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Old 02-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #101
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Adding brakes to a trailer is very simple. If you find a deal on a trailer without brakes or only a single axle, do it. Cost me less than 200 bucks for the kit and breakaway battery.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:55 PM   #102
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Note also that they are available with brakes on both axles or on just one. Mine only has brakes on one axle, which hasn't been a problem, but were I doing it over again I'd probably look for one with brakes on both.

--Ian
In Washington if the trailer and it's contents is more than 40% of the weight of the tow vehicle it needs brakes on all axles to be legal. It cost about $100 in bolt on parts to add brakes to your second axle from what I have found.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:56 PM   #103
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Adding brakes to a trailer is very simple. If you find a deal on a trailer without brakes or only a single axle, do it. Cost me less than 200 bucks for the kit and breakaway battery.
Yea that is what I have found. Adding electric brakes to a trailer is a cheap DIY project.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:36 PM   #104
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In Washington if the trailer and it's contents is more than 40% of the weight of the tow vehicle it needs brakes on all axles to be legal. It cost about $100 in bolt on parts to add brakes to your second axle from what I have found.
I dunno what the regs are in California, but I bought mine brand new from a reputable local trailer dealer, so I'd be surprised if it didn't meet them. It's on my list of things to do to the trailer, but like I said, it just hasn't been an issue so far. Probably part of that is because I have massive overkill on the tow vehicle (3/4 Chevy diesel).

Anyway, a single axle's brakes shouldn't be a deal killer, but it's something to keep in mind.

--Ian
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:00 PM   #105
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I dunno what the regs are in California, but I bought mine brand new from a reputable local trailer dealer, so I'd be surprised if it didn't meet them. It's on my list of things to do to the trailer, but like I said, it just hasn't been an issue so far. Probably part of that is because I have massive overkill on the tow vehicle (3/4 Chevy diesel).

Anyway, a single axle's brakes shouldn't be a deal killer, but it's something to keep in mind.

--Ian
You're tow rig is probably big enough you could legally not have brakes on the trailer.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:28 PM   #106
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You're tow rig is probably big enough you could legally not have brakes on the trailer.
Any trailer with a GVWR of 1500lbs or more must have a breakaway switch and trailer brakes in California. It has nothing to do with the size of the trailer.

After the accident you just had, Bob, I'm kind of surprised you would even think of suggesting a trailer without brakes.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #107
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FWIW, I've rented car haulers locally for < $100. I've thought about buying one, but decided that renting when I need one is a reasonable option for me.

What sort of places are you calling to find car haulers? If it's U-Haul, I think I am sold on not running the risks involved with that strategy based on the feedback I've received.
I use Jim's Trailer World. If U-Haul was my only choice then I would probably be looking to buy. Or maybe talk a friend into buying so that I could borrow.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #108
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Looking at Trailer Brakes | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws it appears that my single axle brakes are legit in CA, but not in NV. I guess I'd better fix that before I tow it to Grand Junction again!

Anyone know if the response curve on electric trailer brakes is standardized? Since I've only got a single control channel, I presumably need the front and rear axles on the trailer to give roughly the same brake force with the same input.

--Ian
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:48 PM   #109
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After the accident you just had, Bob, I'm kind of surprised you would even think of suggesting a trailer without brakes.
I think Bob was speaking about the legal requirements and not the logic of towing brakeless.

My tandem was $700 but the brakes on the one axle were shot. I think I paid around $300 for 4 wheels worth of brakes, breakaway and LED lights, etc so I'm all in around a grand. Not pretty, but functional.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:50 AM   #110
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Any trailer with a GVWR of 1500lbs or more must have a breakaway switch and trailer brakes in California. It has nothing to do with the size of the trailer.

After the accident you just had, Bob, I'm kind of surprised you would even think of suggesting a trailer without brakes.
Iím not suggesting it is a good Idea I just happen to look at what is legal in Washington. I think I have been illegal towing my car to California for the last 5 years.

It's kind of funny Iím such a cheap bastard and I do so much work to spend less money and my wife still thinks I just get whatever I want when I want it. A whole pile of trailer parts is supposed to arrive at my house tomorrow hopefully make some progress this weekend.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:04 AM   #111
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... and my wife still thinks I just get whatever I want when I want it.
This is why I DO spend the money... $2 or $2000, it doesnt matter to her, $1 on race stuff is too much

I might look into adding a break away switch on my open work trailer - I regularily haul $14k+ freezers on it, sometimes 4 at a time
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:40 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by codrus View Post
Looking at Trailer Brakes | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws it appears that my single axle brakes are legit in CA, but not in NV. I guess I'd better fix that before I tow it to Grand Junction again!

Anyone know if the response curve on electric trailer brakes is standardized? Since I've only got a single control channel, I presumably need the front and rear axles on the trailer to give roughly the same brake force with the same input.

--Ian
There is only a single brake command channel, and it is paralleled to each hub.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #113
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My lightweight trailer re-manufacture is done.

Tandem axle with electric brakes. 3’ added for Tapered tail with 6’ long ramps makes the ramp angle low enough I can get a car with a low splitter installed loaded. 185/80/13 load range D tires rated at 1725 lbs each are small enough diameter the doors on a Miata will open over top of the fenders with the car loaded. Wench for loading the car on.

I don’t know exactly what it weighs but it tows easily behind that 95 S10 Blazer. It tows nice and stable too.



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Old 04-03-2013, 08:22 PM   #114
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Very nice work. How is the balance on tongue weight with the car loaded? Did you weigh the raw trailer before/after?
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:17 PM   #115
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I actually moved the center of the axles back 8" compared to where the single axle was. I was shooting for 250 to 300 lbs of toung weight. seems close enough but I havent put a scale under it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:54 PM   #116
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My ghetto trailer.

Started with a $700 craigslist trailer. Added decking from another trailer I bought and flipped for $500 profit but kept the decking. Two new tires, ramps and paint brought the total to about $1,500. Perfect size for the Miata and it all fits in my garage.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:10 AM   #117
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My ghetto trailer.

Started with a $700 craigslist trailer. Added decking from another trailer I bought and flipped for $500 profit but kept the decking. Two new tires, ramps and paint brought the total to about $1,500. Perfect size for the Miata and it all fits in my garage.
Do you know how much it weighs? Is the decking aluminum?
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:25 AM   #118
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Do you know how much it weighs? Is the decking aluminum?
Decking and fenders are aluminum. I have not weighed it yet but it's gotta be under 1k. The steel sections are 3/6" thick 2x3.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:46 AM   #119
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Is that your Land Cruiser in the picture? I was hoping to see this thing towed behind your E55 AMG wagon.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:21 PM   #120
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Is that your Land Cruiser in the picture? I was hoping to see this thing towed behind your E55 AMG wagon.
Yeah it's mine. Could not pass up such a great tow vehicle for 5k. After realizing all i had to carry (E85, tools etc) it just made sense to buy a truck. As a bonus it has e-lockers for off roading and ski trips to Tahoe.
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