$2000-2500 Axle Replacement? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-28-2006, 08:20 AM   #15
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Brian B-P's Avatar
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
I would definitely get brakes, although trailer to Element weight ratio of 50% doesn't seem "huge"...
I think of it this way: if the trailer is 50% of the Element's weight, then it is 1/3 of the combined vehicles total, and none of the traction due to that weight is being used by brakes. A typical car has only 40% of its weight on its rear axles, and while stopping hard the front axle takes more load, so the rear is only carrying about 1/3 of the car's weight. Would any of us drive a car with no rear brakes?

You could get away with it, and I'm sure most drivers wouldn't even notice in normal conditions, but I wouldn't choose to do this.

In the end, most of us (including Patrick) seem to agree that trailer brakes are a good idea.

1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
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Old 03-28-2006, 12:59 PM   #16
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Trailer: Bigfoot 16 ft
Posts: 72
I also tow a 13ft with an Element and have about 10,000 total with this combo. My Scamp weighs around 1500 loaded and we have an additional 600lbs of people and gear. Power is no problem at all but I was worried about the brakes so I ordered the optional electric brakes ($260) when I bought in 2005. With E-brakes on the trailer the whole rig stops "right Now". We live in mountain country and I feel very confident towing with the trailer brakes. At 30K milage checkup on the big-E, Honda said the brakes both front and rear where fine. I agree with Pat and others, get the brakes. Are you planning to keep this rig for awhile? If you are I would spend the $'s to replace the axel and not mess with trying to rebuild. I think the price you are getting is high. I bet you could do this for around a $1000 if you do some of the work like the gas/water lines yourself. Good luck.

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Old 03-28-2006, 01:26 PM   #17
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Trailer: 1977 Scamp 13 ft
Posts: 25
Thanks everyone.

It turns out a significant portion of the cost is the rerouting of the various lines and detaching the fresh water tank (whose supports have been welded to the axle.) After talking to the dealer, he says it should reduce costs substantially (maybe more than half) if I do that myself. It will take a couple of weeks to get the axle anyway and I can get it done in the meantime.

I definitely wanted the brakes as we live near the Sierras and are planning a trip this summer through Colorado and elsewhere. I'm also getting the ground clearance raised about 2 inches from stock.

He agreed to weld on the brackets so the axle can be bolted on.

We hope to keep the Scamp for a long time so I want to do it/get it done right.


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