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Old 09-30-2016, 07:26 PM   #1
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Trailer dealer said no brakes necessary?? Also, question about dual axle.

Is that true? So, just happen to stop by a trailer dealer today in my area so that I can do a little research on buying a flatbed. I have NO experience with flatbed trailers. My only experience was my ski boat, single axle trailer. I was hoping to just get a few questions answered. One question I had was about trailer brakes. He said that it's not necessary for an RV. I asked about mountains and things of that nature, and again he said it wasn't necessary. Was he right?

That same dealer made another claim. He said that if you have a dual axle trailer, that it can't be moved by hand except in a straight line direction. Is that true? My concern is that once I start hauling my car with me that I won't be able to move it once I unload the car and have to unhitch the trailer to get into a park or CG spot.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:35 PM   #2
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A while back I was looking at some aluminum flatbed trailers to haul my Triumph Spitfire on. They did not have brakes, but were an option.
I think you'd have difficulty moving a tandem axle trailer by hand as it would seem the axles would work against each other?
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
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Tell the trailer dealer BS!!
Brakes on trailers are required in many states and you have to be legal in every state you travel into.
Besides, there are no denying the laws of physics. Just as it takes more power to move a heavier rig, it also takes more braking force to stop it.
Do yourself, and everyone else, a favor and get brakes on the trailer.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:39 PM   #4
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1 find a dealer that knows more about motor homes. Towing laws and physics don't change with the tow vehicle.

2 it's harder to swing a dual axle by hand. Not saying whether or not you can do it as a lot depends on you. OTOH I put a hitch on my towed so I can use it to move the dolly. I also carry a come along and a tow strap for the same reason.
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:50 PM   #5
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You live in Florida. Towing laws say brakes are required if the gross weight of the towed vehicle is over 3,000. We don't know how heavy the car you intend to tow is but if it plus the weight of the trailer is over 3,000 you must have brakes on it. As far as a dual axle trailer, true, it would be difficult to man handle it other than in a straight line since while turning 2 of the tires will have to slide sideways. Are you looking to tow a car behind your MH? Why not look for a tow dolly. It is single axle, reasonably easy to move around unhooked, nothing on it. You could test one out by renting one from U-Haul or some other trailer rental business to see if it would work for you. If you have a front wheel drive car it would work fine. Some dollies have surge brakes so no power is required to operate them (other than lights on the dolly and possibly hooked up to the car's tail lights. You may want to current state towing laws as the information I have may be out of date. I live in Georgia and anything over 1500# has to have brakes, towing laws are different in every state but you only have to comply with the state the vehicle is registered in.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:08 PM   #6
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In Texas, any trailer with as GVW of 4,500 pounds or more (that's the carrying weight combined with the weight of the trailer) is required to have brakes. They have to be inspected every year now to get license renewals.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:09 PM   #7
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This link may help........

Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle

In Texas anything over 4500 lbs has to have brakes on at least one axle (rear axle if tandem) or is limited to 30mph. Once you get to 15000lbs you have to have brakes on all axles....This just changed a few years ago and they are enforcing it and the inspection/registration laws.

Hope this helps......
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:42 PM   #8
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According to the Brake Buddy link the GA law has changed. It appears most states are requiring brakes for a gross weight over 3,000#. A few exceptions, Texas appears to have the biggest weight at 4,000#, probably affected by the oil and cattle industries.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:29 AM   #9
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Correct, it is much harder. I have a double axle car trailer and use a scheme where the trailer tongue is raised as far as my floor jack will extend, then attach two home made "retention brackets" to the back axle. When the trailer tongue is lowered, the brackets raise the rear axle off of the ground and I can easily turn the trailer by hand. I also made a "Trailer Dolly" made from the power unit and axle from a motorized wheelchair. I plug this in to the motorhome house batteries, and move the car trailer around the driveway.

Also, a Featherlite car trailer with rubber suspension will raise the rear axle when the tongue is lowered almost to ground level. I was able to do this, until the weight of an added cargo box eliminated this feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
..... it's harder to swing a dual axle by hand....
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:24 AM   #10
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In New York State a trailer over 3000# GVW must have brakes on at least 1 axle. ( I own and operate a NYS Inspection station)
When I ordered my new Snowmobile trailer which is a 24' V Nose trailer which carries 4 sleds and a lot of tools, parts and gear for the race sleds I opted for brakes on both axles instead of brakes on only 1 axle which was standard equipment.
I pull the trailer with my Chevy Suburban which will seat up to 9 people and carries gear also. If I have to stop suddenly for some reason I want to be able to. I am running a combined weight of around 12,000#!
Living in the north country I can't imagine slamming on the tow vehicle brakes on an ice covered road without good sound trailer brakes assisting the stopping. I prefer to keep the tow vehicle ahead of the towed vehicle.
I never leave the driveway without testing the brakes to be sure they are working properly.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:06 AM   #11
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Thanks for the helpful information. My towed vehicle can only be towed on a flatbed unfortunately. Also, the vehicle alone is about 3700 lbs. so it sounds like brakes are a must (which is why I was a little confused by this dealer claim, and thus this question here).

Hadn't thought about a trailer dolly as a way to move the trailer. At this point, that may or may not be premature since I haven't actually had to do any manuevering yet, but as I experience more use with it when I get it, it's a good option to know.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:47 AM   #12
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I bet if you asked that salesperson to put that in writing, they would change their opinion. At least you had enough sense to challenge it. Can you imaging pulling out of the dealership with another customer pulling a trailer following you?
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunt n Fish View Post
This link may help........

Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle

In Texas anything over 4500 lbs has to have brakes on at least one axle (rear axle if tandem) or is limited to 30mph. Once you get to 15000lbs you have to have brakes on all axles....This just changed a few years ago and they are enforcing it and the inspection/registration laws.

Hope this helps......
That site is OK to answer the OP's question, but it's NOT valid for towing a motorized vehicle four down as they suggest. Some states (at least WA, OR and CA) have different laws for motorized vehicle towing than trailer towing.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playtime III View Post
I bet if you asked that salesperson to put that in writing, they would change their opinion. At least you had enough sense to challenge it. Can you imaging pulling out of the dealership with another customer pulling a trailer following you?
In writing and have the dealership owner sign as a witness.
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