Brakes on a 1984 Burro? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
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Brakes on a 1984 Burro?

I got my Burro this summer, it had brakes but they weren't functional. I took it to a truck and trailer place to have them repaired and they said it would be better to have them totally removed, that they weren't repairable and leaving them as they were ran the risk of a part breaking off and jamming the wheels. They said it isn't possible to get spare parts, and I'd need to replace the axle and put 14" wheels on in order to have brakes installed. So I did have all the existing hardware removed. The trailer weighs around 1,000 pounds and I've been advised that a trailer that size isn't required to have brakes and doesn't really need them. Are there any Burro owners out there who could comment on any of this? Thanks!!
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:48 PM   #2
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Northern Tools sells all kind of brake parts. You don't need trailer brakes until you do.
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Tom G for your reply - I deleted it by mistake! Sorry, I'm still figuring out the ins and outs of posting.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:35 PM   #4
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Check also etrailer for brake parts. I just bought locally complete brake assemblies for our Casita, backing plates with everything on them, shoes, springs, magnet, and all related parts
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:38 PM   #5
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I had a new axle with brakes put on our '83 Burro after a few years of driving without brakes. When driving at higher speeds on an interstate for example, the brakes are a lifesaver especially if some jerk cuts you off, let alone if it's raining. I wouldn't go without them again!
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:44 PM   #6
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I had a new axle with brakes put on our '83 Burro after a few years of driving without brakes. When driving at higher speeds on an interstate for example, the brakes are a lifesaver especially if some jerk cuts you off, let alone if it's raining. I wouldn't go without them again!
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:55 AM   #7
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Brakes on a 1984 Burro?

Brakes may not be required by state law, but they may be required by the manufacturer of your tow vehicle. Mine specifies trailer brakes over 1000 pounds, which includes pretty much every molded fiberglass trailer out there once it's loaded up for travel. And, as said, they're always a good idea even if not required. For one, applying trailer brakes is the best way to control a dangerous sway situation.

I'm not sure why they told you you have to install a new axle to get brakes. You can buy complete new brake assemblies that bolt to the existing mounting flange on the axle. Perhaps they determined that the flange is badly rusted and no longer safe. Or perhaps they determined that the axle itself is worn out (rubber torsion axles have a useful lifespan of 15-20 years). Or maybe they just want to sell you an axle.

I also don't understand why they told you you have to have 14" wheels to get brakes. It makes me wonder if they're going to try to sell you an over-rated axle. A lot of utility trailers use a 3500 pound axle with 14" wheels. That would make your Burro ride like a buckboard, which is bad for the trailer and everything in it. Scamp currently supplies a 2200 pound axle with 13" wheels and 7" brakes on their 13'ers. Your Burro is probably lighter, so it might take an even lower-rated axle.

I'd want to ask them some more questions, or maybe get a second opinion from another trailer shop. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:55 PM   #8
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Name: Wendy
Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
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It's very interesting that some of you have installed brakes on your trailers. The guy at the trailer place I went to didn't do a close inspection before telling me I should have the existing brake parts removed, he just looked at the trailer and said parts weren't available for 13" wheels. Since it seems to be not such a big deal, I'll go back and see if new ones can be installed. It sounds as if it's not a huge expense and would be worth it. One thing I will say for them is that they added on repacking the wheel bearings and power washing the trailer for free, so I don't feel ripped off.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:08 PM   #9
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If you are in western Mass you might want to come over into NY and talk to the guys at Heavy Haulers in Ghent. I bought my brake parts from them recently.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by wenrob View Post
The trailer weighs around 1,000 pounds and I've been advised that a trailer that size isn't required to have brakes and doesn't really need them. Are there any Burro owners out there who could comment on any of this? Thanks!!

I would recommend loading your trailer up as you would for camping and weighing it. Its is more common for trailers of your trailers size to weigh from 1300 all the way up to 2000lbs loaded. Seriously.

On the thread Trailer Weights in Real World there are 3 Burro's listed - one of them was under 1000lbs it came in at 800lbs which raises the question as what was or was not in that trailer that was in the other two that came in at 1300lbs & 1520lbs.
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:19 AM   #11
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Trailer: Burro 13 ft, 1984
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I'm not that far from Ghent - I'll bookmark Heavy Hauler and check them out. Thanks for the tip, Mary & Bob! And thanks Carol for the link to Trailer Weights, when I get mine weighed I'll add it there.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:32 AM   #12
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Heavy Hauler is about 20 minutes from me. I bought a truck cap there last year, just recently got brake parts for our Casita from them. I believe they do a lot of trailer work there.
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