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Author Topic: using a tow dolly  (Read 1324 times)

thekidbee

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using a tow dolly
« on: December 16, 2016, 11:46:09 PM »
I mplan on towing a Crysler Town & Country on a tow dolly behind my 30 ft Winnebago.  Do I need brakes on the tow dally?  Also do I need the lights of the car hooked up besides the ones on the RV & the tow dolly?

whiteva

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    • Nibbler the traveling squirrel
Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2016, 07:03:42 AM »
Brakes are not required but the heaver the tow the more power is needed to stop, especially in a panic situation. (I suggest getting dolly with brakes)
Lights, more lights the better. I hook up the tow dolly lights and have a set of lights in the back window of the tow. By putting the magnetic lights inside the car you eliminate any scratches on the paint and the opportunity for the lights to pop off. Simple hook (Velcro) stuck to the underside of the lights sticks to the carpet on the back of the deck (wind force against the light). Plenty of visibility for vehicles behind you.

Cheers
2008 Winnie 29TR, Class C
Me: RETIRED: Aerobatic flight instructor, RE Broker, EE,-
DW, Nan, works Finance for RV dealer. Travel short distances pulling 77' MGB on dolly.
 If not in the RV we are on the Sea Ray, with Nibbler & Shadeaux the black cat. http://www.acroflyer.com/nibbler/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2016, 08:45:17 AM »
Actually, many states do require brakes on anything that is towed, often based on weight. Typically, towed trailers or cars over 3000 lbs require brakes, but some states have exceptions specifically for cars under tow. It can be pretty complex to determine exactly what applies in each state. Further, the motorhome chassis manufacturer sometimes stipulates a max weight the chassis can tow without auxiliary brakes, typically 1500 lbs. They will also note that the motorhome brakes are rated only to stop the coach GVWR, not the full combined weight of coach and towed car or trailer.

Last, there are the laws of physics that apply to objects in motion. Auxiliary braking always stops the rig in a shorter distance. That may not be important until somebody in front stops suddenly or pulls out in front of you. Then every inch counts!

Most states do not require separate lights on the towed car if the dolly has lights that are visible, but that's a judgement call where the law enforcement officers opinion has far more weight than yours.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

dabrooks

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2016, 09:06:27 AM »
I have thought about getting tow dolly to tow our front wheel drive DTS. I looked at tow dollys with surge brakes. Maybe someone knowledgeable can comment on whether that would be a good option for you.
Dave Brooks
2013 Tiffin 35 QBA
Ford f-53
Maryland

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2016, 10:09:26 AM »
Surge brakes are fine on a dolly. Easier to use, since no brake controller is needed on the coach as with electric brakes.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

dabrooks

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2016, 11:16:54 AM »
Thanks Gary. I thought it was a good alternative but I have no experience myself.
Dave Brooks
2013 Tiffin 35 QBA
Ford f-53
Maryland

GA_Boy

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2016, 12:08:24 PM »
Surge brakes are fine on a dolly. Easier to use, since no brake controller is needed on the coach as with electric brakes.
X2, I believe most large road atlas's have towing laws by State.
Marvin

RVRAC

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2016, 01:35:58 PM »
Your Town and Country might be a little bit heavy.  Check the weigh limits before going ahead to make  sure.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

1PlasticMan1

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2016, 05:15:34 PM »
For the past two years, I have towed my T & C with a Master Tow equipped with surge brakes.  I was surprised to find that I never had a situation where the total did not stop in time.  However, have not had an emergency stop, several close with no problem.  I also will usually drive in Tow/Haul mode, especially in high traffic areas.  The Ford transmission helps with the braking.  I have the 80 series tow dolly and my T & C maxes out width wise,  and have to be extremely careful to load the T & C dead center.  Also, make sure you crank down the straps as tight as possible. Otherwise, the tires will damage the fender on the dolly.  Replaced one so far.  The weight of the T & C (4700+ pounds) just about maxes out the carrying ability of the dolly.  I will probably flat tow in the future, as it is a pain to set up the system, especially in wet conditions.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

grashley

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  • Western KY for now.
Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2016, 06:08:50 PM »
Please  listen to Gary!

Brakes will be required in many states and an excellent idea in ALL states. The laws of Physics will always supersede any state law.   Surge brakes are brakes, and work well.  Extra lights are always a good idea, too!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

1PlasticMan1

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Re: using a tow dolly
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2016, 09:40:18 AM »
Forgot to mention that I got a magnetic light set that I mounted on top of the T&C, and also used wireties to secure them to the rack.  Like to give as much warning as possible to the folks behind me. 
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

 

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