brakes - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-08-2016, 01:29 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
morgynm's Avatar
 
Name: Morgyn
Trailer: Boler
Nova Scotia
Posts: 165
brakes

The Boler is going in to have her brakes installed on Monday. There was a miscommunication with the RV place about why I want the brakes and now everyone is confused plus the price jumped up by about $700!

They say we only need the breakaway ones but I thought they should also slow the Boler when I slow my vehicle. I was having them put on for safety as we tow with a Pontiac Vibe AWD.

Do I need breakaway only brakes or do I need brakes that slow the Boler down when I brake?? What do most people use?

I'm ready to pull my hair out over this brake issue!
__________________

morgynm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 01:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
communication......

I'm guessing here.....you go into the dealership and tell them you want brakes for your very lightweight (to them) trailer...so they assumed all you were looking for is brakes and a breakaway switch (as in trailer becomes seperated from the tow vehicle...tounge mounted switch is tripped...brakes come on full)

the 700 dollar discrepancy is probably the cost of the brake controller plus the labor to install/wire it in your vehicle
__________________

Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 02:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Keaner's Avatar
 
Name: Joe
Trailer: 1973 13' Boler
Ontario
Posts: 182
The controller and brakes for my Boler cost about $250. I'm guessing your car has an adapter for the controller which takes about 15min to install. The brakes about 30-45min each. All in about 2hrs tops..3hrs at a stretch for labour. So figure you're paying about $450 for 3hrs labour.
That's for normal brakes..which you need. A breakaway system is nice but it's an expensive addition you don't need.

I just noticed you said the price increased by $700. Sounds sketchy to me..I'd go somewhere else.
Keaner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 03:17 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,704
Here is a reference for trailer brakes.

Trailer Brakes - AAA Digest of Motor Laws

its dated 2016 so should be pretty current. I didn't study it but i didn't see any requirement for breakaway switches. But it may be in every individual state requirements. a breakaway switch is in addition to a brake controller since allot of these requirements need operator inside the vehicle to be able to manually apply the brakes.

as far as added braking controls for your car the brake controler alone can run from 60 bucks to 300 bucks for an RF unit. then add all the extras and labor rate it all adds up.

Brake Controller
stevebaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 03:35 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
Posts: 1,468
What vehicle are you using for towing ? Does I have a 7 pin connector? Etrailer lists lots of "brake, break away" devices. Most are $35-$45 to purchase and installation is not complicated so should not take an hour.


A brake, break away is one of those things that you don't really need, until the time you do really need it.
Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 04:17 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Daren
Trailer: 1985 19' Bigfoot tandem axle
Alberta
Posts: 14
Hi Morgyn in my opinion putting electric brakes on a boler is overkill by a long ways. I have pulled many trailers without electric brakes (motorcycle/skidoo/utility/travel) and then a lot with brakes. Bolers run roughly around 1,000 lbs dry weight this is just the trailer (none of your contents added or propane, water, grey water in it.). Bolers are light and the reason they don't have brakes factory installed is they are light. Heavy trailers (generally around 2000lbs are what come with electric brakes. I suspect you picked a light trailer for a reason and do not plan to overload it with a bunch of heavy camping gear.

If you are heavy footed and plan to drive with the trailer attached the same way you drive without the trailer than maybe you would need electric brakes. If however you plan to take it a little easier when pulling the trailer and give a little more room between yourself and the person in front of you then you will definitely not need electric brakes. I have a 2300lb bigfoot with electric brakes but on one occasion had to pull it with the brakes off. It was easy breezy and no problem or worry at all, and that is with a trailer that weighs more than twice your boler.

Now a breakaway brake is something all together different and something I would choose to have but not necessary. Not sure it that helps but it is my take on it.
Finner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 04:48 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,613
Never heard of a breakaway brake. I've have a breakaway switch, which activates the brakes.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 04:52 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 8,494
Registry
brakes

Have to disagree, Finner. A loaded Boler is likely between 1500-2000 pounds (see the sticky thread "Trailer Weights in the Real World" in the General Chat section). Many tow vehicles and one state require brakes over 1000 pounds. Several additional states require them over 1500 pounds.

I agree that with sensible, defensive driving they will probably never be needed, but the same could be said of seatbelts. It only takes once.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 05:44 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Keaner's Avatar
 
Name: Joe
Trailer: 1973 13' Boler
Ontario
Posts: 182
not sure where you're at..here are the Canadian req's

http://www.rvda.ca/ProvBrakeReqts.asp
Keaner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
morgynm's Avatar
 
Name: Morgyn
Trailer: Boler
Nova Scotia
Posts: 165
Alrighty...

So it turns out François was correct about the extra $700. It was for 4-6 hours of labour for installing the controller. They said if our car was newer, it wouldn't be as much. It just seems like a lot of work!

I'm in Canada so our prices might be a bit more??

We originally had asked for the price of a new axle with brakes but were told our axle was in remarkable shape. So the price of $500 was for the brakes to be put on the old axle and, it turns out, a breakaway switch. We already have the four pin wiring so also needed an adaptor.

So my reasoning behind the brakes are this...

I'm usually a cautious driver when I tow the Boler (I've read the real weights thread) so was doodling along at 80kmph in a 90 zone when I went around a turn and came upon a garbage truck in my lane up ahead. I had plenty of time to brake if I wasn't towing but it took all of the space to safely slow down when towing. Having that little push at the end of the car by the Boler really freaked me out. Maybe a shouldn't have been freaked out but I was. All I could think of was if we had been on a highway doing 100, it would suck to have brake suddenly.

Maybe I'm over thinking this? It just seems like so much money on top of the initial $500. There aren't that many RV places around us.
morgynm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 06:29 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,613
Not having brakes on your trailer is also going to increase the wear on your tow vehicle brakes.
I just spent $700 on a brake job for my RAV4 ( and I have trailer brakes ).
So, you can pay now or later.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 06:45 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,704
The first time you load the trailer wrong and it starts wagging the tail and you reach down to hit the trailer brakes to straighten out the sway. You realize you were too cheep to buy a brake controller, your going to wish you didn't have to go through all the issues it can cause. Having brakes when you need them is far more important than not having brakes when you don't need them. Why wear seatbelts if your not going to be in an accident. Why buy new tires if your old ones are not flat? Best wishes in your travels what ever you decide to do.
stevebaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 06:46 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,957
Glenn has this one absolutely CORRECT! Have you check what it costs to do a complete brake job on your tug? I remember what it cost me on my Ford F-150 ($$$$). Trailer brakes are the cheap shoe brakes. This is a maintenance issue. I'd much rather that be on the trailer than the tug. Remember, you're attempting to stop something that weighs maybe another TON behind you. Be safe!
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Borrego Dave's Avatar
 
Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
Posts: 3,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I just spent $700 on a brake job for my RAV4 ( and I have trailer brakes ).
So, you can pay now or later.
True words Glenn
Borrego Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 06:51 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Keaner's Avatar
 
Name: Joe
Trailer: 1973 13' Boler
Ontario
Posts: 182
$700 for installing controller??!! Unless he's putting in a new wiring assembly for the 7-pin that's way over-priced
Keaner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 07:34 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
morgynm's Avatar
 
Name: Morgyn
Trailer: Boler
Nova Scotia
Posts: 165
Well, I'll give them another call tomorrow to verify pricing. I'm heading out on a backpacking trip for the weekend on Friday so tomorrow is my last day to make a decision before Monday. I'm thinking I'll go ahead with the whole brake and controller setup. I'll re-jig my budget and find the extra money if I need to. I completely forgot that it can be used for a swaying trailer until someone mentioned it here.

Can controllers be moved to different vehicles? In the next two or three years, my beloved Vibe will need to eventually be replaced. Would I be able to move the controller to, say, an Outback?


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
morgynm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 07:45 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 3,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by morgynm View Post
...
Can controllers be moved to different vehicles? In the next two or three years, my beloved Vibe will need to eventually be replaced. Would I be able to move the controller to, say, an Outback?

...
Usually but you should ask what model they plan on using.

There probably is a wiring harness that unplugs from the controller. I take my controller out when not towing for a while so it is not stolen. Some are built into the vehicle but I gather that is not the case for you.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 08:45 PM   #18
Junior Member
 
Name: Daren
Trailer: 1985 19' Bigfoot tandem axle
Alberta
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by morgynm View Post
Well, I'll give them another call tomorrow to verify pricing. I'm heading out on a backpacking trip for the weekend on Friday so tomorrow is my last day to make a decision before Monday. I'm thinking I'll go ahead with the whole brake and controller setup. I'll re-jig my budget and find the extra money if I need to. I completely forgot that it can be used for a swaying trailer until someone mentioned it here.

Can controllers be moved to different vehicles? In the next two or three years, my beloved Vibe will need to eventually be replaced. Would I be able to move the controller to, say, an Outback?


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
I have found sway to typically come into play when a trailer is loaded with too much weight on the rear and not enough on the tongue or in extreme wind. When worry of sway money is far better spent on a stabilizer hitch than trailer brakes when towing such a light trailer. The stabilizer hitch will not only even the weight distribution across your vehicle and trailer saving a lot on tire wear but makes overall handling a lot better and braking a lot stronger. When hitting your brakes hard without a stabilizer a trailer will push down a lot harder on the hitch which in turn lifts the front of the tow vehicle and limits braking power.

Keaner put up a good Canadian weight's / trailer brakes requirements and you will see you are well below what is required for trailer brakes with the small boler. This is the reason these small trailers were not equipped with brakes. As you checked into it with the RV shop it appears that they were first discussing just installing break away brakes on your trailer and not a complete electric brake system, I assume they were going that route as they as well felt an electric brake control system was not needed on your light trailer.

Sure some point out that electric brakes will be safer and I don't disagree with that but it is not as much of a seat belt no seat belt kind of argument but rather that of what is necessary. A better comparison would be that if you were to purchase a 1 ton diesel tow vehicle you would be safer as it would have better stopping power but that too I feel would be overkill.

All in all I suggest you look into the pro's / con's of buying a stabilizer hitch as in my experience it will be far more bang for your buck in safety and maintenance savings than trailer brakes.
Finner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 08:58 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Name: Daren
Trailer: 1985 19' Bigfoot tandem axle
Alberta
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Let us know when you find your breakaway brake.
Sorry Mr. Baglo, possibly it is a Canadian / American difference thing. A lot of light trailers here do not require a complete trailer brake system until you get up over 2,000lb (Alberta which I am pretty sure is the strictest) and most provinces require trailer brakes when you get up in the 3,000lb range. Apparently US states have a far lower weight restriction for trailer brakes than up here.

In regards to breakaway brakes this is a common feature up here on lighter trailers. Many trailers below the weight required for a complete electric trailer/controller brake system will come equipped with just a breakaway system for emergency safety.

Come to think about it the lower weight electric brake requirements you mention in the US will likely come in handy to prevent RVer's from running into all those walls Mr. Trump is going to build.
Finner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 09:12 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 6,613
Last I heard, British Columbia was in Canada.
I've never heard of a breakaway brake system ( brakes that would only operate when the breakaway switch was triggered ). I have trailer brakes and the breakaway switch on my trailer.
And, while we're giving advice, I think the "stabilizer hitch" that you mention is commonly called a Weight Distribution Hitch. Sometimes people add a stabilizer bar.
It helps to use the correct terms.
Oh, and it you read the Community Rules, you will find that subjects like politics and religion are not to be discussed.
__________________

__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
brakes


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brakes for U-Haul? Jim C. Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 26 06-28-2019 06:54 PM
brakes or no brakes Penney H. & Mike E. Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 17 08-13-2007 02:35 PM
Trailer Brakes Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 32 05-25-2003 07:10 AM
Wiring the Electric Brakes Legacy Posts Modifications, Alterations and Updates 2 05-07-2003 12:04 PM
Wiring and brakes Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 1 04-06-2003 01:39 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×