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Old 06-20-2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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electric brakes on ford escape?

We recently bought a flagstaff 228 popup (dry weight 2100 lbs) and towed it to the lake with our 2009 ford escape v6 - gvw 3500 lbs.. Even though it was loaded with us and our 3 grandkids, food, gear etc. (probably around 3100 total lbs) it pulled great. We even went up and down some pretty good grades (we live in the central part of north carolina). We've heard that you should have electric brakes installed in your tow vehicle if you go up in the mountains, esp. for going downhill. I didn't notice any problems towing the flagstaff downhill, even on some long downhill grades. Do you think I need the electric brakes?
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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On a Ford Escape, I would certianly have electric brakes on your pop up. What does the Ford book say about brake requirements when towing. I bet the limit is 1500# for an unbraked trailer.

Ken
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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Here in NY they are required for any trailer over 1000 lbs dry weight, or 3000 lbs actual...

Check your state here or better yet your local DMV.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:33 PM   #4
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Here in NY they are required for any trailer over 1000 lbs dry weight, or 3000 lbs actual...

Check your state here or better yet your local DMV.
And again, another chart that is wrong for at least WA and OR. That puts all the others in question too.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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And again, another chart that is wrong for at least WA and OR. That puts all the others in question too.
That's why I suggested that you check with your local DMV - most of the charts get outdated...
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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My 2001 Palomino has brakes and while they will not lock up or drag my vehicle to a stop quickly as big trailers can (but should not), the brakes have value so I installed an electric brake unit. When we are fully loaded and I hit the brakes, it is nice to know the trailer is not pushing us (into intersections) and making it harder on the vehicle brakes.

I recently purchased a 2011 Escape and installed a electric brake unit on it. I did it myself and it worked out well. The Escape is not pre-wired for brakes and refrigeration power so you have to wire from front to back.

Also, the Ford Escape is rated at 3500 lbs of towing capacity (if you purchase the factory installed towing package), but once you read the owner's manual for the details the Escape has to be 100% empty except for the weight of one body - the driver. All the more reason to make use of the trailer brakes.


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Old 07-16-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
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That's why I suggested that you check with your local DMV - most of the charts get outdated...
But that only tells you (if you're lucky and get a knowledgable person) what is required in your home state, not what is required in the other states you plan on driving through or visiting. You must be legal in EVERY jurisdiction you go into, not just your home state as there's no reciprocity on safety equipment.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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It is better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. If you look at towing capacity for the same vehicle in the EU vs US you will note that it is higher in the EU as trailers must have brakes there.
What happens if you need to make an emergency stop and the trailer decides to pass you/jacknife, or bad weather...
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:23 PM   #9
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There are two or three sets of laws.

Criminal/Traffic law varies from place to place, and at 2100 pounds, Some say yes, some say no, I can't say less you live in Michigan what yours says.

Physics says: If all wheels are braking, then your skid distance in a panic stop is the same as mine, or the next guy's, or the person in front of you ON ANY GIVEN SET OF ROAD CONDITIONS

(That is I might skid farther or less, but on the very same streatch of road within 5 seconds of each other, Same distance.. Vehicle size really does not matter SO LONG AS ALL BRAKES LOCK.

However, if you have a trailer with no brakes,,, It can add to the total stopping distance big time . US-Gear for motor homes towing a car says "Up to 30%" in your case I'm thinking double.

The formula with all wheels braking Speed^2*K (Where K is determined by the road at the time)

With only some wheels braking, It is very long and complex.

The third set of laws is civil liability: Think "Reckless Endangerment" and how rich can you make the guy you rear ended... OUCH big time, even if there is no injury.
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