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Old 03-04-2013, 02:22 PM   #29
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1969 18' Caravel
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We will be primarily towing it with my Ford Explorer. When it was purchased we had the extra towing package put on it. We also have an older Ford Expedition, but I would be more concerned about it making the trip than the airstream! We purchased the Caravel in South Carolina but we will register it in GA before taking off on a trip...so I guess we will really be looking at Georgia towing laws and regulations.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #30
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Thanks for mentioning the rallies. We would love to attend one and have the chance to soak up some great advice. I would have to say that if I told my husband I was going to do the work on the brakes myself he would die laughing! I tend to be a bit more of the design and decor girl than brakes and wheels! However, I have been handling the leaks and sealant so who knows what's next!
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #31
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I am not sure all states follow the home state rules.
I understand that in California if you are pulling a TOAD behind a MH. The TOAD must have a brake Mechanism controlled by the MH. Or you cannot enter the state. My state does not require it.
I would expect that a functioning break away switch is required in CA.
Someone else can chime in here.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:02 PM   #32
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1800 pounds is not a big load. However an Explorer can have a towing package and not be able to tow much. All the towing package from the factory meant is the vehicle has heavier cooling system, turn signal flasher, larger alternator and a few items like that. It does not mean the vehicle is equipped to tow. That require a axle ratio for the job.

This will depend on the year. As an example a 2008 Explorer with either a V-6 or V-8 and a 3.55 axle ratio is only good for a 3500 # towed load.

Change to a V-8 with a 3.73 axle ratio and 4X2 the towing capacity is 7310 pounds.

Towing package is required for all configurations.

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Old 03-04-2013, 03:09 PM   #33
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And other concerns......

#1 sometimes you run into a situation where you will want to apply JUST the trailer brakes ( When you are braking on a curve in the road. The trailer can push the tow vehicle around ) read up on this.

#2 If your trailer goes into oscillating sway, applying just trailer brakes can help you get out of it

#3 You run the risk of ruining your tow vehicles rotors if you put too much strain on tow vehicle brakes.

Bottom line....Brakes and a controller ( The forum has lots of threads on controllers ) I use a Prodigy brake controller.

Sorry...just looking out for you.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:19 PM   #34
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Check the trailer towing laws in the state where the trailer is registered (or if it's not registered yet because you just bought it, the state in which your tow vehicle is registered). I mention this because if you're legal for your home state, then you're legal for anywhere else, even if the state you're visiting has laws that are more stringent.

No matter what state you're driving in, the trailer brake requirements are those of the state of registry.

In Georgia, where the original poster lives, the trailer towing laws that I've found are thus:
Safety chains are required.
A breakaway switch is NOT required.
Maximum speed while towing is 55 mph (like THAT has ever slowed anyone down!).
Vehicle headlights must be ON while towing, regardless of time of day.
Trailer taillights on while towing.
Trailer brakes required if GVWR (not curb weight) of trailer is over 3000 pounds. Brakes required on ALL wheels.
No one riding in trailer while it's towed.
My owners manual says trailer breaks are required with a trailer over 2000lbs, would this make a difference with the laws?
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:15 PM   #35
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Just for the record. I can spell! Just noticed that I had breaks instead of brakes. Maybe I just need a break in this process!
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #36
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Just for the record. I can spell! Just noticed that I had breaks instead of brakes. Maybe I just need a break in this process!
Hmm me to maybe it's contagious.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:22 PM   #37
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Braking my caravel

My first few trips I took with my Caravel were without brakes but, I did not know. The last trip I took w/o brakes was South from Fort Bragg along the California's rugged Northern coast on Hwy. 1. Just as we came to a cliff side overlook my wife asked "whats that smell?" so I pulled over. My chevy 1500 with tow package had its brakes smoking. We waiting about an hour for things to cool down, then I carefully and slowly continued on. After safely making it home I called my mechanic cousin and told him about my close call. He asked what kind of brake controller I had. I said, "I don't know, what's that?" Being a newbie I had never towed a trailer before and didn't know that even having a truck with a tow package that you still need to add a brake controller. My cousin then came over checked my brakes helped me install a brake controller and taught me a valuable lesson, (NO BRAKES NO TOW!)
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:16 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I am not sure all states follow the home state rules.
I understand that in California if you are pulling a TOAD behind a MH. The TOAD must have a brake Mechanism controlled by the MH. Or you cannot enter the state. My state does not require it.
I would expect that a functioning break away switch is required in CA.
Someone else can chime in here.
You are correct sir. But you CAN enter this state by foot, without any restrictions as long as you are carrying a bale of plant based "medicine" on your back.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:23 AM   #39
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My first few trips I took with my Caravel were without brakes but, I did not know. The last trip I took w/o brakes was South from Fort Bragg along the California's rugged Northern coast on Hwy. 1. Just as we came to a cliff side overlook my wife asked "whats that smell?" so I pulled over. My chevy 1500 with tow package had its brakes smoking. We waiting about an hour for things to cool down, then I carefully and slowly continued on. After safely making it home I called my mechanic cousin and told him about my close call. He asked what kind of brake controller I had. I said, "I don't know, what's that?" Being a newbie I had never towed a trailer before and didn't know that even having a truck with a tow package that you still need to add a brake controller. My cousin then came over checked my brakes helped me install a brake controller and taught me a valuable lesson, (NO BRAKES NO TOW!)
You dodged a trip into the ocean in that story...whew! I regularly rent that ginormous tiller on a trailer from Home Depot...no suspension on that 2 wheeled trailer, and no brakes. To make matters worse, my truck is lifted so I can't see it behind me. Except...the time I hit a series of whoopsiedoos on a rural road at 45mph...boy could I see that tiller and trailer then...above my tailgate! Looked like a kid on a pogostick.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:53 AM   #40
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brake controller

So I am guessing this is something I add to my vehicle and not the trailer? Any clue how much it costs? Are you still towing the Caravel without brakes?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:55 AM   #41
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So I am guessing this is something I add to my vehicle and not the trailer? Any clue how much it costs? Are you still towing the Caravel without brakes?
Yes...to the truck. They range in price from $25-$150. You can get them al Wal-Mart, or any fine retail or online establishment. The Prodigy is a favorite among Airstreamers
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:21 AM   #42
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Yes...to the truck. They range in price from $25-$150. You can get them al Wal-Mart, or any fine retail or online establishment. The Prodigy is a favorite among Airstreamers
My need some wiring as well, if your tow vehicle doesn't already have a seven-pin connector.
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