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Old 12-17-2015, 06:20 AM   #1
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Dolly towing

We are newbees, have a Four Winds Hurricane 32E, Ford V10 gas. We want to dolly tow a 2014 Town & Country minivan. My concern is weight - there is no auxillary braking system on the dolly. Would appreciate any advice from those who are knowledgable.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:49 AM   #2
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We need a bit more info to help you out, so I'll ask a few questions:

What are the GVWR and GCWR of the 32E? What is the hitch rated for? What is the actual weight of the minivan? What is the loaded, ready to travel weight of the 32E? How much does the dolly weigh? What brand/model dolly do you have?

You probably should have brakes on the dolly, especially if your concerned about it. Opinions will vary here. You have a couple of choices if you do decide you want brakes: sell the dolly and get one with brakes or have brakes retrofitted to the existing dolly.

Fran
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:52 AM   #3
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Your choices are, get brakes on the dolly, get a dolly with brakes or get a car that can be towed 4 down with an auxillary brake system.

I tow a dolly with hydrolic surge brakes. No electrics, no adjustments, just hook it up and they work.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:04 AM   #4
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BTW....Welcome to the IRV2 family!!! Lots of great help here. Keep asking questions!!

Fran
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:12 AM   #5
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I went through the same thing this summer. I wound up getting a used tow dolly with surge brakes of of Craig's List. You can find them on EBay also.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:46 AM   #6
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I drive a 1994 33' Class A Holiday Rambler and tow my 2005 Dodge Caravan with it. In 2013-14 I took a 5,417 mile trip (my Grand Western North America Tour and Shakedown Journey) starting out in San Marcos TX followed by NM, AZ, CA, OR, WA, ID, UT, WY, CO, KA, OK and finally landing in Houston TX for the 2014 winter. My tow dolly is a old well-worn Master Tow with non-working electric brakes. It's also not the recommended width for my Caravan (but it is within the factory weight limits). I found that if I was careful centering my Caravan it would tow just fine even with the too-narrow tow dolly. I've gone into some detail here because even though I probably should have working brakes on my tow dolly it doesn't and it towed just fine, even traveling through an early winter snow/ice storm in NM and up and down some pretty steep grades in the Sierras, Cascades, and Rocky Mountains. However, my 1994 HR also has 4-wheel disc brakes which gives it a better safety margin than the earlier RV's with rear drum brakes. I also changed out the DOT 3 brake fluid before I started on my tour, replacing it with DOT 5.1 severe duty hi-temperature brake fluid.


Here's a better photo of my HR with my 2005 Dodge Caravan.

Steve
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:14 PM   #7
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I personally wouldn't tow without dolly brakes. I would also question if your insurance would cover you if there were a high dollar accident. Just replaced my dolly brake pads and it very apparent they do a lot of work.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:24 PM   #8
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I sometimes roll thru a stop sign or go over the speed limit, but I would never suggest that it's ok for others to do it. Thats a personel choice.

Suggesting that changing the brake fluid, to be able to run brakes at a higher tempture, is not a substute for auxillary brakes.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:50 PM   #9
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I would think that in most (every) states there are brake requirements for the towed vehicle, whether on a dolly or 4-down. While disc brakes may be better at stopping than drum brakes, there is no substitute for having all the braking power you can install for the tow vehicle.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Suggesting that changing the brake fluid, to be able to run brakes at a higher tempture, is not a substute for auxillary brakes.
I replaced my DOT 3 brake fluid based on an experience my brother had driving his old 19' Chinook Class B+ around the Sierra Nevada's (with no toad) and he totally lost his brakes on several long down grades. I rebuilt his entire brake system for him and replaced the DOT 3 with DOT 5.1 and that totally cured the brake fade problem. In other words, for something as heavy as my RV I'd be using DOT 5.1 whether I had a toad or not.

Steve
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:51 AM   #11
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Tow Dolly

I have used a tow dolly for the past 3 years. It has electric brakes, personally would not tow without brakes. We have travelled throughout Canada and the U.S. From Vancouver Island thru the Rockie Mtns down to the Florida keys with no problem other that I replaced the cheap tires with proper tow tires in Florida. We tow a 2010 Mazda 5 which is very similar to your vehicle.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:55 PM   #12
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Under normal driving conditions, toad/dolly brakes really don't come into play; however, during non-normal conditions (emergency stops, etc), toad/dolly brakes will reduce your stopping distance considerably. Think about that.

Also, as mentioned, most (if not all) States/Providences have absolute laws concerning brakes on anything that is being towed. In case of an accident, more than likely, not only will your insurance be voided, but you'll probably also be issued a citation.

But, back to your question. You really need to get actual (scaled) weights of your mh, dolly, and car. Your motor home is probably limited to 5000 lbs, but you may not even be able to pull that amount if your motor home is close to or over it's GVWR. Even if you are under your GVWR, you're still limited by the hitch limitations.

With info you provided, it's impossible for anyone to give you advice as there are just too many unknowns.

We do hope you read these replies and provide us with more info. There's a lot of very experienced people here (some with your exact set up) that are more than willing to help you out.

Good luck

Ron
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:49 PM   #13
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Under normal driving conditions, toad/dolly brakes really don't come into play; however, during non-normal conditions (emergency stops, etc), toad/dolly brakes will reduce your stopping distance considerably. Think about that.

Good luck

Ron
I'm not following your statement.

My dolly surge brakes work at all times. If I go down a hill in low gear they are working.

As long as the car is pushing me, there is some brake action. The harder it pushs the more brake it applies.

I have backed my dolly on grass and the tires skid from the brakes.
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post

My dolly surge brakes work at all times. If I go down a hill in low gear they are working.

As long as the car is pushing me, there is some brake action. The harder it pushs the more brake it applies.

I have backed my dolly on grass and the tires skid from the brakes.
Yes, I pulled into a rest stop at the bottom of a long grade and the brakes were very hot because I used a lower gear down the grade in anticipation of entering the rest area.

On my ACME, there is a piece I can insert to prevent the brakes from operating when backing up. Not sure what dolly you have but the same part may work since ACME buys their brake and axle system from UFP, who make a lot of trailer parts.
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