U-haul car haulers have a chain at the rear of the trailer

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I’ll demonstrate I know nada about towing.

What are “surge brakes?”
Hydraulic trailer brakes. There is a master cyl in the front of the trailer. When the towing vehicle slows the tongue pushes on the master which in theory apples the trailer brakes.

Besides the fact that the brakes themselves are terrible you can't back up any kind of slope as backing applies the trailer brakes. The harder you push the more they come on.
 
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When I helped my sister move from Georgia to Arizona, we rented Budget's biggest truck and a call hauler for her Tacoma. I didn't enjoy the fact that there were zero accommodations made on that trailer to tie down the rear wheels. I really wanted to run ratchet straps over the tires, front to back, and cinch them down to the trailer, to keep the rear of the truck from walking, but there was not a way to do that. There was also no way to run straps through the wheels. The only compromise I could find was to wrap the ratchet straps around of the rear axle several times and cinch the axle to the trailer, which I did not like. Thoughtless design. I do have to say that it would have never occurred to me to run ratchet straps over the top of the truck bed and bind the entire truck down. 🤣
 

AZjeff

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Ok, the Dodge Magnum weighs 4300 lbs and the U Haul car carrier weighs 2200 lbs for a total of 6500 lbs. This is doable with most 1/2 tons. In fact, find me one that can’t. It’s also a tandem axle trailer so the tongue weight is decent. Yes, the straps are suitable for a load of lumber but strange for a car.
6500# ok. It looks like MAX towing for a 2021 Ram Classic is 10.6k and regular Ram 11.6k FYI. Quite a few in the 7k range.


The 2018 Titan I had was rated to 9200 and there was no way I'd ever pull that much.
 
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When we were young the only comments Dad'd make while driving regarded badly tied loads in trucks and bad trailering.
He would've pointed that one out to us for sure.

Also remember, the stupider the execution (straps against painted bodywork) the higher the likelihood of the rigger NOT being the purchaser of the Magnum.
 
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Thanks for the reply!

Is one brake setup more preferred over the other, i.e., safer/more effective?
For rentals the surge is good because it takes a few hundred bucks to install a brake controller in the tow vehicle. One has to tap the master cylinder hydraulics or I guess in modern vehicles program the applicable computer and interface to it.
 
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When I helped my sister move from Georgia to Arizona, we rented Budget's biggest truck and a call hauler for her Tacoma. I didn't enjoy the fact that there were zero accommodations made on that trailer to tie down the rear wheels. I really wanted to run ratchet straps over the tires, front to back, and cinch them down to the trailer, to keep the rear of the truck from walking, but there was not a way to do that. There was also no way to run straps through the wheels. The only compromise I could find was to wrap the ratchet straps around of the rear axle several times and cinch the axle to the trailer, which I did not like. Thoughtless design. I do have to say that it would have never occurred to me to run ratchet straps over the top of the truck bed and bind the entire truck down. 🤣
That’s why there are tie down points in the bedsides, up and over and down to the trailer!
 
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Thanks for the reply!

Is one brake setup more preferred over the other, i.e., safer/more effective?

integrated brake controllers are my preference. My Ram came with one from the factory. I would not like the surge brakes but understand why a rental place would allow it. I'm guessing the Ram in the picture doesn't have a brake controller so the simple answer to get trailer brakes is surge brakes.

as far as safety the integrated ones are safer and more effective IMO, but the controller has to be set up correctly or the brakes are useless. Most vehicle owners manuals tell you how to set the controller up for your trailer.

just my $0.02
 
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Do some surge brakes have a location to lock them out with either a pin or applying lock pliers, so the master cylinder of the trailer tongue does not have any force on it when the trailer backs up?
 
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Do some surge brakes have a location to lock them out with either a pin or applying lock pliers, so the master cylinder of the trailer tongue does not have any force on it when the trailer backs up?
The few I’ve used have a pin in the tongue for backing. I just borrowed my buddy’s last week but I’m pretty sure the surge brakes weren’t working because I could back up a hill with it just fine.
4F817D02-2F86-41BD-A804-532E863509B1.jpeg
 
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Prior to now I would have said no one could be that stupid.

U-haul trailers are nice trailers all that is required is to follow the instructions - they have more than adequate tie downs.
 
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U-haul car haulers have a chain at the rear of the trailer that both acts as a safety from car rolling off the trailer. The front tires are secured with tire harness tightened by ramps, and wheel chocks built into the trailer to prevent the vehicle moving forward during braking.

I am a huge proponent of tying down a load, and actually the straps over the body do provide supplemental safety- but the damage to the body from the straps is a no-go.

Straps could have been run through the rims if supplemental strapping was desired. Should note that truck looks like a 1/2 ton, and that vehicle looks pretty heavy, and the Uhaul trailer is super well built but heavy, so that truck may be near/at/exceeding its towing capacity. The trailer has surge brakes (not electric brakes).
View attachment 79072

Whoever "secured" this load is an idiot.
 

GON

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Ok, the Dodge Magnum weighs 4300 lbs and the U Haul car carrier weighs 2200 lbs for a total of 6500 lbs. This is doable with most 1/2 tons. In fact, find me one that can’t. It’s also a tandem axle trailer so the tongue weight is decent. Yes, the straps are suitable for a load of lumber but strange for a car.
One can purchase these trailers, U-haul sold them used in the 1990s. They no longer sell them used, but U-haul does sell the parts for these trailers on-line.

These trailers are super easy to use.... except they must be the heaviest 2200 lbs I ever dealt with. I purchased a used one a few years ago. Had the worse time moving it around the driveway. Sold it and replaced it with a open car hauler. Open car hauler not nearly as easy loading a car when compared to the U-hail, butthe open car hauler has other purposes and can be moved around will disconnect from a tow vehicle so much easier.
 

ls1mike

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My boat trailer has surge brakes, the travel trailer and car trailer have standard magnetic electric brakes. I prefer the electric brakes. The surge brakes are just ok. They stop fine but the one ton will push right through them backing up hills even when adjusted properly. Plus you can set the electric brakes to give you a little "tug" before the truck even really has any brake pressure applied.
 
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The surge trailer brakes are good for boat trailers (BC the water would damage the electric brakes) & people who don't have brake controllers (i.e. rookies!). Surge biggest issue is they apply all of a sudden, too quickly, when the coupler & tongue compress on a hard stop (there are springs to keep them extended). If you're careful they may never apply at all.
 
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My boat trailer has surge brakes, the travel trailer and car trailer have standard magnetic electric brakes. I prefer the electric brakes. The surge brakes are just ok. They stop fine but the one ton will push right through them backing up hills even when adjusted properly. Plus you can set the electric brakes to give you a little "tug" before the truck even really has any brake pressure applied.
Electric is nice because the slide control can apply trailer brakes without tow vehicle brakes to control a sway condition, and the breakaway battery is good too-something breaks, the trailer stops on its own!
 

ls1mike

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The surge trailer brakes are good for boat trailers (BC the water would damage the electric brakes) & people who don't have brake controllers (i.e. rookies!). Surge biggest issue is they apply all of a sudden, too quickly, when the coupler & tongue compress on a hard stop (there are springs to keep them extended). If you're careful they may never apply at all.
The boat trailer has a chain for break away. It is shorter than the safety chains. If the boat comes undone, it has a lever that applies the brakes. I hope I never have to use it. :). My truck has no problem stopping the boat and boat trailer without them but it is nice to have the brakes when I need them. The whole boat package is like 5800lbs.
 
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