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Old 08-07-2013, 10:22 PM   #1
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Just curious about brakes

A recent thread concerning brakes got me wondering about to have or not to have.
There are a lot of very heavy boats being pulled that outweigh a lot of small cars. I took a look at Google images and selected Boat trailer Images.
I than selected a couple of company's and looked at their trailers.
I was amazed at the capacity's they are without brakes!
Carolina Boat Trailers

Some dolly's have them others don't
Most dolly's I have seen have had little front wheel drive cars on them, a lot lighter than most boat trailer combinations.


Reading some threads on brakes. I got to thinking

People who flat tow,do they have brakes?

Do people who tow Boats and utility trailers do they all have brakes?

Now I am going to ask one more thing, Now I understand up the ying yang about weight transfer coefficient of metal and fiber and all the other stuff that I can't change.
I have a vehicle inspection license and have been tech.ed up the wazoo.
My question is Is there a cutoff between having brakes and not having brakes?
Canadian laws are differant and just as confuseing as our neighbor to the South. It just seems like a free for all.
SHEAR MADNESS
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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In Wisconsin and many other states if your trailer or whatever you're towing weighs more than 1500lbs it must have brakes. Some states the limit is 3000lbs and there are a few states where no brakes are required.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:34 AM   #3
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It is a wise thing to do.

Check this out
Auxillary Braking for Towed car Or Not - Need Opinions
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I read the link also.
I agree with having brakes.
But surely it is a dogs breakfast when it comes to the laws.
Any comments on what your towing with or without brakes?

British Columbia has a lot of different rules than Alberta. Wisconsin must be differant than other states.

I guess if you travel you have to find out the most stringent rules for the area. Comply with those rules and your safe wherever you go.
At least till the LAWYERS get involved.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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I think you will find that many, or even most heavy boat trailers and utility trailers have surge brakes if they do not have the prodigy type installed. If you ever tow your car 4 down, as Many of us do, test the stopping distance without brakes and then with them and you will quickly be sold on the value.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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Lots of different aux braking systems available.

We use our ALWAYS.

Be safe. Dont leave home without one. You will appreciate the shorter stopping distance in a panic situation.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckiest Dreamer View Post
I think you will find that many, or even most heavy boat trailers and utility trailers have surge brakes if they do not have the prodigy type installed. If you ever tow your car 4 down, as Many of us do, test the stopping distance without brakes and then with them and you will quickly be sold on the value.
Wrong check the website I attached.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
Lots of different aux braking systems available.

We use our ALWAYS.

Be safe. Dont leave home without one. You will appreciate the shorter stopping distance in a panic situation.
What are you towing?
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narampa View Post

What are you towing?
Wrangler.

Your Fiat Spider is about 2300 lbs I think. Plus your dolly. Does the dolly have brakes?
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:46 PM   #10
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I usually find that when reasons to not do something - like have a safety feature - turn on saving a few dollars (and because some do or don't), the wise man spends the money. This could be a properly sized tow vehicle, brake controller, or a brake system for a toad. $1,000's of dollars spent for a rig, more thousands for a toad, and then stop short (pun intended) at one more $K (or less) to stop it all as safely as possible?

I know that your drivers license is good anywhere you drive in US. I'm not sure supplemental brakes are the same. Foggy on this one - don't you have to have brakes if driving in a state that requires them, even if your state of registration does not (like triple towing and maximum combined lengths)?

Either way - all that money - all that weight - why not be set up for safety? When put in relative perspective, it's pretty inexpensive and not really worth burning brain cells over.
Your money - YMMV - JMHO
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #11
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If you search on "physics brake" you will find about a 99% opinion of "just buy the aux brakes".

Which way are you leaning?
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #12
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If you travel into a state that requires them then you also have to have them. There is no reciprocity on equipment regulations like there is on drivers licenses.
Some states go by weight, some go by a "performance spec" (stop in XX ft. from XX mph and you don't need them), CA, OR and WA are this way when towing a motorized vehicle. For non-motorized trailers it's different.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:33 PM   #13
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^^ Mr D. I recalled it along those lines as well. I figured why spend the few brain cells I have left maneuvering around laws and just get the brakes.

Note on my above post and burning brain cells. I committed the spelling error on brakes - but went back and corrected it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narampa View Post
Wrong check the website I attached.
The first 3 trailers shown on the website you linked all have surge break actuators clearly visible on the tongue of the trailers. The trailers that follow are for pontoon boats and much lighter boats. They may or not have brakes, can't tell from the photos.
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