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Old 03-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
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Shopping for a Tow Dolly

Hi all! I am looking for a tow dolly and I would kind of like to go with a model that has surge brakes but living near the mountains I am not sure. My rig is not plug and play for a brake controller. I would have to tap into the builders' wiring harness on the frame rail, run wires, etc... I guess I'm lazy but surge brakes would keep me from having to do that.
Does anyone have experience with them?
Thanks,
Neil
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NobleCampers View Post
Hi all! I am looking for a tow dolly and I would kind of like to go with a model that has surge brakes but living near the mountains I am not sure. My rig is not plug and play for a brake controller. I would have to tap into the builders' wiring harness on the frame rail, run wires, etc... I guess I'm lazy but surge brakes would keep me from having to do that.
Does anyone have experience with them? More importantly does anyone want to get rid of a dolly near Chattanooga?

Thanks,
Neil
I have seen several posts by owners of Acme EZ Tow dollys that seem to be very pleased with their units. The company is located in South Carolina. Sequim Guy on this forum has had one for several years. I feel he would be very helpful.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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Tow Dolly

I would not go with surge brakes. Surge brakes are only controlled by the hitch and could be applied when the coach is not braking. They could be applied at the wrong times, i.e. when going down hills or coasting. There is a controller which can be mounted any where in reach of the driver that deternines when the trailer brakes are applied. The sensitivity of the controller can be adjusted as to when the electric brakes are applied and how much they are applied. The sensitivity can be adjusted even when driving. Also the trailer brakes can be applied by hand if necessary. There are indicators on the controller indicating connection to the trailer and if the brakes are being applied.

We had a Road Master dolly with electric brakes which was used with a 2003 Monte Carlo. Made trip from Denver, CO over the mountians to Las Vegas twice, Dallas, TX, Branson, MO, Nashville, TN and many weekend trips. There was not one problem with the dolly and the electric brakes were the best.

One thing I don't know is, "Do all states accept surge brakes when trailer brakes are required".

Best of Luck
Dwight
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:58 PM   #4
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We bought a Demco KK-460 some years ago. Fully galvanized, drum surge brakes (new ones are disk) and wide engough to take our '05 Honda Odyssey. Works great and the only trouble I've had was the wire loom coming unplugged inside the frame, which is something done when you assemble the dolly, so I guess it's my fault.
After about 5 years one of the fenders started cracking, called them and, after sending pictures, they sent me two new ones at no charge (well out of warranty too).
The dolly isn't cheap though, but it does tow nice and since the wheels follow the RV it actually lets me get into and out of tighter areas than the Ody alone (which I have also done).
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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Used our Kar Kaddy SS a couple times and it tows like a dream. Trailer tires turn so I can navigate very easy.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:24 AM   #6
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There are both pros and cons re surge brakes, as many would agree. The size and weight of the towed vehicle should be considered. We use an HD MasterTow dolly(wider and with heavier weight-carrying capacity than the standard dolly) with surge brakes. We live adjacent to the Sierra Nevada mountains and pull over, thru and around them frequently. Have never had any "accidental" braking issue whatsoever when coasting, descending, etc. The dolly pulls like a dream...and brakes the same way. When applying the coach's brakes at any reasonable pressure, the dolly's graduated braking action is readily apparent to me. Would I like electric brakes? Maybe. But, the surge brakes work very well for us out here. Hope this helps....
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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Use a Master Tow, never had any braking problems coasting or going downhill. Just checked the brakes after 5 years and 20000 +
miles of towing, they show some wear but will give another 10000 miles before I check them again.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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My Demco Kar Kaddy 460SS tows very well. Never a problem. Never felt brakes activate when going down mountains until I apply MH brakes. I also have a Ready Brute Elite tow bar that has surge brake built into the tow bar. It works very well also. Don't be afraid of surge brakes. They have been around for decades in many applications.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:18 AM   #9
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Kar-Kaddy SS 360 with surge brakes here as well. I tried buying a used one but they sell as fast as they're listed and for only $400 less that I paid new. I bought it knowing that I'll be able to sell it quick if I want.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SteveCal View Post
My Demco Kar Kaddy 460SS tows very well. Never a problem. Never felt brakes activate when going down mountains until I apply MH brakes. I also have a Ready Brute Elite tow bar that has surge brake built into the tow bar. It works very well also. Don't be afraid of surge brakes. They have been around for decades in many applications.
I have the same setup. Both systems work well in mountain driving.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #11
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I personally love my Acme EZ Tow. Would recommend it to any one.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:35 AM   #12
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Surge brakes ARE GREAT! I have them on my 10,000lb GWR boat trailer and my Acme EZETow Dolly. They are Simple, Easy, and work like a dream.

Surge Brakes apply braking action based on the weight and pressure developed during a stopping/slowing event - AND - only when needed (when there is pressure on the tongue) like - when the dolly/trailer is unloaded, the brakes only apply a tiny amount of pressure, but when loaded, the full weight of the tow is operating the brakes.

And, when using engine braking, surge brakes "feel" pressure and apply only as much as needed (something electric brakes do not do).

Be it a very nice Demco or a sweet little Acme EZETow, surge brakes are great...I would also submit that Disc brakes are best too (Acme was first with Surge Disc Brakes, but others have followed).

Best of luck and safe travels.

P.S. Here's a link for EZETow http://cartowdolly.com/
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:36 AM   #13
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"They could be applied at the wrong times, i.e. when going down hills.... "


Well, I certainly wouldn't want my surge brakes to be applied when I need them
the most.....Duh.

Anyway, there isn't much more I could add about surge brakes and ACME
EZE Tow dollys. As far as I know, surge brakes make you legal in all 50 states.
There is probably nothing wrong with electric brakes on fancy dollys, I just
can't see throwing away my money on complicated extras that I don't need.

.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:49 AM   #14
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One other thing with surge brakes is that a friend can borrow the dolly and they don't need to go without brakes or wire in a controller.
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