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


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Old 04-21-2015, 12:11 PM   #1
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To brake or not to brake that is my question

I have a 1975 trillium 1300 and I tow with a 2008 Ford Escape.
I expect the loaded tow weight to be about 2000lbs.
Should I be putting brakes on my trailer? How easy is this to do? I took a look at the frame and all looks good. Some surface rust but no cracks. I will have to pull a wheel and see if I even have the mounting bracket for brakes.


Lilly The Trilly - 1975 Trillium 1300
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:18 PM   #2
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With the 1975 trailer if it has the rubber suspended trailing arms like the dexter, AL-KO etc. the rubber is probably dead and the suspension is really a fond memory.
Brakes would be a good addition and they could be either electric or surge brakes.
If you are happy with the surge brakes you need to change out the coupler for a unit with the overhauling brake cylinder and install hydraulic brakes on the axle or with electric brake buy the axle with them.
If the axle is still good ( My 1986 Scamp AL-KO axle had sagged and most of the suspension was in the tires) then if it has the brake backing plates for mounting just buy the proper units to fit.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #3
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If putting on a new axle order it with brakes.

You don't need to pull the wheels. Just lay on the ground and look behind the wheel. If the required plate is there, you will see it on the axle, before the hub. Most Trilliums I have seen have it.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:43 PM   #4
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If something like 27 states require brakes for trailers over 1500 lbs (NY is 1000 lbs) there must me something to it. I don't have a list for Canada, but the roads and risks are about the same. Be sure to read the recent post titled "Sway Disaster..." for a good reason to have trailer brakes.


BTW: I think that your picture shows something more than just "Surface Rust".
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:52 PM   #5
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Smile Followed you over

Pull a wheel and look for a plate with 4 holes. Thats the flange needed to add brakes. Without it you can't add brakes. With a trailer that old you might consider replacing the whole axle. Raz
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post

BTW: I think that your picture shows something more than just "Surface Rust".
Early Trilliums had a frame cracking issue. Under a recall gusset plates were added for strength.
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
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If something like 27 states require brakes for trailers over 1500 lbs (NY is 1000 lbs) there must me something to it.
At most that number is "something like 7 or 8" which is hardly anything like 27.
Still it is best to get educated, make good decisions and take personal responsibility.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
BTW: I think that your picture shows something more than just "Surface Rust".
???? Bob, I see paint. I see way too much reinforcement. I don't see significant rust. Could you please circle what you are seeing so I may learn the difference between surface rust, and "more then just surface rust"?
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:42 PM   #9
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???? Bob, I see paint. I see way too much reinforcement. I don't see significant rust. Could you please circle what you are seeing so I may learn the difference between surface rust, and "more then just surface rust"?

Dave what do you mean by way too much reinforcement? Is this a bad thing?


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Old 04-21-2015, 03:49 PM   #10
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No not a problem, maybe at bit heavy. You have large plates on both sides of the bend, looks like 1/4". Plates on the bottom of the bend as well. My 4500 frame has 1/8" plates, just on the sides.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:53 PM   #11
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Ah ok. I'd rather over kill then under estimated


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Old 04-21-2015, 04:09 PM   #12
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Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
???? Bob, I see paint. I see way too much reinforcement. I don't see significant rust. Could you please circle what you are seeing so I may learn the difference between surface rust, and "more then just surface rust"?
When enlarging the pic it appears that the frame area to the left of the diagonal brace has what I would call "Serious" rust.

IMHO: "Surface Rust" is a light coating that can be removed, usually with a wire brush, without removing significant amounts of the base material and without leaving significant pits or craters in the base material. I think that a cleaning of the indicated surface would reveal significant incursion into the base material, including pits and craters.

Others may have a more forgiving definition of "Surface Rust".
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:12 PM   #13
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in BC you don't...

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...
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:18 PM   #14
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Brake Requirements

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
At most that number is "something like 7 or 8" which is hardly anything like 27.
Still it is best to get educated, make good decisions and take personal responsibility.
Yes, 7 states is more correct, with Ohio being 2000 lbs. I was looking at the 3000 lbs requirement.

But that said, Alberta has a 2000 lb limit "If the trailer is greater that 50% of the weight of the tow vehicle".

With California, the state with, by far, the largest number of RV's on the road, setting the limit at 1500 lbs., I still suggest using that as a figure.

We also have a 55mph speed limit for towed vehicles and that works as well.

BTW: Personal Responsibility isn't worth a lb of warm spit after the fact.....
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