Parking with a tow dolly

How to Park with a Car Tow Dolly

If you’re someone who enjoys spending all their time on the open road, then a car tow dolly is going to be one of your favorite traveling companions. However, there are plenty of things to keep in mind before hitting the open road with a tow dolly. Between additional tow dolly parts, accessories, and tow dolly safety procedures, there’s a lot more to a tow dolly parking than meets the eye. The benefits of this incredible travel companion will make cross-country road trips, family vacations, and other adventures seamless, but you’ll need to be prepared before departure.

One thing to consider when your traveling with a car tow dolly? How you’ll manage to park! Driving with a tow dolly takes precision and care – and so will parking.

As a first-time dolly driver or seasoned expert, it never hurts to brush up on the proper ways to use a tow dolly, so parking is less complex when it’s finally time to hit the road.

Can I park with a tow dolly? 

For those that drive the widest, largest RVs on the road, you already understand parking difficulties. Add the width and extension of a tow dolly, and you’re looking at one complicated park job. While it’s possible to park with a tow dolly, it’s problematic for several reasons.

  • Finding space

Determining a spacious place to park an RV can be difficult. Factor in a tow dolly; you face even more challenges. Tow dolly parking, while not impossible, is incredibly limited because of space. Taking up multiple parking spaces isn’t very responsible or safe, especially for long periods. It’s best to find an area with plenty of space and fewer safety risks for you and your family.

  • Location

Finding the best location to park your tow dolly is also incredibly important. Crowded parking lots are less than ideal, simply because your rig will take up too much room. If you have to make a critical stop, park at the very end of a lot. That way, there are fewer opportunities for someone to hit your rig.

  • Other vehicles

Another factor to take into account is other vehicles in the surrounding area. Chances are they aren’t aware of the difficulties that come with parking your RV and dolly, so they might block you in and make departure incredibly difficult.

As you can see, tow dolly parking is incredibly complex, which is why most rigs aren’t left with a dolly attached for an extended time. Parking with a tow dolly is only feasible in certain instances and for a short time.

Safe tow dolly parking locations 

Naturally, there are some instances where you have to park your RV with your dolly, like if you’re filling up on gas or making a pit stop. However, there are a limited number of locations where it’s safe to park and leave your dolly as it is. In these instances, you likely won’t be able to park for an extended period simply because it’s too difficult to maneuver your rig. While you’re on the road, we recommend the following safe stops during your adventure.

  • Rest Stops
    • The best place to stop on the road with a tow dolly is a designated rest stop. Not only do rest stops provide the perfect place to get out and stretch, but you can also safely park your RV in designated areas. While you can’t make camp at a rest stop, you can take this opportunity to pull over without worrying about the safety of your RV and tow dolly.
  • Campgrounds
    • The best place to stop and park a tow dolly is at a campground. No one understands the complexities and safety procedures of towing like fellow campers. You can safely pull over and park your rig without worrying about your tow dolly and RV safety.
    • The one negative aspect about campground parking is arrivals and departures. If your RV and dolly take up too much space, it could make it difficult for other travelers to maneuver around you. While you’re safe to park your RV and dolly if you plan on making camp, remove your dolly from your RV so everyone can safely enter and exit the campground.
    • If you’re traveling with an RV and dolly for the first time, we recommend reviewing our best tow dolly and RV travel tips
  • Emergency Stops
    • Emergency stops are difficult and stressful at times, but you have to pull over in those events. If the unexpected happens on the road, pull over onto the right-hand shoulder of the highway and give yourself plenty of time to assess the situation.

As you can see, it can be challenging to park with a tow dolly, but it’s not impossible. The key is to find a place with plenty of space and to unhitch your dolly if necessary.

An important safety tip to remember is that backing up a loaded dolly is incredibly difficult and not all that safe. At some point, your dolly and car will go on a different path than your RV, and you’ll be forced to stop or face damage to your dolly. So, be sure to stop in a place that’s easy to maneuver and try to avoid backing up your loaded dolly.

Tow dolly unloading tips

When the time comes to park and unload your dolly, there are a few precautionary items you’ll need to remember. Our blog, How to Load a Car on A Tow Dolly, covers how to safely load your dolly, so most of these steps can be applied in reverse.

  1. Once the RV and dolly are safely stopped on a flat surface, begin by unstrapping your tire straps.
  2. Make sure there are no obstructions behind your car, and the ramp is secure.
  3. Once everything is disconnected from your car, enter the vehicle.
  4. Take off the parking brake, start the car, and slowly back off the dolly’s ramp.

From here, you can enjoy all the off-roading adventures you want in your car and securely store your dolly under your RV.

When it comes to long-distance traveling and road trips, nothing is more capable of going the distance than your car tow dolly.

Ready to hit the road? For more informational tips, watch our helpful video on How to Use a Car Tow Dolly.

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