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Trailer Brakes on Off-Road Trailer?

Discussion in 'Trailer Tech' started by sjpitts, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. sjpitts

    sjpitts

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    I am getting closer to making an actual decision on an off-road trailer. I currently plan to build a simple one, based mostly on the dimensions of Mike's Trailer.

    http://www.geocities.com/Baja/Dunes/6948/trailer.html

    So my question is, do I want to include trailer brakes? And if I did want brakes, what kind would I want?

    A quick search found this site with a listing of 3500 pound axles-- and a bunch of different brake options. I really don't know what these different brakes are.

    And one more thing-- how about buying a 4" drop axle and flipping it over?--that would seem to give better ground clearance but it might make the trailer to high.

    http://www.tjtrailers.com/store/axle-assemblies-3500-lb-6-on-55.html

    My original thought was that I did not need brakes, figuring that if a little jeep could tow a M416 than my FJ55 would not have any issues even with a trailer that is a bit larger than a M416. But now I am not as sure.

    What do you think?

    Jared

    PS-- Has anyone bought an adventure trailer?

    http://www.adventuretrailers.com/models_fargo.htm

    I saw these trailers at a hunt/fish expo, and thought they were pretty cool. They are real pricey though. I like the tent, but I am not sure if I would rather have the tent on the vehicle instead of on the trailer.

    I liked the size of the Fargo Trailer, and I noticed that it looks to be sized pretty close to Mike's design.
     
  2. Mike S

    Mike S

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    SJ:

    I am building a 4' X 6' OR trailer based on the M416. I expect the weight to be 1500 lbs. max. I opted NOT to add trailer brakes.

    My reasoning is simple. I have towed my Willys CJ2A thousands of miles without trailer brakes, and it weighs about 2300 pounds. While my FJ60 is lighter than my Expedition, and the brakes are not ABS disks all around, the trailer will weigh less too.

    The electric trailer brakes will cost an extra $200 or so, and are not needed, in my opinion. When I complete the trailer (below) I will use and give a more informed opinion.

    Here is my trailer under construction:

    [​IMG]

    It is contructed of 2" square steel tubing (3/16" wall) with four cross braces - two on the ends and two in the middle at the spring mounts. I am using trailer springs, since most of the 'suspension' is the 31X10.50X15 TLC wheels and tires - which I will run at about 10 to 15 PSI. I think Cruiser springs are over kill, since I doubt that you will put enough in the trailer to really flexx the springs much.

    [​IMG]

    This trailer is wider than the usual off road trailer - same with as the rear of mt FJ60. Hub to hub distance is the same as my FJ60. It has a tailgate. It will carry 40 gallons of water with a 12V Shurflo on-demand pump, two Optima yellow tops with 110 charger and isolators for 110 and vehicle charging, 20 gallons of gas in 5 gallon blitz cans, and a full sized spare. Building an aluminum top (hiinged at the front) with 150 lb gas rams, and will fit he top with a gutter mount rack and roof top tent OR crossbars for a small boat.

    Fun project. Let us know how yours works out...

    Mike S
     
  3. sjpitts

    sjpitts

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    Mike

    That is a sweet looking trailer. Can I ask a bunch of questions?

    What are you making the body out of?

    What are you using for a coupler?

    What is the frame width, and what is the hub to hub distance? ( I am really curious as to what kind of difference you need to run 33x12.50 tires on landcruiser backspaced wheels)

    Do you have more pictures?

    Jared
     
  4. Mike S

    Mike S

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    Jared:

    Body is 16 gauge steel. Top is aluminum.

    Frame width is 48.5"

    Coupler is a pintle hitch, but I am looking at options for a 360 degree hitch/coupler.

    It will be sprung SOA... planning on 58.5" hub to hub, but adjustments are still be made... rims are 15X8, or stock FJ60 rims. Tires are 31X10.50.

    Yep, I have a few more pix. I will try to post soon.

    Mike S
     
  5. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    Well, in the Republic of Kalifornia, the Governator demands that any trailers over 1500lbs have brakes. You might want to check your own republic's laws. Better safe than sorry. Wouldn't it be easier to just do the brakes now? My 2 cents.
     
  6. sjpitts

    sjpitts

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    [quote author=Brentbba link=board=14;threadid=12420;start=msg114056#msg114056 date=1078276315]
    Well, in the Republic of Kalifornia, the Governator demands that any trailers over 1500lbs have brakes. You might want to check your own republic's laws. Better safe than sorry. Wouldn't it be easier to just do the brakes now? My 2 cents.
    [/quote]

    I never thought that the brakes might be required. I think (but don't know for sure) that arizona does not have such a requirement.

    I think it would be cheaper to add the brakes up front. The web-site I posted above shows axles with electric brakes as costing an extra 108 dollars, single servo hyrdaulic as costing 128 dollars extra, and hydraulic freeback costing an extra 145.

    By itself, that is really not too much of an extra cost. But do you need other things to make a brake work?

    Which type of brake would be preferable for an off-road trailer?

    I should point out that I don't really know if any of those axles are actually suitable for an off-road trailer-- that is just a site I found when I searched for trailer plans.

    Jared