Old Brakes - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2008, 09:11 PM   #1
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Here's a bit of a hypothetical trailer brake question

If an person found say a 20ish year old trailer, that most likely was originally equipped with brakes, but the trailer's owner never had a brake controller and never used the brakes, what condition would you expect them to be in today having never been used? Any potential problems to expect?

Thanks
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Here's a bit of a hypothetical trailer brake question

If an person found say a 20ish year old trailer, that most likely was originally equipped with brakes, but the trailer's owner never had a brake controller and never used the brakes, what condition would you expect them to be in today having never been used? Any potential problems to expect?

Thanks
With electric trailer brakes, the magnet is allways "wiping" on the drum face. The magnet may have wore to the point of causing a braking effect and causing the shoes to slightly drag. Another possible problem is the shoes could have come debonded or in the case of riveted shoes the rivets may have gotten loose, resulting in the shoes needing to be replaced. No mater what the 20ish year old trailer should have the bearings inspected and repacked. The brakes can be inspected and brought up to serviceable condition at that time.

hth
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:05 PM   #3
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If the brakes were never connected, then the magnets should be in great shape. If you are going to replace any parts price them out individually against just getting the entire plate with all the hardware mounted (and keep the old magnets for the future).
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:20 PM   #4
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Thanks Dan and Pete

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If the brakes were never connected, then the magnets should be in great shape.

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Old 08-26-2008, 10:45 PM   #5
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.........remember to the old addage:

<span style="font-size:24pt;line-height:100%">DON'T START IF YA CAN'T STOP</span>
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:04 PM   #6
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.........remember to the old addage:

<span style="font-size:24pt;line-height:100%">DON'T START IF YA CAN'T STOP</span>
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:54 AM   #7
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My 81' Burro is like that. The wires were broken off the magnets and the 12v was not connected to the tow when I got it so the brakes looked pretty good. I hooked it all up and have been braking just fine for about 3 yrs now. They do squeak once in a while but they stop just fine.
When I greased the bearings this year I noticed that I may have another year left on the shoes. New shoes may be a bit of a challenge to find.

I did run this trailer without the brakes for the first 2 years, it was ok but after a couple of panic stops I decided to get them working.
I'm glad I did.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:23 AM   #8
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I did run this trailer without the brakes for the first 2 years, it was ok but after a couple of panic stops I decided to get them working.
I'm glad I did.
I'm with you, if you've got them, might as well use them. I know everyone says a 13' trailer doesn't need brakes, but what does it hurt
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:43 AM   #9
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IMHO: IF you have brakes or capability of them, its ALWAYS better to side on the side of safety and USE them. Our axle has the brackets for the set up and I'm thinking now that that 'R' word (retirement) is getting closer that maybe over the 'poor camping season' we may just......
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:36 PM   #10
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Just make sure the drums are not rusted.
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:30 PM   #11
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Generally speaking (there may be exceptions, but I don't know of them), the brakes on a tow vehicle are designed to stop the tow vehicle, not what might be towed.

I have seen this in recent Ford OM's "The brakes are designed to stop the GVWR, not the GCWR".da

My half-ton Dodge full-sized pickup was only rated to tow 2,000 lbs and when I put brakes on my Scamp 13' it was a noticeable improvment; with other engine/trans, the same truck with same brakes was rated to pull 3,500 lbs and there's no way those brakes would have stopped that load in any reasonable distance.
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:51 PM   #12
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Here in Virginia you have to get trailers inspected (Every 12 months) if they are over 2000 pounds or if they have brakes regardless of the weight.

We also have to have the emergency breakaway braking system that will apply the brakes if the trailer should become disconnected from the tug. That system will apply 12 Volts to the brakes and hopefully stop the trailer.
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:09 PM   #13
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when I put brakes on my Scamp 13' it was a noticeable improvment

Same thing with the brakes on my 13' boler American towed by a Ranger. Brakes went on with the new axle earlier this year, got the controller installed while in MI a few weeks ago.

A noticable improvement even with the controller/brakes not fully adjusted yet.
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:32 PM   #14
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Here in Virginia you have to get trailers inspected (Every 12 months) if they are over 2000 pounds or if they have brakes regardless of the weight.

We also have to have the emergency breakaway braking system that will apply the brakes if the trailer should become disconnected from the tug. That system will apply 12 Volts to the brakes and hopefully stop the trailer.
The break-away is a pretty common requirement if brakes are installed.

I wonder if VA realized that many folks would likely avoid having brakes just to avoid the inspection....

Some states and provinces go by a ratio of trailer weight and TV weight, and if trailer is greater than say 40% of the total, brakes are required.
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