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Old 07-07-2013, 05:59 AM   #1
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Dolly Brakes?

I'm sure this must have been addressed before, but I cannot find a reference. I want to tow a Kia Soul (approx. 2700lbs) behind an ACE 29.2. It cannot be towed 4 down, so I will be getting a dolly. My questions are, Should I get one with brakes? If so, what type? I assume a 3500lbs capacity is good. Which states require additional (magnetic) tail lights? Are there any other issues I should consider prior to purchasing?
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
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I did all this investigation last year.

A dolly with brakes is mandatory in some states, and is a safety issue. I can feel the dolly brakes as they apply.

I ended-up with a Master-Tow dolly off of CraigsList. Ran me $800. It's in good condition and had new 4-ply steel tires. I re-greased the bearings and adj'd the brake shoes and purchased a progressive electric brake controller. I ran heavy wire to run the brake voltage 45 feet from the cockpit to the hitch. TTL investment maybe $1100.

Works perfectly and reliably...about 8000 miles so far.

I tow a Mercury Mariner Hybrid...about 3600lbs.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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This has been a very popular topic at this site for some time now. Suggest you do a forum search re your questions....you should get a ton of useful info.

FWIW, I use a MasterTow HD (wider than standard) with surge brakes. Also use magnetic LED tow lights on the toad. The MTow pulls like a dream under all conditions. We travel extensively through the mountains and hills out here in the West. I wouldn't even consider a dolly without brakes....even in flat country.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Basically you have the choice between electric brakes and surge brakes. Electric requires a controller within reach of the driver. There are several types that use different technology to vary the braking strength in attempts to replicate the braking force being applied on the Tow vehicle. The surge brake uses the force of the dolly pushing forward on the ball hitch to vary the braking power. The brakes themselves are typically drum brakes but there are some mfgr using disc brakes.
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