Trailer weight and towing

General Discussion, tips and questions and answer on Camper Trailers. Buy and sell below in Vehicles for Sale.

Re: Trailer weight and towing

Postby MDC » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:03 pm

I wish I was kidding. We went there because we were told they were the best in Brisbane. Doesn't matter - they might be one of the best trailer builders and I'm happy about that. Their advice might not be spot on but I can't fault the quality of the build.
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Re: Trailer weight and towing

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:27 pm

OK MDC, how about Trailers 2000 at Beerwah or Birkdale.....
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Re: Trailer weight and towing

Postby MDC » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:42 pm

gypsylady wrote:OK MDC, how about Trailers 2000 at Beerwah or Birkdale.....


Thanks, I was thinking about them or Belco at Brendale.
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Re: Trailer weight and towing

Postby itchyvet » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:23 pm

WOW ! talk about jumping in at the deep end before doing your home work. Crikey. :(
Don't wish to spoil your parade, but before you go fitting brakes on your trailer, do some research into what brakes you wish to be fitted.
There are MECHANICAL BRAKES, ELECTRIC BRAKES, HYDRAULIC BRAKES.then we have drum brakes and disc brakes, dizzy yet ? You should be.
So, lets go back a bit. Most wheels on your trailer are simply fitted with bearings straight onto the axle, then the wheel fits onto the stud, end of story.
However, if you wish to fit brakes things change, the first thing you must decide is what type of brakes are you going to fit, DRUM brakes or disc brakes. Is there sufficient clearance to fit them?
The drum is simply a round drum on which two shoes are squeezed to provide retardation, the squeezing process can be activated either, mechanicaly, hydraulicaly, or electricaly.
A disc brake is just a round disc attached to the stud, over this disc is a fitting which houses the brake pads, these pads are squeezed again by either of the three methods mentioned above.
There are Pros and cons for any of the three systems, however the largest being price and serviceability. Pending on your choice and ability to cover the costs the choice is yours.

However, after seeing the pics of your trailer, I'd suggest mechanical drum brakes, these will be operated by a moveable tow hitch,(can trailer be fitted with such?) when you brake the pressure will be transmitted thru the tow hitch to the mechanical system attached to the brake mechanism on the wheels by cable thus providing the retardation required.
With such a system, it pays to keep an eye on the free play on the tow hitch and the lever which activates the cable, as after a small time the brake pads wear in and the gap needs adjusting otherwise the brakes will no longer apply.
If the gap is too small, the trailer brakes will apply too early and make for erratic brake application.

Electric brakes are a whole different kettle of fish, with such a system you can increase or decrease the amount and time delay of the retardation. Also, as the name implies, the mechanical retardation is provided by an electro magnet within the wheels themselves.
These also require regular maintenance, as in many cases these magnets come loose and simply lie at the bottom thus being useless, especially if driving on gravel roads, also have tendency to short out in deep water.

The hydraulic system is much like the mechanical, except the cable is replaced by hydraulic line with brake fluid doing the hard work.

At the end of the day, I'd give serious consideration as to your needs, going by the picture of your trailer, I have reservations whether brakes would be needed. I'd load it up with everything you use for camping, fill water tanks ect, ect, take it over a weighbridge and weigh it fully loaded. If it weighs outside the legal recommened weights, then I guess it's time to do something about it.
But, because of the cost involved, it may also be cheaper to sell or exchange that trailer for one that's already so fitted.
Hope some of this is of use to you.
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Re: Trailer weight and towing

Postby MDC » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:25 am

itchyvet wrote:WOW ! talk about jumping in at the deep end before doing your home work. Crikey. :(
Don't wish to spoil your parade, but before you go fitting brakes on your trailer, do some research into what brakes you wish to be fitted.




I took the advice of a TRUSTED and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED trailer manufacturer in Brisbane. Please don't just assume that people have not done their research. I ensured that when I had the trailer custom made that allowances were made so electric brakes can be added at a later date without any major work. Brakes were going to be added when the trailer was made, but the manufacturer obviously told us incorrect information and gave us bad advice saying that we wouldn't need them.

Now that I am armed with the correct information about towing weights I will be having brakes fitted.
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Re: Trailer weight and towing

Postby itchyvet » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:38 pm

MDC wrote:
itchyvet wrote:WOW ! talk about jumping in at the deep end before doing your home work. Crikey. :(
Don't wish to spoil your parade, but before you go fitting brakes on your trailer, do some research into what brakes you wish to be fitted.




I took the advice of a TRUSTED and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED trailer manufacturer in Brisbane. Please don't just assume that people have not done their research. I ensured that when I had the trailer custom made that allowances were made so electric brakes can be added at a later date without any major work. Brakes were going to be added when the trailer was made, but the manufacturer obviously told us incorrect information and gave us bad advice saying that we wouldn't need them.

Now that I am armed with the correct information about towing weights I will be having brakes fitted.


No offence, but the words TRUSTED and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED conflict with the words 'incorrect information' and 'bad advice' seems to compound the whole issue I would think.
IMHO, people 'assume far too much these days, specialy when it involves money and/or business.
Unless we make it perfectly clear what we want, preferably in writing, minimises to a large degree the chances of misunderstandings. Been there, done that.
By the tone of your post, I may have inadvertanly upset you, this was NOT my intention and apologise if you took it in that fashion.

My intention was to offer helpful, truthful, unbiased, FREE advice to your benefit and gain. You can take it on board, or discard it out of hand, it's all the same to me.
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Re: Trailer weight and towing

Postby MDC » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:05 am

itchyvet: thank you for the advice and apologies for any misunderstanding of the nature of the post. It is always difficult to convey tone in the written form.

To sum up the situation, I gave them a written spec of what I wanted built and the only shortfall was that they incorrectly advised that I didn't need brakes right away. However, I did allow for brakes in both the building and budget of the trailer. I'm not one to take shortcuts when it comes to safety, which is why I was looking for the advice of others here.

Itchyvet, do you think that electric brakes would be suitable? This is what I originally planned for. The trailer is only used for carting around camping gear and I can't see that we'll ever weight more than 1000kgs. It is also highly unlikely that we will ever be doing any serious off-road work but may travel on the odd graded gravel road from time to time.
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