Adding brakes to a single axle trailer?
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Adding brakes to a single axle trailer?

    Just speculating/dreaming here......

    I eventually want to get an enclosed trailer. A few years ago I would have started looking at a tandem axle trailer 16'-18' long. I have no need to haul anything that heavy or long anymore so am looking at smaller. I think I could get by with a 6'x10' or 6'x12' once I do some more figuring.

    To the question at hand - looking at trailers on-line I see that all the single axle trailers with a standard 3500# axle don't have brakes - only when you get to tandem axle. I know I probably don't need brakes on a single axle trailer but I want them....bear with me a minute...

    The brakes on my '09 F-150 Crew Cab are anemic at best. From what I understand the 2009 model year was kind of a transition truck from the 2008 and earlier model years in that they used the same hub/brake size. In 2010 they went to a larger hub/brake size. Yeah, the truck stops OK but on a good hill coming to a traffic light and such it just seems that it takes an awful lot of pressure on the pedal and takes a while to stop which I am used to now. And yes - have already had the front rotors/pads replaced. Also reading on forums this seems to be the general consensus with the brakes on this model year.

    So pulling a trailer that can weight 3000# of more I am not confident. I am a firm believer in trailer brakes.

    This is the size type of trailer I am looking at - hoping to find a good deal used.

    HOMESTEADER CARGO TRAILER

    And here are the best specs I can find on that trailer.

    https://www.trailersuperstore.com/sh...ear-ramp-door/

    What would it take to add brakes to a trailer like this? Is it add on equipment or would the entire axle have to be replaced? I guess if needed replaced I might be better off pricing out a new custom trailer the way I want but trying to keep the cost down. A good condition used trailer would be better for me for the limited/occasional use it would get.
    ~Stan~
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    ddinham's Avatar
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    The 7000# tandem axle trailers have two 3500# axles with brakes. Maybe you can replace the no brakes axle with one of those. After that, you will have to replace the wiring with a 7 pin plug so the brakes will have power. Generally, the single axle trailers are wired with a 4 pin plug with no provision for brakes. Talk to a dealer (maybe more than one) to see if you can get a custom built trailer with the brakes you want. I agree that brakes are necessary. I still do not know why some of the older tandem axle trailers only have brakes on one axle. My neighbor has a 16ft tandem utility trailer with NO brakes. Pretty stupid.

    Do you have the brake controller in the pickup? In talking with my brother recently, he thought you only had to insert the plug in the 7 way receptacle on his 2005 F150 and the brakes would automatically work. I had to tell him he was dreaming...... I suspect you are better informed on this than he was.

    Dave
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddinham View Post
    Do you have the brake controller in the pickup? In talking with my brother recently, he thought you only had to insert the plug in the 7 way receptacle on his 2005 F150 and the brakes would automatically work. I had to tell him he was dreaming...... I suspect you are better informed on this than he was.
    Thanks Dave.

    Yes, I have the factory brake controller which works great.

    I'm not going to buy a new trailer. I have some (hopeful) plans in the future that I could use one but can't justify buying new.

    When I was mowing today it gave me some more "think" time - remembering all the other trailer threads here over the years - and the general consensus of getting a bigger trailer than you think you will need. I hadn't included hauling my tractor since I have no reason to, but the a thought hit me - what if I ever have to haul my tractor to Tenn to have dieselshadow help me out with a major repair that I can't handle?

    My only goal at this point is to identify any possible future need while keeping my eye open for that great deal on a used trailer should it ever present itself.

    I just better concentrate on a tandem axle 14'-18'. That way I get my brakes and enough capacity/room to haul my tractor if need be.
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    ddinham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Thanks Dave.

    Yes, I have the factory brake controller which works great.

    I'm not going to buy a new trailer. I have some (hopeful) plans in the future that I could use one but can't justify buying new.

    When I was mowing today it gave me some more "think" time - remembering all the other trailer threads here over the years - and the general consensus of getting a bigger trailer than you think you will need. I hadn't included hauling my tractor since I have no reason to, but the a thought hit me - what if I ever have to haul my tractor to Tenn to have dieselshadow help me out with a major repair that I can't handle?

    My only goal at this point is to identify any possible future need while keeping my eye open for that great deal on a used trailer should it ever present itself.

    I just better concentrate on a tandem axle 14'-18'. That way I get my brakes and enough capacity/room to haul my tractor if need be.

    You are a wise man. I have already been through three trailers in a short period of time as my needs changed. I started with a 5x10 utility, then a 20ft car hauler, and now a 31ft gooseneck deckover tandem dually. There won't be any more upgrades. If I can't haul it now, forget it.

    Dave
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    I added brakes to my 6x14 SA enclosed trailer years ago, the backing plates are already on the axles, so you buy the new brake/hub/drum kits and bolt them on-then complete the wiring.

    Here is an example, I think I paid less locally though when I did mine:

    Tow Zone Electric Drum Brake Kit — Pair, 10in., Model# 56125 | Trailer Electric Drum Brakes| Northern Tool + Equipment
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    The other thing you MAY need is a break away set up. Check your laws. It's basicly a small battery, and switch that has a pin that when pulled out, turns ON to activate the brakes. The pin has a cord (usually coated wire rope) that attaches to the tow vehicle.
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    Odds are, if the trailer doesn't require brakes in the first place, a breakaway controller won't be required. Obviously, Zebrafive is right in pointing to checking local laws to be sure. However... I would personally add it.

    From what I understand, the entire setup is a few hundred dollars and you're already running wiring and such to do it (you'll want to change out the wiring so you can leverage the 7-pin round connector that allows for controlled brakes).

    Look very carefully at the used market - there are definitely trailers out that there "don't need" brakes but have them. And, some of them are in the 6x12 ish size range with tandem axles that are rated for 5k (hence why they have brakes). You just might find exactly what you want if you look hard enough.
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    ddinham's Avatar
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    Those break-away switches are pretty cheap. I replaced the battery on my gooseneck and it was only about $15. The switches are less than $20.

    Dave
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    In Virginia,, a trailer with brakes requires annual inspection,,,

    so, that is a consideration,,,

    I avoid inspection by running a "Farm Use" tag,,, even though I have a permanent tag,,

    100% of my trailer use pertains to my land,, so farm use applies,,

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    I have a question pertaining to my trailer, it has the breakaway battery and switch, which just broke in half on this last trip, but it still works, plastic case just spilt in half-ha! hey it lasted 14 yrs- how does the battery stay charged- does my truck keep it charged while hooked to it? just wondering about that. sorry to hijack ur thread-coaltrain

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