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Old 11-17-2020, 08:22 AM   #1
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Uhaul Tow Dollies- No Brakes

Wanted to rent a Uhaul tow dolly to tow my 2014 Ford Escape behind my 2019 Winnebago Minnie Winnie(E350) but was surprised that none of them have brakes(either surge or electric). My better judgment tells me not to take a chance. Smart move or being overly cautious?
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:14 AM   #2
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https://blog.cvn.com/jury-clears-u-h...tive-tow-dolly

Dollies are considered trailers. Almost every state requires trailers to have brakes if the total weight is more than 3,000 pounds. Some states have lower limits.

That article mentions a few other rental companies that only supply dollies with brakes.

Personally I would not tow without brakes on a trailer regardless of its weight or any law.

Ray
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:28 AM   #3
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Check with other UHaul dealers. The newer dollies are equipped with surge brakes.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:44 AM   #4
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I towed a 2012 terrain on a uhaul dolly with out breaks from dallas texas to sacramento ca with no problems.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cataska View Post
I towed a 2012 terrain on a uhaul dolly with out breaks from dallas texas to sacramento ca with no problems.
One thing to remember is that vehicle braking systems, including motorhomes, are only designed and tested to be able to safely stop the GVWR of the vehicle itself.

If you have a DP and you are loaded to three tons below your GVWR then your motorhome brakes should safely stop both the motorhome and a trailer/dolly+car of less than 6,000 pounds within the design stopping distance.

But if you have a gasser as we do and since gassers usually are close to their GVWR when loaded for trips then you do not have the excess braking capacity and you will not stop within the designed-for stopping distance, a distance that some states prescribe in their trailer brakes law.

So if you brake early and brake long you probably won't hit anything in front of you. But if the stopping distance gets marginal, even a full-effort braking will not stop the motorhome and trailer/dolly+car in the distance it should and that can make all the difference between a semi-non-event and a disaster.

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Old 11-17-2020, 10:35 AM   #6
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I can’t count how many times I’ve seen U-Haul vehicles towing U-Haul dolly units with a vehicle attached.
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen personal vehicles towing U-Haul dolly units with a vehicle attached.

I just reviewed their website pertaining to their dolly units, and you’re right, they do not mention any auxiliary braking system on their dolly units.

I guess the responsibility for using their dolly lies with you the customer.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:37 AM   #7
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I towed a 2012 terrain on a uhaul dolly with out breaks from dallas texas to sacramento ca with no problems.

That only means you didn't encounter any situations requiring a rapid stop. Most of the time the trailer brakes aren't too important - your stopping distance is just a little longer. But when the time comes you need to stop quickly, a 20-30 foot shorter stopping distance might get real important!
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:36 PM   #8
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I have seen with my own eyes U-haul tow dollies with surge brakes.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:52 PM   #9
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You don't really need brakes on a tow dolly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,until you do.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:34 PM   #10
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Check with other UHaul dealers. The newer dollies are equipped with surge brakes.


I have sold tow dollies for the last 15 years and am currently a UHaul dealer and have been for over 25 years. That being said, NO UHAUL TOW DOLLIES HAVE BRAKES, new or old. Auto TRANSPORTS DO HAVE BRAKES. Also, tow dollies are NOT classed as trailers in ANY STATE. They are considered an implement of husbandry, farmers term, and do not have to be “registered” (tagged) in ANY state as well. I do offer tow dollies with surge brakes for sale, but again, not required in any state. No arguing, just stating the facts. Happy towin’
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:44 PM   #11
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Thanks chuck.s....I called the Uhaul customer service line? and was given the same info. Our local Uhaul staff leaves a lot to be desired and I didnt trust them but they were correct. Not sure I understand the reason but so be it. I wont be using a Uhaul tow dolly.........bob
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by chuck.s View Post
I have sold tow dollies for the last 15 years and am currently a UHaul dealer and have been for over 25 years. That being said, NO UHAUL TOW DOLLIES HAVE BRAKES, new or old. Auto TRANSPORTS DO HAVE BRAKES. Also, tow dollies are NOT classed as trailers in ANY STATE. They are considered an implement of husbandry, farmers term, and do not have to be “registered” (tagged) in ANY state as well. I do offer tow dollies with surge brakes for sale, but again, not required in any state. No arguing, just stating the facts. Happy towin’
Hey Chuck,
Live in Las Vegas, NV, have a tow dolly, and the State of Nevada requires the tow dolly to be registered and a plate issued to it. Just wanted to let you know.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:50 PM   #13
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I cannot imagine having a large motorhome, towing a 6000 lb vehicle on a dolly without brakes.

Traffic stopped dead up ahead, your speed is 60 miles and hour. You are not far enough back to avoid a rearend accident..... I can see how the vehicle you are about to slam into getting closer and closer, your foot jamed on the brake pedal to the floor, and you're not slowing down. God help the folks in that vehicle you are about to turn into a devastated bunch of folks and families. Those that live thru it that is.

Run that scenario in your mind and then make a wise decision.

My thoughts.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:16 PM   #14
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Hey Chuck,

Live in Las Vegas, NV, have a tow dolly, and the State of Nevada requires the tow dolly to be registered and a plate issued to it. Just wanted to let you know.


Go look at any UHaul location in NV... I Guarantee you won’t find a license plate displayed on any two wheel tow dolly on any lot. I not only checked with uhaul corporate in Phoenix, AZ, but also with Nevada Dept of Public Safety who referred me to the Department of motor vehicles (DMV), 1-800-992-0900. A local number for the Las Vegas area call 486-4368. I called the 800 number and finally got put thru to the Las Vegas East Sahara office, 2621 E Sahara Ave. and verified that a TWO WHEEL tow dolly, used for transporting a single vehicle with only two of the vehicle wheels on the dolly, does not REQUIRE licensure. The individual I spoke with added a caveat, saying that if an individual “REQUESTED” a license plate, one could be purchased, but in doing so, it MUST be licensed as a TRAILER as they have no listing for a two wheel tow dolly. Not trying to be argumentative, but I you were correct, EVERY TOW DOLLY, in UHaul’s fleet would be required to have a license plate affixed to it as any one of them could be dispatched to, or from Nevada.
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