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nickman123

Flat tow brake system

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Bought a used motorhome. Previous owner threw in the flat tow bar (blue ox) so I foolishly thought all I would need to tow our car was the base plate for the front of the car. Completely forgot about any sort of braking sytem. Been researching on internet and every system I see is at least $1000. Had no clue it would be that expensive. What do you guys use? Any system that's less expensive?

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what car are you towing....what coach?

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I flat tow a jeep wrangler, motor home doesn't know it's back there. All I added was the wiring for the brake lights, no additional braking on the jeep.

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Towing a Ford Focus behind a 33' beaver DP motorhome. Someone told me brakes on the tow vehicle was required. Not true?

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I'm not sure, but that beaver will never know the focus is back there.

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I see hundreds of DP's flat towing jeeps and I'm pretty sure 90% of them don't have a braking system.

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is the focus an auto trans ?

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Yes, it's an auto trans but it's one of those rare models that supposedly can be flat towed. I checked owners manual to be sure.

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Most chassis manufacturers require supplemental brakes on anything towed that weighs over 1500 lbs. whether it be gas or diesel. You may not feel it back there, but it will definitely make a difference during a panic stop. Also, most states REQUIRE supplemental brakes on anything over 1500lbs. so, the liability factor comes into play if ever involved in an accident. I tow a Hummer H3 (4800lbs.) behind a 40' DP rated to tow 10,000lbs. I wouldn't think about towing it without the brakes. When you think about it, $1,000 is CHEAP!

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Ever think about putting the wife back there, and having her put on the brakes?🙂

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We tow a jeep unlimited behind a super c and use the SMI kit they are in the $1000. range but it works well and makes you legal, most states and Canada require brakes towing over 1500 lb's. For me not worth the liability with out brakes if you ever get in an accident just my .02 worth.

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I want to be safe and legal. My issue is that for $1000 to $1500 I can get a nice used tow dolly with brakes. Wouldn't require any extra work or setup for lights or anything. And then I'd be able to tow pretty much any car. I know dollies are a little more hassle, but is it that bad?

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2 hours ago, nickman123 said:

I want to be safe and legal. My issue is that for $1000 to $1500 I can get a nice used tow dolly with brakes. Wouldn't require any extra work or setup for lights or anything. And then I'd be able to tow pretty much any car. I know dollies are a little more hassle, but is it that bad?

That is my solution if I go to a moho. Ill tow my Caddy for now (then) on a dolly. 

Next question,,,,does the dolly have brakes?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, nickman123 said:

I want to be safe and legal. My issue is that for $1000 to $1500 I can get a nice used tow dolly with brakes. Wouldn't require any extra work or setup for lights or anything. And then I'd be able to tow pretty much any car. I know dollies are a little more hassle, but is it that bad?

There are several threads about this subject on IRV2.com. There are a lot of grumpy stick in the rears over There but you will get a lot more peoples opinions. Do a search or they will tell you to  :lol: but good info. A good dolly is close to a flat tow set up. Some times the dolly can be an issue as what to do with it once your at your destination. Also put a hitch on you car so you can move the dolly if need be. Also good luck backing up just the dolly and forget it all together with the car hooked up no matter which method you use.

Edited by SANDPSYCHO

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Wasn't that the first question I asked you the other day.............what about brakes? LOL

Beaver DP.....sounds dirty.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, nickman123 said:

I want to be safe and legal. My issue is that for $1000 to $1500 I can get a nice used tow dolly with brakes. Wouldn't require any extra work or setup for lights or anything. And then I'd be able to tow pretty much any car. I know dollies are a little more hassle, but is it that bad?

Tow dollies aren't that bad, just make sure you get one with surge brakes. One drawback is where to put it at your campsite. some sites are just barely big enough for a large motorhome. I've been to some places that won't allow you to keep it at your site. So once you disconnect it, you have to be able to move it, usually to a storage area.  

You can tow just about anything,,,,,,,,as long as it is front wheel drive. Don't try to tow a rear wheel drive backwards with the rear wheels on the dolly.

Edited by mrknnee
addition

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Anyone know if I can flat tow a 2006 dodge stratus?

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9 hours ago, sandforme said:

Anyone know if I can flat tow a 2006 dodge stratus?

Looks like you can as long as its a stick shift. No auto's.

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Anything over 1500 pounds legally requires brakes. As posted before you see a ton of wranglers being towed and most do not have a braking system. Obviously the motor home will not have any issues pulling or stopping it. The issue is if you dont have a braking system you are putting a ton of weight against the tow bar itself. You need to watch it to see if it starts to bend.  I am looking for a toad now and im sure I will not install a breaking system. I will buy the best tow bar I can get.

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On 3/18/2019 at 1:04 PM, nickman123 said:

I want to be safe and legal. My issue is that for $1000 to $1500 I can get a nice used tow dolly with brakes. Wouldn't require any extra work or setup for lights or anything. And then I'd be able to tow pretty much any car. I know dollies are a little more hassle, but is it that bad?

I have had two tow dollies and they are okay I guess but a whole lot more work to hook up and go takes about a quarter of the time to hook to flat tow and a whole lot cleaner. After setting up to flat tow legally would not want to go back to a dolly, just saying,

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'05 Rubicon behind a Class A gasser. No brakes.

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On ‎4‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 5:43 PM, Ifly said:

Looks like you can as long as its a stick shift. No auto's.

Damn so if its an automatic you cant flat tow....

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An automatic is fine if it's a Jeep like the Wrangler with a transfer case

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13 hours ago, sandforme said:

Damn so if its an automatic you cant flat tow....

There is only very few automatic cars that can be flat towed. I believe Saturn was one of them. You'll have to do more research as I'm sure a Stratus is not on that very short list. 

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I flat tow my 17 F250 with no braking system.  I obviously know it’s back there but have never felt like I needed extra braking power. I know you are trying to be on the safe side but I think your wasting your money. 

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