Installing brakes - 13' Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2011, 08:18 AM   #1
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Installing brakes - 13' Boler

We are currently shopping for a Boler and will likely make an offer on one this weekend - as long as it doesn't sell before we get there!

I was wondering if I can install electric brakes...for sure. We did look at one a while ago that had brakes but I don't really remember what it had for an axle. This one has the original rubber...torsion type (please excuse my ignorance).

We'd like to tow it with our VW Golf - which is within the limits without brakes but would certainly be better all around if we had brakes installed on the trailer. Brakes pretty much double your towing weights, according to the manual.

Will I be able to put brakes on this Boler or any other with the same axle? Any thoughts?

Melanie
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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Must have this plate on axle to put brakes on.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #3
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hey Melanie, ......

brakes are not standard on the bolers, but if you replace the axel, or it has been replaced, ..... you might as well make sure it has a flange (see above picture) to add the brakes, ......the flange might also be square, and not round like the above pic.............



on a side not, you might not want to mention your towing with a VW, lot of people flamed me for wanting to tow my boler with a TDI Jetta, ..........i know it is safe and under the limits, but, i got an ear full for mention it in a couple of threads, .......just FYI


I hope your trailer is still there when you go to look at it, ..........
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbraunton View Post
hey Melanie, ......

brakes are not standard on the bolers, but if you replace the axel, or it has been replaced, ..... you might as well make sure it has a flange (see above picture) to add the brakes, ......the flange might also be square, and not round like the above pic.............



on a side not, you might not want to mention your towing with a VW, lot of people flamed me for wanting to tow my boler with a TDI Jetta, ..........i know it is safe and under the limits, but, i got an ear full for mention it in a couple of threads, .......just FYI


I hope your trailer is still there when you go to look at it, ..........

I too got an earful a while back...but I am within the tow limits according to my VW manual. Still, if it's not a big deal to install brakes, I will. In the meantime, we'll travel with it as is. Thanks for the warning.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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I personally would not tow with a VW Golf.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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I personally would not tow with a VW Golf.

Even with brakes? Please explain why...some say no problem with a Golf...others, like yourself, say no. I'm confused.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:32 AM   #7
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Depending on the model of golf you have(some have weak transmissions). The big down side to pulling with a golf(in my opinion) is that all the extra weight is added to the back of the car. Being that it is front wheel drive you can lose valuable control. It also can be harder on your transaxle making it brake down sooner. Other than that if you are mostly on flatter ground I would be ok with a golf for myself even. Bonus it looks cute.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
I personally would not tow with a VW Golf.
Would you tow with a Honda Element?

Similar specs...The Honda Element has a towing capacity of 1500 lbs. The payload is a low 675 lbs. Wheelbase, 101.4 inches. GVWR 4,450 lbs.

The Golf has a towing capacity of 1323 lbs. The payload is 1168 lbs. Wheelbase, 99 inches. GVWR 3,946 lbs.

Is it because the Golf is perceived as a 'tinyl' car that everyone questions it's towing capacity - because I certainly see a lot of images of the Element towing a 13' Boler.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
Would you tow with a Honda Element?

Similar specs...The Honda Element has a towing capacity of 1500 lbs. The payload is a low 675 lbs. Wheelbase, 101.4 inches. GVWR 4,450 lbs.

The Golf has a towing capacity of 1323 lbs. The payload is 1168 lbs. Wheelbase, 99 inches. GVWR 3,946 lbs.

Is it because the Golf is perceived as a 'tinyl' car that everyone questions it's towing capacity - because I certainly see a lot of images of the Element towing a 13' Boler.
Melanie
I tow with a 2005 CRV which is the same as the Element. I have brakes and would not tow without them with a small car. I just had a new axle installed with brakes. I do not feel the trailer until I get above 100km or when I brake. Long down hills it gains speed. Hard on the tow vehicle.

Rick
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rhkirkham View Post
Melanie
I tow with a 2005 CRV which is the same as the Element. I have brakes and would not tow without them with a small car. I just had a new axle installed with brakes. I do not feel the trailer until I get above 100km or when I brake. Long down hills it gains speed. Hard on the tow vehicle.

Rick
Having owned 6 VW(Golf's and Jetta's) I could not imagine packing towing my Boler with passengers with one comfortably. I do tow with a 2001 Mazda MPV tow package(3000 lbs) with out trailer brakes, I know its there behind me especially on hills. Keep in mind you have to include the driver and passenger(s) weight.

Brad
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:35 PM   #11
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Towing with a VW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Judd View Post
Having owned 6 VW(Golf's and Jetta's) I could not imagine packing towing my Boler with passengers with one comfortably. I do tow with a 2001 Mazda MPV tow package(3000 lbs) with out trailer brakes, I know its there behind me especially on hills. Keep in mind you have to include the driver and passenger(s) weight.

Brad

In Europe they do a lot of towing with tiny cars - its what they have!

Any thots on towing with a Golf "disease-el" and stickshift? (My son's car and his Surfside TM14)

He has towed the "Smurfside" with a '90 Suzuki Sidekick - no issues arose!
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:24 PM   #12
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Honda CRV Towing

We've towed 3 different small trailers for four years with our four cylinder 2004 Honda CRV for 7-10 months a year covering the USA and a good part of Canada. The Honda has on demand 4 wheel drive and a manual transmission. It now has almost 150,000 miles.

Our trailers weighed from 2200 lbs to 2800 lbs and included a 15.5' Sunline with bath, a 16' Casita with front bath and a 16' Scamp with side bath.

All trailers had electric brakes and most of the time we used an anti-sway bar though sway was never an issue.

We have not used a weight distribution hitch. The Honda rode pretty flat with all three trailers. The Honda's front end carries 60% of the tow vehicle's weight.

We typically have lighter hitch weights than many people on this forum. I think this is partially due to trailer loading; we travel relatively light. As well as keeping the contents light and necessary, we try to keep heavy items off the hitch. For example we carry only one propane tank.

We do not drive at high speeds and try to buy the best tires we can, typically Goodyear Marathons, and regularly check the trailer's and tow vehicle's tires, actually by touch and sight everytime we stop. We do raise the pressure in the tow vehicle's tires to stiffen them .

The Sunline was the least fuel efficient at 20 mpg; the Scamp and Casita delivered 23 mpg.

This year we will be doing our fourth loop of the USA and Southern Canada, taking some 9 months, towing our 'new' 1991 Scamp 16.

Norm
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
I personally would not tow with a VW Golf.
here we go, ...........it has been covered before, on here, LOTS........

Melanie:

You will be fine if you use common sense, .....( and for those who think I am not assuming liability for saying this to her, i am not, she will make her own decision)

I have beaten this topic to death a couple of times on this forum, .....and most people will still tell you it is "unsafe", and "stay away from me" while your on the road.

In Europe the golf/jetta actually has a 3000 Lbs tow rating, and for those who are thinking, we don't live in europe well your right we don't but the cars are identical!!!! in every respect but ONE!!!!!!

the ONLY difference is the way the receiver hitch is attached to the car, that is it, the transmission, engine, suspension, unibody, brakes etc are all the same, the reason they (europeans) can tow more with their VW's is because of the way the hitch is attached.

so the actual car with original equipment can handle up to 3000 of towing, IF you have a hitch from europe made for your car, which can just be shipped over, ....for not too much more than a good north american hitch, ......

So i say HAUL AWAY!!!!, ........use common sense, drive according to the conditions, and have fun!!!!


BCDave: I will be using my 2003 Jetta Diesel Manual for towing my Boler, I have yet to do any LONG trips with it, but towing it home and hour, and to a shop for some repairs ( 3 hours one way) it towed like a dream , the torque of the diesel is the best part, even going up a few long hills there was no need to downshift as the engine just took up the slack with torque and pulled it up at a steady speed, .........

in two weeks i'll be towing it to Ottawa, first long trip, 4+ hours one way, and i'll let you know how it goes, ...........
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:23 AM   #14
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Unhappy It can but it mayn't

The whole jist of conversations on marginal towing is not whether the car CAN tow something, it is whether it MAY tow something.

The issue is not what the car can or will tow. It is solely with what it says in the owner's manual. If you go overweight and have an accident, your insurance company will drop you, the police will arrest you, and if someone is seriously hurt, you will end up working for them for the rest of your life; and if someone is killed... just don't think about it.

Proper Tow Vehicles A Must! - GlamisDunes.com

There is a lot of discussion on this forum. Search "tow overweight"
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