Do I need Brakes?

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by wmgeorge, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    Hooked up my new to me, to take home a 2003 Rockwood by Forest River and I remarked to my wife,, its like I am towing nothing. Could not get the brake controller lights to come on and it seemed to have no brakes. Got home looked over the trailer wiring and Lol the Blue brake wire had been terminated at the factory. No wiring connected.... and no brakes or drums on the unit.

    Spec's I can find list list the empty weight at 1635, so add in one propane tank and battery I suppose I am at 1720 or so. It handled like a dream on the road and stopping no issues.

    I assume its Dexter axle setup and I assume I Could add brakes... but do I need too? They appeared to be an option when new and since Iowa is mostly flat they decided not to add. Comments?
     
  2. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    Check your state laws and your tow vehicle’s owners manual. Both will most likely have a weight that trailer brakes are required.
     
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  3. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Trailers 3000 lbs and over in Iowa need brakes. Rockwood thought it lite enough not to need them, so I wouldn't worry about it if it stops good behind your tow vehicle. Stay away from New York State, North Carolina, Cali., Nevada, Idaho, and Tenn. There you will be over weight without brakes.
     
  4. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    As long as it's legal and you're comfortable towing and stopping, no. BTW, love your avatar! Reminds me of the painting my friend did for me:
    IMG_0441.JPG
     
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  5. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    Nothing as beautiful as a Border Collie, and then watching them work.
     
  6. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Ha! Mine is a mix... and special needs! [:D]
     
  7. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    So we are headed out West next Spring, Yellowstone and Montana then up to Canada, yes we have our passport. Second trip up there, first in 2013 all the way to Skagway and Juneau camping in a 17ft Casita.
     
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  8. gec66

    gec66 Active Member

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    As a general rule states reciprocate on minor regulations such as these and don't hassle non-commercial vehicles for these types of issues. In the commercial world it's a different story and commercial carries must comply with most regs for the state they are currently driving through.
     
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  9. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    What’s the TV ?
     
  10. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    I agree, but I'm not the guy writing the tickets, I'm the guy paying them. All you need is a hotshot cop out there, trying to prove himself, and you're the one stuck paying. There was a posting on the FB today of an OPP cop here pulling over a farm truck that was pulling a hay wagon down the side of a country road here. The cop wrote him a ticket for insecure load (bales of hay), no lights on the trailer, no brakes on the trailer, and no license plate on the trailer. $1900 in fines. At this time of the year, those trailers are all over the place here, driving down the side of the road at 5 mph. This cop was on some kind of mission. Yup, the farmer was in the wrong, but really, that cop could ticket 10 farmers a day if he wanted to, all for the same thing. I hate to say it, but times were easier just 15 short years ago. You can't get away with anything nowadays. In the States I mentioned above, NY and NC need brakes at 1000 lbs., the rest need brakes at 1500 lbs. Original poster could get nabbed if he goes to those States.
     
  11. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    Farmers would never get tickets in Iowa and I am surprised Canada is not the same. They are exempt from nearly all vehicle laws except for lights and slow moving vehicle signs are required.
     
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  12. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    2014 1/2 ton rated 4WD Chevy Silverado pickup. I looked up the trailer laws on the AAA website most require brakes at 2,000 or 3,000 lbs. Mine is about 1750 with the propane tank and battery. We do not carry water.
    I also looked into adding brakes and the cost is prohibitive.

    https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/trailer-brakes/ It looks like NC & NY is the only one needing at 1,000 lbs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  13. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    My pup weight is almost identical to yours. Tundra TV. Didn’t come with breaks and never felt I was needed. Tow all over NW Wyoming over high passes. No worries IMO
     
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  14. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    In complete agreement that you are fine without brakes. BTW it's nice to see a sensible conversation about trailer brakes on the forum.
     
  15. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    It’s early.
     
  16. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    Adding the brakes is a pretty easy DIY and definitely not cost prohibitive. In fact the parts cost is far less than your insurance deductible. I tow about 2250 with a 3/4t GMC van and the difference of before and after was substantial.
     
  17. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    Did you have the brake backing plates already welded on?
     
  18. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Just to be clear, I agree with most on here saying that I think you're probably fine without trailer brakes on that weight of a Pup, but thats just my opinion. And again, I'm not the guy who's writing the tickets, it's his opinion that counts.
    I put brakes on my boat trailer a few years ago. They went on easy, and I bought the whole kit off of e-bay for relatively cheap, $182, complete kit, everything you need (those were 10 x 2.25 inches)(I think most Pups have 7.25 inch brakes). The pre-drilled squares were already on the ends of that axle for the backing plates to bolt on to. If you look at yours, you might be lucky and have them already on as well. I think that having those square plates on there, compared to not having them, might be a deal breaker for me. To get someone to weld the squares on there might be getting a little more involved than what you want to do, I'm just guessing. Take note, that if you do put brakes on there, some States will then also require you to have a breakaway set up on there as well. So you will need a switch and an on board battery for that too.

    And yes, as far as farm vehicles go, I've never seen that before either, (but there's a lot of things I haven't seen). I always thought they were exempt while travelling between farms.
     
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  19. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. If my pup had breaks it would be nice. Saves wear on my truck. I just wouldn’t add them. A wise person told me once “it’s not how much you can tow it’s how much you can stop”. Good
    advice.
     
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  20. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    One benefit of having electric breakers on a trailer is the automatic breaking system, in case the trailer becomes detached from the TV. Although we do not want, and take every precaution against, accidents can and do happen. And can cause serious damage to the trailer and or other vehicles on the road. Granted, the probability could be very small. So it depends how risk tolerable one is. When I was looking for my trailer, I wanted electric breakers, which I have now.
     
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