Tow Dolly advise

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

johnshedleski

New member
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Posts
1
I have just bought a 29ft Gulfstream class c 5000lbs hitch and I need to work out a toad arrangement.

The plan is a five week vacation +/- 5000 mile trip this summer and then sell the RV. I'm a forty year old guy planning the big see the US, mostly vacation for the kids (11&9). As all dads saving for retirement and college I can't take another car payment and I don't have any vacation left after this big trip.

So here is the question 3005lbs. VW New Beetle (Auto Trans)on a tow dolly 800lbs.. Brakes or no Brakes? Electric or Surge?

Regards John
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Brakes, absolutely.  Not only prudent, but legally required in most states.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,246
Location
Davison Michigan
I might tow a tow dolly, EMPTY w/o electric brakes but I want them if I'm towing it loaded.

Better yet, I do not know if your beetle can be towed 4-down (Does it have a clutch?) but if it can, consider it, you save nearly a thousand pounds (or more) and with the proper brake controller such as the US Gear Unified Brake Decelarator you have all on-ground wheels  braking, this is the best way to stop.  Any wheel that does not have active brakes adds stopping distance

To find if a car can bet towed 4-down,, ask here http://www.remcotowing.com
 
J

jjhamick

Guest
You will be fine with a tow dolly.  It legally and safely must have brakes for your load.  there are many difference opinions regarding electric or surge.  I have surge on my dolly and they work fine.  I would look for a dolly for sale on eBay.  You should be able to find one for around $1000 with brakes.  When you are done with your trip and you sell the MH, sell the dolly.  It sounds like you have a great plan, good luck.  You'll have a great time.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,620
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Surge brakes work OK and are less expensive than electric. Don't require an electric brake controller either. Just remember that you have to maintain the surge unit, keeping the mechanical stuff clean and lubricated. If you don't, it will decrease in effectiveness over time.

Electric brakes are probably superior overall and you can get more braking for light to moderate loads (surge systems depend on inertia, so lighter loads will reduce the braking effect).
 

ArdraF

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,682
Ned is correct.  We wouldn't consider towing without a brake system, even if it weren't required.  You're planning on seeing the USA.  You'll be going up and down mountain grades and you REALLY want that extra braking power in mountains.  When you add a couple thousand pounds going downhill, the tow's weight pushes you down and you might gain speed too fast without that extra help.  Also, if you're in a quick-stop situation, it may prevent the tow from jackknifing, whether it's a tow dolly or a towed car.

Hope you have a wonderful trip with your kids.  It will be an adventure they'll never forget and will provide you all with a lifetime of memories.

ArdraF
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,246
Location
Davison Michigan
The Safety instructors told us "Never tow a rear wheel drive car backwards on a dolly UNLESS it is something like a Volkswagen Beetle"

Can you figure out why?  (I will answer later if nobody gets it)
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
23
Location
USA
the toe-in on a rwd car or truck will make the vehicle sway back and forth when towed backwards. the steering geometry is set to roll forward and track straight.
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Have towed Lincolns Backwards  wwith tow dollies from the 60's in to the late 90's and never had one act that way.  Probably over 170K miles, or more, on them like that.  Considering doing so again.  I can't find a large vehicle other that GM products to tow 4 down.  Can't stand small cars and reefuse to buy GM.  Tried Nissan and Toyota,  no dice.  Don't want a truck.  so I guess I'm stuck.
 
Top Bottom