To brake or not to brake that is my question - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2015, 04:24 PM   #15
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Name: Lyndsay
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I may try a few trips that aren't too far from home first before I make a final decision. I want to be safe on the road.


Lilly The Trilly - 1975 Trillium 1300
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:28 PM   #16
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BC does not equal Alberta

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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
3100 lbs is the tipping point....at 2000 you're a long way away....it's your call....it should be said that where and how you intend to tow... most of the time...along with your comfort/experience with towing things... will/should be a factor in your decision....have fun...
The O.P. is in Alberta when the brake requirements is apparently set at 2000 lbs when the trailer exceeds 50% of the towing vehicles weight.

Common sense, or as others may prefer to call it, Personal Responsibility, should trump legal requirements, and my guideline will remain at 1500 lbs, regardless of what the legal requirement is (unless, as in NY state) it is even less at 1000 lbs.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:27 PM   #17
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BTW: Personal Responsibility isn't worth a lb of warm spit after the fact.....
No law can reincarnate an accident victim either.

Thus, I see no issue...
That's why I suggested... "Still it is best to get educated, make good decisions".... and THEN "take personal responsibility".

Doing what's right usually includes following the rules, but always obviates them.

Brakes are not required on my Scamp 13, but I got educated, and took the personal responsibility to have my trailer equipped with brakes.
That kinda renders the law on that issue worth less than a pound of warm spit before the fact.
Adequate insurance is another example of taking personal responsibility which is certainly worth something "after the fact"... when mistakes or failures have occurred.

Why would taking personal responsibility be a bad thing?
Following the rules can be the belt... but personal responsibility adds the suspenders!
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:39 PM   #18
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Ummm..... How much is a pound, (0.4536kg) of warm spit worth?
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:11 PM   #19
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Ummm..... How much is a pound, (0.4536kg) of warm spit worth?
I suppose you could list it on eBay to find out?
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:41 PM   #20
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I suppose you could list it on eBay to find out?
Please don't I think I know people who might bid on it, and an item offered is a contractual obligation to provide the item as described. Ewwwh

If you find the axle needs to be replaced getting it with brakes just makes sense, not a huge additional cost. If nothing else even without brakes order with the mounting plate that allows brakes to be added later. The mounting plate cannot be added later if not on originally. Pretty sure welding it on would fry the rubber suspension inside the axle tube.

With say a small SUV or many other vehicles one can tow a 13 ft. safely without brakes provided one uses care and is knowledgeable about good towing set up, or willing to learn. However with the lite weight a 13 ft. is more likely than a big camper to be pulled by something small enough that it has to struggle to stop the camper (reason for the > 50% weight of tow vehicle in the regulations mentioned).

Brakes are a resale selling point. One that provides you an extra measure of safety while you own it in hard stopping or downhill stopping situations in particular. Or sway condition. Properly adjusted a progressive brake controller can make the trailer "part of the car" to the extent that driving is a whole lot more comfortable.

So value up front, value on resale, increased safety, more comfortable towing. I think they call that a win-win x 2 for having brakes.

If on the other hand you don't have brakes don't sweat it. There is a reason many small trailers don't have brakes by default. You will need to use knowledge, care and vigilance to compensate is all. The heavier your tow vehicle is the less they matter. Full size pickup vs say a Subaru outback the outback driver will miss the brakes more.

Short trips that are reached with routes you are familiar with are a good way to get a feel for the towing experience of this trailer. And since when was a lawn chair in a campground a bad idea no matter how close it is.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:19 PM   #21
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I tow our 17' SD with a 1500 Silverado with hd suspension and 4wd.

Last year I bought a 970# pound sub compact Kubota tractor and rented the smallest U-Haul trailer it would fit on and it didn't have brakes to bring it home.
I'm guessing a total load of 2000# max.
On my way home I had to stop fast for a red light camera in a 45 mph zone.
It was a real eye opener how little stopping power I had with my 5400# truck

Some laws in this country seem to be the minimum required

But I prefer more than the minimum required
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:54 PM   #22
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I towed my Little Joe, 1760 lbs loaded, with a 2004 Mazda Tribute and an '07 Chevy Silverado. When we bought the '14 Subaru Outback, we had to put brakes on the trailer to meet the Outback's heavier tow rating.

I love driving with the brakes. I feel much more secure when stopping and I like the option of applying the trailer brake manually in a sway situation.

I tow at between 55 and 60 mph and am very prudent in my driving habits, with eyes well down the road and aware of the traffic around me.

It's the other guy I'm worried about. With the trailer brakes I am better prepared to handle what he throws at me.

It was worth the extra expense to put the brakes on the trailer and set up the Subaru with a controller. Trailer brake installation is easy with an all-in-one kit that has all the hardware mounted on the backing plate. Wiring is pretty straight forward. Setting up the car was more involved, but still withing the reach of a competent diyer.

The key to trailer brakes is proper adjustment of the controller, and, per Norm's earlier suggestion, checking their operation each time you begin to tow, and for me that doesn't mean just when I'm pulling out of the campground in the morning.
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:14 PM   #23
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I think that Joe's comments in post #21 is very telling and, perhaps somewhat of an indictment of those states that either don't have a specific towing weigh specified before brakes are required, or have limits in the 3000 lb range. (Texas is 4500 lbs, Alaska is 5000 lbs YUK)

Brakes are just having a clean set of chonies, don't leave home without them! If you don't have trailer brake you just might need them. (LOLOLOL)
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettylilTrilly View Post
I may try a few trips that aren't too far from home first before I make a final decision. I want to be safe on the road.


Lilly The Trilly - 1975 Trillium 1300
What does your Escapes manual state in regards to what weight of trailer you can pull without brakes on it? Most of the smaller SUV's require them - pretty common to see the manual state brakes are need while towing on trailers as low as 1000lbs or 1500lbs.

Having brakes on the trailer is never a bad thing! Due to the age of your trailer its also a good bet that a new axle would also improve the ride.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
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What does your Escapes manual state in regards to what weight of trailer you can pull without brakes on it? Most of the smaller SUV's require them - pretty common to see the manual state brakes are need while towing on trailers as low as 1000lbs or 1500lbs.



Having brakes on the trailer is never a bad thing! Due to the age of your trailer its also a good bet that a new axle would also improve the ride.

I've read and re read over my manual and towing. Didn't see anything about brakes.


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Old 04-22-2015, 07:13 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by PrettylilTrilly View Post
I've read and re read over my manual and towing. Didn't see anything about brakes.

Lilly The Trilly - 1975 Trillium 1300
I've not seen in any of the manuals for vehicles I've owned saying anything about brakes either.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:23 PM   #27
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It's much more common on smaller vehicles with low towing limits, such as Subaru. The 2008 Escape has a limit of somewhere around 3500 lbs.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:44 PM   #28
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We recently inherited a 1978 13' Boler & towed it home from near Chicago to Colorado with my wife's Escape. It was loaded up with a pile of boxes, but still towed reasonably well.

All that being said the suspension is shot. If I end up rebuilding the trailer it will get a new axle & it will get brakes.

Brakes will be a minor pain on your wallet when you buy them, but they can't ever hurt you to have them. They can only help. It only takes once hitting the brake controller to stop some sway or decreasing your stopping distance by the extra few feet to pay for the brakes & brake controller.

Sent from my K00C using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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