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Old 05-09-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: leesburg fl. usa
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Car tow dolly with or without brakes

I have a 2001 Monaco dynasty 40 feet dp and plan to tow a 2008 Chrysler town and country on a tow dolly would it be OK to tow on a dolly without brakes we plan to travel about 6,000 miles from Florida to mn to Maine and back to fl
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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Mike & Sharon and our Pup Frankie
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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If your looking to rent a tow dolly, it will probably come from some place like U-haul. If this is the case, your van, depending on options, will weight around 4500lbs. As per U-haul's web site, the maximum weight of the vehicle-in-tow can be is 3,450 lbs for front wheel drive vehicles. Therefore, you would not be able to use a dolly without brakes.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
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Braking laws per state vary by weight and equipment however if you travel through states requiring them then you will be in violation. If your dolly is the same as a trailer then it removes the ambiguity. Some people allude to a difference between towing four down and towing a trailer; but most if not all states have a code regarding trailers most often weight is the determining factor for requiring brakes. The range is 1000 to 3000 pounds towing weight depending on the state. There may be some exceptions.

Generally speaking it is a bad idea to tow without brakes. There are many who do not subscribe to that notion.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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You're towing a vehicle well over 4,000 lbs. You won't be legal in Florida or Minnesota. You can check here to find where else you'll be in trouble: Towing World Official Website
Actually if you have to make an emergency stop you'll be in trouble EVERYWHERE, but the above site will show you where you're breaking the law just by being there.

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Old 05-09-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by alfredcycle View Post
I have a 2001 Monaco dynasty 40 feet dp and plan to tow a 2008 Chrysler town and country on a tow dolly would it be OK to tow on a dolly without brakes we plan to travel about 6,000 miles from Florida to mn to Maine and back to fl

Read this and you'll understand why you NEED brakes...
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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You know it is sad to say, but we live in a society where very one is sue happy. God forbid, but if you were ever in an accident, and hit someone, the lawyers would eat you up if you were towing and over the legal limit for towing without a brake system.

With that said, wonder why the insurance companies don't ask that question when setting up your policy ? (Those of us who do should be getting a discount :-))
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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alfredcycle......If every stop could be a gentle braking, you would probably not have any issues. Most would not say anything if you towed something around 2000 pounds or less with a big coach.

The problem is that your van is pretty heavy, plus the weight of the dolly. In a panic stop, it could get unruly behind you without any brakes. Even on a grade with the exhaust brake on, the tow vehicle could get squirrely and you wouldn't have any way to apply brakes to straighten it out.

If you don't have a tow dolly yet, rent or buy one with a set of surge brakes. It's an inexpensive way to go and will protect you in a panic stop.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:24 AM   #9
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I've meet people in my travels who don't use a brake system on their toad. Frankly, I don't understand it. Why wouldn't you want to protect yourself and others in case of a desperation or sudden stop?
People will spend tens of thousands of dollars on a rig, but not $1k on a brake system, that could save their lives or others. It may be the law, but to me is only common sense.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:02 AM   #10
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As others have said. Please don't tow that vehicle on a dolly without brakes on the dolly or towed vehicle.

Most posters cited the reasons for having brakes on anything being towed. Safety and Legal.

Here is some info based on my experience. I have towed for years with different RV's (A's, C's and B+) and with different towds.

I have measured the stopping distances with and without towd brakes applied. Without question one can stop in a shorter distance with towd brakes applied which of course improves safety when a fast stop is needed. In fact when I measured my stopping distance with a Class A while towing a Malibu Max I could stop in a shorter distance with the Malibu brakes applied than I could without the car being there at all. Yes it was a greater mass moving but with 4 more tires on the road I was able to stop sooner given the same road and conditions.

I currently tow a smart car that weighs less than 1900lbs and it can legally be towed in most jurisdictions without brakes, and I have tested the braking distances without brakes and with smarty in tow with my current 12800lb RV and I meet all the distance stopping regs cited in various jurisdictions.

Notwithstanding I currently meet legal requirements in most cases without towd brakes, I installed a ready brake just for added safety and I can stop in a shorter distance with the towd brake on - this might just mean the difference between life and death someday.

Much better control in mountain areas also and saves expensive RV brake repairs.

Hope this helps in your decision

Good luck on your trip.
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brakes, dolly

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