Trailer brakes? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
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Name: Howard
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Trailer brakes?

My plan is to tow a 13' Scamp with a 2002 Subaru Forester. Are trailer brakes recommended? Necessary?
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:34 PM   #2
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Aside from safety concerns, towing a trailer without brakes causes extra wear on the tow vehicle brakes. And, the tow vehicle brakes are not cheap to service.
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:58 PM   #3
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I recommend that you first consult your owners manual. My 2014 Subaru Outback is rated for 1000 lbs without brakes and 2700 lbs with brakes. That is a significant difference. Both limit the tongue weight to 200 lb.

Too often tow ratings are considered to be how much the vehicle can pull. Just as important, maybe more so, is it's ability to stop with the load.

When I ran a parts store, young guys would come in all the time to get performance parts to, 'make it go faster'. When they came to buy brakes for it, it was, 'give me the cheap ones'. Do tell??!!!

You would also do well to check Trailer Weights in the Real World here, to get an idea of what that trailer will weigh, if you haven't already weighed it. These are actual weights of trailers loaded to travel:

http://lakeshoreimages.com/spreadsheets/Weight.xls

You can sort this Excel file by brand and length.

Glenn's point is well taken. Cheaper to replace trailer brakes than TV brakes.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:41 PM   #4
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There are those who will tell you that brakes on that camper are not necessary and of course will not be there to hear your screams the one time you really need them.

Do you really need a fire, smoke, propane and carbon monoxide detector ?
Do you really need good tires?

Will you feel safe without the brakes and other items I mentioned above?
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Do you really need good tires?
Good tires? Gimme a break!.........................POW!!!
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:47 PM   #6
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I would recommend trailer brakes. While the trailers are small, you will notice the added weight when you try to stop in a hurry (and that is when brakes really count). I put brakes onto my 13" Boler. I towed it with my GMC Canyon without brakes (I could feel the weight) when braking and with my Dodge Caravan with brakes. It was a very noticeable change.
In fact, I had a deer cross the highway in front of me at dusk and I had to hit the brakes as hard as I could - I will never regret the trailer brakes, never would have avoided that deer without them.
My advice - get the brakes.
Jay
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:34 PM   #7
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I would also encourage you to get the brakes. We just returned from Norm's NL caravan during which we had a too close near-encounter with a moose (daytime and not driving particularly fast). Without the trailer brakes the story would likely have been different. We're towing a 13' scamp with a toyota highlander - even with the small trailer the brakes make a noticeable difference.

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Old 06-28-2016, 08:16 PM   #8
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I've never heard or read where anyone stated that they wished they didn't have brakes.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:11 PM   #9
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They are top of our list...getting installed as soon as we have the cash for a new axel.
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Old 06-28-2016, 11:02 PM   #10
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In my opinion, look at Brakes as you would your wallet..... DONT leave home without them!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard MP View Post
My plan is to tow a 13' Scamp with a 2002 Subaru Forester. Are trailer brakes recommended? Necessary?
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:03 AM   #11
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2002 Forester had a 2400 rating with brakes, I believe, or close to it, and 1000 without, Scamp 13 will be over 1000 lbs. For mountains- yes, get the brakes. (You could probably survive on flat ground.) In my Forester towing experience it's the uphill weight that is more limiting and brakes don't help there. I never feel the trailer pushing me on downhills.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:09 AM   #12
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A Scamp 13 doesnt "push down hill" because of it's "frontal" wind-catching area. BUT, that has nothing to do with RAW STOPPING power when needed. If you're pulling a 1700lb Scamp and need to make a sudden emergency stop at even 50 mph, it's not going to happen without trailer brakes. I still would not pull my Scamp without trailer brakes even if it weighed 1K!

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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
2002 Forester had a 2400 rating with brakes, I believe, or close to it, and 1000 without, Scamp 13 will be over 1000 lbs. For mountains- yes, get the brakes. (You could probably survive on flat ground.) In my Forester towing experience it's the uphill weight that is more limiting and brakes don't help there. I never feel the trailer pushing me on downhills.
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