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Old 08-06-2022, 08:13 PM   #1
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No brakes on tow dolly

I purchased a never used 2001 Master Tow dolly. Itís the 80THD model, and in perfect condition, but has no brakes. I thought I would add brakes, but the total cost is estimated at $1000, almost as high as the tow dolly cost. I tow a Honda Civic, and have been told by several people that there should be no problem towing it with brake less Master Tow. Has anyone towed with dolly that has no brakes?

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Old 08-06-2022, 08:36 PM   #2
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i've had 2 tow dolly's Never had brakes on them, never been a problem.but i towed Honda civic. Now KIA Soul.
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Old 08-06-2022, 08:38 PM   #3
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What’s your states weight requirement for brakes?

Follow your states legal requirements and not the forum’s self-proclaimed experts.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:06 AM   #4
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You can follow your state's requirements but I feel that having brakes is a must when towing. When I had my tow dolly, I specified having brakes. The extra weight can cause an issue in an emergency stopping situation plus if involved in a traffic accident that might come up in a civil litigation. Just my thoughts.

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Old 08-07-2022, 03:22 AM   #5
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The individual state requirements for brakes are here: https://www.rvia.org/system/files/me...quirements.pdf
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:13 PM   #6
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Personally, with pulling in the NC, TN, WV mountains, Iíll always have brakes of some sort regardless of refs.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:24 PM   #7
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Well, the first time you have to do a panic stop (like I had to on the highway - full on the brake pedal while counter steering) I was sure glad that the dolly performed as it did, and I was able to avoid the situation. I really do not care about the weight of the towed car. It is really about the ability of keeping everything in line.

Me personally, at least put a surge brake on it.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichRob View Post

......cut.... I thought I would add brakes, but the total cost is estimated at $1000, almost as high as the tow dolly cost. .....cut....

Have you considered listing it for sale and then buying another dolly that already has brakes? I may be cheaper. Or not.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:41 PM   #9
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A review of the document provided above tells me that most states limit no brake trailers to 3000 lbs, some much lower. The Honda Civic weighs about 3,000 lbs and the dolly at least another 500 lbs. So you will be over the weight limit in most states.

I am surprised adding brakes will cost $1,000. eTrailer has kits to do this for as little as $110 for no name to $170 for Dexter kits for a 3,500 lb axle. I hired a trailer repair shop to change out these on a boat trailer which was badly corroded. It cost about $250 in labor. If they hadn't been so corroded, and it is unlikely a car dolly will be, it would have been an easy DIY job.

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Old 08-07-2022, 02:31 PM   #10
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Don't forget the cost of the brake drums, about $100 per axle.
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:42 PM   #11
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Hard enough to stop a fully loaded motorhome in an emergency without having the toad's momentum pushing you down the road. Regardless of whether it's legal to tow without brakes why would you take the chance?
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:50 PM   #12
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How fast do you plan to drive?

https://blog.cvn.com/jury-clears-u-h...tive-tow-dolly

Get the surge brakes, that is all you will ever need.

I recently rented a U haul dollie for an emergency tow2, it was brand new U haul dollie and had the surge brakes. It was my 1st time renting their dollie because I always rent their trailers for about $25 more. It was a PITA and stupid on my part. I was trying not to exceed the 5,000 gross tow weight. I didn't have a fancy CAT scale with me; so common since says the dollie would be lighter and that is what I did.

To be honest, I could not feel it was back there; so I had rear camera on the entire time as a reminder. There were a few times where solid braking was needing. I don't know if surge brakes engaged though?

The only good thing about the bad of towing our car with a dollie, is that my wife saw 1st hand what all was involved If we ever do tow for pleasure, it will be 4 wheels down.

Strap down steering wheel
MUST READ VEHICLES OWNERS MANUAL for INTRUCTIONS to TOW on DOLLIE
Our car called for transmission to be in Park but U haul tech said Neutral
2 sets of safety chains ( I needed to shower after hookup)
On / Off is a job
The dollie was designed so it only had 2 inches of clearance from over the road, don't pull over on a side road with ruts as you will drag the dollie (not I may have been able to improve with lower hitch receiver?)
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:06 PM   #13
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Almost every RV towing a dolly has brakes, either surge or electric

The non brake dollies are usually for short term car rescue or very light vehicles

Insurance companies frown on illegal towing, lacking brakes and/or lights
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:15 PM   #14
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Well, Uhaul's insurance doesn't as they rent tow dollies all over the US daily that have no brakes.
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Well, Uhaul's insurance doesn't as they rent tow dollies all over the US daily that have no brakes.
UHaul doesnít insure a dolly you rent. Your insurance covers that.
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Old 08-08-2022, 12:18 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
UHaul doesnít insure a dolly you rent. Your insurance covers that.
Uhaul doesn't think it does. I imagine it depends on the State you are insured in and what your coverage specifies.

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Old 08-08-2022, 12:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
UHaul doesnít insure a dolly you rent. Your insurance covers that.

They sure tried to up sell me the insurance. They scare folks making them sign that they will pay $5-6k immediately if stolen or damaged.

I believe only the new U Haul dollies have surge brakes. That is what I got last week. They also say you must have magnetic tow lights, I didn't. There were brake / tail lights on my dollie anyway?

IMO getting the trailer is best all around solution even if you exceed the tow limit. I figure I should be able to tow any kind of car / suv there is with my F-53. If not, they gonna have to arrest me
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:09 PM   #18
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Thanks to all.
We also were looking to flat tow, but found two problems with this: First, my civic can not be flat towed and the number of small SUVs (which is what want) that can flat tow are very few. We did not want to limit our choices and settle for a vehicle we were not crazy about. Second, as you all know, this is not a good time to buy any cars. There are waiting list with delivery dates in months away, and the cost is the sticker price, with no bargaining on price.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:33 PM   #19
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If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident whether it be your fault or not, your insurance company could possibly decline responsibility if the incident happened in a state where brakes are mandated on tow vehicles. Same goes for the other parties insurance, even if they were at fault. Don't give them an easy out.
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