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Old 09-09-2021, 03:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by dlduck View Post
I have just recently set up my vehicle and motorhome for flat towing and auxiliary braking, after spending 6 years using a tow dolly. I have never flat towed before, but I know from past experience using a tow dolly, every time I had to come to a stop, it would require plenty of space and a lot of pressure on my brakes, as a result of all the work being done by the motorhome. Am I wrong in assuming that with flat towing, there should be less wear and tear on my motorhome brakes than with dolly towing as a result of having an auxiliary braking system? I am just looking for input from those who have a lot more experience with flat towing than I have.
Thanks,
Dave
I had a pace arrow gas that was hard to press the pedal, after new every thing from master cylinder brake lines and calipers it was a vast improvement in stopping and pressure required. It sounds like u got a coach issue rather than a toad issue. Towing a Jeep behind it and now my 40ft DP was literally like it wasnít there.
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:13 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlduck View Post
I have just recently set up my vehicle and motorhome for flat towing and auxiliary braking, after spending 6 years using a tow dolly. I have never flat towed before, but I know from past experience using a tow dolly, every time I had to come to a stop, it would require plenty of space and a lot of pressure on my brakes, as a result of all the work being done by the motorhome. Am I wrong in assuming that with flat towing, there should be less wear and tear on my motorhome brakes than with dolly towing as a result of having an auxiliary braking system? I am just looking for input from those who have a lot more experience with flat towing than I have.
Thanks,
Dave
I am surprised that your dolly didnít have an aux braking system. YES, aux brakes on the TOAD or DOLLY will reduce brake wear on the tow vehicle. Only thing to watch out for is brake drag on the TOAD will warp the TOAD rotors. Took a bit of time for me to fine tune the gain so that the TOAD brakes werenít dragging.
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:21 PM   #31
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I flat tow regularly and the brakes on my toad only engage when quick braking or downhill braking is required. Normal driving seldom engages the toad brakes. So my guess would be that your results are based on the sensitivity of your braking setup.

Certainly you want your toad brakes to engage when needed, but you don't want the toad to add brake drag unnecessarily.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:27 PM   #32
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I just bought a Blue Ox flat-tow system for my Mini Cooper convertible as the toad. Used a Towmaster dolly with braking for a few years. Almost lost the toad 2 years ago, because straps securing one wheel loosened. It may have been my fault (insufficient tightening?), but it was enough to make me quit dolly towing. Could have killed somebody, or somebodies.
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:38 PM   #33
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Smart Car towing

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Originally Posted by EddieA View Post
Slight deviation from topic: Can a SmartCar FORTWO be flat towed? Automatic vs Manual?
Thanks for all advise. EddieA
Yes a manual Smart Car can be flat towed. (very easily) The manual transmission is a funky semi auto that electrically pulls in the clutch and can be either shifted either via auto or manual. It is still essentially a manual reverting to neutral when not powering.

This transmission was in 2005 and 2006 diesel Smarts imported into Canada. When the Smart was officially imported in to the US in 2008 till recently it has been a gas car with a different transmission. I flat tow a 2006 diesel. You would have to check the specifics of the newer transmissions, which I thought were automatic but I'm not sure.
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:55 PM   #34
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I have a BrakeMaster 9060 which is a Roadmaster system. It requires an air compressor mounted under the motorhome which supplies air to an air canister installed in my Jeep. When I apply the coach brakes it activates the Jeeps brakes via dk

If I ever have to replace it, I will look at a surge system. My system works when I step on the brakes. What concerns me is those long down hill grades when I'm using the coaches grade brake. While that slows me down, I do not believe it activates the Jeeps brakes. Consequently I need to apply more pressure to the service brakes from time to time as the coach speeds up on steeper grades.

As far as wear on the brakes, that's a hard one to evaluate. Only had our coach for 32,000 miles. During that time no issues. One caveat, I drive pretty cautiously. I always leave lots of room (when possible) between me and the guy in front of me.
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:12 PM   #35
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Brakes

Iíve always felt that primary purpose of the auxiliary brake on the tow car was for the brake away application if the car broke loose from the motorhome. Iíve never felt that the application of the brakes on a tow car was going to hold back a 40,000 pound motorhome, with proper use of the engine braking system on the Allison transmission with diesel engine the brakes on the bus and the car should last a very long time,
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:19 PM   #36
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FYI, the Blue Ox patriot brake can also be adjusted for sensitivity and brake force, and provides proportional braking. There are lots of choices out there, so you have some research to do.
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:47 PM   #37
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No brakes on your dolly?

Did you not have electric brakes on your tow dolly? An auxiliary brake system will reduce your stopping distance and wear on your coach brakes if you purchased a system with proportional toad brakes. If you purchased a full or none brake system you will add wear on your toad.
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:03 PM   #38
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Flat tow

What a topic for me. Just had a conversation with 2 BILís about using a dolly. One said never and the other switched due to install costs. We just sold our coach and talked with the new owner about choices. Personally I would only flat tow. Simply, thatís my choice.
Now to the topic, I used Readybrake, a surge brake system, because I liked the proportional stopping and it worked well for me. I didnít want Brakebuddy because of the lack of proportion. They had just introduced a newer system that was proportional.
I had one of those BILs that burned out a set of brakes from improper operation which may well have been operator error, canít say.
I have towed a lot of trailers in my time and know that regular maintenance makes the difference. I would guess that the surge brakes may have needed some adjustments. I have experienced the surge mechanism getting tight and had little effect to stopping action.
The four down adds an extra axle of brakes but I have no reason to question the ability of a dolly axle brakes when adjusted properly. Also there are electric and surge hydraulic systems on dollys.
With the flat tow you have choices, quite a few. Then to decide if removing a box or connecting an interactive system. Definitely no air brake systems is a forgone conclusion. Thereís pros and cons to every setup. I would be happy to tell you all I know about towing trailers and dinghys but that could get long and you will be bored.
To summarize I am convinced that either towing method will add stopping assistance for your coach. And most states require dinghy brakes of some sort.
One caveat is that the earlier brake buddies were for panic stopping only. Had that conversation with my brother who wondered why his car brakes seemed to slam on then totally release. Happy towing.
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:17 PM   #39
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To me the only reason to use a dolly is if your tow vehicle can't be flat towed. otherwise if it can be then the additional weight of the dolly not being there is less weight to get stopped. less wear and tear on your brakes. i tow a fiat 500 which is pretty light and use a used rv2 brake system off of craigs list. in just normal driving it doesn't engage at all but in sudden braking incidents it kicks in and works well. talked to a guy in wyoming that was pulling the same car as me and he never used a brake system and didn't feel the need for it.
We use to tow a Ford Aspire and had no brake system for it. By law it was not required because it was light enough. Never had problems stopping.
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:20 PM   #40
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What tow dolly were you using that had no brakes and if so why couldn't you have put a supplemental brake system in the towed vehicle?
I am continually amazed by accounts of people who do not avail themselves of the equipment they already own. We could all be safer out there if only they would!
Sometimes itís better to take the time to read and comprehend a post before commenting and wasting everyoneís time in having to explain the issue.
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:37 PM   #41
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Acme E Z Tow Dolly

We have had our Acme eztow dolly for 9-10 years. Has disc surge brakes. If we had to stop short, these brakes even helped the motorhome brakes slow down. Don't know if surge brakes on other brands can be adjusted but ours work great.
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:46 PM   #42
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We just recently setup flat towing for our new RV and our Jeep Wrangler. We had installed a Demco Stay-N-Play Duo. It works great and I can really feel the braking effect from the Jeep. Took a little trial and error to get the sensitivity adjusted properly but well worth it. And easy to activate, flip a switch that's it.
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