Car Tow Dolly Brake Explained…
The most common question I am asked is, “ how do Car Tow Dolly hydraulic brakes work?” . So today we will explain Car Tow Dolly brakes. First, understand that to be 50 state legal you must have brakes of some kind on your Car Tow Dolly. In addition to that if you ever want to sell your tow dolly the first question a potential buyer will ask is if it has brakes or not. 8 out of 10 tow dollies sold have brakes.
An Idler tow dolly simply means it has no brakes at all. Idler dollies are most commonly used around town for short shuttling trips of lighter weight cars.
Electric brakes require a brake control device inside your RV or truck. These units have internal sensors that are dependent on the settings from 2 exterior adjusting knobs. If you do not precisely adjust these knobs then you will probably not even have brakes at all. Also, if a malfunction occurs one must trouble shoot the brake controller, the wiring from the controller to the dolly and then the dolly. A quality digital controller will cost between $450.00 and $600.00 installed into a typical RV.
The most superior and trouble free braking system is a Hydraulic Surge Disc Brake System. Not to be confused with a surge Drum brake system. Surge Disc brakes never need adjusting, cool off much faster and resists brake fade. A disc brake design is 4 times more efficient than a drum design. The pads are in clear sight and can be easily changed by a novice.
So, how does a Surge Disc Brake system work? A surge disc brake system is self contained and self actuating. If you imagine that the coupler housing that goes over your hitch ball is actually a piston that extends back into the actuator on the dolly tongue. When you apply your brakes the weight of what you are towing surges forward slightly and pressurizes the brake line. The harder you brake the harder the tow dolly will brake. The Surge Disc Brake design is very sensitive and precise from slight to hard braking. It never chucks or hits hard. It is very smooth and precise braking. Because tow dollies are so light weight the brake system will not activate on an unloaded dolly, thus saving the tires from locking and dragging while unloaded. A surge brake system should be towed as close to level as possible. The more level the more precise and efficient the brakes will be. The Disc Brake design incorporates a clever but simple emergency brake away system. Should the dolly separate from the ball for any reason the brakes on the dolly instantly go to full lock up helping to bring everything to quick and certain stop.
So, in closing, understand that electric brake and surge drum brake systems are functional but old technology. The most current generation braking system is the Hydraulic Surge Disc Brake design.