Do I need trailer brakes - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-20-2014, 09:57 AM   #15
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Name: Steve
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Going up and down moutain passes going to and from Alaska I would definately want brakes. I would pull a wheel from the trailer and see if there is a brake mounting flange on the axle already, if so half the battle is already won. Maybe there is already a full set of brakes on there and you just have to hook up a brake controller to your tug. Going down moutain passes with 2000 lbs pushing you is likley to overwork your existing brakes jepordizing everyone and anything you care most about. It will be no fun stopping every mile and waiting for an hour for your brakes to cool down. What ever you decide be safe and gear down going down those moutain passes you want to be safe and have brakes when you need them.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:59 AM   #16
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Just one panic stop in the rain will answer your question for you.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:32 AM   #17
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Don't over complicate things. if your trailer has brakes, hook them up and make sure they are working properly.

Second if your tow vehicle manufacturer, or the law, says you need brakes make sure your trailer is properly equipped.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:59 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dan Meyer View Post
Don't over complicate things. if your trailer has brakes, hook them up and make sure they are working properly.

Second if your tow vehicle manufacturer, or the law, says you need brakes make sure your trailer is properly equipped.

-- Dan Meyer
Sooo, without regard to the drivers experience, the routes to be taken, the actual weight of the trailer, the tow vehicle being close to maximum tow rating and basic safety, not to mention that many vehicle codes put the tow limit without brakes at 1500 lbs., are you suggesting to go without brakes????

Sorry, I can only disagree about 1000%, but that's only based on my own experiences towing for 40 + years, and that even older adage, common sense.

There's nothing complicated here at all, and as most posts have agreed, for this FGRV/TV/Trip combo, if it doesn't have brakes, get them......

Otherwise it's like trying to buy life insurance when you already are "All dressed up with no place to go". When you discover you needed it, it's too late.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:50 PM   #19
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Since laws regarding trailer brakes are made on a state by state basis ,it would seem one would have to comply with the laws of the state in which you are traveling . From what I have read some states require brakes at 1500 lbs others don't require them until 3000 lbs . Just because your trailer is legal in your home state does not necessarily make it legal in another state .I have often wondered why they don't put brakes on all travel trailers and eliminate the chance for error . When teaching electrical controls at the local Vo Tech , I always told my students that it was more important that the stop function worked than the start /run function .I believe that holds true for trailers
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:29 PM   #20
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Sooo, without regard to the drivers experience, the routes to be taken, the actual weight of the trailer, the tow vehicle being close to maximum tow rating and basic safety, not to mention that many vehicle codes put the tow limit without brakes at 1500 lbs., are you suggesting to go without brakes????

Sorry, I can only disagree about 1000%, but that's only based on my own experiences towing for 40 + years, and that even older adage, common sense.

There's nothing complicated here at all, and as most posts have agreed, for this FGRV/TV/Trip combo, if it doesn't have brakes, get them......

Otherwise it's like trying to buy life insurance when you already are "All dressed up with no place to go". When you discover you needed it, it's too late.
I really don't think we disagree at all here. If your trailer has brakes, make sure they operate properly. If your tow vehicle says you must have brakes to tow over a certain weight, don't tow anything larger until brakes have been installed.

--Dan Meyer
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:46 PM   #21
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I am saying that if it weighs over 1500 lbs that it needs to have trailer brakes.
Just because the local laws doesn't "require" brakes is no reason to decide that they aren't needed.

And I think that we all know that a trip of as many miles as planned will result in a trailer close to the maximum limit for the vehicle.

In my opinion, I am saying that a trailer over 1500 lbs. needs trailer brakes.

As I have towed both a 13' Scamp & a 13' Lil'Bigfoot both with and without brakes, I can assure a newbie that they are essential for a safe trip.

And BTW: Here in the Golden State towing is limited to 55 MPH, and trailers over 1500 lbs require brakes.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:07 PM   #22
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I am saying that if it weighs over 1500 lbs that it needs to have trailer brakes.
Just because the local laws doesn't "require" brakes is no reason to decide that they aren't needed.

And I think that we all know that a trip of as many miles as planned will result in a trailer close to the maximum limit for the vehicle.

In my opinion, I am saying that a trailer over 1500 lbs. needs trailer brakes.

As I have towed both a 13' Scamp & a 13' Lil'Bigfoot both with and without brakes, I can assure a newbie that they are essential for a safe trip.

And BTW: Here in the Golden State towing is limited to 55 MPH, and trailers over 1500 lbs require brakes.
I've got no argument with any of this.

If anyone believes their 13 foot fiberglass RV weighs under 1,000 pounds ready for a weekend trip, you had better think again. Don't believe me? Take it to a scale.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:30 PM   #23
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I may be wrong but I would believe that Windy's 2004 trailer actually has breaks! Being that it's a 2004. Then only the vehicle would require a brake controller.......

Glad most of us are in agreement!
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:17 PM   #24
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Speaking of extremes, the 8' box, 1981 pop-up tent trailer I just sold, at about 825 lbs., came with electric trailer brakes and a breakaway switch.
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:28 PM   #25
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I've got no argument with any of this.

If anyone believes their 13 foot fiberglass RV weighs under 1,000 pounds ready for a weekend trip, you had better think again. Don't believe me? Take it to a scale.

-- Dan Meyer
Staying under 1500 lbs is a trick and the op's trip to Alaska better be planned as being more than a weekend trip.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:12 PM   #26
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My Tri-Fab has no brakes but I plan on installing a set as part of the update.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:07 PM   #27
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I may be wrong but I would believe that Windy's 2004 trailer actually has breaks! Being that it's a 2004.
The OP stated it did not have brakes. Brakes are an option on Trillium Outbacks not standard equipment. When I found mine the first thing I did was add them.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:09 AM   #28
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Yes, you definitely want brakes. Does your axle already have the 4 hole steel mount for brakes behind your hubs? That makes the job much easier & less expensive. If you don't have mounting brackets already, your best bet is to get a new axle. Mounts can be welded on, but it is very tricky to do.

Does your tow vehicle have a 7 pin RV connector & brake controller? You'll need that stuff too.

Best of luck to you. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

Frank
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