Trailer brakes required?

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Trailer brakes required?

Postby 7sparky7 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:55 pm

I’m still doing the research before I purchase my cargo trailer to convert. I saw a listing of all state requirements for trailer brakes and it looks like a few require trailer brakes no matter what size trailer. Does everyone have trailer brakes or just avoid those states or do the few states that have laws like that just not enforce them for small trailers?

http://www.karavantrailers.com/brakes/Brakes.xlsx
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby Dale M. » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:50 am

The brake requirement is only enforced in states that require them... If you have trailer without brake and are traveling in a state that requires them I seriously doubt it's going to be a problem if you are stopped buy local law if you are from out of state.... And why would you want trailer without brakes...

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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby MtnDon » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:57 am

I would not have a cargo trailer, converted or not, w/o brakes no matter the law in the state I registered. I have towed trailers that were brakeless and legal but brakes make stopping so much better and downhills of much less concern.
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby 7sparky7 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:04 am

Thanks for the replies! I’m definitely a newbie and since the 6 x 12 cargo trailer I’m looking at is sold standard without brakes I was assuming that was normal. I will definitely be upgrading to brakes!

Any other recommendations to include if I order this trailer from the factory?

http://www.fthr.com/products/commercial ... ty-trailer
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby MtnDon » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:34 pm

Order it with, or add, self adjusting brakes. Otherwise it is a PITA to jack a wheel, crawl under and DIY or pay someone.
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
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby elcam84 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:38 pm

Like mentioned I would not have one without brakes. That said your home state laws apply to your trailer when you are traveling. Just like states that dont require a trailer plate you dont need one in a state that does require it but there is the added hassle factor as many officers don't know how the laws work.
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby John61CT » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:43 pm

A super light trailer with a nice robust TV does not need brakes, some states are overly cautious.

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But **cargo** trailers are a different story, especially converted to live in or hauling heavy toys.
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby 7sparky7 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:54 am

Thanks all!
I will definitely be getting brakes on it when I order it!
And self adjusting.


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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby HarryL » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:14 am

In New York State, if the trailer is over 1,000, it must have trailer brakes. Wouldn't tow without it. If the brakes are set up right, the trailer brakes engage just a few seconds before the tow vehicle. So when doing a panic stop, you have less chance of fish tailing and loss of control.
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby John61CT » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:31 pm

That better be milliseconds, not whole seconds.
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby MtnDon » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:39 pm

HarryL wrote: If the brakes are set up right, the trailer brakes engage just a few seconds before the tow vehicle.


Are you sure about that? How does that work? The sensors are not so sensitive that they apply trailer brakes as soon as you lift off the throttle.

My electric brake controllers are of the proportional variety. A proportional brake controller senses when and how your tow vehicle brakes by means of an accelerometer or an internal inertia-based sensor. The accelerometer or sensor responds to the deceleration of the tow vehicle as you brake by signaling the controller to send out enough power to your trailer brakes so that they are activated with an intensity that matches. The result is uniform braking across your towing setup. No push-pull action - just smooth, proportional braking every time.
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
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby Dale M. » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:45 am

HarryL wrote:In New York State, if the trailer is over 1,000, it must have trailer brakes. Wouldn't tow without it. If the brakes are set up right, the trailer brakes engage just a few seconds before the tow vehicle. So when doing a panic stop, you have less chance of fish tailing and loss of control.


How does that work... Never seen it in the real world...

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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby HarryL » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:31 pm

I apologize, that I misspoke and gave incorrect information. :oops: Obviously you all are correct. The brake controller senses the deceleration and applies the trailer brakes accordingly. A strong boost setting makes it "feel" as if the trailer brakes are being activated first. Not the case, but that's the sensation I get.
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby Gladtobehere » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:55 pm

Trailer brakes are triggered by the Tow Vehicle brake lights. The propotional controller cost more but provides a smoother overall operation. The Time Delay controller while cheaper applies a user assigned brake voltage a few milliseconds after the TV brakes are applied. They work but tend to create more noise at the draw bar and hitch.

I, prefer the proportional controller. Wouldn't leave home without one.
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Re: Trailer brakes required?

Postby friz » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:58 pm

1000 lbs seems to be a realistic number. My camper is 500 lbs empty and I start noticing it requires more force to stop when i have it loaded to camp. I would say a 1000 lbs would be my personal comfort limit.
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