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Old 01-06-2017, 04:50 PM   #15
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2016 26' Flying Cloud
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Towing without trailer brakes on a trailer that should have brakes is a big danger. Chances are that things will be fine, but.... I was towing my 18' boat a few weeks ago and almost missed my turn. This boat weighs about 1800# and I couldn't believe how long it took to stop and make my turn. So much for the 3/4 ton towing and stopping in an emergency. If I had hit something, the lack of brakes would not have been an issue "legally" because of the size of the trailer. An Airstream would be an entirely different issue.

If you decide to take the risk, be prepared to suffer the consequences. That is your decision.

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Old 01-06-2017, 06:22 PM   #16
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I would take secondary roads as much as possible.

If you tow a trailer without brakes, WD hitch, or sway control on an Interstate will you be OK? probably. Are you increasing the risk of loss of control?, definitely.

If you pull a gutted trailer slower than interstate speed it will be more subject to getting blown around by the bow wave of passing semis.

The factory wiring of a 76 has 3 separate electrical systems: 120 AC, 12v DC interior lights and 12v DC running lights and brakes. The running lights, tail and brake lights and brakes are powered by the tow vehicle, not the trailer battery or converter. However, the umbilical wiring of a 76 will not match up with a modern umbilical plug with out modification. This is where a set of towing lights might help.

Speed is a factor with sway. But not exactly. Sway can get into reciprocating pattern that increases. It is possible to have greater sway at say 40 mph than 75. Factors include wheels and running gear, road conditions, wind and tow vehicle. But things happen a lot faster at 75 than 40 and in any event slow down. You might want to consider a good strategy to deal with the DEATH WALLOW is foot off the accelerator, no hard braking, and TRAILER BRAKES FIRST.

BTW I have a 631 page 1975 page service manual I could give you a good deal on.

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Old 01-06-2017, 06:57 PM   #17
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I had a grooved road set up swaying in my 31' before. Hate grooved roads.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:54 PM   #18
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Well, sometimes we does what we needs to do!
I bought my Airstream in Dover, FL at Bates RV, nearly three hours from my home and it got dark before I got home. The brake controller was not working- had not been activated, the trailer cord was smashed so I had no lights and no brakes and the hitch was WD but not anti-sway. I made it home carefully even in the dark. If you are coming from south FL on I-95 you can probably stay over and drive easy. What you would have to watch are those quick stops.
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:03 PM   #19
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1976 31' Sovereign
Jacksonville , Florida
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Thank you everyone for your reply. I have ordered the anti-sway and weight distribution hitch. I will position the axles mainly over the original axles but slightly forward. I did purchase temporary break light which I will mount to the rear bumper. The tires are brand new and properly inflated. The wheel bearings have been inspected and re-packed. Due to it being gutted, I am not worried about the brake system on the trailer. Thank you all again.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:09 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Andy Moreau View Post
I have a 1976 31' sovereign that needs a new frame built. the frame is intact but does infact need a new one built. I will be towing it about 6 hours up I-95. New tires and repacked bearings. no trailer breaks but the trailer is gutted. I bought new axles that i can either toss in the back of my 2015 RAM 1500 or strap down slightly in front of the axles inside for better weight distribution. also, I don't have a weight distribution and sway bar hitch. Come to find out, when you remove the electrical inverter, the tail lights and electric breaking system no longer work as well.
My questions are:

1) Do I need the sway bars and weight hitch for a gutted rig?

2) How does everyone feel about an experienced driver, with many years towing trailers, towing a gutted airstream (structurally)? it has the interior skins waist up still attached.
How do you feel about it? Have you towed anything without brakes before? I'll admit that I have, many years ago. Stay out of traffic, take it slow. 6 hours without touching the brakes? Done that...
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Andy Moreau View Post
I am not worried about the brake system on the trailer.
I would not let the notion of the trailer being gutted ease my concerns about towing a trailer with no functioning brakes. You may be capable of towing this combo without any issues and likely will, however its the other drivers that often create conditions that may leave you in a precarious position. I've had many instances where a driver pulled out in front of us while towing and had to brake aggressively. One such instance nearly cost me TV and the rig.

Florida law requires functioning brakes on trailers weighing in at >3,000 lbs, or where the trailer weight exceeds 40% of the TV weight when connected to trailer. You may be under this limit, but even at 2,500 lbs you'll need significantly more stopping distance even with a modern TV.

You know your abilities and level of risk acceptance so it is your decision, just be careful and best of luck.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

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Old 01-12-2017, 06:25 AM   #22
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
Hillsborough , North Carolina
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The Best Insurance ...... Having too Much to Lose

Statistics and probabilities = You will have no problem.

But when things do go wrong.
Our Tort system does not work in your favor.

You see the old beat up car going down the highway. And the thought....perhaps that person does not even have insurance, maybe they do not have much in terms of savings....maybe they do not have much to lose.....Wow, the freedom they have....nothing to lose.

Another driver with a life of savings and many assets......Add Prior knowledge of a unsafe and illegal activity before they engaged.....normal insurance that likes to pay out the maximum $100k or whatever the limit of the policy and the insurance company walks away having met their end of the bargain.

Then how the lawyers seem to like tear apart the incident millisecond by millisecond and spread it out over weeks upon weeks of a trial.
The linchpin being the operator knew before they began that day they were in violation of the law. Lawyers harp on that fact. Jurors get emotional.
Then the remainder comes out of the persons life long savings and assets.

It all adds up to:
The Best insurance ...... is having too much to lose.

Sure you will probably be OK. But if something does go wrong, the Lawyers will tear it apart.....And They walk away with a Third!
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:15 AM   #23
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Don't think so

Originally Posted by rvb View Post
2 axles is also an automatic requirement for trailer brakes in Texas.
I know when I was buying a new utility trailer they only added brakes to tandem axle trailers if you wanted them rated for over 3500 lbs.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:04 AM   #24
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Yes, I've driven without connecting the brakes. (on a flatbed trailer). Never had a problem, but all the other cars are out to get you. North of Atlanta, in a pouring rain, a car passed me, saw traffic was stopped, and spun out in front of me. Stopping was squirrelry, the trailer wanted to pass me, but he spun backwards and I went past him. No contact. I also had a large TV, so the tow vehicle was much larger than the trailer.
No more.
I think most states require the brakes be connected, so if you're in an accident, the other guy will make it your fault. (and your insurance might not pay)

Now, if your brakes are set for dry pavement, they may lock up on wet roads or gravel.

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