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Old 09-04-2021, 11:05 AM   #1
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RV Brake Longevity With Flat Towing

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.
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Dave
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Old 09-04-2021, 11:11 AM   #2
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If the auxiliary brake is set up properly, it will take up about 65-70% of the normal breaking load. So most definitely will help the motorhome in stopping in shorter distance and maintaining control in panic stop. The wear and tear on the motorhome's braking system will be proportionately reduced. The effort of the driver to provide pedal break force is also reduced. Hope this info helps you.
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Old 09-04-2021, 11:35 AM   #3
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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
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!
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:19 PM   #4
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RV Brake Longevity With Flat Towing

TandW,
Who says I was using a tow dolly without a supplemental braking system?? I was using a Demco Kar Kaddy with surge brakes that worked fine. I was merely asking for feedback from others as to the issue of less wear and tear on the motorhome's brakes associated with flat towing versus dolly towing. I am continually amazed by people who jump to wrong conclusions just to make wrong statements before investigating the facts first! I can assure you that as a responsible motorhome owner I take every precaution to ensure I am operating at a high level of safety before I put my coach and vehicle on the road.
Dave
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:22 PM   #5
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TandW,
Who says I was using a tow dolly without a supplemental braking system?? I was using a Demco Kar Kaddy with surge brakes that worked fine. I was merely asking for feedback from others as to the issue of less wear and tear on the motorhome's brakes associated with flat towing versus dolly towing. I am continually amazed by people who jump to wrong conclusions just to make wrong statements before investigating the facts first! I can assure you that as a responsible motorhome owner I take every precaution to ensure I am operating at a high level of safety before I put my coach and vehicle on the road.
Dave
"All the work being done by the motorhome".
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:37 PM   #6
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A lot depends upon the brand of towed braking system you purchase. This is one instance where you really do get what you pay for.
RVI ready-brake seems to be popular. I use a M&G Engineering air braking system with my diesel pusher MH.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:17 PM   #7
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Dave,

Most of the supplemental systems can be adjusted. I'm familiar with even brake and it can be adjusted for both sensitivity and force applied. This way you can adjust it depending on how heavy your tow'd is. I believe the RVI ready brake system is similar.

There are a couple other brands out there, but I'm not familiar enough to comment.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:32 PM   #8
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We towed a Grand Cherokee behind our Itasca Horizon using a Brake Buddy supplemental.

I reduced the sensitivity on the BB so it seldom activated on the theory I really only needed it in a panic stop situation. ďNormalĒ stops didn't require the BB to stop.

Our coach had plenty of brake material on the shoes when we finally traded it at 170K miles and 100K towing the GC. I slowed up before stopping and used the exhaust brake extensively to save on the service brakes.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:46 PM   #9
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Correct me if Iím wrong, but the OPís V-10 gas powered coach will not have an exhaust or compression brake.

As mentioned, it will depend on the particular supplemental braking system and how it is set up. I know a few folks who have set their toad brakes on fire because the system applied them too aggressively.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:52 PM   #10
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Correct me if Iím wrong, but the OPís V-10 gas powered coach will not have an exhaust or compression brake.

As mentioned, it will depend on the particular supplemental braking system and how it is set up. I know a few folks who have set their toad brakes on fire because the system applied them too aggressively.
that is correct, his signature says he has a gas, so no engine brake. Also no air brakes so can't go the 'air force one' route.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:57 PM   #11
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Flat tow a SmartCar forTwo?

Slight deviation from topic: Can a SmartCar FORTWO be flat towed? Automatic vs Manual?
Thanks for all advise. EddieA
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Old 09-04-2021, 10:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martind4 View Post
We towed a Grand Cherokee behind our Itasca Horizon using a Brake Buddy supplemental.

I reduced the sensitivity on the BB so it seldom activated on the theory I really only needed it in a panic stop situation. ďNormalĒ stops didn't require the BB to stop.

Our coach had plenty of brake material on the shoes when we finally traded it at 170K miles and 100K towing the GC. I slowed up before stopping and used the exhaust brake extensively to save on the service brakes.
Setting the sensitivity down real low is fine and use your Jake or exhaust brake to slow/stop you, but all the brake force for the tow'd is going though the tow bar, trying to compress it. Not necessarily a bad thing, just be aware.
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Old 09-04-2021, 11:14 PM   #13
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Slight deviation from topic: Can a SmartCar FORTWO be flat towed? Automatic vs Manual?
Thanks for all advise. EddieA

Eddie, you should start your on subject on this, but the quick answer is yes for most years if it is the gas engine version.
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Old 09-05-2021, 09:24 AM   #14
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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.
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