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JimGolden 01-29-2012 01:32 PM

More on The Slimp Dolly
Howdy Gang!

Was conversing with a few of you on another thread and the old topic of the Slimp Dolly came up. Rather than continue to hijack that thread, I thought I'd start a new one.

One poster sent me a link to a company that makes a modern version of the old Slimp Dolly. That one, however, requires you to have a weight distribution hitch to operate it. The old ones did not.

Well, in my travels, I have come across this really cool Youtube video in which the gentleman in the video has a 1950 Spartan Royal Mansion (Beautiful old trailer that I would love to have!!) and, he has the dolly that came with it in 1950. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...well this video must be worth 100,000 then because it shows pretty much everything one could ever want to know about one of these age-old devices. Here it is:

Now, the tires look to me to be too small for today's interstate speeds. But, I still think something along these lines could be created using modern 17" wheels and D or E rated tires.

Sure, we can tow (as I do) with a big diesel truck that doesn't really mind having 1000-1200 lbs of tongue weight on the back. But, with a properly setup dolly, you have zero tongue weight on your vehicle, except the 75lbs or so which is the weight of the coupler itself.

Further, if the dolly were made right, you wouldn't need any antisway gagetry because you now have an actual contact point with the road on the front of the trailer resisting sway.

I would change the design somewhat from the 1950 version to offer more sway resistance. But, even this old one is neat; it uses a spring loaded oleo struct with a rubber puck and hydraulic fluid for dampening. It's got a jack screw for height adjustment. It's very simple, yet elegant. The only downside I see is that the tires are too small for today's speeds. But I still think a modern version could be created.

I just might have to do it :wally:

Anyway, happy dollying!

ROBERT CROSS 01-29-2012 01:51 PM


That was a kool vid!! Thanks for posting.

At 1:40 I said to myself how the hell would that thing work it's on bass akwards. :huh::lol:


Tom Nugler 01-29-2012 03:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for posting the link. Most of the dollies I’ve seen in old catalogs connect to the ball and are more of an “A” frame type construction.
Found this ad from a 1951 Woodall’s Trailer Park Directory.
$115 in 1950’s dollars may seem steep but was less expensive than the broader stanched “A” frame units with all their springs and stabilizers.


dirigible25 01-29-2012 05:03 PM

Jim, that was a nice video, and now I've got to go to youtube to see his trailer too. Keep us posted on the development of your modern version.

Tom, thanks for the add from the old Woodall catalog to.

idroba 01-29-2012 05:17 PM

$115 in 1950 is about the same as $1100 int 2012.

See : CPI Inflation Calculator

Great inflation calculator for money then vs. money now.

JimGolden 01-29-2012 06:39 PM

Cool ad Tom! Thanks for putting that on here. In fact, that is the same brand that's in the video, so double coolness!! :brows:

This may be a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist anymore, but I still think it's worth looiking into. I'll report back with what I come up with.

Oh, and yes I agree...his Spartan looks really nice! I've never seen a Spartan trailer for real. I've looked at their airplanes, though, and they were definitely top notch. So I figure their trailers were probably built pretty well too. I used to prefer the Sparanettes, but these Mansions are starting to grow on me...might be a dangerous thing for my wallet!!

See ya on the road!

Tom Nugler 01-29-2012 07:43 PM

This may be a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist anymore, but I still think it's worth looiking into. I'll report back with what I come up with.

There is a saying that “Everything old is new again.”
Cars and crossover SUVs get more refined with ever increasing horsepower and stability. Truck prices continue to climb through the roof. Andy at Can-Am can set up a Volkswagen TDI to pull a Bambi, a Volvo to tow a 25 footer and a Dodge Town and Country to drag a triple axle 34 footer to Alumapalooza.
Who knows? Might just be a solution for the next decade.


mefly2 01-29-2012 10:16 PM

Neat to watch ... outstanding engineering for the day.

Tino643 02-05-2012 01:23 PM

For two year i try to fond someting like this. i saw the hitch helper how was made 3 years ago, but the compagnie close. I love to have one of this...

Tino643 02-05-2012 01:25 PM

Jim you built some and i by for sure....

Tino643 02-05-2012 01:52 PM

Some pictures: slimp wheel pictures by 1948rob - Photobucket

JimGolden 02-05-2012 08:04 PM

Great Link!

Thank you for posting that link. Those pictures are great!

The Winchester Dolly is close to what I had in mind. I was thinking of using a pair of 17" wheels with E rated tires, the same size as on my truck. So, they are too tall to sit under the A-frame like the Slimp or Conley & True dolleys. I'm still thinking on this....the tracking would be the issue. With the small tires on a castor, they self align and work just like a shopping cart. But with two big ones that are outside of the A-frame, it's a tougher situation...I think.

At any rate, if I can make this work, I will definitely let you know.

Thanks and take care,

FreshAir 02-05-2012 11:16 PM

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This is me in 1952 somewhere along RTE 66. You can just make out our 'dolly' between our '48 Nash and 26' Pan American. We were moving from Michigan to California. Dad decided to stop in Texas to buy this dolly. The whole thing was a pair of leaf springs supported by the car hitch and an axle with 2 wheels about 3' apart. Obviously you couldn't back up. The swivel wheel was available but too pricey for my parents. The dolly we got did the job good enough.

janabanana48 03-12-2012 09:51 PM

New Slimp Wheel Get-ups
Hi Jim & All,

This is actually Tom - the "other half" who is stuck doing the research on how we'll tow a vintage 16'-22' Airstream/Avion/etc. 1950's-70's TT which Jana wants to get to 1-2 vintage trailer events a year (400-600 mi each way max. I'd guess) ....and I'm not keen on adding a Ford F150 nor SUVs to our fleet to sit around the other 360 days a year.

This is what she's looking at now, & their ad shows it towed by a 60's mid-size wagon (62-ish Olds 88 me thinx).....


So in my searching for what I remembered attaching to the TT tongues to aid in lowering tongue wt. for autos towing cars, I came across 2 modern day equivalents - but these plug into your hitch receiver intead of attaching to the tongue. One is still in business - fortunately this one looks more highway worthy, and one business is for sale (stinger) & no longer producing.

"Hitch Helper" 1 & 2 wheel versions:
The Hitch Helper - Hitch Helper Weight Distribution Hitch with Built-in Sway Control by ACC Towing - Home


"The Stinger"/"Hell-Ya" 1 & 2 wheel versions:
"Stinger Hitch Helper, Hell-Ya Hitch Helper to stablize your heavy loads and trailers. Hitch Helper, Truck and SUV load solution for heavy payloads or towing. Fast and easy solution for horse trailers, RV trailers, slide in campers, car trailers, sli


So being a Porsche lover & knowing that the 928 V8 Luxe GT's are relatively dirt cheap, and since the factory actually provided a towing bar/hitch & electrical hook-up option, on top of it's standard 4 wheel indep. susp. V8, 4 spd Automatic, F & R Sway Bars & Transaxle Cooler for high performance cruising (similar to most trucks'/SUVs'/Crossovers'/cars' towing packages). The 928's tow capacities listed by the mfgr. were: 3527 Lbs. on max 16% grades (w/ trailer brakes), 7650 max. towing wt. total - on a 3400 lb. car (empty), but the tongue wt. was only rated to 110 lbs. - ergo the need to reduce it safely with something like the above slimp wheel or hitch helper types of units to safely tow.

So this is what I'd like to do with her T20 or similar, & with other vintage concours or auto cross/track P-cars....


With what I read at the link below about towing a 19' Airstream with a 4 cyl. Jetta - I doubt that a 300 HP/317 ft/lb TQ 5.0L 32V V8 Porsche 928 would have ANY problem towing the wife's T20 Avion or similar!

RV Lifestyle - Hitch Hints
... although this looks to be a 16' Bambi


Of course - you would NOT want to take this theory too far! :lol:


Anyone know how well these hitch helper dollies will work for towing a small TT, VT/CT with an auto rated at a low tongue wt.??


BTW Jim, my family on Mom's Mom's side hails from B.S. WVa - local kin are Youngblood, Whisner & a few more family names around there & Paw-Paw.

Thanx for any advice & hope the hitch helper info is helpful to some out there in airforum land.

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