Compact owners; brakes - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-30-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
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I am wondering if any compact owners have added brakes. I have read a lot of posts about brakes, while there are differeing opinions as to whether they are needed or not for our light trailers the prevailing thought is that those who have added brakes to their 13 ft. trailers feel glad that they have. I tow with a Subaru Legacy wagon and have never had a difficulty, I am pobably right at the limit with respect to brakes.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:58 AM   #2
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I am wondering if any compact owners have added brakes. I have read a lot of posts about brakes, while there are differeing opinions as to whether they are needed or not for our light trailers the prevailing thought is that those who have added brakes to their 13 ft. trailers feel glad that they have. I tow with a Subaru Legacy wagon and have never had a difficulty, I am pobably right at the limit with respect to brakes.
I also have a CJ and am looking for any info on installing brakes. I checked the Subaru web towing site; the Legacy Outback is rated for 2000 lbs - but only 1000 lbs if the trailer has no brakes. Mine tows just fine, but in case of an accident with injuries insurance won't cover towing above specs. The Legacy is not recommended for towing. Re brakes: are there any that fit on the existing axle or do I need to replace the whole thing?
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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I've never felt the slightest need for brakes (Campster with Subaru Forester) but I think I'd be hard put to pull the 2000 lbs UP Hill...

Bobbie
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Old 05-30-2009, 12:27 PM   #4
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I've never felt the slightest need for brakes (Campster with Subaru Forester) but I think I'd be hard put to pull the 2000 lbs UP Hill...

Bobbie
Foresters are rated at 3500 lbs w/brakes, 1800 lbs without.
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Old 05-30-2009, 12:48 PM   #5
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Oops! Foresters are rated lower than I thought. http://www.cars101.com/subwarr.html It's not that that car can't do it, it's the liability. 2000 to 2400 lbs depending on the model/year
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:28 PM   #6
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While my Compact II does not have brakes, the impression I've gotten from other threads on here is that you can add brakes IF your axle has the flange for the brakes to mount to. If not, then it seems that you have to replace the whole axle. I would imagine that either project would be a BIG one. But if its a question of getting sued for everything you own in the case off an accident, then maybe it's something to look into more...

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Old 05-30-2009, 11:49 PM   #7
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I added brakes, the leading leaf spring attach points begin to tear out off the square tube frame when you do this, the metal is not strong enough to take the stress...it required another welded 2x2 square tube 3/16 thick and welded to the existing 1/8 2x2 frame underneath, welded parallel with the existing frame, then adjust the shackle length. The axle was special ordered, the width is not standard for 400.00.

I did this after a mishap when a tractor trailer did a u turn on Arizona highway 89A N.

I could not evade the semi even at 55 mph and had to leave the road to keep from going under the trailer across the road, the brake computer is under the passenger seat in my Nissan truck, the coaxial cable to the speed sensor (in differential) from the brake computer was severed when I left the road by large rocks now under the truck...My truck immediately lost the A.B.S control system, in this situation the brakes function on manual operator default control only. Had I had electric on the trailer my braking distance would have been greatly reduced, I lost the trailer tongue on the second impact with the outer barrier, the trailer went airborne into the trees when it dug in.

My wifes air bag discharged and the truck lost its passenger front tire. We were lucky, the truck driver felt horrible, we were all alive, property is replaceable, insurance was a pain in the rear though.

I added the trailer brakes after this incident.

The odds of the loss of the A.B.S. system at the same instant is rare...I did not think its was possible, I learned...In the cases where the perfect storm is hedging the bets against you a little over protection by anything reasonable is worth the money.

I always put money into brakes over the engine.

Harry
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:14 PM   #8
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Name: Dana
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I added brakes, the leading leaf spring attach points begin to tear out off the square tube frame when you do this, the metal is not strong enough to take the stress...
I have wondered about this as a potential problem -- thank you for the information, I'll beef up the frame when I change the axle to one that has brakes.
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