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Old 07-07-2008, 11:18 PM   #1
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1959 18' "Footer"
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Do I need brakes?

Hi there,
Here's a good or silly question, Do I need brakes for my 59 18-footer? I've heard different opinions, even from mechanics, some say it's too light to need brakes, your tow vehicle can handle it, others say going down those mountain passes you'll need brakes. My tow vehicle is a Toyota FJ Cruiser, a bit more than 5000 lbs.

I want to take it to the nearest trailer service place but it's 45 miles away and 30 miles of that is I-70, I haven't taken her over 40mph yet and am a bit nervous!!!

The one thing I have done is had the bearings re-packed and have had new tires put on...

Any thoughts?
Thanks a lot.
Jeph
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:27 PM   #2
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Do I need brakes?

Greetings Jeph!

I don't believe that you would regret the safety afforded by electric brakes on your trailer. My suspicion is that your coach will likely weigh about 2,400 pounds or a bit more when outfitted for a trip -- on the border of where state laws may require trailer brakes.

The trailer brakes would be helpful when descending grades as well as combating sway or yaw should it happen -- apply brakes while gently accellerating will usually straighten the combo. You would also be approaching the situation where your coach weighs approximately 50% of what your tow vehicle weighs -- do you really want to rely upon your tow vehicle's brakes to manage that much additional weight?

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:14 AM   #3
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I would get some electric brakes working on that trailer. You never know when you need to stop quickly. It's worth the price of parts.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:40 AM   #4
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Get brakes.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jephellis View Post
Hi there,
Here's a good or silly question, Do I need brakes for my 59 18-footer? I've heard different opinions, even from mechanics, some say it's too light to need brakes, your tow vehicle can handle it, others say going down those mountain passes you'll need brakes. My tow vehicle is a Toyota FJ Cruiser, a bit more than 5000 lbs.

I want to take it to the nearest trailer service place but it's 45 miles away and 30 miles of that is I-70, I haven't taken her over 40mph yet and am a bit nervous!!!

The one thing I have done is had the bearings re-packed and have had new tires put on...

Any thoughts?
Thanks a lot.
Jeph

I would suggest that you find a different group of advisors.

Towing that trailer without brakes is the same thing as you not having brakes on your tow vvehicle.

Did your advisors tell you that you "MUST" have a load equalizing hitch? If they didn't they should have..

Did you replace the grease seals when the bearings were packed? If not, then that is also a must.

If your nervous about towing, then you can relax, "IF" you rig the trailer to the tow vehicle, correctly.

Correctly, in this case, means facts, not opinions.

Andy
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:23 PM   #6
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Last time I went through Colorado It had a few hills. Brakes come in handy on the down hill side.

Traveling the back roads you will need brakes far more often than traveling on the highway.

Most states have a law that sets the requirement % for a trailer to TV weight ratio that requires brakes on a trailer. That is the point when government gets involved but Good Sense should come into effect before that.

All thing considered get brakes on your trailer
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:20 PM   #7
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I love this forum!

Thanks you all!
I have an appointment this Friday to get the brakes hooked up, should be fun for the mechanics with the mess of wiring I inheireted (sp?).

I also plan to have them install sway bars, I'll do everything else myself but the safety thing should be done by professionals eh?

Thanks for the input!!!!

Jeph
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jephellis View Post
Thanks you all!
I have an appointment this Friday to get the brakes hooked up, should be fun for the mechanics with the mess of wiring I inheireted (sp?).

I also plan to have them install sway bars, I'll do everything else myself but the safety thing should be done by professionals eh?

Thanks for the input!!!!

Jeph
Excellent plan!

Money spent on saftey equipment is always a wise investment.
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