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Old 04-11-2016, 06:27 AM   #15
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I prefer surge brakes due to the simplicity of them. They are now mostly disc style.

No wires, no controller, no settings. They just work.

You slow, dolly pushs on hitch, brakes come on as hard as needed. The harder you brake, the harder it brakes.

Electric brakes need a controller to sense deceleration and a battery for break away. Then, there are adjustments for how much brake to apply, according to weight of car.

Most electric brakes are drum style and need adjustment.

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Old 04-11-2016, 07:23 AM   #16
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I think the dolly brakes are a compromise between simplicity and level of control. I received a document from UFP who makes many of the dolly/trailer brake systems pertaining to towing up and down hills. Their recommendation is that on long downhill stretches with the tow vehicle holding back the trailer/dolly the tow vehicle should be accelerated every once in a while to release the surge brakes and allow them to cool. They also recommend that if you tow in a hilly area where this scenario will be more frequent that electric brakes be used instead of surge brakes. I had many discussions with them after pulling into a rest stop at the bottom of a long hill that I went down using the engine brake and the dolly brakes were extremely hot. I think that is why if I had it to do over I would go electric rather than surge, which I have on my dolly now.

2005 Newmar Kountry Star 3742 - Gas
ACME Eze Tow Dolly
2008 Chevy Malibu Toad
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:13 AM   #17
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Ours says Master Tow on it, but it looks like several other models. We went with it because we wanted one that didn't require the steering be unlocked, it was readily available and on sale for $1175 with electric brakes. We've used it on one 1000 mile trip and it worked fine.
Dennis and Katherine
2000 Monaco Dynasty
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Pepper2 View Post
So far it seems that Demco and Acme are favored. Several replies have mentioned surge brakes, why not electric?
The simple answer is... why complicate things? Surge brakes are proportionally applied, require no extra hookups and work whether there's electrical power or not.

Plus, we're not rigged for electric brakes so the added cost is just a waste when surge brakes are an easier, cheaper, more reliable option.
2004 Newmar Mountain Aire 4302
pulling a 2013 Ford Edge Limited

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Old 04-14-2016, 12:54 PM   #19
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I would like to thank everyone for their input. It's been very helpful in weighing my towing alternatives.

Neal and Deb + Mya and Gizmo, the pup's
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30B

May the roads rise up to meet you, May the winds be always at your back...
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dolly, tow, tow dolly

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