Towing with a Subaru Forester - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-24-2015, 04:20 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by dleverton View Post
I'm with the get brakes group too. They are inexpensive and easy to install. As a much younger person I put on a lot of miles towing rally cars on trailers ~3000 lb behind small tow vehicles much lighter than my Subi Forester and got away with it. Now I prefer the reduced stopping distance the trailer brakes afford. It is safer, no question.
Of course "inexpensive" is subjective as is "safer" in this case.
6 to 8 hundred dollars can put a dent in a lot of ordinary budgets.
Belt and suspenders is fine... but on coveralls?
Still, I guess you don't wanna get caught with your pants down!
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:22 PM   #44
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I'm with the get brakes group. With trailer brakes you can stop sway by activating just the trailer brakes. Fortunately it rarely happens but it's the fastest way to stop it if it ever happens.

Of course the real way to stop sway is a properly loaded trailer (and reasonable speeds).
I'm in agreement with Norm here all the way up to the last sentence. As I can attest to from a recent experience even if you do all that you can do that is within your power for a safe tow you are never in control of what is around the bend or down the road. I will always sign up for one more line of defense/safety for when the unexpected happens.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:05 PM   #45
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Some here make it sound as if choosing not to add brakes makes you anti-brakes or worse , demonstrating a careless disregard for your safety and the safety of others.

Have any of you even SEEN a PlayPac?
It actually weighs LESS than the cargo capacity of my Ranger.
My Ranger and a well equipped Scamp13 together weigh less than its contemporary 4WD Explorer by itself...with the same brakes.
Small utility trailers almost never have brakes, Same is true of Car dollies.


A driver may not be in control of what may be around the bend or down the road, but he is in control of his reaction to it.
Whether towing or not you need to be aware of your rig's capabilities and drive within them, trailer brakes or not.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:34 PM   #46
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I put new brakes on my trillium for under $300.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:42 PM   #47
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I'm in agreement with Norm here all the way up to the last sentence. As I can attest to from a recent experience even if you do all that you can do that is within your power for a safe tow you are never in control of what is around the bend or down the road. I will always sign up for one more line of defense/safety for when the unexpected happens.
Sid, We had one severe braking situation in 8 years. I was glad I had trailer brakes (and an anti-sway bar). We were on a four lane, non-limited access highway in FL and a brand new Chevy Truck, Crew cab pulled across the highway in front of us and stopped, blocking both lanes. I applied the brakes, smoked the tires, every thing stayed straight. The driver heard the screech and floored it out of the way just in time.

A scary moment, glad I had brakes all around and the anti-sway bar.

Even though you're paying attention, stupid happens, the Chevy driver behaved like a deer.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:46 PM   #48
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I agree Floyd. And I also agree that some folks attest to things with a rigidity that can make others appear careless or uncaring.

Capabilities and driver control. Staying within those limits. I also do not tow under high speed. Have never pulled my scamp over 60 mph and mostly drive 50 or do. Keep my distance and am constantly searching the road and anticipating other driver error. I do have trailer brakes, but I rely on my rig, know it's capabilities and use my brain. I think this is logical and prudent, and I don't push it. There's nowhere I need to be that requires unsafe measures.


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Old 09-24-2015, 08:50 PM   #49
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I put new brakes on my trillium for under $300.
Of course you did, I can do it for $150, but I seriously doubt the PlayPac has backing plates and so I was assuming hiring a new axle installed with brakes. That would have made all the difference.

Do you have a friction anti-sway bar? It is only about $60 and requires minimal skills to install.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:22 PM   #50
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Sid, We had one severe braking situation in 8 years. I was glad I had trailer brakes (and an anti-sway bar). We were on a four lane, non-limited access highway in FL and a brand new Chevy Truck, Crew cab pulled across the highway in front of us and stopped, blocking both lanes. I applied the brakes, smoked the tires, every thing stayed straight. The driver heard the screech and floored it out of the way just in time.

A scary moment, glad I had brakes all around and the anti-sway bar.

Even though you're paying attention stupid happens, the Chevy driver behaved like a deer.
You have shown yourself here to be a Paragon of common sense so consider this more a counterpoint than a disagreement...

My trailer has brakes and an anti-sway bar, yet I have towed many trailers home without either and felt as safe as traffic ever allows.
I can lock the brakes on my Ranger but not on the Escape since it has not(yet?) been modified to eliminate the ABS.
No amount of preparation can anticipate every contingency or prevent every accident. I.E.... You can prevent a deer strike about as well as you can prevent hitting a bird or an insect. (I don't have deer whistles)

Actually picking the right TV tire could make more difference than adding brakes to a small trailer towed by an appropriate sized vehicle.

A tangent example of this discussion is as follows...
Every time someone survives a severe crash, the air bags are credited without hesitation, yet the +-3000 deaths and the countless injuries which are caused by them are almost never attributed because the federal law is structured in such a way as to prevent it.
Only the NHTSA is allowed to make that determination and they almost never investigate airbag deaths. Thus the truth is skewed and a moderately useful product becomes a necessary safety item.

Another example....
Tire pressure monitoring is necessary for safety... yet TPMSs were clearly developed to try and cover driver incompetence and made mandatory.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:44 AM   #51
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I put new brakes on my trillium for under $300.
Doug, thnxs for posting. Such a small investment for such a huge safety mod.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:51 AM   #52
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"Tire pressure monitoring is necessary for safety... yet TPMSs were clearly developed to try and cover driver incompetence and made mandatory." -Floyd

Floyd,
First, I never find you disagreeable.

Second, in general I'm opposed to most government rules, for them 'ruling' is more important than the rules, and often more important than reason.

As to pressure sensors, I like them, particularly on a single axle trailer where it's more difficult for me to feel what's happening until it's 'totally' happened. That said we've been fortunate and have never had a trailer flat, all have occurred on the tow vehicle.

With or without sensors I keep my eye on the level of the trailer by comparing the trailer's levelness to the Honda's rear window antenna to the latches on the stone guard. Of course since I've never had a flat I don't know if it works..

I do like the ability to know what's happening in the trailer's tires.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:30 AM   #53
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"Tire pressure monitoring is necessary for safety... yet TPMSs were clearly developed to try and cover driver incompetence and made mandatory." -Floyd

Floyd,
First, I never find you disagreeable.

Second, in general I'm opposed to most government rules, for them 'ruling' is more important than the rules, and often more important than reason.

As to pressure sensors, I like them, particularly on a single axle trailer where it's more difficult for me to feel what's happening until it's 'totally' happened. That said we've been fortunate and have never had a trailer flat, all have occurred on the tow vehicle.

With or without sensors I keep my eye on the level of the trailer by comparing the trailer's levelness to the Honda's rear window antenna to the latches on the stone guard. Of course since I've never had a flat I don't know if it works..

I do like the ability to know what's happening in the trailer's tires.
When I used the TPMS example I was referring to the TV, Of course TPMS is not required for trailers, where it may actually serve a useful purpose!
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:27 AM   #54
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When North Americans describe how much better electric brakes with a brake controller in the tow vehicle are, compared to the mechanical overrun brakes used in Europe, I think of these 'do I need to bother with trailer brakes at all?' discussions - I have no doubt that mechanical overrun trailer brakes are a lot more effective than no trailer brakes, even if driver-controllable electric brakes may be the best of all.
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