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View Poll Results: SURGE or ELECTRIC brakes for a tow dolly?
I prefer Surge Brakes 13 54.17%
I prefer Electric Brakes 7 29.17%
It doesn't matter, they're both good 4 16.67%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-03-2015, 06:53 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Thanks for the link. I'll call them tomorrow to see what they have that works with drum brakes.
I'm fairly certain that the reversing solenoid is necessary with disc brakes, but not with drum brakes.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:44 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mich F View Post
I'm fairly certain that the reversing solenoid is necessary with disc brakes, but not with drum brakes.
Locking-out surge brakes while backing is needed for discs or drums...the pressure created from backing engages the brakes - either type.

Drum brakes are less effective while backing because of the standard adjusting cog or star, but they still engage.

Safe travels
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:46 AM   #45
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"Neither Ford or General Motors have a scheduled maintenance interval for brake fluid changes in their cars. However most all foreign car manufacturers do. The intervals range from 24 to 36 months, and 20,000 to 37,000 miles."

As a certified GM line mechanic for over 35 years, most of the information you have provided is correct, however, There is no maintenance schedule, only recommendations (as in profits).Some even recommend changing the power steering fluid annually. However, when confronted with the facts the dealership service manager will backpedal and refund the costs of taking advantage of the uninformed (think women) as happened when my wife took our Toyota Tundra in for the 20K maintenance and they told her it needed to be done. He hates to see me coming now!
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
Locking-out surge brakes while backing is needed for discs or drums...the pressure created from backing engages the brakes - either type.

Drum brakes are less effective while backing because of the standard adjusting cog or star, but they still engage.

Safe travels
For what it's worth, this is from the Kodiak brake site
"Uni-servo drum brakes need very little hydraulic pressure to activate them while going forward, but a tremendous amount of pressure is required to operate the brakes in reverse. Therefore, many users simply overpower drum brakes when backing up."

Aside from that, I was posting for bamaboy 473, who is talking about a tow dolly, which really shouldn't need a reversing solenoid.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:37 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Mich F View Post
For what it's worth, this is from the Kodiak brake site
"Uni-servo drum brakes need very little hydraulic pressure to activate them while going forward, but a tremendous amount of pressure is required to operate the brakes in reverse. Therefore, many users simply overpower drum brakes when backing up."

Aside from that, I was posting for bamaboy 473, who is talking about a tow dolly, which really shouldn't need a reversing solenoid.
Thanks for the information That is very interesting.

And now thinking about it, my last experience with drum surge brakes was on a car carrier from U-Haul. It did not have a lock-out for reverse...Made me wonder what would happen if backing up a hill (higher braking pressure created in the control head)? I never did back up a hill, and normal backing was no problem...good info to know - thanks again.

Safe travels
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:08 AM   #48
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A reverse lockout is handy when backing the empty dolly. My dolly skids, when I back it into campsites, after dropping the car.
I just haven`t picked one up yet.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:35 PM   #49
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all surge brakes heads have a hydraulic shock or two mounted underneath and in addition to that the orifice is reduced specifically to allow for backing up, if your tires are locking up when normal backing is attempted the shock is shot and offering no resistance at all and needs to be replaced, simple, changing brake fluid because it is hydroscopic is nonsense, although it may be hydroscopic the amount of water needed to create any problems on a trailer is not likely to be attained during normal use, case in point my 11 year old suburban lines rotted from the outside and leaked out the original brake fluid this year, my boat trailer is an 96 19 years old and I have not changed the brake fluid and brakes are still performing well, and I can back it up no problems.

This comment about brakes engaging on "rough terrain", I have towed 10 ton boats all over the place on 20K triple axle surge brake trailer, 5 ton car trailers etc for years, and even surge brake dollies, never had the brakes engage.

Are the people making comments guessing or have they actually owned and or maintained surge brake trailers for any length of time, some of the comments and suggestions make me wonder.

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Old 02-04-2015, 06:39 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
??? really? Brake lights activate when the Jake is applied? I must drive people behind me nuts when using the Jake in town. Is this really true?
On our present DSDP the center brake light comes on when the surge brake is active and slowing us down. None of the rest of the brake lights do until I actually use the service brakes.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:00 PM   #51
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Moxy,

Looks like you are guilty of guessing too.

Do some research on Stiel Tow dolly surge brakes and you will find NO shocks on the activator. I have about 6000 miles on it, since I bought it new in June 2014 without problems.

A reduced orifice will delay, but not reduce pressure on the brake pads, and would effect application in either direction.

Simple
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:26 AM   #52
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Moxy,

Looks like you are guilty of guessing too.

Do some research on Stiel Tow dolly surge brakes and you will find NO shocks on the activator. I have about 6000 miles on it, since I bought it new in June 2014 without problems.

A reduced orifice will delay, but not reduce pressure on the brake pads, and would effect application in either direction.

Simple

didn't guess at all, feel free to drop by I have 4 trailers in the yard, all surge brakes, all have shocks,

reduce orifice will delay, correct, reducing the flow increases the time it would take to apply pressure as you have indicated, and in this instance the trailer likely starts to move, which in turn reduces the amount of pressure the orifice needs to restrict in order for the brakes NOT to activate
if they did, you would not be able to back up, which I can. so it must work, proof is in the pudding so to speak, not sure what you mean about both directions, clearly pulling does not require anything from the brakes, if you are referring to braking, you would be incorrect, the function is different as the towing vehicle would continue to slow thereby continuing to apply pressure, applying the brakes and slowing the trailer, so not the same,

that's seems simple...

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Old 02-05-2015, 05:49 AM   #53
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So, ALL "YOUR" trailers have shocks, on the surge brakes. I should have known that`s what you meant.

Good day
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:58 PM   #54
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Just bought an American Tow Dolly with electric brakes and love it! The EZ brake kit is simple to use. NO extra wires or controllers. Plug the dolly into the EZ Brake and plug the the othe end of the EZ brake into the RV. A little adjustment and boom, down the road we went legal in a 48 states.

Gary delivered this dolly to my office. Took him 15 minutes in the rain to prepare it and sign the paperwork and away he went. Interesting guy. Thanks Gary for a pleasurable experience. This thing really is state of the art and well worth the money.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:29 AM   #55
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I posted this information from UFP who make both surge and electric brakes for trailers along with axles, etc. I had been speaking with their tech support on some other issues and mentioned the heat generated by the surge brakes while engine braking down a long grade. He sent me the information contained in the link for consideration. I think part of the surge vs. electric brakes is dependent on where you live and where you will be doing most of your traveling.

Tow Dolly Braking on Downhills
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:51 AM   #56
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Electric brakes can be only good as the controller behind it.
Surge brakes by design, more push more brake, simple and self contained.
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