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Old 06-12-2021, 02:14 PM   #1
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Tow Dolly Surge versus Electric Brakes

First question which is better? Surge or electric brakes on your tow dolly. Our 2021 FW 28A only has the 4 pin trailer connector (why not 7, THOR?). Electric brakes means I have to find the brake controller connector (if there is one) on the Chevy Express 4500 Cutaway chassis and rewire back to the trailer hitch.

Second question: Is the brake controller prewired and hiding under the dash? Anyone find it?

This forum is great! Learned a lot here!

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Old 06-12-2021, 02:28 PM   #2
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Surge brakes on a tow dolly work. With the issues you are having surge brakes would be the way to go.
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:32 PM   #3
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Surge brakes on a tow dolly work. With the issues you are having surge brakes would be the way to go.
That's what I'm thinking. I plan on dolly towing a Nissan Rogue which comes in about 3500#.
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:38 PM   #4
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Yup surge brakes makes it easy peasy.

Been using an EZE-Tow dolly for a good 6 years now. Just replaced the tires on it due to age. Towed 5 different vehicles on it (2 Escapes, C-Max, Bolt, Focus Electric) all cars where in the 3600+ lbs range (I think the C-Max was the heaviest probably closer to 3800lbs.)

Check the brake fluid in the reservoir at least once a season and you'll be good to go. (yeah and keep an eye on the tires.)
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:39 PM   #5
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That's what I'm thinking. I plan on dolly towing a Nissan Rogue which comes in about 3500#.
For that vehicle I would look at a Master Tow 80. Up to 4750 lbs and tracks great. I towed with one for 3 years and over 5000 miles.
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Old 06-12-2021, 03:31 PM   #6
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American Car Dolly here, 4 pin connection brake controller on Dolly ez, 3yrs old now bought a new nissan rogue last year didn't have to change anything. Owner of the company answered the phone and delivered it for free, from Colorado to hershey Pennsylvania.
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Old 06-12-2021, 03:33 PM   #7
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For that vehicle I would look at a Master Tow 80. Up to 4750 lbs and tracks great. I towed with one for 3 years and over 5000 miles.
Ditto. We used a Master Tow 80 with surge brakes towing a Hyundai Santa Fe for four years until we bought a Jeep. Never had a problem with it, and the brakes worked well even in mountain areas.
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Old 06-12-2021, 03:51 PM   #8
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EZE-Tow dolly max weight: 5000lbs.
https://cartowdolly.com/knowledge-base/tow-weight/
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:11 PM   #9
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Demco KarKaddy X towing ‘21 Chevy Bolt behind ‘22 Omni a breeze!
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:13 PM   #10
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Demco KarKaddy X towing ‘21 Chevy Bolt behind ‘22 Omni a breeze!
The Bolt makes for an awesome toad. Charge up at the campground and good to go.
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Old 06-12-2021, 05:32 PM   #11
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I use a Stehl with surge brakes when taking the Escape instead of flat towing the F150

I have a 7 pin and controller but the surge is simpler and they work great

Towed it over the Rockies on almost every pass several times over the years
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynetaylor55 View Post
First question which is better? Surge or electric brakes on your tow dolly. Our 2021 FW 28A only has the 4 pin trailer connector (why not 7, THOR?). Electric brakes means I have to find the brake controller connector (if there is one) on the Chevy Express 4500 Cutaway chassis and rewire back to the trailer hitch.

Second question: Is the brake controller prewired and hiding under the dash? Anyone find it?

This forum is great! Learned a lot here!
Only one problem with surge brakes, if the trailer starts to sway or your going down a hill, surge brakes only come into play when your braking. No individual control like you get with electric brakes. Also you can control the amount of braking force with electric for more control. They are more expensive and require more components but much better safety.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:46 PM   #13
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By the way, in case you do want a brake controller, I have had success in the past using this wireless brake controller with my travel trailer. Worked perfectly and no need to tap into or run wiring.


https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-9025...a-436206402953
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:52 PM   #14
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Only one problem with surge brakes, if the trailer starts to sway or your going down a hill, surge brakes only come into play when your braking. No individual control like you get with electric brakes. Also you can control the amount of braking force with electric for more control. They are more expensive and require more components but much better safety.
I think you're confused

Tow dolly behind a motor home is completely different than towing a trailer behind due to weight distribution

No issues at all and most folks would decrease speed if something was swaying thereby applying braking action
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Old 06-25-2021, 02:35 AM   #15
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I used to tow 4 four down with a tow bar and no supplemental brakes and didn’t notice any difference between towing or not towing. Now we have a different tow vehicle and use an EZE-Tow dolly with surge brakes. It works great.
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Old 06-25-2021, 03:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mrfixitman View Post
Only one problem with surge brakes, if the trailer starts to sway or your going down a hill, surge brakes only come into play when your braking. No individual control like you get with electric brakes. Also you can control the amount of braking force with electric for more control. They are more expensive and require more components but much better safety.
Used a Master Tow with surge brakes for 5 years on flat ground and through the mountains and never had a problem with swaying. Surge brakes come into play when you are slowing as well as braking. Much better safety - personal opinion and also most folks are smart enough to control their speed going downhill.
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Old 06-25-2021, 11:37 AM   #17
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A negative of surge brakes on a trailer that does not apply to dollies is backing up a hill, which can be less convenient with surge versus electric brakes. This is not a comparable issue with dollies since they are not backed up a hill under load.


P.S. — Talking of dollies, I saw my first ever Jeep Wrangler on a dolly yesterday. It was a rental dolly so likely that Jeep owner had not set it up for flat towing. It was quite stable at well over 70 MPH when he passed me.
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Old 06-25-2021, 12:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
A negative of surge brakes on a trailer that does not apply to dollies is backing up a hill, which can be less convenient with surge versus electric brakes. This is not a comparable issue with dollies since they are not backed up a hill under load.


P.S. — Talking of dollies, I saw my first ever Jeep Wrangler on a dolly yesterday. It was a rental dolly so likely that Jeep owner had not set it up for flat towing. It was quite stable at well over 70 MPH when he passed me.
Most surge brake configurations have a reverse lock out, either electric or mechanical.

Wranglers are not supposed to be towed on a dolly: either 4 down or on a trailer. The transfer case is not engineered to have the front and rear driveshafts operating at that large a speed difference.

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Old 06-25-2021, 12:12 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Maddmike View Post
By the way, in case you do want a brake controller, I have had success in the past using this wireless brake controller with my travel trailer. Worked perfectly and no need to tap into or run wiring.


https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-9025...a-436206402953
Another take on Controllers: I use an Intelli-Hitch.

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/at...1&d=1624623121
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Old 06-25-2021, 02:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Another take on Controllers: I use an Intelli-Hitch.

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/at...1&d=1624623121
I haven't seen that before. Great idea and one I might look into if I get to a four down toad someday.
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