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Old 12-03-2021, 02:49 PM   #1
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Question Do I need electric brakes?

So what I seem to be reading in all of this is if you are towing with a trailer or dolly you need to have electric brakes that can be operated by the diver.
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Old 12-03-2021, 03:03 PM   #2
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My dolly has surge brakes that are activated when the towing vehicle slows. It puts pressure on the hydraulics that drive the disk brakes. I like them because no extra wiring connection between vehicles is necessary.
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Old 12-03-2021, 03:49 PM   #3
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Here we go again. The age-old battle of the folks that do not understand takes more brakes to stop more weight in a specified and safe distance. Lawyers do not override the physical laws of the world.

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Old 12-03-2021, 04:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Whall56 View Post
So what I seem to be reading in all of this is if you are towing with a trailer or dolly you need to have electric brakes that can be operated by the diver.


Brake Controller incorporated into MH braking system --- brake pedal switch etc so when braking MH the towed vehicle brakes in sync with MH

MH brakes stop MH
Toad brakes stop toad...trailer or dolly
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Old 12-03-2021, 04:55 PM   #5
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To answer your question directly, no, you do not need electric brakes, but you do need some type of reliable braking system whether it be electric or hydraulic. To be without one is just fool hardy and dangerous. As a previous poster said you can't override the laws of physics and the judge can take most or all of your money if you don't have them and kill or hurt someone. Do the smart, safe and moral thing, have some type of braking system in good working order.
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Old 12-03-2021, 05:55 PM   #6
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A question I had about towing with a dolly. In my state, and most for that matter, any trailer over 3000# requires brakes.

I towed with a dolly and surge brakes. That’s fine for the dolly, but does not put any brakes to the rear wheels that are down.
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Old 12-03-2021, 06:01 PM   #7
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All of the above is true, but it does somewhat depend on what you are towing, how much it weighs, and what you are towing with. If you are towing a motorcycle or golf cart on a light weight trailer it is probably legal for you to tow it without a brakes on the trailer in almost all states. If you are driving a larger diesel pusher chances are that you would not be able to feel the difference between brakes or no brakes on a small light trailer.
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Old 12-04-2021, 09:10 AM   #8
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Ditto what others have said. You need a trailer/dolly brake system to assist in stopping the extra weight of the towed vehicle. It can be either electric brakes or surge brakes, depending on how the trailer/dolly is equipped. Either one is fine. They do not have to be "operated by the driver" - they typically work automatically in conjunction with the motorhome brakes, without driver intervention.

So, if you buy a trailer or dolly that is equipped with electric brakes, you need an electric brake controller in the coach. If you buy a trailer or dolly with surge brakes, then no electric controller is needed - the brake system operates mechanically rather than electrically.
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:11 AM   #9
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Electric Brakes

I was referencing a link that was posted listing the requirements in all states.

As I read it most states require a system at the operators station that requires them to be able to apply them from the driver's seat. Surge brakes do not fit into that category.
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Old 12-05-2021, 08:16 AM   #10
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Before 2007, commercial use required a in-cab controller, but not in private use.

Some states allowed them, causing problems with UHaul and state to state rentals.

In 2007, that all changed for all user's, allowing surge brakes.

There are also electric brake systems that don't have an in-cab controller. It's mounted on the trailer tongue.
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Old 12-06-2021, 08:52 AM   #11
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Thank you for the information. I will check out the tongue controller.
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