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Old 11-21-2013, 03:16 PM   #1
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How many working brakes are OK

I recently purchased a used two axle trailer and during an inspection I noticed that the two rear brake drum hubs were not electrically connected. The wires were just hanging loose and looked as if they had never been connected. I removed the rear hubs to see what I could see. Lo and behold both rear brake plates had a complete self adjusting mechanism, magnets, and shoes. Huh? Are the rear axle brakes supposed to be connected? If not, why are the shoes and self adjusting stuff in there? I know the factory couldn't have forgot to connect the wires. They never forget anything! Thanks in advance for your assistance with this dilemma.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhilley View Post
I recently purchased a used two axle trailer and during an inspection I noticed that the two rear brake drum hubs were not electrically connected. The wires were just hanging loose and looked as if they had never been connected. I removed the rear hubs to see what I could see. Lo and behold both rear brake plates had a complete self adjusting mechanism, magnets, and shoes. Huh? Are the rear axle brakes supposed to be connected? If not, why are the shoes and self adjusting stuff in there? I know the factory couldn't have forgot to connect the wires. They never forget anything! Thanks in advance for your assistance with this dilemma.
It actually depends in part on the state it was first sold in. Some states only require one set of brakes on the trailer, others require working brakes on every tire. So it might have been built to cover all contingencies, with all the brakes, but only one set was connected because in that state that's all that was needed.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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Thank you Mr P from Metairie. Now the question is - do I hook 'em up or leave well enough alone?
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
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I would hook them up. You will stop a lot faster, and much safer also.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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If everything is there and in working order- use it- all of it- it can only make panic stops better and quicker-
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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I never leave well enough alone. I think you need to have all 4 brakes hooked up and working.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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In answer to your original question " How many working brakes are OK" my answer is
one more than you have when you really need them. Not to imply that the former comment regarding some states requiring brakes on only one axel is incorrect it has always been my understanding that if you have them they should be working. I'll bet that there is an engineering response as to weight and stopping distances etc. My vote is
YES they should all be functional.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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No idea why they wouldn't be connected - I think I would certainly be inclined to connect them!

Here's an interesting little story about brakes though!

Our daughter and son in law, seeing how much fun we have with out RV, decided to get one and bought an SOB - around 25' with slide.

They had never towed before and had the dealer set up their SUv to tow it with hitch, brake controller, etc.

They picked up the trailer and went on their first trip from Ontario across some pretty hilly county in Vermont and New Hampshire to Maine and back.

When they got home, they told us that they had a great trip but that the trailer brakes didn't seem to work as well as they expected. (It was their first trailer).

They took the tow vehicle and trailer back to the RV dealer to check this and it turned out that no brake controller had been installed even though it had been paid for!

As you can imagine, the RV dealer very quickly rectified the situation!

Our son in law had no idea that he had no brake controller.

Nothing had been explained to him about the brake controller when he first picked up the new trailer, and he assumed it was just some sort of device they installed under the hood!

Turned out to be a humorous incident but could have been a whole lot worse for our daughter her husband, and their two young girls.

I suggested he should have the tow vehicle brakes checked as well, and it did turn out to be necessary to replace rotors due to overheating.

Now he knows what a brake controller is!

Brian.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #9
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Heck of a way to learn though. Good for them that they had an capable tow vehicle with good brakes.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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To answer OP, ALLL BRRRRAAAAKKKEEESS need to work.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:11 PM   #11
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I would want all brakes working to.

Though someone else posted about getting a used trailer with the brakes on the rear axle not being connected a few months ago.
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