Brakes on Lil Snooze - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-08-2013, 10:28 AM   #1
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: Lil Snoozy "Marigold"
Alabama
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Question Brakes on Lil Snooze

This is probably in the wrong Forum, but I seem to have trouble getting the system to recognize me and allow me to post. Probably is my fault. But, anyway, I have a question and maybe a Snoozy owner can help me. We are considering buying one - planning a trip to SC to actually see one of these units. But I see conflicting advice about surge vs electric brakes. I sent an email to Snoozy asking which kind they have - no answer yet (just sent it Friday evening). We have never owned an RV (ages 70 and 68), but are seriously considering trying this adventure before the rocking chairs completely claim us. I have many questions before we take the leap. So - any advice from Snoozy owners or anyone else about pros and cons of the two types of brakes.

When coming down the mountain from Boone, NC - which type is safest (the thought of this already scares me - 2000 lbs pushing my car!!!). Got to get some courage from somewhere!!!
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie B in NC View Post
This is probably in the wrong Forum, but I seem to have trouble getting the system to recognize me and allow me to post. Probably is my fault. But, anyway, I have a question and maybe a Snoozy owner can help me. We are considering buying one - planning a trip to SC to actually see one of these units. But I see conflicting advice about surge vs electric brakes. I sent an email to Snoozy asking which kind they have - no answer yet (just sent it Friday evening). We have never owned an RV (ages 70 and 68), but are seriously considering trying this adventure before the rocking chairs completely claim us. I have many questions before we take the leap. So - any advice from Snoozy owners or anyone else about pros and cons of the two types of brakes.

When coming down the mountain from Boone, NC - which type is safest (the thought of this already scares me - 2000 lbs pushing my car!!!). Got to get some courage from somewhere!!!

The Snoozy has surge brakes - very common on boat trailers. someone will come along shortly to give you the pros and cons.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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Well, I'm probably the one who has posted the most about my preference for electric brakes vs surge brakes. Snoozy comes with surge brakes, standard equipment. But when I ordered my Lil Hauley (empty Snoozy shell) for cargo, I told Alan I had to have electric brakes on it. They ordered in a different axle with electric brakes, and wired it up with a 7 pin harness to plug into my tug. So they are able to do it, if you specify it.

Electric brakes can be applied without hitting your tow vehicle's brakes, which would be a good safety feature IF you ever had the trailer start to sway uncontrollably (not too likely if you keep a decent tongue weight on it). Surge brakes work ok, but for my cargo hauling needs the Hauley changes weight by over 1500 lbs from loaded to unloaded status, so I wanted the ability to adjust my trailer brakes from inside the cab-- something one could not do with surge brakes.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Another characteristic of surge brakes is that they apply whenever the tug pushes back on the trailer while moving forward, even if the tug's brakes are not applied. That means that if you use engine braking to hold the trailer back and control speed down a long grade, the trailer brakes will drag all the way down. This doesn't seem like a good idea to me, since it could overheat the trailer brakes; however, I don't know how much of a problem this is in practice.

I wouldn't worry about adjusting to load, because surge brakes are inherently self-adjusting: more trailer weight means more pushing against the tug, which produces more braking action. In addition to their use on boat trailers, surge brakes are very commonly used on rental cargo trailers, which of course vary greatly in load on every trip.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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to the Forum Melanie.

I made a photo shoot of mine when I got it home.
I post this when anyone may be interested to have a photo view.
I think the question about surge and non-surge sometimes depends
on what you are pulling with. I have a 2010 Tacoma crew cab V-6.
I've seen no problems with the surge brakes on mine.

Like Mike says, if it is a concern you can order the trailer with the other.
These Snoozy's sit on a boat trailer and most boat trailers have surge brakes.

Backyard Photo Shoot

I also have a rear bumper and outside shower on mine.
These were not on the option list but they installed them for me.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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Brake Unit

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Brake Drum

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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Axle view of Brake Drum

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Old 09-08-2013, 02:05 PM   #8
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In every day situations there may not be much difference between Surge and Electric brakes however, I want the ability to activate the trailer's brakes independently of the tow vehicle's brakes, a relatively easy way to halt sway in an emergency.

Additionally the ability to add a break away switch is relatively easy with electric brakes. Is this ability available on the Lil Snoozy's surge brakes?
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:09 PM   #9
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Thanks Norm,
Yes, there is a break away cable on the Snoozy.
I'll have to remember that the next time I take pictures.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:15 PM   #10
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Additionally the ability to add a break away switch is relatively easy with electric brakes. Is this ability available on the Lil Snoozy's surge brakes?
Yes, a breakaway feature is available in all trailer brake systems, and should always be included.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:30 PM   #11
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Mr.Keigley, Apparently you are comfortable with the surge brakes. I keep reading about the trailer brakes overheating coming down a mountain (visions of smoke and having to run off onto those truck ramps!). Am I overthinking this whole thing?

Also, Mr. Magee - I assume the electric brakes were an added cost. Was the cost significantly more than the surge brakes?

Thanks to all for your help on this topic.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie B in NC View Post
I keep reading about the trailer brakes overheating coming down a mountain (visions of smoke and having to run off onto those truck ramps!).
I raised that concern, but again I don't know how much a problem it is in practice. I rented a U-Haul cargo trailer - with surge brakes - and towed it (loaded) from the Okanagan valley in B.C. to the flatland of Alberta... which means over the Rockies and other mountains. No problem. I don't know how much the brakes were doing, but they didn't fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie B in NC View Post
I assume the electric brakes were an added cost. Was the cost significantly more than the surge brakes?
Electric brakes are generally cheaper than surge brakes, mostly because of the cost of the surge brake actuating coupler. This is especially true if you don't count the cost of the electric brake controller or wiring the tug for it, either because you already have those things or just because you're pricing the trailer and those things are not part of the trailer.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie B in NC View Post
Mr.Keigley, Apparently you are comfortable with the surge brakes. I keep reading about the trailer brakes overheating coming down a mountain (visions of smoke and having to run off onto those truck ramps!). Am I overthinking this whole thing?

Also, Mr. Magee - I assume the electric brakes were an added cost. Was the cost significantly more than the surge brakes?

Thanks to all for your help on this topic.
I used to be a cross country truck driver. One company I worked for a very short time rigged a trailer that was designed for towing a race car to haul a full load of product. It looked to me to be a home made surge brake on a goose neck. I was pulling it across some Arkansas up and down mountains (steep) and I could see smoke coming from the brakes. You could feel it jerking you most all the time. This was decades ago.

But I have no problem with these that are designed for the trailer. I haven't felt them at all except maybe just a little when just pulling from a stop light. Something I don't think the average fella would notice.

I don't expect to have to run off on a truck ramp.............lol
The only trouble I've had with swerve or fish tail is pulling a utility trailer that someone did not arrange a load correctly. If a tongue weight is too light it can toss you around fairly easily. My son now listens to me after losing it three times......lol
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #14
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What axle does Smoak install on the Snoozy, Carl? I looked at the gozunda view of the torsion arm and saw the threaded end of [? spindle] and the castellated nut and got a bit disoriented as I'm accustomed to seeing the same stuff inside the dust cap on t'other end. The torsion arm housing on my old Henschen doesn't look like that. Is it an arrangement allowing painless spindle replacement?

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