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Old 01-17-2018, 11:43 PM   #1
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State: Florida
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Tow Dolly w/o brakes

I need some good advice on using a tow dolly w/o brakes. The dolly itself weighs in at 480# and my Mini Cooper 2500#. from what I can see is 3000 lbs is the sweet spot as far as weight requirements in all states. I took the mini on it's maiden voyage 300 miles and it traveled fine. Did feel a little resistance when quick braking. I'd love to get some input from my learned members of this forum. Thanks, Chris
P.S. I'm driving a 2018 Thor Hurricane 35M
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:54 PM   #2
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Depending on your tow vehicle, you should be okay. Just to make sure, compare your estimated total weight (toad, dolly, and tow vehicle) to the GCVW(?) number on the manufacturers weight label.
While the Toad/dolly combination doesn't necessarily "load" the tow vehicle, the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight gives you a good indication of the braking capability of the tow vehicle. Remember, F=Ma=M*dV/Dt Meaning the more weight you are moving at speed, the greater force it takes to move it or, in this case, stop it.

It also makes a little difference about the type of terrain you're pulling the Toad. Flat areas may not get you in too much trouble, whereas tall hills might be problematic if you need to stop quickly.

Hope this helps
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:06 AM   #3
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As a follow up on the above post, it is still a reasonable practice to get some type of braking system on the Toad/Dolly. I haven't seen it happen, however I am sure that there have been occurrences of the trailered vehicles coming around the tow vehicle under hard braking situations.
Having driven Semi's with long trailers, I really got used to using the trailer brakes to keep the trailer in check. Also, it just gave me a little bit more confidence in my equipment.
While there are a lot of brake activation units available, for your situation I kinda like the hydraulic surge brake type system for the dolly.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:13 AM   #4
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Question on your followup

Ref: the hydraulic brakes on tow dolly. Can they be installed on my existing dolly or would that be impractical to the point of purchasing a dolly w/ brakes.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:33 AM   #5
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I'm not sure. Etrailer.com may have a "retrofit" system, but I haven't checked. It would need new backing plates, the brakes, drums/rotors, etc., along with the tongue master cylinder.
The more I write, the more it sounds smarter to see if you can buy a dolly with that, compared to retrofitting an existing dolly. Sorry, and I thought it was such a great idea, too.

With that 35M, you have at least the same GCVW that I do, if not more. You still should be alright for most situations you would be in, provided you watch the RV total weight.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:38 AM   #6
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It wasn't quite as bad as I thought. Check this link out. $500.
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra.../T4843100.html

This is a kit for a Single axle trailer, but pretty sure if you looked around or talked to a sharp trailer guy, one for your dolly wouldn't be that much different, if any.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:54 AM   #7
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car dolly

Man, you have certainly educated me. I checked that link and can see that there is at least an option for me. I'll start checking around for a trailer pro here in Panama City. Greatly appreciate your assistance.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:56 AM   #8
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You're very welcome. I hope I haven't misled you. when you find your trailer pro, be sure to check what I have told you with him.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
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State: Arizona
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Your taking a chance withoit brakes. I learned the hard way being pushed thru a intersection on wet road and a red light. My next trip I had trailer brakes. Most of the time you can get by without brakes but it only take one time.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:07 PM   #10
mrw
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I suggest checking state laws about trailers without brakes.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:29 AM   #11
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Here are a couple of weblinks with a Quicklook at minimum towed vehicle weights without brakes.
Not sure how serious each state is about enforcement, but as has been said "Ignorance of the law doesn't let you ignore the ticket".

It really does help to know just how bad we are "flaunting" the law, and the consequences of getting caught.

State and Province Towing Laws

Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle

And of course, each state DMV dept has the number buried in their system somewhere. You just may have to spend the better part of the day searching their website for it.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:06 AM   #12
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Check websites like Craigslist, if you're looking for a used brake system. A few years ago I got a like new BrakeBuddy for about 1/3 the cost of a new one.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:01 PM   #13
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Definitely recommend the supplemental brakes...
My toad is about 3600 pounds - and while I certainly notice it on acceleration - with the braking on (Invisibrake in my case) I have never noticed it on stopping...

If you look at the maps in links in previous post - you can't get more than one or two states away from Florida in any (driveable) direction without hitting a state with a 1000-2000 pound limit.
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