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Old 03-06-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Towing Laws

Hi everyone,

I'm not sure that this is the right place to ask this question or not.I am planning a trip and will be going through a number of states and possibly some Canadian provences. I have noticed that a lot of place require trailer breaks at weights that are less than what is required in my home state. I have a 2006 Bambi 19 foot Safari that does have breaks of course but my boat trailer doesn't. If I decide to take my boat and not my Airstream will I need to put breaks on that trailer? If I will need to add breaks what do I need to keep in mind when doing this?

Thanks for your help.


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Old 03-07-2008, 01:59 AM   #2
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Cool Brakes can only help

I've gotten complete electric brake kits on ebay for under $250 including delivery. We're talking hubs, drums, loaded backing plates, wiring, breakaway, everything. Installation is easier than some regular brake jobs on a car! I've used them on SOBs with solid axles; I'm pretty sure there are kits that work on the swing axles, they even sell the weld-on flange if you need it.
Law or not, I want my trailers over-braked, not under. On a cross country trip like you describe, there are sure to be times you will be glad to have the brakes. Sudden traffic stop on an 8% downgrade, anyone? Sway you never experienced before, provoked by a cresting hill/semi passing scenario maybe?
You won't regret having brakes. The opposite is almost certain if you travel at all.

It seems I love the mountains and deserts more than my friends do. I sure miss them!

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Old 03-07-2008, 03:56 AM   #3
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Hi Flyguy;
If you decide to install the brakes on your boat trailer be sure they are SURGE brakes, not electric. You will be in the water. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:12 AM   #4
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Actually you can back electric brakes into the water without a problem. We have been doing for years. Electric brakes are much more positive than Surge Brakes.
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:00 PM   #5
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In BC, I believe all towed vehicles, including boat trailers, need brakes at about 3,400 lbs. It's been awhile since I looked into it, but it's in that area (of course it's in kilograms here!). I doubt any highway patrol officer would notice that you're a few pounds over the limit if it's a standard-looking set-up. But if you have a triple axle trailer with a thirty foot yacht and no brakes, you're going to get noticed!

If I can find the actual number, I will post again.

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Old 03-28-2008, 08:26 PM   #6
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If it's under 3,000#, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:50 PM   #7
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If you go to the Towingworld website, there is a reciprocity column at the very end. I can't speak to the accuracy, but I believe if your home State has reciprocity, then you are good in other States and Provinces with reciprocity. (That's if you are legal in your home state)
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:21 AM   #8
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Reciprocity is there for liability insurance, but I'm not sure that it works for highway regulations. As an example, in Alberta, the highway regs allow for a "B train" trailer arrangement (of limited length), but in BC the regs prohibit it. More than one Albertan has had his summer holidays turned upside down by having to unhitch one towed unit at the border. On the other hand, Alberta only requires a rear licence plate while BC requires both--Albertans are not ticketed in BC because of that difference in the law. So, better to inform yourself before you get there to avoid nasty surprises.
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by moosetags
If it's under 3,000#, I wouldn't worry about it.
That would depend on what you have to stop it. What Tow vehicle are youusing for your trip. With my F-250 I would not worry around it. A F-150 maybe, a Ranger, Yes brakes abound!

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