Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-18-2009, 09:13 PM   #1
AIR #6370
 
hmsteader's Avatar
 
2001 27' Safari
Bella Vista , Arkansas
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 68
Smile 2-Wheel Tow Dollies

I'd like to know the pros & cons of the different braking systems of two wheel tow dollies. I'm led to believe that if one wanted a braking system on a tow dolly that the surge brakes are the best to have. Your comments please.
__________________

__________________
hmsteader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 02:29 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
Paul Dobbin's Avatar
 
1994 35' Land Yacht Diesel
Franklin NC , North Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 294
Dolly Brakes

I'm not sure I've ever see a tow dolly with brakes.
I gave up on tow dollies and went to a trailer or flat towing early in
my RVing llife. This was after two scary experiences.
#1. I was towing my 1934 Ford Tudor on a tow dolly (From Florida to NH and back). On the way back I stopped in Scranton PA and inspected my rig and found one wheel tie down stap missing! $35.00 later I was on the road again and felt real lucky I still had my favorite car.
#2 I was on I-75 in Georgia with the same car on the dolly when a trucker called me on the CB and said "You know that old car has a flat tire
on the back". It had blown one of the radial tires I put on with modern wheels just for towing and the steel belts had nearly destroyed the rear fender on my favorite car.
I bought a trailer. (was also warned by a trucker that the trailer had a flat, which damaged the trailer fender but not my 1934 Ford Phaeton!)
When traveling with our 1966 VW or our 2006 Saturn Vue we flat tow them, but keep the CB on and hope for friendly truckers.
I have used surge brakes before and found them to a good solution and less tempormental than electric brakes. But I never had them on a dolly.
__________________

__________________
Paul
"The Roadhouse" our Land Yachts name
Paul Dobbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 08:19 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Skater's Avatar
 
1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,344
I have a Stehl with electric brakes. I hate the dolly, but not because of the brakes. Master Tow also makes them with electric brakes, and I think there's at least one more brand with electric brakes whose name escapes me at the moment. So they're definitely out there. I got a good brake controller - Tekonsha Prodigy - and I haven't had any problems on that end.

I haven't tried surge brakes, but I do kinda like having control over the brakes myself. For example, one time the camper lost its brakes, and I used the dolly's brakes to help slow down. Obviously you DON'T want to do this if you can at all avoid it, but with electric you at least have the ability.

But others I've talked to who tow in general (not dollies specifically) say surge is much better. Haven't tried it myself.
__________________
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
Skater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 08:24 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Mikethefixit's Avatar
 
1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,153
Send a message via Yahoo to Mikethefixit
There must be something to the surge brake thing. Take a look at the largest trailer rental place in the country. Every trailer has SURGE BRAKES.
__________________
Roger & MaryLou
___________________
F350 CREWCAB SW LONG BED
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
KA8LMQ
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
Mikethefixit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 09:52 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
2008 30' Classic
Palukaville , Delaware
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
The Tow Dolly is not your problem....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Dobbin View Post
I'm not sure I've ever see a tow dolly with brakes.
I gave up on tow dollies and went to a trailer or flat towing early in
my RVing llife. This was after two scary experiences.
#1. I was towing my 1934 Ford Tudor on a tow dolly (From Florida to NH and back). On the way back I stopped in Scranton PA and inspected my rig and found one wheel tie down stap missing! $35.00 later I was on the road again and felt real lucky I still had my favorite car.
#2 I was on I-75 in Georgia with the same car on the dolly when a trucker called me on the CB and said "You know that old car has a flat tire
on the back". It had blown one of the radial tires I put on with modern wheels just for towing and the steel belts had nearly destroyed the rear fender on my favorite car.
I bought a trailer. (was also warned by a trucker that the trailer had a flat, which damaged the trailer fender but not my 1934 Ford Phaeton!)
When traveling with our 1966 VW or our 2006 Saturn Vue we flat tow them, but keep the CB on and hope for friendly truckers.
I have used surge brakes before and found them to a good solution and less tempormental than electric brakes. But I never had them on a dolly.
No offense, but I see nothing in the above post that has to do with the question posed about brakes.

Seems to me every one of your tire problems would be easily solved by the installation of tire pressure monitors on all of the tires on your RV and toads, be they cars with or without a tow dolly or a trailer in which you have a vehicle. With tire pressure monitors you would have known that your tires had lost air long before it would have been obvious to those passing you by.

I see absolutely no correlation between the question about brakes on tow dollies and the problems you had with tires not holding air.
__________________
Buckaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,031
Images: 37
I have had three Master Tow 80THD dollies with electric brakes, and my current dolly is an 80THD with electric brakes. Surge brakes only work AFTER your rig starts to slow, and cannot help slow the towed load first. Electric brakes with a good controller (Prodigy or P3 or equivalent) is the only way to go.

Roger
__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 02:41 PM   #7
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,031
Images: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
There must be something to the surge brake thing. Take a look at the largest trailer rental place in the country. Every trailer has SURGE BRAKES.
Roger, that's because surge brakes require nothing installed on the tow vehicle (like a brake controller), and will suffice in all states to meet their trailer brake laws. Unfortunately, they're not particularly effective.

Roger
__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
Gunter
 
gunner's Avatar
 
2000 35' Land Yacht XL w/2 slides
Greenville , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 329
I towed my 1989 Cadillac on a Master Tow Dolly with Surge Brakes behind my 345 Motorhome. I did this until I got a Jeep Wrangler and tow four down. The surge brakes were a tremendous help when slowing down or coming to a stop. My boat trailer also has surge brakes with a 2,500 lbs. boat. With both the Tow Dolly and Boat Trailer there is not the pressure on the Tow Vehicle when slowing or stopping due to the Surge Brakes.
__________________
Gunter
2000 Land Yacht XL 355
gunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 04:39 PM   #9
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,031
Images: 37
Gunner, first, unless you've beefed up your chassis, a 345 is limited to 2,000 lbs towing. Your Caddie was waaay over weight for a factory tow setup per the P30 chassis specs. But don't feel bad... long before I knew what the mohos were actually rated for, I towed a Lincoln Continental with our 325 on a Master Tow 80THD, but with electric brakes.

Again, surge brakes work fine AFTER the tow vehicle brakes engage and start to slow the two vehicle. Then as the towed trailer begins to try to run over the tow vehicle and the coupler spoon rams into the hitch ball, the hydraulic surge brakes are activated. Surge brakes are better than nothing at all; but not much, IMHO.

They're adequate for light boat trailers and are used primarily because the hydraulics are a closed system that isn't as subject to water intrusion and corrosion as the electrics are. But for anything that isn't going to be regularly submerged, I just can't recommend surge brakes over electrics with a good controller.

Roger
__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 04:57 AM   #10
Gunter
 
gunner's Avatar
 
2000 35' Land Yacht XL w/2 slides
Greenville , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 329
Yes I beefed up my chassis, had to since one side of the stock hitch broke off while towing a 1,500 lb. Bass Boat on the way to our camping site, luckily it happened while towing through a small town going 25 MPH. My experience has been that the surge brakes helped tremendously during the braking process. The only time they are of hindrence is when backing the trailer etc. up a hill, then you have to lock out the surge brakes.
__________________
Gunter
2000 Land Yacht XL 355
gunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 06:00 AM   #11
Liberator
 
klattu's Avatar
 
1972 Argosy 24
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Heart of Dixie , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,646
Images: 834
I like using a dolly...
quick to load and off load...
easy to fimd a spot to store at campsite...
Most cars today are FWD, so no drive shaft to worry about.

To move up from a dolly would be to flat tow.

__________________
Your opinion is valued, please not your opinion of someones else's opinion.
Click To See Me Wet
1989 Airstream 345 Liberator...
1972 Argosy 24'...
1954 Feathercraft Vagabond
klattu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 06:24 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
GlenCoombe's Avatar
 
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,635
Images: 27
Klattu, nice caddy sir. But aren't you concerned about road debris when using a dolly? I sure wouldn't want to put my 87 Allante on a dolly for that reason.

Do you have a rock guard on either the dolly or the motorhome?

Gunner, what flavor Cadillac is yours?

When it comes time to paint the topsides on the AS I'm going to use the same paint as was used to repaint the caddy so they match.

Mine will go on the trailer.
__________________
Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
GlenCoombe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 07:40 AM   #13
Gunter
 
gunner's Avatar
 
2000 35' Land Yacht XL w/2 slides
Greenville , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 329
Mine was a 1989 Cadillac Deville, 2 Door, Gold Edition. I have since sold it and purchased a 2000 Corvette convertible. I also purchased a Wrangler Jeep to tow behind the Motorhome.
__________________
Gunter
2000 Land Yacht XL 355
gunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2009, 06:39 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
GlenCoombe's Avatar
 
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,635
Images: 27
Gunner, assuming you went from a hard top to the 'vert vet you've at least got the wind in your hair some of the time.

There's nothing like driving your caddy topless.
__________________

__________________
Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
GlenCoombe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hand Dollies -- Anyone Use One BillM2 Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 40 07-09-2009 09:45 AM
Tow Vehicle Wheel Simulators Bluto Tow Vehicles 9 07-16-2008 08:52 PM
Powered Trailer Dollies... GolfStream Tow Vehicles 18 03-05-2008 05:09 PM
Latest in 5th wheel tow rigs bkahler Tow Vehicles 15 07-14-2007 10:23 AM
Change wheel drum to match tow vehicle Rick Alston Axles 7 01-22-2004 07:26 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.