Scamp 16' installing breakaway switch - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-16-2007, 01:49 PM   #15
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Hi Pete, since they aren`t dry, are gel and agm batteries not considered wet cells? ...just not flooded... ..Benny
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Old 04-16-2007, 03:26 PM   #16
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Hi Pete, since they aren`t dry, are gel and agm batteries not considered wet cells? ...just not flooded... ..Benny
After a few more calls today I am very confident that the rules do not state what type of battery can or can not be used in B.C. Only that it must be charged and working! So it looks like the RV shops that said "just hook it to the house battery" were correct.

The BC website has the full act. I have included the link to section on brakes for those who may want to read more:

BC Gov Rules

Here is what it actually reads:

"Breakaway and emergency braking"
"6.07 (1) The service brakes with which a commercial trailer is equipped shall be of such manufacture and design and so installed and maintained that they will be applied automatically upon the separation of the commercial trailer from the vehicle by which it is being towed, and so that after such automatic application they will remain fully applied for not less than 15 minutes"


The sites definition of a Commercial Trailer:

""commercial trailer" means a trailer, or semitrailer, or house trailer, with a gross weight of more than 1400 kg, but does not include a towed motor vehicle that weighs less than 2000 kg and is less than 40% of the gross vehicle weight rating of a motor home towing it via a tow bar; "

For those across the line 2000 kg is 4,409.25 lbs. So although our trailer does not my law need brakes the tow requires them for anything over 1000 lbs. The rules are also such that once you put brakes on the trailer even if you did not need them in the first place you need a breakaway.

Thanks everyone for your input.

Carol
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Old 04-16-2007, 04:17 PM   #17
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That's the commercial trailer rules, Carol. Here's the corresponding section for non-commercial trailers, which would include most eggs, including my Boler and presumably the Scamp 16' (if its GVWR is under 1400 kg / 3086 lb)...
Code:
Division 5 **Brake

Brakes required
5.01**No person shall drive or operate a vehicle upon a highway unless the vehicle is equipped with brakes and equipment as required by these regulations
...
5.02
...
Trailer brakes
(3)**A trailer shall be equipped with brakes at each end of each axle, but brakes are not required
**(a) on one axle of a house trailer that is equipped with more than 2 axles,
**(b) on any axle of a trailer other than a towing dolly if the licensed vehicle weight of the trailer
****(i)**is 1 400 kg or less, and
****(ii)**is less than 50% of the licensed vehicle weight of the vehicle by which it is being towed,
**(c) on any axle of a towing dolly towed by a motor vehicle where
****(i)**the aggregate of the net weight of the towing dolly and the gross vehicle weight of the motor vehicle one axle of which is being carried by the towing dolly does not exceed 1 400 kg, or
****(ii)**the motor vehicle towing the towing dolly has a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of the aggregate of
******(A)**the net weight of the towing dolly,
******(B)**the gross vehicle weight of the motor vehicle one axle of which is being carried by the towing dolly, and
******(C)**the gross vehicle weight of the motor vehicle towing the towing dolly,
**(d) on any axle of a motor vehicle one axle of which is being carried by a towing dolly, and
**(e) on any axle of a trailer that consists of a piece of construction machinery towed by a truck where the truck has a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of the aggregate of the gross vehicle weights of the trailer and the truck.
(4)**Brakes with which a trailer is equipped shall
**(a) when applied be adequate to maintain control of the trailer,
**(b) when applied not affect the direction of travel of the trailer, and
**(c) where the licensed vehicle weight of the trailer exceeds 2 800 kg, be capable of being applied by the driver of the motor vehicle towing the trailer from his normal seated position.
Division 5 of these regulations (unlike Division 6, for "commercial" trailers) says nothing about breakaway switch requirements.

1400 kg is about 3086 lb, so my Boler B1700RGH would be just under the limit (I think the GVWR is 3000 lb, despite the 3500 lb axle), but with a 2580 kg (5688 lb) GVWR, my Sienna could not legally pull it without brakes. I have the same (454 kg) 1000 lb limit in my owner's manual, so good sense and the manufacturer's requirement both call for trailer brakes, regardless of the B.C. law.

Quote:
... So although our trailer does not my law need brakes ...
Carol, if you are thinking that the brakes are not required because the Scamp is under 1400 kg, then is it under 50% of the GVWR of your tug? If the Scamp GVWR is over 1400kg, then it seems to require brakes. If it is over, it needs them because it's not being towed by a motorhome. I realize that you're using them anyway...
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:04 AM   #18
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That's the commercial trailer rules, Carol. Here's the corresponding section for non-commercial trailers, which would include most eggs, including my Boler and presumably the Scamp 16' (if its GVWR is under 1400 kg / 3086 lb)...
Hi Brian, when I spoke directly with the inspector today they pointed me to Division 6 as it is the section that covers how a breakaway switch must work. I wanted to know if the battery type was an issue as it had been suggested here that it might be.

As noted the definition of commercial in this situation does not seem to be what we might normally assume i.e. commerically used trailer. Trailers can fall into this division on weight alone - although it is not our trailers weight or combo that brings us to Division 6.

You are very correct that the Division 5 covers most light weight travel trailers (including ours) but it does not address a breakaway switch - as far as I know only Division 6 does. Under Division 5 rules our trailer does require brakes as the trailer is slightly more than 50% of the cars weight. Now this is were it gets interesting! We were told by the RV shop that if you have brakes on a trailer regardless of whether you require them by law or not you are also suppose to have a breakaway switch. I forgot to ask in what section this is in when I was talking to the inspector but I did ask if this was true and they responded "Technically Yes". Wish I had asked the section as I also noted after I got off the phone and read it in full that it says nothing about a breakaway. I got the impression though that they may not necessarily look for brakes on a trailer as light as ours so the lack of a breakaway may be a none issue in the event of a road side check. It's more of a concern to us that they will look for it when the trailer goes for its import inspection were the inspector has more time to worry about the fine print. :-) Would like to avoid any problems with that so that we can actually use the trailer, right now it is just a neighbourhood attraction.

I did bookmark this site the other day that pretty well says the same thing. Look under Recreational Vehicle Towing:

britishcolumbia.com

You would think they would make it way easier for the average person who just wants to get it right to figure it all out. Having spent a good deal of time on this issue I am still not 100% sure that I clearly understand the whys! Suspect the time would have been better spent figuring out how to replace a rivit or two....

Carol
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:41 AM   #19
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Well isn't that typical government gobbly goop. When I went through this whole process on our first horse trailer (Twin axle- 4 wheels brakes) the inspectors insisted that we have a fully charged wet cell battery on-board. No gel cells or dry cells period. They would not pass it till I modified it. $140 later I got it trough. From that time on I never registered a trailer in Vancouver again. But as it has turn out, I have done that with all our trailers over the years and it has been a god send with our own on-board power supply. We could park any where and unhook the truck and still have lights etc.
I was so incensed over this I went to the Motor Vehicle Office in downtown Vancouver and talked the head goof there. He told me "that is the code, no exceptions."
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:05 PM   #20
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Sure, Division 6 is the place with the breakaway switch rules... but that doesn't mean they apply to every trailer.

The ICBC site certainly does say that with brakes, one must have a breakaway switch. It is also a paraphrasing of the actual rules, and I'm guessing it errs on the side of requiring stuff that may not be a legal requirement. There may also be another regulation which we have missed, and the inspector didn't mention... which makes no sense (why have one brake rule separate from all of the others?)

So the regulations are clear, and the ICBC site is misinterpreted "information", further propagated by people in RV shops who prefer rumour to solid research. I wish I could say I was surprised but that, but I am surprised that inspectors apply non-existent rules. If it were my trailer, would ask to be shown the specific regulation (so I could comply, of course).

There seems to be a theme in many statements about BC rules, in which the province is supposed to be very strict. In at least two cases (ST tires and breakaway switches), the reality of the rules is quite different. Suspiciously, the source of the misinformation tends to be shops selling trailer equipment and services...

In the end, of course, we all want the safest trailer, so a breakaway switch (legally needed or not) is in order. The wet-cell battery thing is just stupid - gel and AGM cells certainly are "wet", although not "flooded", and the AGM would be more suitable than a flooded-cell battery.
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:32 PM   #21
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There seems to be a theme in many statements about BC rules, in which the province is supposed to be very strict. In at least two cases (ST tires and breakaway switches), the reality of the rules is quite different. Suspiciously, the source of the misinformation tends to be shops selling trailer equipment and services...

Ok I will bite. What does ST tires stand for? One of the other items on the list of things they will be looking at is our tires.

Carol
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Old 04-17-2007, 06:15 PM   #22
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Carol:
ST stands for "Special Trailer" and as far as I can see the consensus on this forum is that it is the preferred type of tire for our trailers. The ST type will have stronger, stiffer sidewalls and will be more stable on the road. There may well be other benefits that I don't know about.

If you put on ST tires there is another choice you may have to make: between bias-ply and radial-ply. About half hour ago I put new hooves on my Burro (wheels and tires: "Shiny Hoofies," to paraphrase and honor the late Don Ho) and changed from bias-ply to radial. What I understand is that they run smoother (to shake all your belongings less) and run cooler (to keep you from loosing your cool).

I went with a "new" radial from Duro. Harder to get, but the scuttlebut on Carlisles and Marathons (fair or not) does not inspire confidence.
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Old 04-17-2007, 06:36 PM   #23
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Carol:
ST stands for "Special Trailer" and as far as I can see the consensus on this forum is that it is the preferred type of tire for our trailers. The ST type will have stronger, stiffer sidewalls and will be more stable on the road. There may well be other benefits that I don't know about.

If you put on ST tires there is another choice you may have to make: between bias-ply and radial-ply. About half hour ago I put new hooves on my Burro (wheels and tires: "Shiny Hoofies," to paraphrase and honor the late Don Ho) and changed from bias-ply to radial. What I understand is that they run smoother (to shake all your belongings less) and run cooler (to keep you from loosing your cool).

I went with a "new" radial from Duro. Harder to get, but the scuttlebut on Carlisles and Marathons (fair or not) does not inspire confidence.
Thanks Per for the clarification. The previous owner gave me the bills for the tires and they are special trailer tires bias-ply...... seem ok.... intreasting though that he purchased a new spare last month but he went with radial.... hope we never have to go more than a mile or so with odd tires...
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Old 04-17-2007, 06:49 PM   #24
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Ok I will bite. What does ST tires stand for?
Sorry... didn't mean to launch another rehash of the ST issue , just using it as an example.

ST does stand for [b]"Special Trailer". They are the obvious choice of tire type for a trailer; in my example I was referring to the statements that ST tires are legally required for all trailers in B.C., which is both not logical (once you get into the details) and not true (according to the published regulations).

So, sure, use ST tires, equip the under-1400 kg trailer with a breakaway switch and do whatever else "they" say you "must" do (how about put clearance lights on a under-80" trailer, like U-Haul did?)... but none of those things is actually required. At least one (the breakaway switch) does seem like a good idea to me.

As for your combination, Carol: I would treat a [b]radial/bias combination as a low-speed emergency use setup, just like running the space-saver spare on a car... but I wouldn't panic and run out to buy three new tires. I certainly wouldn't downgrade the spare to a bias ply to match.
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