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Question:

Is it a law that I must install a brake system to a trailer that I am towing?

The trailer is a car dolly carrying a 2500 lb. car but ONLY the front wheels are elevated. The rear wheels are on the ground.I am towing this with a Class B RV, Ford 350 Excel. Does the law require that I install a brake system? I know it might be wise but the RV is powerful. If I drive slowly, keep my distance can I get by? The brake system is $600.

Answer:

Trailer/towing brake laws vary from state to state, so you need to check with the DOTs of the states you're traveling in. Many states list 2,000 or 2,500 pounds as the threshold where a braking system is required on the trailer, but the regulations do vary. Since you're using a dolly, as long as the dolly is equipped with brakes you should be fine. The in-car braking systems that you see in car's behind RVs are typically built for flat-towing applications. With a dolly, installing an in-car brake system that pushes on the foot brake pedal will not be of much help since the front wheels are up. If you want to play it safe, check with the DOTs.
May 28, 2018
In any commonsense country, any trailer over 1,000 lbs. needs to have brakes fitted. The power of the tow vehicle is irrelevant, it is the braking capacity that matters, and fords have lousy brakes. No wonder Americas road toll is so high!
May 28, 2018
Car dollies don't require brakes. You're completely legal.
May 28, 2018

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