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Discussion Starter #1
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/shop/homesteader-6-x-10-enclosed-cargo-trailer-rear-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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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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,,, :flag_of_truce:

so, that is a consideration,,, :dunno:

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-:dunno: does my truck keep it charged while hooked to it? just wondering about that. sorry to hijack ur thread-coaltrain:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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
Awesome - thank you! I guess when looking I need to see if the backing plates are on the axle.

Yeah - this would also require a breakaway setup and rewiring but that part is easy in my eyes. Not sure about state inspection if it goes by weight (7000#) or if it has brakes but getting an annual inspection doesn't bother me.

Good info - this expands my options when looking at used trailers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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-:dunno: does my truck keep it charged while hooked to it? just wondering about that. sorry to hijack ur thread-coaltrain:laugh:
As long as your truck and trailer are wired correctly the breakaway battery will charge when the truck is running.

When I had my tandem axle landscape trailer for my business it would sit idle all winter. I had to get it inspected in April each year (good to get it done before I got busy) and usually had to put the trickle charger on the battery for a while - the battery seemed to drain down over winter. But after that it stayed charged being charged when hooked to the truck (running).
 

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There should be a test button on the battery. If it is not green, replace it. I replaced mine and it was only 2 years old. Less than $15 at Amazon. Supposedly it charges when connected to the tow vehicle but I would not bet on it. At 14 years the chance of yours working is nil

Sent from my Sprint HTC One
 
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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-:dunno: does my truck keep it charged while hooked to it? just wondering about that. sorry to hijack ur thread-coaltrain:laugh:

One some trailers, the battery actually charges from the light circuit-so it only charges when the lights are on. Yeah it's a crappy way to do it but...but you'd have to inspect how it's all wired to be sure how your works.

I'd venture to bet that 75% or more "breakaway" batteries are dead as a doornail on trailers across the country.
 

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I'd venture to bet that 75% or more "breakaway" batteries are dead as a doornail on trailers across the country.
Yeah - the guy who inspects my trailers would go to the breakaway first to test it - might as well do that before checking the rest of the trailer.
 

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Virginia Farm use plate

In Virginia,, a trailer with brakes requires annual inspection,,, :flag_of_truce:

so, that is a consideration,,, :dunno:

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,,
Actually farm use plates are for a list of very specific uses such as going from one farm to another, delivering product to market, hauling seed, fertilizer and supplies etc. Other uses are technically not legal and the po po could stop and ask you to prove you are engaged in one of the legal uses. That's unusual but it could happen. More often what happens is if you are in a wreck, even one that's not your fault the illegal use gets used by the other party to make it your fault.

The Virginia DMV used to have a pamphlet that lists all the legal uses. I'm not sure if it's still in print. Some information is available on the Va. Farm Bureau website under resources: https://vafarmbureau.org/Policy-Action/Resource-Library

Treefarmer
 
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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/shop/homesteader-6-x-10-enclosed-cargo-trailer-rear-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.
Here is some info on etrailer concerning adding brakes to non-brake trailer axles.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-adding-electric-drum-brakes.aspx
 

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Very helpful - thanks!
I actually added trailer brakes to a single axle trailer that I used to have several years ago for the same reason you indicated. I found at that time, the axle that was on the trailer that I had, had the brake mounting plate, just didn't have the brake backing plate which has the brake components attached and the brake drum. Of course, the brake wire was not included in the harness and also the truck connector was only a four pin.
All in all, it wasn't a bad job to install.
If you were buying a new trailer, it would be probably be best to just buy it with brakes. Since you are in the market for a used trailer, adding them is a good option. If you look under the trailer, you should be able to see if the 4 bolt brake mounting plate is on the axle. If it is, adding brakes is no problem.
 

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My trailer sits a lot so I keep a battery maintainer on the breakaway battery on it when not in use.

I also added an electric jack with an auxiliary battery for it to the trailer, so a single maintainer is used for both the breakaway battery and the electric jack battery.
 
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