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Old 09-22-2013, 10:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brockx View Post
What brand tow dolly do you have?
My Acme has a manual lock out device to allow limited backing.
I have occasionally had surge brake boat trailers, as far back as 1971, that had lock out devices.

This is the device for the Acme, others had a pin that was inserted.
BrockX; It's a tow master, bought it off craigslist brand new never been used from a very nice retiered couple in Morganton, NC. Even came with the straps and all paperwork! $1700.00 today.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmorgan6375 View Post
BrockX; It's a tow master, bought it off craigslist brand new never been used from a very nice retiered couple in Morganton, NC. Even came with the straps and all paperwork! $1700.00 today.
You may wish to check with the Mfgr. on a brake lock out, could be very handy in the right situation. I would be willing to bet a method is provided.
I had to ask some questions on the forum to understand mine.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:19 AM   #17
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Thanks for the heads up on a lock out for the dolly, I will be looking into that for sure. And BrockX, just for the record now days when they refer to a 4x4, its all about being a AWD. HA HA HA, so much for being politically correct, HA HA HA, I'm old school too, 4X4 is 4X4.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:32 AM   #18
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Thanks for the heads up on a lock out for the dolly, I will be looking into that for sure. And BrockX, just for the record now days when they refer to a 4x4, its all about being a AWD. HA HA HA, so much for being politically correct, HA HA HA, I'm old school too, 4X4 is 4X4.

I think "DOC" commented on the AWD, we don't need that stuff down here in flat no snow FL..

Let us know what you find on the brake thing, always good to know. Who knows maybe one of us will come upon a MH full of bikini clad cheerleaders who are trying to back-up with a Tow-Master.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:58 AM   #19
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Thank you all for your information. We really appreciate it.

Is the weight rating for the tow dolly for just the front axle or the whole van. Silly woman here trying to understand all this.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:00 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dmorgan6375 View Post
Thanks for the heads up on a lock out for the dolly, I will be looking into that for sure. And BrockX, just for the record now days when they refer to a 4x4, its all about being a AWD. HA HA HA, so much for being politically correct, HA HA HA, I'm old school too, 4X4 is 4X4.
Old school? When I see FWD I think truck!
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:33 AM   #21
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Thank you all for your information. We really appreciate it.

Is the weight rating for the tow dolly for just the front axle or the whole van. Silly woman here trying to understand all this.
That will vary from different manufacturers, not so much as in fact but how it is stated.

Example the Acme Tow Dolly is advertised at 5000# that is weight of the dolly and total vehicle, kind of a hitch pull capability.

You would need to verify the front axle weight, perhaps in your manual, I used 60% as a SWAG. could not find an actual online.

The dolly has tires rated as a pair 2@1650#'s or 3300#'s of weight. now subtract the Dolly weight of 405# and you can add 2900#'s of vehicle weight.

If your Sedona weighs 4800 then approximately 60% will be front axle weight. 60% x 4800# equals 2880 pounds. So there are a few things you need to know going into a particular dolly.

EDIT : I did just find an article stating weight bias to be 58/42 front /rear so that states 2784 front axle weight. You would still want to verify that weight.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #22
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... Mine has what they call surge brakes and they work great. The only drawback is you can't back up, EVER! ...
Change the brakes to the "Free Backing" style. They don't engage in reverse.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #23
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And what do i have to do to do this change? Sorry for sounding rather stupid, but i have no clue as to what has to be changed!
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:49 AM   #24
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Both E-Trailer and Northern Tool sell kits to add electric or surge brakes to a dolly or trailer. The key is the original backing plates on the dolly have to be bolted on NOT WELDED on. If they are bolted on they can be removed and replaced with ones with brake drums and shoes or calipers and disks. The kits usually run between $200.00 and $400.00 per axle depending on the size and style.

etrailer.com - Products brake kit

brake kits from Northern Tool + Equipment

I would suggest if you go the replacement route get the drum/shoe setup. They're a little less expensive and easier to install. Also the electric brakes are easier to install than hydraulic surge style. If you go with the electric brakes you'll also need a brake controller. They will still be easier and less expensive to install than hydraulics. If you go with the surge style you'll also need a new cuupler/actuator.

Be sure to check with the motorhome manufacturer before you do anything. Some manufacturers like Winnebago advise against the use of dollies or trailers with surge brakes. They claim it puts excessive stress on the hitch and supporting framework.

If your current dolly can be modified it will certainly be less expensive than replacing it with even the cheapest model on the market. If you can do the work yourself you'll save even more money.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
Both E-Trailer and Northern Tool sell kits to add electric or surge brakes to a dolly or trailer. The key is the original backing plates on the dolly have to be bolted on NOT WELDED on. If they are bolted on they can be removed and replaced with ones with brake drums and shoes or calipers and disks. The kits usually run between $200.00 and $400.00 per axle depending on the size and style.

etrailer.com - Products brake kit

brake kits from Northern Tool + Equipment

I would suggest if you go the replacement route get the drum/shoe setup. They're a little less expensive and easier to install. Also the electric brakes are easier to install than hydraulic surge style. If you go with the electric brakes you'll also need a brake controller. They will still be easier and less expensive to install than hydraulics. If you go with the surge style you'll also need a new cuupler/actuator.

Be sure to check with the motorhome manufacturer before you do anything. Some manufacturers like Winnebago advise against the use of dollies or trailers with surge brakes. They claim it puts excessive stress on the hitch and supporting framework.

If your current dolly can be modified it will certainly be less expensive than replacing it with even the cheapest model on the market. If you can do the work yourself you'll save even more money.

Depending on your current system it may be easier than that.

This is by Brake Buddy (used by ACME Tow Dolly but not installed) if your brake system is the same brand it looks like an easy fix.

Back-up Feature
We offer an electrically operated valve that is mounted on the actuator
and is connected to the tow vehicle back-up lights. Whenever they are
energized, the valve opens and prevents pressure buildup in the
system. Otherwise, you could not back up. Most trailer manufacturer’s
use this valve.
If you try to back up and can’t, check the valve. When it is energized (by
shifting into reverse) you can hear a noticeable “click” sound. If you
don’t, check for an electrical problem.



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Old 09-24-2013, 04:11 PM   #26
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Is your van four wheel drive or front wheel drive? Uhaul may think yours is four wheel drive. Note, uhaul Dolly's usually do not have brakes, at least the one we rented a few years ago.
Don't know of any four wheel drive that's dolly-able without removing a driveshaft, most are flat towable. A lube pump will allow flat towing and you will like it!!
All the U-Haul dollies I've used had brakes and every one on the lots I've been in have all had surge brakes. Might depend on the laws of the state you're in too.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:51 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanciesmom View Post
Thank you all for your information. We really appreciate it.

Is the weight rating for the tow dolly for just the front axle or the whole van. Silly woman here trying to understand all this.
Most recent question:
The weight rating for a dolly or trailer "should" be the load it can carry. Brockx and I have the Acme EZE-Tow - which is weight rated to carry a vehicle with a total weight (car and load inside the car) of 4,985lb with a total weight on Dolly axle (the front of the car and the dolly frame) of 3,500lb or less.
See: Acme Eze Tow Dolly is the Best Heavy Duty Tow Dolly - See For Yourself! | Car Tow Dolly

Original questions:
U-Haul is conservative about renting equipment...and I will offer that the issue for your mini-van is probably the weight of your van. U-Haul dolly's often do not have brakes (sorry to those that disagree). I have rented U-Haul Dolly's in VA, FL and CA (many military moves) and none had brakes.

On the U-Haul website illustrations, you can clearly see there is no surge brake head unit on the tongue of their car dolly (U-Haul only uses surge brakes)...But, the U-Haul car carrier has brakes.
U-Haul: Tow Dolly Trailer Rental
and
U-Haul: Auto Transport Rental

also...
Installing a "Brake Package" would probably require a whole new axle with brakes as part of the design. This could be expensive and complicated at best...and downright unsafe if the new axle was not installed right.

Best of luck
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:58 PM   #28
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And what do i have to do to do this change? Sorry for sounding rather stupid, but i have no clue as to what has to be changed!
Assuming you have standard 10" drum brakes all you need to do is replace the backing plates with all the associated hardware (shoes, springs, etc).

Like these: Hydraulic Drum Brakes 10 x 2-1/4 Inch Trailer Brakes | etrailer.com, get a Left and a Right. It will require bleeding the hydraulic system once they are on.

The backup light operated valve is another method which you have to use if you have disk brakes but it should work with drum too.
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