jmabarone HalfDork
10/27/23 4:07 p.m.

Just looking for some thoughts from you brilliant people.  We have a 16' open trailer for our ChampCar (FB RX7).  Towed it to Daytona and back this year with my E350.  Brakes are non-functioning, but we had no issues slowing it down although I didn't have to do any emergency braking.

Planning to get them functioning again, but was wondering if it is overkill to do both axles on the trailer for braking.  It is surge brakes and we'd like to keep it that way to avoid controllers and such.  Helps when my dad pulls with his F150, too.  

So thoughts?  

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/27/23 6:34 p.m.

My 18" open car hauler only has brakes on one axle, and it's always been fine for me.

RonnieFnD New Reader
10/27/23 6:45 p.m.

I went to work as a welder for a lil while at a manufacturer of high end trailers.   We put brakes on all axles but the foreman told me that the single axle brakes are safe for 99% of applications.   It's just a cost cutting measure that the huge trailer factories up in Georgia mostly use.  You aren't gonna hurt anything by adding more brakes but you are also probably good with just one axle.  My thoughts are trailer brakes aren't expensive and you really can't have too much stopping power.

WillG80 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/27/23 8:30 p.m.

I have brakes on both my axles, but it's also a 12k equipment trailer. I would think brakes on one axle is adequate for most car trailers, especially those carrying lighter cars like race cars. 

StuntmanMike New Reader
11/2/23 9:34 a.m.

I have brakes on both axles on my open trailer (6-6.5k# fully loaded) and it feels good having the extra braking even though its not a super heavy load. I drive easy when towing but have to make a panic stop seems like every time I have the trailer and it really helps. Probably stops as well or better loaded with the trailer brakes as it does unloaded without the brake controller. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/23 10:48 a.m.

brake guy here.  IMO, if a tire is on the ground, it should have a brake.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/23 11:25 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

That's just what Big Brake wants us to think!

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
11/2/23 11:31 a.m.

I agree with Angry. I'm not sure why anyone would intentionally limit their braking capability as it relates to the contact patch. 

Having said that, I've owned a lot of trailers, and several with brakes on only 1 axle. They stopped fine (but I still like to have brakes for emergency stopping). 

I think brakes are now required on every axle on a new trailer, but there is no requirement to retrofit them to a trailer that was manufactured with brakes on only 1 axle. YMMV

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/23 4:49 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

That's just what Big Brake wants us to think!

I'm a Libraketerian.  you can have all the brake you want, just don't ask me to pay for them.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
11/5/23 9:14 a.m.

I trailered a car to the Challenge one year. My trailer has surge brakes on one axle only and the truck was an F-250 rental. Absolutely no problem in normal driving but I did have to panic brake once. Everything came to a halt nicely, but the trailer brakes locked up and flat spotted the tires. I have to wonder if brakes on the extra axle might have avoided that. I was hauling a Miata, so it wasn't very heavy and locks up pretty easily.

Cyclone03 New Reader
3/16/24 12:21 a.m.

When I worked on airplanes a few of my co workers would load everything on the tongue (my term) effectively unloading the rear tires on our dual axle trailer, then complain how bad it towed and the rear tires would constantly lock when on the brakes.


The cool thing about using USAF support equipment is the CG is marked on the heavy stuff.

Point that arrow right between the axles and you had one finger towing and nice solid brakes.

I would do brakes on every tire on the ground if it was me.

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