Do you have brakes on your 13' trailer? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


View Poll Results: Do you have brakes on your 13' trailer?
yes 29 32.95%
no 59 67.05%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-13-2007, 10:29 PM   #15
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I tow with a full size GM pickup which requires trailer brakes if the trailer weight is over 2000 lbs.,(about 500 lbs more than my 13') and requires a WDH with trailer tow package with any trailer over 5000 lbs. upto 6100 lbs. My truck has 4 wheel disc brakes and 4 wheel ABS and have no problem towing with it in the mountains. I also don`t tow under snow/ice conditions and if I did I would probably run studded tires or ice radials on the trailer. I have and use brakes on my 17' trailer... .....Benny
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:30 PM   #16
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Our tug is a Mazda MPV minivan - works well for us, but we have no illusions and always try to "drive smart, tow smart". We, too, will probably add brakes when it is time to replace the axle. L 'n D
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
I was wondering how many 13 foot trailers have brakes.
Hi: I just voted...NO!!! The Mfg. saw fit not to fit them, and as I feel the modern 4wh. disc/A.B.S. brakes are far superior to what was avail. in 1977 there is no need of them!!! My confidence in brake systems doesn't pre-empt extreem caution while towing
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:33 AM   #18
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Hi: I just voted...NO!!! The Mfg. saw fit not to fit them, and as I feel the modern 4wh. disc/A.B.S. brakes are far superior to what was avail. in 1977 there is no need of them!!! My confidence in brake systems doesn't pre-empt extreem caution while towing
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Alf, the word need is subjective, and of course you are as entitled to your opinion as anyone here. If you're comfortable without brakes on your trailer, that's fine, and caution should always be exercised when towing. That said, folks who have towed 13' trailers with and without brakes always report that their only regret is that they didn't install them earlier. Braking performance is significantly enhanced by having brakes on the trailer no matter what the size.

Roger
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:56 PM   #19
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No brakes on mine, hopefully this spring she will be sporting them because that extra 1500lbs (loaded weight guestimate) does make a difference in our van with a tow capacity of 3500lbs. I look at it as added safety, or extra insurance and money well spent.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:40 PM   #20
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Alf, the word need is subjective, and of course you are as entitled to your opinion as anyone here. If you're comfortable without brakes on your trailer, that's fine, and caution should always be exercised when towing. That said, folks who have towed 13' trailers with and without brakes always report that their only regret is that they didn't install them earlier. Braking performance is significantly enhanced by having brakes on the trailer no matter what the size.

Roger
Hi: I love a "comfortable" discussion...and when the time comes to replace the 30 yr. old axle I may adjust my position "BUT" I am still using the original coupler and safety chains(with hooks)...that look like safety pins on steroids... so should I replace them as well???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:48 PM   #21
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Hi: I just voted...NO!!! The Mfg. saw fit not to fit them...
Auto manufacturers saw fit to build cars without seatbelts (and then with only lap belts), without safety glass, without brakes on all four wheels, without redundant braking systems, without side impact protection structure, and without a lot of other things which we now take for granted. All were added only due to legal requirements, long after the technology was available. Now, many cars still do not have anti-locking brakes and other features which are almost universally recognized as valuable for safety.

The manufacturer of any product - including a car or a travel trailer - makes the best business decision possible, normally in compliance with at least the legal minimum requirements. While than means some safety features are included to make the product desirable in the market, it does not mean building the best product or even an adequate product, especially when judged by later standards. As consumers we must pay for the cost of building any product, and we are often unwilling to pay for features even though they would be beneficial to us.

If it were 1977, the lack of brakes would be more acceptable, but it's not 1977. Our cars get upgraded by being replaced, and since most are worn out within 15 years most on the road are reasonably "up to standard". Our trailers last much longer so are likely to lag behind; fortunately, in this aspect (brakes) they are practical to upgrade.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
...I am still using the original coupler and safety chains(with hooks) so should I replace them as well?
Do the chains and coupler meet current standards for design and performance? Probably yes. Are they limiting the safe performance of the vehicle? Probably not. As long as they are in good shape, I don't see a need to replace them, and don't see it as the same situation as the brakes.

The hooks on the chains may be a different matter, if their design does not meet current standards. If they are just open hooks of questionable strength, then I would replace them. The hooks on the end of my Boler's chains are a bizarre design which I assume is no longer made, but they latch securely and are in sound condition so I continue to use them.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:15 PM   #23
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The Buro 13' presently does not have brakes, our 25' Sunlite does have brakes.
We pulled the Burro last year to New Mexico/ Arizona and back for 16 days and went through 2 ice storms from the Twin Cities to Kansas City and the same on the way back.
Even in the ice no brakes behind the Surburban was no problem.

This year towing with a 4 cyl Senoma or the 54F100 I plan on adding brakes during the Beaten Burro Rehab, along with parellel leaf springs and a new axle.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:49 PM   #24
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Hi: I don't see many Vintage car owners retro fitting their autos with seatbelts,abs brakes, safety glass and other safety features we take for granted on modern autos! A lot of these safety features have been put in place by legislation to protect US the consumer from our own stupidity!!! Now excuse me while I go and stir the pot some more.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:34 PM   #25
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I still like to believe that most of today's inventions, standards, and laws are the result of past mistakes (with assorted lawsuits) that we keep learning from. The fact that we didn't know better back then doesn't make it OK in my opinion to drive, for example, a vintage car or any car without seatbelts, now that both science and legislation in most locations agree on that subject. But I guess we can't really prove what is better and it does all boil down to the unbreakable law of physics, natural selection, and guardian angels.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:07 PM   #26
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Quote:
I don't see many Vintage car owners retro fitting their autos with seatbelts,abs brakes, safety glass and other safety features we take for granted on modern autos!
Perhaps it's just where I live, but I see exceptionally few truly vintage cars on the road, and some of those are operated under antique licenses which permit basically only parade use.

Many of the "old" cars we see on the road are "street rods" equipped with quite modern chassis components, and even retrofitted modern seatbelts and safety glass.

Quote:
A lot of these safety features have been put in place by legislation to protect US the consumer from our own stupidity!
I'm not suggesting that anyone in this forum is "stupid", but I do think that sometimes we need to be protected from our own innocent ignorance. If something is required then we will have it, even if we didn't know that we should have it. Some government requirements may be inappropriate, but something as fundamental as having brakes seems reasonable to me.

I think that the legal requirements for trailer brakes would be more stringent than they currently are in most North American jurisdictions if recreational trailer towing were more common, and if such requirements were more enforceable. The really stringent requirements for motor vehicles are at the federal level and apply to new vehicles; it is difficult to set similar requirements for trailers at that level because it cannot be known what tow vehicle will be used.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:20 PM   #27
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Alf, merely that someone made a decision at a factory or design facility about how to equip a vehicle doesn't make it a correct or good decision. My '87 Burro 17 had a 2000 lb Dexter #9 axle under it without brakes. The trailer weighed 2,200 lbs unladen. Now, according to Iowa law, trailers under 3,000 lbs don't need brakes, but was it a good design decision to put an axle under it that was too light for the weight of the trailer alone without cargo? It was probably more that they had it in stock rather than ordering and waiting for an axle of proper capacity. After all, who looks at the axle tags on a new trailer anyway?

I replaced it with a #10 Dexter rubbered for 3500 lbs with brakes. What a difference!

Cars have had seatbelts mandatory since 1966, BTW, so as Brian suggests, there aren't many cars on the roads any longer that didn't come with seatbelts as standard equipment. I personally don't like ABS brakes, but it won't be too many years that there will be very few cars without those and airbags on them as well.

Trailer brakes are a good choice.

Roger
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:24 PM   #28
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Hi: I love a "comfortable" discussion...and when the time comes to replace the 30 yr. old axle I may adjust my position "BUT" I am still using the original coupler and safety chains(with hooks)...that look like safety pins on steroids... so should I replace them as well???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Are the safety chains and hooks questionable? If so, then yes, you should replace them.

Roger
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