Do you have brakes on your 13' trailer? - Page 4 - 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 01-03-2008, 09:51 AM   #43
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This brake discussion gets recycled on this forum semiannually, and it always comes down to this: those who have them, wouldn't do without them; those who don't, see no need for them. Chacun à son goût.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:50 PM   #44
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Actually Jack I see something different from this post than you see. I see that it appears over half who do not have them want them. I for one want them partially because you can control your own driving, but not other dirvers or critters on the road.

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Old 01-04-2008, 07:04 AM   #45
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This brake discussion gets recycled on this forum semiannually, and it always comes down to this: those who have them, wouldn't do without them; those who don't, see no need for them. Chacun à son goût.
You are right, Jack. With all of the discussion, my intent was to get a sense of how many people had brakes on a 13'.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:10 PM   #46
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Trailer: Boler 1984
Ontario
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Question
How many of these same people also tow a boat?
How many of them have brakes?
You put your boat in the lake, fished for the afternoon and now loaded up to go home. Do you think your wet brakes are going to do anything?
My bowrider was about 1800 pounds with motor...no trailer brakes.
How many boat trailers have them?
A lot of these things weigh more than does my Boler.
Just something else to think about.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:30 PM   #47
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Quote:
Question
How many of these same people also tow a boat?
How many of them have brakes?
You put your boat in the lake, fished for the afternoon and now loaded up to go home. Do you think your wet brakes are going to do anything?
My bowrider was about 1800 pounds with motor...no trailer brakes.
How many boat trailers have them?
A lot of these things weigh more than does my Boler.
Just something else to think about.
When I redo the axle in the 13 ft Scamperoonerie sometime this spring, I'll put brakes on.
Garo
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:16 AM   #48
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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I was wondering how many 13 foot trailers have brakes.
I don't have brakes on the 72 Boler American but will add them when I replace the axle.

Contrary to what Alf S. believes about manufacturers putting brakes on when needed. My BA has a weight of 880 lbs stamped on it, maximum of 1240 I( think). We all know the our actual weights are much higher. Scamp has beefed up their posted weights and axles over the years. If my trailer was actually that light, I don't think I would consider the need for brakes, but I know my trailer is not 880 lbs. So much for the manufacturer. I wonder how many of us actually keep our contents below the maximum weights recommended by the manufacturer?

I've read and understood peoples comments on not needing brakes with certain Tow Vehicles. That may be the case, but how many of us are still towing our 25+ year trailers with 25+ year vehicles ? Our vehicles change. The vehicle specs change as time goes on. A lot of vehicles on the road today don't even recommend towing. I don't know what my next TV will be, nor am I going to try to guess what the person I may sell my trailer to might be towing with.

I'm towing with a 94 Ranger 4x4. The brakes are weak on this vehicle to start with. I've replace the rear ABS modulator valve 3 times in less than 30K km at over $400 a pop. The valve only holds up to one accident avoidance situation. The 3 times this happened I was driving alone, the bed was empty and there was no trailer in tow. When the valve goes, I lose my ABS, I don't lose my brakes.

I've taken to driving sans ABS and allowing more room between me and the vehicle in front of me. BUT driving on North America's busiest highway, it is almost impossible to keep the idiots in other lanes from pulling into your saftey zone. 2 years ago in Kweebeck city, a Police cruiser came flying through the intersection against my green light. We came pretty close to a T Bone that day with trailer in tow. That is the day, I decided to add brakes when I change the axle that needs to be replaced.

Just because there might be brakes on a trailer, it does not mean one has to use them, unless of course they are surge brakes.

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Old 01-19-2008, 10:08 PM   #49
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Trailer: 1982 Burro 13 ft (My Burrito!)
Washington
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Don't know about all the arguments for or against, but I inquired of the trucking company I go to for service as well as polled others, & l was told as long as my trailer had a single axle, it was not necessary! Never considered those other drivers out there!! I had one, but it's lost in my garage!! Karen L.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:37 AM   #50
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I'll give you a short primer on why brakes are valuable... while I had the 17' Bigfoot (3,000 lbs as equipped) I was towing it with my 4300 lb curb weight Tundra with a 4800 lb tow capacity. I had installed a Prodigy controller in the Tundra, and had previously set it up, had sucessfully towed with it a number of times, and was comfortable with the braking performance. Anyway, I was driving on State Route 100 from SR 13 in Cedar Rapids IA at 50 mph. I crested a hill and found a stoplight changing to red at the bottom of the hill a short distance away. I applied the brakes as I normally would, and when I realized I wasn't slowing nearly fast enough to stop short of the intersection, I pushed the truck brakes as hard as I could. The brakes didn't lock up, and the trailer pushed me a half-car length into the intersection before I got it stopped. Somehow the settings changed on the Prodigy and I didn't know it. A quick detour to a parking lot where I got them reset and my braking performance was restored.

Roger
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #51
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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A quick detour to a parking lot where I got them reset and my braking performance was restored.
Roger
And a change of panties
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:32 PM   #52
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Quote:
Question
How many of these same people also tow a boat?
How many of them have brakes?
You put your boat in the lake, fished for the afternoon and now loaded up to go home. Do you think your wet brakes are going to do anything?
My bowrider was about 1800 pounds with motor...no trailer brakes.
How many boat trailers have them?
A lot of these things weigh more than does my Boler.
Just something else to think about.
Some jurisdictions are now requiring boat trailers to have brakes. Many use surge activator with disc brakes to circumvent corrosion and wet brake problems.

Here's a site addressing the issue of electric brakes and water.

Here's a site with weight limits by state.

However, I think the point being made is that many people tow brakeless trailers, why not us? Because I care about stopping my truck and trailer, not whether some other guy can't stop his boat... Six braked wheels are better than only four.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:47 PM   #53
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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And a change of panties
I left that part out. It's a good thing my Bigfoot was self-contained!

Roger
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:54 AM   #54
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I'll give you a short primer on why brakes are valuable...

...The brakes didn't lock up, and the trailer pushed me a half-car length into the intersection before I got it stopped. Somehow the settings changed on the Prodigy and I didn't know it. A quick detour to a parking lot where I got them reset and my braking performance was restored.
With all due respect, Roger, your "primer" only shows that having trailer brakes does not mean you can assume they'll always work! And that, assuming the Prodigy would do its job, you were apparently driving beyond your TV's braking capability.

Safety depends more on how you drive, than what you drive.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:07 PM   #55
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Trailer: 1996 13 ft Scamp
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Like some discussions on this board I worry that this one will frighten newbies out of enjoying their small fiberglass trailers if it does not have brakes.
I think this thread proves that opinions vary on this subject.
It also proves that if you drive safely you can tow a 13' trailer without brakes in relative safety.

My opinion, for what it is worth, don't pass up a 13' fiberglass trailer if it does not have brakes, if you have one and are going to replace the axel get one with brakes if you can afford it.
If you have a 13' trailer without brakes enjoy it.
I have had 13' Scamps with and without brakes and tow with a small Tacoma PU.. I have had 2 or 3 emergency stops and have never had a problem. 2 emergency stops were with my first 13' Scamp that did not have brakes.
I have toured the Rocky MTs., 11000 and 12000 foot passes, with a brakeless Scamps and had no problems.

My point is, if you have a small trailer without brakes and you don't drive like a NUT you should be very safe.

John
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:46 PM   #56
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Name: Roger
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Iowa
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Quote:
With all due respect, Roger, your "primer" only shows that having trailer brakes does not mean you can assume they'll always work! And that, assuming the Prodigy would do its job, you were apparently driving beyond your TV's braking capability.

Safety depends more on how you drive, than what you drive.
I couldn't agree more, Jack. The issue for me though, was that I am used to letting the trailer brakes stop the trailer as they're supposed to. I was driving at a reasonable speed... what wasn't reasonable was a stoplight at the bottom of a hill a short distance from the crest. As I crested the hill, I applied the brakes appropriately... and was still pushed into the intersection. Had it been a panic stop without the brakes, it would have been all over but the shoutin'!

The bottom line is that the truck alone can't stop the trailer in the same space that the truck stops alone, or the truck and trailer with the trailer brakes working.

Roger
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