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Old 09-23-2015, 09:18 PM   #1
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Trailer brakes on 1007 PUP?

Our 1007 (2007) didn't come with trailer brakes.

I've heard mixed reviews on whether it should. Some have asserted that if the 1007 needed trailer brakes, the manufacturer would've equipped the trailer with them. Others assert that the manufacturer can't possibly know the laws in every state and therefore puts the onus on the owner to comply with the state(s) they travel through.

We recently switched our TV from a minivan to a Trailblazer, a TV upgrade in our mind (and reality). 5000+ tow capacity more than enough for our 1007.

I just read the TB's owner's manual last weekend, however, and it says that trailers over 1,500 pounds should have trailer brakes! Yikes, I've only towed the 1007 twice with the TB but was clearly violating my owner's manual. The published weight is about 1,700 pounds, and that doesn't include our gear or the A/C we added aftermarket.

Problem? I'm figuring I'm pretty much obligated to put brakes on.
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Old 09-24-2015, 04:10 AM   #2
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Our county here requires a SAFETY INSPECTION STICKER based on the trailer weight being over a specified limit. the safety inspection of course includes the electric brakes....

Each state has different limits - might check with the local DOT and see what you weight limits is for small trailers.

My OFF-ROAD popup trailer is listed at 4200lbs loaded down haha...

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Old 09-24-2015, 09:56 AM   #3
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If you've done a fair bit of towing, you can sorta feel if your trailer needs brakes or not. (Leaving aside the discussion of the emergency break away situation.) I.E. if when you're coming to a fairly quick stop, the trailer is "pushing" the TV too much, you'll want some brakes. If you go for adding brakes, you'll want to go electric and this will require a brake controller. The Trailblazer may already have this equipment, but if not it's pretty easy to add. Installing electric brakes on the trailer seems like it should be simple, but you could run into some hidden puzzles. For example, is there a place to mount the calipers? You may have to fabricate something.

But back to the original point: how would this ever matter? It's unlikely that a LEO is going to get under your camper if he pulls you for some reason. To me, the concern is strictly about safety and stopping distances, and the Trailblazer can probably handle your trailer and gear fine.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Matt Chapter View Post
But back to the original point: how would this ever matter? It's unlikely that a LEO is going to get under your camper if he pulls you for some reason. To me, the concern is strictly about safety and stopping distances, and the Trailblazer can probably handle your trailer and gear fine.
Great point, and those values are really what prompted my question. We've been towing with a Chrysler minivan 2009-2014 but retired the van in early 2015. I decided to get a better TV; hence the TrailBlazer.

So imagine my surprise when I read the owner's manual (after 2 trips which I admit was pretty ignorant) and it says trailer brakes are required for trailers over 1,500 pounds. My minivan, which one would presume to be a lesser TV, didn't have such language, but left the subject of braking soft of vague.

With 2 in college and a 3rd about to enter next fall, every dollar is pretty precious, so is safety, and I certainly don't want to end up in an orange jumpsuit. We're done camping this year, but I'll probably replace the axle and add brakes and brake controller next Spring just to be safe and in compliance with my owner's manual.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:54 AM   #5
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As Roy said, each state has it's own laws on when trailer brakes are required. https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/trailer-brakes/

But even for lighter trailers you as the driver have to decide what's right. Yes, for normal towing, the Trailblazer should be fine. But will it be adequate in a panic stop? If it is, are you comfortable with "adequate"? That's the answer you are looking for.

Our '93 Jayco 1208 came with hydraulic surge brakes. They are terrible. If you do put brakes on do electric. However, it's not going to be cheap either way, you may have to replace the axle.
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