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Flat towing a 2wd automatic.

snoranger

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Grumpaw

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Another item to be concerned with when flat towing/4 down, is a supplemental brake system. Even tho your towing with a large, heavy pick up, your towing 3000lbs or more, and in almost all states that means a supplemental brake system is required.
I can vouch for the need...my motor home is based on a E-450 superduty, and weighs around 12,000 lbs. We tow a 3200 lb Subaru Crosstrek that I equipped with a brake system. Have stopped from a 60 mph speed both with and without the system activated, and without the system the stopping distance is about 20% longer.
They do work...the only downside is the cost. New will run around $1000.00 depending on make. The one I have, an RVI 2 went for $1300.00. Used can be purchased for 1/2 to 2/3 less than new.
Of course if you decide to go with a dolly, the dolly will come equipped with electric brakes and you'll only need a brake controller in your truck.
On several RV websites I'm on, I've seen good used dolly's go for as low as $500.00, less than half of a supplemental brake system..
Grumpaw
 
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Dirtman

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I didn't consider the brakes. The F350 has more than enough stopping power but I never considered what the legal max is.

However I have a few remote braking systems made for towing semi's. Runs off air though... got me thinking just building a copy but with an electric piston instead of pneumatic.

bb100-1-brake-buddy-system.jpg
bb100-2-brake-buddy-system-in-use.tmb-0.jpg
 

Grumpaw

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I don't count birthday's anymore...just happy to be looking down at the ground instead of looking up
You would think that your F-350 would tow a Ranger without a brake system, and it will. As long as you give yourself plenty of stopping distance. But I will tell you, from past experience, in a panic stop, or on wet roadway, without a brake system in the "toad". You would think the F-350 has the weight/braking/mass to stop that 3000 lb Ranger in an emergency, but it just doesn't.
You have over 3000 lbs of mass pushing your F-350. If that situation ever happens, you will wish you had a brake system.
Then there is the liability factor...if your towing anything that is required to have brakes, by law, and you don't, you might not get hit by the cops if your involved in an accident, but if it can be proven that a supplemental system would have helped avoid the accident, civil law will eat you.
Take it from a retired cop, also was a traffic homicide accident reconstructionist, it is very easy to determine what occurred and if a brake system was involved or omitted, and would have helped to avoid the accident.
My post about this is not meant to scare anyone of force you into something. It's meant to bring to attention what is needed/required to tow safely.
Towing a small flat bed trailer with a lawn tractor without brakes is one thing, but towing 3000 lbs is something entirely different.
Grumpaw
 

Ranger850

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whtknght

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It's meant to bring to attention what is needed/required to tow safely.
Towing a small flat bed trailer with a lawn tractor without brakes is one thing, but towing 3000 lbs is something entirely different.
Grumpaw
We hit a spring snow storm heading north to Colorado Springs a few years ago. We had to turn around and head back to New Mexico for the night. The 22 foot enclosed car trailer (with the wife's Subaru in it) was getting no brake signal to its brakes. Made a bad situation even worse, especially going down hill. That trailer was providing a good 3 tons of force against the hitch receiver. Think about it. All that force being applied to a small point. Now think what it is like when the tow vehicle and the towed vehicle are not lined up straight. Basic Trig. Angular force applied to the rear end of your truck when you are trying to control your speed.
Can you say JACK KNIFE?
 

whtknght

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Here is another situation. Six months later, I was bringing the rest of our stuff across country. 2007 F350 Dually pulling a 29ft tagalong tandem trailer. Travelling 70+ mph in Wyoming (long straight hwy). Heading down hill when one of the right hand tires blows on the trailer. Almost immediately, the second tire on the right side blew. To much weight for one tire to support. Now I had a trailer with flattened rims on one side, heading down hill. You want those trailer brakes. You will be doing a dance while sitting in the drivers seat, manually overriding the brake controller with one hand while controlling the truck with slight brake pressure and a delicate hand on the steering wheel. I had to make sure the truck was pulling the trailer down hill not the trailer pushing the truck down hill while trying to slow everything to a stop . The last thing I needed was for another tire to blow (then of course the fourth one would go) and find myself with four flatten steel rims for wheels.

I now have a brake controller on my b2. Why would I do that when no trailer I towed with it would require electric brakes? Because those brakes might make the difference between stopping safely and having the trailer cause a rollover, jacknife, skid etc. Any vehicle made to go off road will have a higher center of gravity. It is less stable by definition.

Moral of the story, When towing, you are driving two vehicles not one. We are not drift racing here. Having control of both vehicles is the difference between life and death.

I have survived being shot, stabbed, blown up and drowned. I have no intention of dying in a stupid auto accident that I could have prevented by running a couple extra wires.
 
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Josh B

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I've seen em use bungee straps on the steering wheel, one on each side. Allows it to turn but not to freewheel, although on mine the wheel has to be turned more than once on cornering, maybe that was on a much older vehicle
 

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