RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: Unbraked trailer, towing limitations

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tow Vehicles

Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Unbraked trailer, towing limitations

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Page  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 12  
Prev  |  Next
Sponsored By:
Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

Senior Member

Joined: 05/06/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 02:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

So if your SUV is 5400lb, that means the trailer is adding 50% to the weight that it has to stop...plus what other gear/people do you have in the car.

I've had the trailer brakes not work one time and I went slow the 10 miles to get home...it took forever to come to a stop from speed. Not something I would want to repeat.

Also, there is the issue of keeping things in line. If the SUV rear axle starts to slide in a panic stop, the trailer is going to try and push it around into a jacknife. Trailer brakes will try to keep everything in line.

As suggested, see if you can add brakes to the trailer. There's a reason manufacturers provide much higher tow ratings when the trailer has brakes.


Rear lock up? You hope. The TW reduces weight on the front, increases on the rear. Plus light vehicles are expected for front to do most of the stopping. (Bigger brakes) So it is much more likely for the front to lock up. Remember when you where a kid, would lock the rear brake on your bicycle and go sliding? Good fun, and only wore out the back tire. If the front wheel ever locked the wear was on knees and elbows.
Now later, ever try to stop on ice, feel front sliding? You have no control over direction.
Now I know your modern ride has anti-lock brakes, will release the brake on the wheels that want to slide. But if that slide is happening because you are stopping more weight than system is designed for, and a smaller percentage of that weight is on front wheels, anti stop brakes. But you can steer into something cheap.


Consider the source Scoob. Heck, you can't even lock up any brakes on virtually any vehicle from the last 20 years.
But, if not having trailer brakes, ONCE, lol, for 10 miles is a memorable event, unless that 10 miles was down Wolf Creek Pass, one should probably reserve comment....


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

Senior Member

Joined: 05/06/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 02:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Grit dog wrote:

There’s a reason the law in many/ most states is 3klbs max with no brakes.


Probably dates back to the 1920s when 25-35mph speed limits were the norm.

Then all the old guys complained that they didn't want to pay to add brakes, so this was the compromise. Never been updated since then.

Do you have an historically accurate source to suggest why 3k lbs was chosen?


Funny post of the month ^ !!

And no I don't know where the laws came from, nor do I care. Heck, pretty sure it's never even crossed my mind until this inane discussion.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 08/24/22 03:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkirsch wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Grit dog wrote:

There’s a reason the law in many/ most states is 3klbs max with no brakes.


Probably dates back to the 1920s when 25-35mph speed limits were the norm.

Then all the old guys complained that they didn't want to pay to add brakes, so this was the compromise. Never been updated since then.

Do you have an historically accurate source to suggest why 3k lbs was chosen?


1920's? Motor vehicles BARELY had brakes in the 1920's, let alone trailers. The guy who invented trailer brakes wasn't even a glimmer in his father's eye in the 1920's, LOL (probably not really but you get what I mean).

Again, 95% of the time when you make up numbers, you look silly.


But you get what I mean, though it wouldn't surprise me to find it's from some time in the 1920-1940s range. I doubt anyone has looked at the 3k lb rule in decades and when they did, they likely didn't want the local good old boys upset, so they set it high enough that most of the good old boys wouldn't be impacted....then never looked at it again.

The idea put forth that someone actually made a systematic analysis with engineering and testing is ludacris.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

Senior Member

Joined: 04/04/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 03:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tealboy wrote:

…….

…. …….. The F150 for example Has a unbraked limit of 1500 lbs.

Where did you find this information? I have looked thru my manuals and cannot find anything addressing this. Not questioning you. Just curious where to find it.

JRscooby

Indepmo

Senior Member

Joined: 06/10/2019

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:


Consider the source Scoob. Heck, you can't even lock up any brakes on virtually any vehicle from the last 20 years.
But, if not having trailer brakes, ONCE, lol, for 10 miles is a memorable event, unless that 10 miles was down Wolf Creek Pass, one should probably reserve comment....


Well, driving millions of miles, over 6 decades, and I can remember every time I have had brake issue.
First time, going down a short hill in Georgia overdrive. 11 YO me learned you had to put equal pressure on both pedals to stop a Jubilee Ford in a straight line.
What worries me most is somebody has been towing a trailer for some time, and finally discovering they have been overloaded every mile they towed and did not know it. I can't say anything against somebody overloading, because I run fat most of my life. But I think everybody should know the ratings of their rig, and what it weighs

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

Senior Member

Joined: 05/06/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 04:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BB_TX wrote:

tealboy wrote:

…….

…. …….. The F150 for example Has a unbraked limit of 1500 lbs.

Where did you find this information? I have looked thru my manuals and cannot find anything addressing this. Not questioning you. Just curious where to find it.


It doesn't.
Just more made up rvnet c rap.

Just for gits and shiggles I pulled up a random F150 owners manual (2018) and it states something to the effect of follow your state's guidelines or requirements for max trailer weight without trailer brakes.

RetiredRealtorRick

St. Augustine Beach, FL

Senior Member

Joined: 04/17/2020

View Profile



Posted: 08/24/22 05:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

RetiredRealtorRick wrote:


Mathematically looks great, but I'm not sure it works exactly that way in real life.


Probably depends on conditions but I wouldn't be surprised to find than it's not uncommon to require more than a 25% increase in braking distance.


I agree with that portion of it, stated that way.


. . . never confuse education with intelligence, nor motion with progress

Reisender

NA

Senior Member

Joined: 12/09/2018

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 05:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tealboy wrote:

Hey folks, I’m looking for a new tow vehicle for a rig coming in at 2700 lbs, loaded, per the scale. I decided to trade down to a more modest unibody suv like the highlander, telluride or similar with tow ratings of 5000 lbs.vs my customary Tahoe or sequoia since I tow infrequently (3-4x/year).

However, I discovered something I was unaware of, these vehicles often come with a 1000lb limit when trailers are “Unbraked”. My trailer does not have brakes, seems many in this lower weight class don’t, though some do. My state law requires brakes at 3000lbs.

This discovery caused me to to rethink the mid size suv and go back to the sequoia or a Tahoe. I was shocked to realize the big sequoia with 7500 lbs tow rating is also limited to 1000 lbs Unbraked. The Tahoe is 2000 lbs. The gm line of 1500 series pickups also 2k.

Wow. It seems the manufacturers are providing very conservative figures for Unbraked trailers due to liability so no matter what I pick outside of a 2500 series, I am out of compliance with manufactures recommendations/requirements and potentially subject to liability in an accident even though I’m within state law.

I know this group is far more informed than average people relative to towing but I see tons of smaller to mid size trailers like mine, including many boats, without brakes and suspect most are totally unknowing of these low thresholds bc the manufactures brag about high tow ratings but you need to look much deeper for the Unbraked limits .

I’m not sure what to do now. Thoughts on the subject and your awareness of these vehicle limitations?


Hmmm. I don’t recall that for on our Grand Cherokee. (Or for our Tesla for that matter). Our grand Cherokee was a bit of a dog when towing but I think they have gotten better. Maybe check into them and see if they have an unbraked limit.

Tesla model Y is another option but now I’m going digging to see if they have a limit for max weight unbraked. Ours has brakes so not worried but still interesting to know. Can’t recall seeing that in the manual.

blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

Moderator

Joined: 03/15/2001

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 06:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For what it's worth, GM recommends brakes for trailers over 2000 lbs in my 1500. Which, is about the max payload of the truck. Brakes it's 6700 or so.....blown that number out of the water. Identical V8 it's around 11,000 braked. My OM pages 9-70 to 9-100 or there about

I'll stick to my earlier, if the trailer puts you much over the manufactures GVW, say max 500-1000 lbs, best to have brakes on it, no matter the vehicle.
Here in WA St. Brakes in trailers varies from 1000-4500 lb. Or 40% of tow vehicles gvwr, which ever is lowest. Generally speaking, for a truck based rig that is paid for tonnage.
For me, that is 8000 x .4 = 3200 lbs from a legal standpoint. Not sure I would want to tow that much with this rig. My 8 lug rigs in the past empty, generally not a big deal. But my R3500 dually did have a rear ender at 20mph, brakes on the 3500 lb axel trailer DID help cut brake distance down on ALL the rigs that towed it, excepting maybe my Navistar .
Having had surge brake trailers, not worth it. Unless the truck is huge vs the trailer. If the trailer is approaching 75% or more of TV wight, the trailer can over run the TV, as the braking spring will not get pushed inward so the hydraulic mechanism works. Nor can you hit the trailer brakes if you get a bit of sway, to stop that side to side fish tail sway!

Marty


92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

Sjm9911

New Jersey

Senior Member

Joined: 07/01/2020

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/24/22 06:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think brakes on light campers is a newer thing. Probably because of lawsuits because of accidents and different state requirments. Coleman, in the 90s had brakes on anything 2000 lbs and over then in like 2000 put them on all there campers. Just estimated dates mind you. So, not everyone is running around without them. And it wasn't a thing from long ,long ago.


2012 kz spree 220 ks
2020 Silverado 2500
Equalizer ( because i have it)
Formerly a pup owner.

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Page  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 12  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Unbraked trailer, towing limitations
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tow Vehicles


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2022 CWI, Inc. © 2022 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.