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Old 03-22-2005, 10:56 AM   #1
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Does my small '58 need brakes and shocks?

Since removing my shell I have finally gotten a good look at at my axle. The original hydraulic brake lines have been cut. I think my system originally had the resevoir on the tongue that helped braking but it has been removed. I am thinking about adding electric brakes but I'm not sure it's necessary. My Bubble is pretty light and I don't currently have any braking problems. Please advise as to any pros/cons of installing electric brakes, also cost if known. My next question is about shocks. There are no shocks currently and I don't think there ever was. Is it necessary to add them or are the leaf springs sufficent for my small Bubble. I just don't want any regrets when I get this thing back together. TIA
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:01 AM   #2
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In some states, you are over the weight limit (1500#) for a 'brakeless' trailer. Most states have a 3000# limit.

Regarding the shocks, leaf springs are designed to provide some damping due to friction between the leaves. As long as you don't grease them, they will provide 'adequate' damping. Whether that is enough can only be answered by taking a ride in the trailer as someone else tows it.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:49 AM   #3
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I would recommend brakes for one simple reason. We live in a litigious society. If you are ever in an accident you might become liable for negligence for not having replaced them since you knew they were once part of the trailer.

For example, if some yahoo stopped short in front of you to make a left turn and you couldn't stop in time, he/she could say if you had proper brakes on the trailer, you might could have avoided the accident. Since you chose not to replace the brakes, you assumed the liability for any accident that might occur as a result of not being able to stop in time to avoid one.

Just my 2 cent.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:24 PM   #4
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Does my small '58 need brakes and shocks?

Greetings 58Bubble~!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 58BUBBLE
Since removing my shell I have finally gotten a good look at at my axle. The original hydraulic brake lines have been cut. I think my system originally had the resevoir on the tongue that helped braking but it has been removed. I am thinking about adding electric brakes but I'm not sure it's necessary. My Bubble is pretty light and I don't currently have any braking problems. Please advise as to any pros/cons of installing electric brakes, also cost if known. My next question is about shocks. There are no shocks currently and I don't think there ever was. Is it necessary to add them or are the leaf springs sufficent for my small Bubble. I just don't want any regrets when I get this thing back together. TIA
I would definitely suggest that you consider installing a modern trailer braking system. In addition to the logic put forth by Minnie's Mate, I would add that having functional trailer brakes can be important if the coach ever begins to sway - - applying the electric trailer brakes while accelerating the tow vehicle (or maintaining its speed) can bring the coach back into line.

While they might not be original to your coach, shocks might be worth considering. Modern driving conditions may expose your coach to conditions not cotemplated when it was built in 1958 - - higher average towing speeds (on freeways in some parts of the country) mean the potential for greater exposure to dangers of road damage such as potholes, broken pavement, etc. - - in some areas even the freeway expansion joints can add a significant amount of suspension activity.

Good luck with your projects!

Kevin
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Old 03-22-2005, 02:26 PM   #5
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Brakes. .... It's a touchy question. Here is a link for tailer brake requirements.

http://www.trailerboats.com/towrating/towingLaws.cfm

And your state has no requirement! It's just that one time that you need them that may be worth all the effort.

I do not buy into if someone were to pull in front of me and then I get sued. Fact is you could get sued no matter what the situation. And if some one pulled in front of me it is actually their fault under most laws. Not maintaining a proper distance is my fault. The 2 second rule is what I have been told. IE pick a point on the road. When the vehicle passes it count for 2 seconds. If I reach it at or after 2 seconds I have the proper distance. Less than that I back off.

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Old 03-22-2005, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action

I do not buy into if someone were to pull in front of me and then I get sued. Fact is you could get sued no matter what the situation. And if some one pulled in front of me it is actually their fault under most laws.
In my home state of Georgia, if you rear end another vehicle under any circumstances it is automatically charged to the driver in the rear that struck the driver in front. That is Georgia State law. No ifs, and, or buts.
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:12 PM   #7
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In AZ if it can be shown that I cut in front of a vehicle and did not allow sufficent space. Especially if I jambed on my brakes after cutting in. A percent of fault up to 100% will be assessed to me as a contributor or the cause of the accident. It is a judgement call by the officer that arrives at the scene. This is called an unsafe lane change.

The same is true for the driver that makes a left turn in front of on coming traffic. This is called failure to yield right of way. Most of the times the person turning left will get charged with a greater percent of at fault in this situation versus the above.

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Old 03-22-2005, 03:29 PM   #8
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You may do well to just replace the whole axel assembly. For the traditional axel like yours it's alot less than the funny new kind. You will never have to worry about the old parts and you could have shocks added. Your TV brakes will thank you also, esp if you run around the Rockies.
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action
Brakes. .... It's a touchy question. Here is a link for tailer brake requirements.

http://www.trailerboats.com/towrating/towingLaws.cfm

And your state has no requirement!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
The state law in Utah is performance based. (Which is what it should be everywhere.)

Utah:
Every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall have a service braking system which will stop the vehicle or combination within 40' from an initial speed of 20mph on level, dry, smooth, hard surface.
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Old 03-22-2005, 05:10 PM   #10
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Performance. What a novel concept! I like that. I'm not sure how you check that when the vehicle is pulled over. And I still like anything that is tied to actual performance. (Like a trailer could have the required braking system and not be hooked up so what's the point of the law?)


If the new axle has provissions for shocks. Won't 58 Bubble have to make provisions for a shock attachment to the frame?

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Old 03-22-2005, 05:45 PM   #11
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Monroe makes a retrofit upper shock mount that can be mounted on just about any frame.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action
The same is true for the driver that makes a left turn in front of on coming traffic. This is called failure to yield right of way. Most of the times the person turning left will get charged with a greater percent of at fault in this situation versus the above.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
In Georgia we have failure to yield the right of way, too. Only the driver failing to yield the right of way gets 100% of the blame, not a percentage.



As for your first scenario, I think you would have a harder time proving that than the other driver would have proving that you intentionally removed part of the original safety equipment, i.e. the trailer's brakes. That's all I'm trying to say.



Jury's do things that you and I don't think make since sometimes. An example: An attorney in my office told me of a case (not in Georgia, thank heavens) in which a man mounted a couple of 2x4's to the bottom edge of the deck of his push mower so he could pick it up and use it to "mow" his hedges. One day it slipped and he was severely injured. Now you and I might say "doh", but the jury said there was no warning from the manufacturer that this might happen if he used the mower in this manner and gave him a BIG settlement when he sued the manufacturer. This is why you now see disclaimers from manufacturers to the effect that it is "unlawful" to use "their" product for any use other than the one that it was intended, or some other statement that they don't accept any liability if you do. True story.
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