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Old 03-17-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Tow dolly do you need brakes question?

Hello first post I just bought a sunseeker 2600 and wanted to tow my Prius behind it. In the manual for the Prius it says you need to use a tow dolly. How do you hook that up and how do you use brakes for that load? Do you somehow control the brakes in the Prius and do you need a brake controller? Also what about the brake lights and signals on the Prius do they get integrated too somehow? Thanks
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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Yes you will need a braking system on the car dolly, there are 2 different types of braking systems. One is a surge hydraulic system that uses a system mounted on the tongue of the dolly that sends brake fluid to the wheels of the dolly to help stop it. The other is electric brakes that uses a brake controller mounted in the cab of your MH and get wired into the MH, that sends power to the wheels of the dolly to help stop it.

Which one is better, its kinda all up to you. If the MH doesn't have brake controller already I would buy a dolly with the surge hydro system, there is no wiring required to use the brakes. Then wiring is only needed for the turn, running, and brake lights.

As for lights the dolly should have some already but, atleast here in Wisconsin, you also have to either have the cars lights wired so that you can also plug them in or mount some magnetic lights on the rear.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:09 PM   #3
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Yes you will need a braking system on the car dolly, there are 2 different types of braking systems. One is a surge hydraulic system that uses a system mounted on the tongue of the dolly that sends brake fluid to the wheels of the dolly to help stop it. The other is electric brakes that uses a brake controller mounted in the cab of your MH and get wired into the MH, that sends power to the wheels of the dolly to help stop it.

Which one is better, its kinda all up to you. If the MH doesn't have brake controller already I would buy a dolly with the surge hydro system, there is no wiring required to use the brakes. Then wiring is only needed for the turn, running, and brake lights.

As for lights the dolly should have some already but, atleast here in Wisconsin, you also have to either have the cars lights wired so that you can also plug them in or mount some magnetic lights on the rear.

Saw a neat setup in FL, a fellow had extra bulbs & sockets installed in his existing toad taillights and they were plugged into the dolly wiring. Eliminated the magnetic lights being added and scratching his new toad.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
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Saw a neat setup in FL, a fellow had extra bulbs & sockets installed in his existing toad taillights and they were plugged into the dolly wiring. Eliminated the magnetic lights being added and scratching his new toad.
A friends parents just did that last year to their Jeep Wrangler it works pretty darn good!

Before my dad sold his business and retired he had a Jeep Wrangler that he would tow behind the dump trucks if he need to drop one off for service or working out of town and wanted to park the truck and drive the Jeep back and forth. Dad tapped into the Jeeps factory harness and used the factory taillights, then the 4 flat pigtail was just tucked under the hood and brought our when he needed it.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:39 PM   #5
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Thanks - I'm not sure I understand the surge brake thing entirely. Also is there any way you can plug right in and use the brake lights in the Prius that are already there?
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:48 PM   #6
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Thanks - I'm not sure I understand the surge brake thing entirely. Also is there any way you can plug right in and use the brake lights in the Prius that are already there?
You can, but some folks are reluctant to cut into a factory harness and the extra sockets and bulbs are a much simpler and cleaner method and shouldn't effect your warranty.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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Thanks - I'm not sure I understand the surge brake thing entirely. Also is there any way you can plug right in and use the brake lights in the Prius that are already there?
Do a google search on surge systems, I am sure that someone out there has explained it a lot better than what I can. If you don't have a, electric brake controller in your MH a surge system would be the way to go IMO. As for the Prius lights, there is no "plug and play" setup. You would have to break into the cars factory wiring system and wire up the lights up yourself.
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