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Old 07-14-2019, 11:57 AM   #1
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Tow Dolly

I am in the market for a tow dolly. I have a 40’ American Eagle motorhome with a 350 Cummins and 6 speed Allison. My question is should I buy a dolly with brakes And if so electric or hydraulic. I will be towing a 2018 Toyota Rav 4

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Old 07-14-2019, 12:01 PM   #2
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Brakes are required by law in lots of states. You must comply with each states laws that you travel in. Get brakes, you need them. I bought a Demco KK-460 with hyd surge brakes. Once they sent and I installed an optional spring that was needed for MH's with exhaust/engine brakes it worked well.

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Old 07-14-2019, 12:11 PM   #3
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Where you located?
This is the one you want.

2017 Demco Kar Kaddy SS foldable Tow Dolly - RV & Motorhome Classifieds
J & M
05 TS Envoy 38DS04 CAT C7, 350 HP
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:14 PM   #4
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I'm pretty happy with my ACME EZE Tow with surge brakes. Stores standing up if one wants and is light enough to move around by hand.
Mike & JoAnne
Montana Summer / Arizona Winter
'16 Prism 24G / '02 HitchHiker 38 LKTG
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:44 PM   #5
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We have the Demco and love it. Built by the #1 dolly builder in the US, The ramp and tongue fold up, with the front wheel it can be moved by my 140# wife, and the wheels track so the toad has the least amount of stress of any towing method short of a trailer.
Kelly and Jerry Powell with Halo (Lethal White Aussie), Nash the Rat Terrorist, and now Reid, the "Brindle we have no idea puppy"
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:46 PM   #6
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I have a Stehl with hydraulic surge brakes. It has been used about 20K miles mostly in the Mountains and no issues except one of the LED rear lights failing. Great quality unit and it has weathered well as it is outside all the time.

No issues going down steep slopes but if don't take much of a hump to put the brakes on backing or moving by hand

When you do purchase I recommend the type straps with two hooks rather than one
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:33 PM   #7
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I have a dolly with electric brakes. If you have a 7 wire RV plug on the back with 12v for brakes I can recommend it. I have a controller in the cab that I use to moderate speed going down long hills here in the west. And I believe any trailer over 3000 lbs needs brakes. Don't know if that's Fed or State law. But brakes are a no-brainer for me. A good dolly doesn't require a title (or taxes), already has lights (and brakes), will tow many different vehicles with no additional modifications.... things to ponder.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:46 PM   #8
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I bought a new Master Tow 80" with surge brakes on Wednesday to replace my ancient former U-haul. Only towed it empty to where we are staying.
My budget was not large and I got it with a spare tire and wheels for well under $2,000. From my research it should work well for us.
I put an adjustable dolly wheel on the tongue that makes it very easy to move around. What I do like is it has amber led lights on the front side of the fenders that I can see when turning. Gives me some confidence the lights are working. Has red on the back of the fender.
Unlike my U-Haul I can see the edge of the dolly, just barely. I do keep the back-up camera on also.
They have Nationwide service on the dolly. I bought it here in Michigan but live in Phoenix and there is a dealer in Mesa nearby so should be easy to get warranty work done.
There is also a one year No Excuses warranty on the tires.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:04 AM   #9
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I have the same Demco Kar Kaddy SS foldable tow dolly for sale in Royal Oak Michigan. Disc brakes (surge) , chrome wheels, mounted chrome spare wheel with tire, large and small sets of tire straps. Very low mileage and excellent condition.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:39 AM   #10
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Back to your brake questions, I will add my vote for surge brakes. Perhaps not any better than electric but far more economical since there are zero installation costs on your motorhome. Just hook up the trailer and go. With Electric brakes you need to install a master control unit in your motorhome to modulate the brakes through the trailer electrical connection. I haven't tried a tow dolly with electric but I did have travel trailers in the past and had to go through this installation for several hundred $$.

Regarding using a tow dolly for a 4X4, be very careful as it is a rare vehicle that can handle two wheel up towing. The rear diff must be a totally freewheeling unit (some Haldex type units) in order not to damage the four wheel drive system. Not sure about a RAV4 though so best to check.

PS, After writing the above, I found another thread on towing RAV4's with a tow dolly. Apparently there is a FWD version of the RAV4. That would be fine to tow 2-wheels up. But towing the AWD version is a No No unless on a full trailer, and apparently can't even be towed 4-wheels down without a transmission pump, and the warranty might be voided.

Shawnigan Lake, BC
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:07 AM   #11
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Definitely get brakes - it's safer (you can stop shorter if needed) and legally required in many states.

I'd go with Master Tow, Demco, or Stehl. Surge brakes have the installation advantages mentioned by others, but your Eagle is probably pre-wired to make adding an electric brake controller simple. You already have a 7-pin connector - just need to add the controller on the brake line. I added an inexpensive one to my '04 American Tradition to use with a dolly one summer, just because we wanted to bring a different (sportier) car.
Gary Brinck
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Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:59 AM   #12
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You need one with brakes. I use an American Dolly. Like it very much.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:46 PM   #13
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My 2 Cents Worth!

1. Safety is everything - gotta have brakes!
2. They're all good but nothing beats the fold-up Kar-Kaddy.
3. Many states do require a tag for a tow dolly.
Retired USAF (Vietnam Vet), Retired VA & Retired!
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #14
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My dolly has electric brakes, I prefer them over hyd, as I can adjust them from the cab. The only down side is when you take you toad off the dolly you need to turn off the brakes or the tires will lock up, I just unplug the dolly as that mean we have arrived.

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dolly, tow, tow dolly

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