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Old 03-06-2016, 08:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by steamyb View Post
I'm getting ready to FT and DW wants to keep her Accord, so I bought a used Master Tow with no brakes. Is this a problem?...
Your profile shows you have an almost 20 year old MH. How good are its brakes without a toad? Take it out on an empty road, crank it up to about 60 mph and slam on the brakes. What does the pucker factor feel like? The Accord/dolly will add about 4K lbs or 20-25% to the MH's stopping equation. How will that increase that feeling, when a car cuts you off from 2 lanes over to get off the highway? I vote for dolly brakes on a smaller, older Class A. BTW, BTDT, with the pucker factor with no toad brakes on the highway!
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by steamyb View Post
I'm getting ready to FT and DW wants to keep her Accord, so I bought a used Master Tow with no brakes. Is this a problem? All of the videos I have seen do not have brakes and if brakes are required- why would they even sell a unit w/o brakes?
Also- do I need brakes on the Accord as well (just the rear wheels on the ground)?
This all new to me, so thanks to those that have been there and done it!
The short answer to your "why" is that dealers get some brands without the brakes installed. That way they can add either electric or hydraulic brakes. Some folks cheap out and some seem to resent putting brakes on a 4000 lb towed behind a 40,000 lb vehicle.
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:10 AM   #17
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I also have a master tow dolly............the straps might need some adjustment before use just so there are no twists in the straps (mine did)............as for brakes, guess it depends on the weight of the towed vehicle........ford f150 (yes to brakes) mini cooper (brakes not especially helpful).................
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamyb View Post
I'm getting ready to FT and DW wants to keep her Accord, so I bought a used Master Tow with no brakes. Is this a problem? All of the videos I have seen do not have brakes and if brakes are required- why would they even sell a unit w/o brakes?
Also- do I need brakes on the Accord as well (just the rear wheels on the ground)?
This all new to me, so thanks to those that have been there and done it!
Do you need brakes?

Legally, that depends on what state you are in. In Texas, you only need brakes if your tow exceeds 4500 lbs. I pull a 16' tandem axle trailer all the time with my pickup and it doesn't have any brakes. I don't think your Accord and tow dolly will exceed that weight.

Practically, I'd say yes you do. You might drive a hundred thousand miles and never have a situation that would require brakes on the dolly, but one time could be critical. Any trailer shop can put brakes on your dolly for ~$300-350. You need the brakes, electrical connections and new wheel hubs to do it.

You don't need brakes on the Accord to work while you are towing--brakes or no brakes on the tow dolly.
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:57 AM   #19
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Thanks to Everyone!

Master Tow gave me a price of $400 for parts or $600 installed. I'll go for the installed price (seems reasonable & my back is worn out!). That is for surge electric brakes and that seems a good set-up to me (the brakes only kick-in when it is pushing the RV).
Thanks for all the great advice I have gotten from this forum. Different viewpoints is a definite advantage on a new adventure. And this is all new to me! I can hardly wait!
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:33 AM   #20
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Great idea!

FWIW surge brakes are not electric. They are hydraulic with the coupler housing sliding on the tongue to provide the braking power. You do need to maintain fluid level and make sure you know how to lock the slider so you do not have brakes if/when you try to back up the setup.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:40 AM   #21
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I bought our 80THDHB used and replaced both ratchets (one was bent) and the adjustable strap as we tow a Solara and a Yaris so the standard strap would not work on both. The adjustable is adjustable but the process to change it takes time, patience and lots of relooks of their drawings.

If you do not close the ratchet after unloading, it can catch on the ground and thus bend.

FYI, I had to replace their standard lamp/lenses with LED, as I burned up one red and one amber on a long downgrad of rough road. Saved a lot of money by going to a BigTex trailer shop ($9 each).
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:02 AM   #22
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Master Tow Brakes

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Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
Great idea!

FWIW surge brakes are not electric. They are hydraulic with the coupler housing sliding on the tongue to provide the braking power. You do need to maintain fluid level and make sure you know how to lock the slider so you do not have brakes if/when you try to back up the setup.
I talked with the guy at Big Tex in Greensboro, NC and he said In and Out the door with Surge Brakes, Break Away Feature, etc. would run me $550 on my 2010 Master Tow. I went to Northern Tool (his suggestion) to buy the hitch & ball, etc. ($40), so for about $600 for some peace of mind is well worth it.
My son borrowed the thing while I was out of town last fall and hauled a junk car with no straps (just chains). Bent the #3// out of one ratchet, so that will be another $20 I get to burn. Adult kids are such a blessing!
Thanks folks- I'm headed to Big Tex today and should be ready soon to camp,(I've had this RV since 6/15 and have not spent one night in it!).
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