.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:13 PM   #9
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I have the Stehl tow dolly , I think is pretty similar to the Master. My tray swivels, following instructions I secured my steering wheel on my 2018 Equinox. When I arrived I had damage to my steering wheel (minor could have been worse) Short first trip. The last 8K I have not secured it, with no problems. I have made some tight turns after fueling, with no problem. Now I would not try a sharp u-turn , for fear of car and fender touching ?? �� I found the straps will loosen after a couple miles , after first stop then check every stop.
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:23 PM   #10
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You may have seen the need to lock or tie off the steering wheel in MasterTows Owners Manual as its a requirement. Its also noted that the MasterTow is not a Commercial Dolly and not designed for Tight Turns as damage to the towed vehicle and the dolly will occur.

See: https://www.mastertow.com/image/pdf/Manual.pdf
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:34 PM   #11
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I use a Master Tow dolly with surge brake, and tow a Kia Soul automatic. After I secure the front tires with the basket straps, I run the safety belt thru the steering wheel and pull it tight. This is what the dolly’s manual says to do, and I have not had any trouble with it. I also stop 10-20 miles down the road and retighten the straps if they need it.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:02 AM   #12
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Many thanks for the instruction manual...I got my dolly used so the manual didn't come with...It states to set the wheels straight ahead and lock the steering wheel with a ratcheting strap...dunno where I will be able to tie it off to ..there isn't much room in the Mini.... but we will find something... We just got 5 inches of the white stuff overnight so I may be getting out of town sooner rather than later !!
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Reniram View Post
Many thanks for the instruction manual...I got my dolly used so the manual didn't come with...It states to set the wheels straight ahead and lock the steering wheel with a ratcheting strap...dunno where I will be able to tie it off to ..there isn't much room in the Mini.... but we will find something... We just got 5 inches of the white stuff overnight so I may be getting out of town sooner rather than later !!

You can use the seat belt as mitchoe mentioned or put a 2X4 across the floor behind the seat and loop a ratchet strap around that under the seat and up to the steering wheel. You may even be able to strap to the brake pedal or if greater control is needed one tied down to each of the seat rails so you'll have one on both sides of the seat for a two point attachment.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:20 PM   #14
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I have a master tow dolly with surge brake. I tow a 2006 mini cooper s with a 6 speed manual transmission. I use the yellow ratchet basket straps on the 2 front wheels of the mini. I make sure wheels of the mini are straight.
The tray swivels when turning. There are some white nylon spacers about 1/4inch thick between the tray and axel. I have never tied off the steering wheel in the mini.
I have also made some tight turns exiting fuel stops. I also make sure the yellow basket straps are extra, extra tight before I hit the road. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:58 PM   #15
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OK Russ33 This is what I was originally concerned about...Thankyou.. After all the good advice and the Manufactures manual I am pretty sure I will be good to go...My tow Dolly is exactly the same as yours...I also have heavy duty safety straps that will fit through the Mini wheels which will arrest the car if a catastrophe did occur...leaving in 5 weeks starting to get excited..
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