Small trailer with brakes?

Ask questions about Harbor Freight trailers, or questions about building your own...

Small trailer with brakes?

Postby steepski » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:36 pm

I'm starting to do some planning for a small foamie teardrop trailer. My tow vehicle is fairly small, so I'm looking at using a small trailer as the base, something in the 1,000-2000 lb weight range. The 4x8 Harbor Freight trailer would work well, I think. However, since I have a smaller tow vehicle (2013 subaru impreza), and plan on using the trailer in the snow, i'd like to have a trailer with brakes.

Does anyone have any suggestions on any small trailers out there that have brakes (or brake flanges), or alternatively, low-weight axles that have brakes? It seems all the ones I can find are in the 3,500 lb + range, and are probably too heavy duty (and also expensive). Of course, something that wasn't too expensive would be ideal.
steepski
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:21 am

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby KennethW » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:40 pm

You may want to rent a trailer of equal weight and see how it handles and brakes for you. If you build light and keep your heaver gear in you car, I see no need for trailer brakes. On a super light trailer there is a good chance on a hard brake you will lockup the trailer tire and the lockup tires will cause the trailer to jackknife. Just my opinion!
KennethW
500 Club
 
Posts: 959
Images: 80
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby S. Heisley » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:36 pm

I tried looking online to see how much a 2013 Subaru Impreza would stop and could not find much. I am hoping you have the user manual for yours. If you look in the Brakes section, it should tell you how much weight your car will stop when towing. If there's a towing section, that area may tell you how much you can tow, which is not the same as stop. Then again, if they don't want you towing, it may not tell you anything.

I did find this, quoted below, here: http://www.cars101.com/towing.html

Subaru does not supply trailer hitches for all models. The factory hitch is a class 1, 1 1/4" (1.25"). 2" hitch is not available from the factory.

Note: trailers must have brakes, without brakes lower the capacity below to half or less.
Serious about towing? Get a transmission cooler for the automatic transmission. Be careful not to slip a manual transmission.


The website looks like it was last updated a long time ago as the latest Subaru Impreza was a 2011.

Impreza
Subaru doesn't supply hitches for the sedans or recommend towing and so it is not suggested or recommended and there is no offficial approval. Warranty could be affected by any towing.
Any automatic should be able to tow 1-2000 pounds, with trailer brakes. A trans cooler is always a good idea.
2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 automatic trans 2000lbs manual 1000lbs
2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 1997, 1996 1500#


The above reads as though the transmission is as much a problem as the brakes are, as they mention the cooler twice. :thinking:

I'm guessing that's why you're asking about brakes. If you do decide to build, I would make that build as light as possible. If you look at the thread found here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=56787&p=1027920#p1027920 you will see that the weight of the teardrop is heavily dependent upon the builder. If you'd prefer a graph, look here: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=60392

Other than that....Maybe someone with a similar tow vehicle will chime in.
User avatar
S. Heisley
Super Lifetime Member
 
Posts: 8083
Images: 488
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:02 am
Location: No. California
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby Nobody » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:03 pm

If you build your own (or have it built) trailer, you can order a Dexter 2K# torsion axle with 7" electric brakes, in a trailing arm configuration. You can even have the axle 'de-rated' to a lower weight for milder flex, & put on any size wheels/tires you want...
Harvey -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Doing the right thing ain't always easy but, . . . it's always right!
User avatar
Nobody
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1197
Images: 342
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: Benton, Arkansas
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby MtnDon » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:10 pm

The reason most trailers you find with brakes have gross weights in the 3500 lb. range is that is where the rules in most states begin to make brakes mandatory. Brakes on even a light trailer are nice when the TV is also lightweight.

You can add brakes to many trailer axles, however there is a good chance the HF axles are not made with adding brakes in mind. I don't know for certain but would not be surprised. The brakes need a mounting flange that is perfectly concentric with the axle and welded to the axle. There has to be a flange with 4 holes for the brake backing plate to be bolted to. Sometimes a shop can weld them to an existing axle.
Our 6x12 deep vee nose cargo trailer camper conversion... viewtopic.php?f=42&t=58336

We have a small off grid cabin we built ourselves in the NM mountains; small PV solar system; 624 watts PV, Outback CC & inverter/charger ... http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2335.0
User avatar
MtnDon
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1942
Images: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: New Mexico
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby steepski » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:12 am

Thanks for all the reply's. You guys are great! That graph of the trailer weights is super interesting.

The car is a manual transmission. From some googling, towing capacity for the impreza is 1400 lbs with brakes, and 650 lbs without brakes. Max tongue weight of 140 lbs. I got that from here: http://www.subaru.com.au/car-advice/knowing-your-towing-capacity

I'm only in the initial stages of planning my trailer, but I'm going to make it a foamie, and try to keep it pretty simple. I'm hoping to get a final weight below 1,000 lbs. I don't think I'll be able to get it down to 650 lbs though, so it seems brakes might be necessary. Have any of you guys had any success estimating your trailer weight before you built it?

I found this axle that has brake flanges, and is only 2,500 lbs. seems like the lowest weight axle I've been able to find that has brake flanges.http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200648952_200648952
steepski
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:21 am
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby GuitarPhotog » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:26 pm

Keep in mind that you will have to add a brake controller to your tow vehicle if you want the trailer brakes to work. You might see how much work is required at that end before investing a bunch in the trailer end.

<Chas>
:beer:
GuitarPhotog
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 1668
Images: 55
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:52 pm
Location: Grants Pass Oregon
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby DrewsBrews » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:48 pm

GVWR of the 2013 Impreza is 4299lbs. So technically, as far as I'm concerned, the brakes should be able to handle stopping 4299lbs.

Highest curb weight configuration Impreza of that year is 3054lbs.

So you have 1245lbs to play with (including passengers and gear) before being too incredibly concerned.

I am reading between the lines a bit on the specification, but seems logical to me :thinking:
DrewsBrews
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:00 pm
Location: SW Ohio
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby greygoos » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:35 pm

I bought my axle from R and P carriages on ebay. It is rated for 2000 pounds and has flanges welded on for brakes as well as hubs.. If I am not mistaken it was about 125.00 delivered.
greygoos
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:15 am
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby alaska teardrop » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:47 am

Nobody wrote:If you build your own (or have it built) trailer, you can order a Dexter 2K# torsion axle with 7" electric brakes, in a trailing arm configuration. You can even have the axle 'de-rated' to a lower weight for milder flex, & put on any size wheels/tires you want...


Steep, Dexter also makes the #8 torsion axle with brakes for loads up to 1200 pounds. Its lighter weight than the #9.

And here is a design for a lightweight chassis: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=12220

Good luck, Fred
Northern Lite Traveler design: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991
User avatar
alaska teardrop
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 1069
Images: 172
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Greenville, Michigan
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby steepski » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:02 pm

The dexter stuff sounds interesting. Do you guys know somewhere I could find that stuff online?
steepski
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:21 am
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby Nobody » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:47 pm

Google Dexter Axle...
Harvey -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Doing the right thing ain't always easy but, . . . it's always right!
User avatar
Nobody
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1197
Images: 342
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: Benton, Arkansas
Top

Re: Small trailer with brakes?

Postby SamIAm » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:31 am

Hi Steepski,
I am looking at a teardrop as well, and have the same TV, albeit with the CVT. There are some great hitches for the Impreza that are perfectly hid behind (not below) the bumper, for a very clean look when not towing.
http://torkliftcentral.com/2012-2016-su ... tch-invisi
The tow ratings in the source you indicated are noted are in KG, not in lbs, so multiply by 2.2, and you get the pounds. 1400 unbraked, 2600 braked, so in reality you could technically get away with no brakes if your build was in the 1000lb range, though personally I would want brakes on my trailer with a smaller TV -a few extra pounds for a lot of extra peace of mind. I am planning on a foamie build in the 5x10 range, with the interior height maxing out at 56 inches- wide enough inside for a queen mattress, but not so wide so all I see is trailer in the mirrors, which, besides being illegal, is a very bad idea. I have a rough design based on the chassis design linked to by Alaska Teardrop, but I would only recommend that design if you are proficient at welding or know someone who is (for me, my dad is a journeyman welder, so I'm good there). I will have all next summer off, so I am hoping to have it constructed by then for some nice camping with the family over the summer, and then hopefully a nice portable hunting blind in the fall. Good Luck with your plans and your build.
SamIAm
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 18
Images: 1
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 3:52 am
Top


Return to Trailer and Chassis Secrets

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest