How important are brakes on CamperTrailers

Submitted: Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 19:52
ThreadID: 31706 Views:2117 Replies:12 FollowUps:4
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Hi all Im considering an on road campertrailer new or secondhand and base model it will only carry the luggage of two people pulled by a holden Acclaim station waggon.

My question is how important are brakes on a camper trailer (on road) and do you have brakes on your camper trailer.

If I do have brakes I guess the electric ones are the best.

Thanks in advance to all who respond
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Reply By: guzzi - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:04

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:04
Im going through this very process as we speak, contemplateing which trailer to get and whats NEEDED on it, sometimes theres just too much choice eh.
The simple answer is HOW HEAVY IS IT FULLY LOADED??
Basic trailer weight + water+ jerrys+ gas+food+clothing+fishing gear etc etc etc.
If the answer is less than 750KG, then leaglely it doesnt need brakes, but they may be of benefit in some driveing situations.
OVER 750KG get brakes, as too which type, thats between your basic beliefs and wallet, but Im leaning towards electric.
AnswerID: 160277

Reply By: lifeisgood - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:43

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:43
You cant deny brakes are handy however there are plenty of basic single axle trailers carting loads to the tip, motorbikes to the track or bush, or a load of sand or soil back home - all done on the 6X4 trailer without brakes (<750kg)

We have done all these things successfully and without incident over decades - the trailer mostly pulled by a 4wd however. My son in early years of youthful driving with his old HZ holden put said bikes into the back of cars in front on a wet night due to skidding at a set of lights. A lot depends obviously on the vehicle and tyre condition , the roads and weather and driver behavior.

We also had a southern cross camper (no brakes)--- canvas tent, water tank and all the camping gear --thats all.
Very easy to tow melb to alice blacktop and Oodnadatta track/ william creek / marree on the dirt for example. Hardly know its there but very convenient.
Drive sensibly and you should be fine. Keeping heavy items forward of the trailer axle will also help.

Hope that helps

AnswerID: 160283

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:45

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:45
They are not important till you need to stop....when you need to stop, the trailer will or could try to overtake you...which brings another thought on....Legally, a trailer needs brakes if it is over x weight....and if s""T happens,. which it does in the most inconvenient places, you could find insurance drops you, or worse, the coroner blames you.
Having said all that, load distribution bars do a great job at putting the weight back onto the front wheels of the towing vehicle, improving steering and braking....the bottom line is it comes down to weight of trailer.
AnswerID: 160284

Reply By: 3F62 - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:46

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 20:46
Mine comes in @ 900kg with all gear & i went with the basic overrider brakes as this now allows towing by any vehicle & not relying on tow vehicle to have electric brake controller fitted.

AnswerID: 160285

Reply By: 4145derek - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 21:01

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 21:01
What are you towing with ?
AnswerID: 160289

Follow Up By: sandman55 - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:21

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:21
A Holden Acclaim waggon
FollowupID: 415066

Reply By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 21:17

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 21:17
Regardless of the 750kg rule that applies to the trailer, vehicle manufactuer rules apply as well. IF MANUFACTUER states brakes at 400KG for want of a figure THAT APPLIES. Regardles of the 750kg rule.
AnswerID: 160292

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 21:55

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 21:55
Regardless of the 750KG legal limit I wouldn't be without brakes on a CT unless I was under 400KG. And there is as much chance of that as me having another 50th birthday.

In my view, manufacturers who build a 600 or 700KG CT and don't bother to put brakes on it (to save a couple of hundred $) are near criminally negligent. It is so easy to add 2 or 3 hundred KG (and more) to a trailer with 'stuff'. No matter how little you think you will carry, you will carry more.

Even without this, you are likely to do long high speed trips. Big difference between this an the odd trip to the tip with the 6x4.

Even adding 5 metres to you high speed braking distance can be 'life or death'.

I'd be getting brakes. If not for your safety, then for mine.

AnswerID: 160309

Follow Up By: Member - Wayne M (WA) - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:31

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:31
I’m with you Norm, when towing a camper trailer in the country most of the time we are traveling at speed and that extra weight, even in a lightly loaded trailer increases your braking distance. Several years ago whilst towing a box trailer I just tagged a roo up near Newman, with brakes on the trailer the bill of $2,500.00 for lights and grill wouldn’t have happened.
FollowupID: 415068

Reply By: sandman55 - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:20

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:20
Thanks for all the prompt replys I think I will be looking for one with brakes and if I get a second hand one will have brakes fitted.
AnswerID: 160316

Reply By: Barnesy - Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:21

Monday, Mar 13, 2006 at 22:21
Was told by numerous people that override brakes don't work with less than 750kg weight on the trailer as there isn't enough force applied to the hitch to activate them.

Recently purchased a second hand heavy duty off road cameron camper trailer. Very happy with my purchase but its nearly up to 500kg empty NO BRAKES. i will load it up to well over the 750kg on our 18 month trip. want to fit override brakes myself. hope i can find a manufacturer that makes them for 50mm axle.

AnswerID: 160318

Reply By: Bros 1 - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 00:21

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 00:21
I suppose it depends on the location.
I came back from a trip up the Cape way via the Bloomfield with my semi-offroad trailer in tow. Going down some of the steep descents on this road was a bit hairy, like standing on brakes with bum off seat and high 4 2nd. No brakes on C/T. Would have been better if trailer was doing it's share of the braking. Fit them if you can i suppose is my answer.
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AnswerID: 160356

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 10:41

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 10:41
Hey thats a great Screen Name you have chosen.......

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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AnswerID: 160394

Follow Up By: sandman55 - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:15

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:15
Thanks M8 Ive used it since I was 55 will be 59 this year Ive been called Sandy from birth
FollowupID: 415221

Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:29

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:29
Hi sandman, have a camper which comes in between 800-850kg loaded... Leccy brakes have pulled me out of the crapper twice in the 15 months or so I've had it. Once on the dirt, off camber corner with corrugations, trailer decided to take a different line to the car and a couple of quick stabs at the manual override brought it back in line. Once going through the Black Spur when a trailer tyre let go and the camper tried to drag me into the next lane, again some gentle applications on the trailer and and she slowly came back under control. After this, I wouldn't be without electric brakes.
AnswerID: 160404

Follow Up By: sandman55 - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:26

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:26
Thanks M8 it looks as though brakes are the way to go now I just have to convince the Mrs to let me buy a CT

and thanks to all who who have responded to this thread its much appreciated
FollowupID: 415229

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