Are Electric Brakes Needed for Scamp 13? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-08-2016, 09:23 AM   #15
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2002 BigFoot 17'
SW Virginia
Posts: 838
My first egg was a 13' Casita without brakes. It towed nicely, and I never had any serious problems with braking. I tried to always leave plenty of braking distance in traffic and never got close to trouble. The only times I could feel the need for better braking were on long downhill runs where I could feel the trailer pushing me, especially when I applied brakes.
That's just for a little background and perspective. For all the reasons others have given, for peace of mind and added safety, I would never go without brakes again. I just didn't know any better back then.


Past owner of 1995 13' Casita, 1994 16' Casita, 2012 Parkliner.
Current owner of 2002 17' Bigfoot
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:00 AM   #16
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: shopping
Posts: 21
It's better than being the first kid who ends up under the pile. Just say it! A thirteen footer doesn't need brakes! Then get ready to be sued. My uhaul CT stops on a dime with my jetta. I was going to do brakes, but there's absolutely no need.

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Old 10-08-2016, 10:01 AM   #17
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: shopping
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My uhaul slows me on a grade. It's like having a parachute.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:20 AM   #18
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Name: Steve and Carolyn
Trailer: Casita 17" SDX
Posts: 8
California Camp Trailer Brake Minimum

Hi there--Err to the side of safety. Do you really want your trailer passing you when you stand on the brakes in an emergency? Do you really want your new trailer passing you when your hitch fails or breaks away from your tow vehicle. Do you really want to explain to your insurance company or in a law suit that you saved a lot of money ($5-600+ or -) by skipping on the safety brakes.

Taken in part from the California DMV on line:
"Trailer Brakes
In California, brakes are required on any trailer coach or camp trailer having a gross weight of 1500 lbs. or more. Usually the braking capacity on tow vehicles is good; however, it may not be good enough to safely stop the several hundred to several thousand additional pounds that your trailer weighs. Most conventional and fifth-wheel trailers have electric brakes, activated by a controller in the tow vehicle. The controller automatically coordinates the tow vehicle and trailer braking so the two systems work together when the brake pedal is applied."

If you skip the the electric brakes could you please post the geographical area you will be towing in especially if it is hilly or has mountains?

Good luck in you new purchase.
Happy camping.

Carolyn and Steve
"Little House on the Freeway"
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:01 PM   #19
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: shopping
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On hills or mountains the trailer actually slows you. A Tacoma with a trailer actually stops better because of the stabilizing weight in the rear end. I don't mind saying it's great to have brakes. You can always throw out scenarios where they are better. I can also give scenarios where they are worse. For instance, improper adjustment causing overheating.
I once left a shop that adjusted my trailer brakes, and blew a tire shortly after because it overheated. I spent the night on the side of the road during hurricane Katrina. I wished I didn't have brakes as my f350 had plenty of power. Many times advice is for sympathetic agreement. In other words, I spent too much money and want everyone else to do the same so I don't feel like I made a bad choice. Iaccoca used to teach this as a sales tactic. People wanted their friends to purchase an automobile because they didn't want to feel like they made a poor choice. Anytime someone tries to get me to spend money by frightening me, I pause to consider. Another for instance. A mechanic who tells me "I don't necessarily need a part, but if it were his car,he'd replace it." I always ask which car is his, and ask permission to inspect it. Can't tell you how many times they've laughed, closed my hood, and agreed they wouldn't follow their advice. In conclusion, I'm not trying to say no to brakes, but a Tacoma is a very solid TV, and unless the owner just wants them, they are unnecessary. If he were pulling with a Yugo, now............ also, please consider that this isn't meant to be argumentative, but all viewpoints ought to be expressed when someone asks a question. This is a legitimate viewpoint. There is also the point that if you wish to avoid risk, definitely don't go camping.
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:13 PM   #20
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: shopping
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This is something like how I'd do it. Add Brakes to Your Trailer Basic Kit 3500 Axle 5 x 4 5 Electric Axel Replace | eBay
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:49 PM   #21
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Name: John (and Melissa too...)
Trailer: Escape & Scamp
Posts: 23
I towed a Scamp 13 with a RAV4, with gear stowed in the tug. I never felt unsafe and never had a problem stopping or swaying, even when my navigator screeched at me about something. Plenty of hills and wet pavement. No snow. Can't speak to brake wear as the tug was a 2009 and trailer 2014. Brakes changed in 2016. Full disclosure: I don't tailgate and I don't drive fast.

Of course the size of the tow vehicle is key and I will say that any bigger trailer or smaller tug and I would have brakes.

Love our present combination of built-in brake controller on the Canyon and Escape 5.0 brakes.

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Old 10-08-2016, 04:51 PM   #22
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Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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There are always those who will tell you that brakes are not needed and they are correct except for that ONE time you need them.

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Old 10-08-2016, 04:59 PM   #23
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Name: Cathi
Trailer: Scamp 13'
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3
brakes are great to have

i would say, just get them. i tow a 13' Scamp and love the brakes...they give you great control and the whole situation feels safer and more stable, no matter what the weather. happy travels!
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:35 PM   #24
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Name: jon
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 24
brakes for scamp 13

i pulled our scamp 13 for 2 years without brakes. it was ok, but i discovered things were a little dicey on frosty roads and quick stops. so i put them on and find it much better. it is not like night vs. day but definitely a more comfortable feeling.
i'd say it's worth it.
jon of sequim
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:28 PM   #25
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Name: Marilyn
Trailer: 13 ft 2005 Scamp Deluxe; 2002 Subaru V6 Outback
Posts: 124
Get the brakes!

The electric brakes, in my opinion, are a must have. You never know when they are really, really finding yourself on a narrow, very steep, windy, long downhill where gearing down isn't enough, then adding a wet get the picture. If you're ordering a Scamp, have them installed...not worth being cheap with a DYI. You have an investment in your safety AND your trailer. Get the brakes.
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:28 PM   #26
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Name: Oski
Trailer: In the market
Posts: 2
Hi Scampers and Others,
I really appreciate people taking the time to chime in on this. After reading all the opinions, I think we'll err on the side of caution and get the brakes. I am impressed how much thought people put into their responses and am grateful to all who gave advice. Thanks again and see you on the road!
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:31 PM   #27
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Name: Clif
Trailer: 08 Weiscraft Little Joe 14 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT
Posts: 556
Originally Posted by oldblacksmoker View Post
It's better than being the first kid who ends up under the pile. Just say it! A thirteen footer doesn't need brakes! Then get ready to be sued. My uhaul CT stops on a dime with my jetta. I was going to do brakes, but there's absolutely no need.

Beyond the safety issue, there is an economic one as well. Compare the price of a Jetta brake job and a 13 foot Scamp brake job. No brakes; that Jetta is going to be in the shop a lot sooner.
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:40 PM   #28
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 647

Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Brakes are not required on a Scamp13 except in +- 4 or 5 states.

That being said, get them, you'll like them...
If for no other reason than for resale or for the possibility that you will use a different TV at some point. You'll have a better experience towing with trailer brakes with your Tacoma as well.
When I tow with my Ranger 4.0L,(bigger brakes) the trailer brakes are hardly needed, but I like them. In fact, I plan to increase from 7" brakes to 10" brakes on my 13 should I ever decide to change the axle.

Like good tires, or a friction sway device, or LED taillights, trailer brakes are an improvement whether required or not.
: anything weighing over 1600#'s requires brakes.

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brakes, scamp

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