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Discussion Starter #1
For those that haven't folloed the sage...

Short story is, brakes on both sides of both axles are garbage. (6-7k lb MH axles). Going to custom re-fit regular trailer axle 6000 lb brakes (12x2).

I can really only afford to do one axle now...which I think should be ok since they are 6000-7000 lb axle brakes and the gross trailer weight will only be ~7k lbs.

Unless y'all tell me it's a seriously bad idea to brake only one axle.

And if I do one - which is best - front or rear?
 

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leaf spring axles? Separately mounted or with the swing arm common center mount with shackles?

Rear definitely....hit the rear brakes on mine and the front tires on the trailer come off the ground, adding more braking pressure.
 

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I can't remember, but I would swear on my trailer it is the front axle that has the brakes :confused:


I will go check tomorrow :p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can't remember, but I would swear on my trailer it is the front axle that has the brakes
Because it's you. my dear David, I can't figure if this is a vote for the front axle or another vote for the rear :D ;) :D

Let us know what you find
 

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BillaVista said:


Because it's you. my dear David, I can't figure if this is a vote for the front axle or another vote for the rear :D ;) :D

Let us know what you find
7am, pajamma's and house shoes, no shirt, kinda nipply out :p



And yes, the brakes are on the front axle ;)
 

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around here all the trailers I've seen that come from the local lots, that have just one set of brakes, they are on the front axle. IMO I always thought that the back one would be the way to go if you only had one set.
 

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BillaVista said:
For those that haven't folloed the sage...

Short story is, brakes on both sides of both axles are garbage. (6-7k lb MH axles). Going to custom re-fit regular trailer axle 6000 lb brakes (12x2).

I can really only afford to do one axle now...which I think should be ok since they are 6000-7000 lb axle brakes and the gross trailer weight will only be ~7k lbs.

Unless y'all tell me it's a seriously bad idea to brake only one axle.

And if I do one - which is best - front or rear?
Have you checked your local laws Bill? In Alberta we only need brakes on one axle provided they meet the provincial standards. But in B.C. brakes are required on all axles. Hate to see you get fined or found at fault in case of an accident.
 

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Hillbilly said:
around here all the trailers I've seen that come from the local lots, that have just one set of brakes, they are on the front axle. IMO I always thought that the back one would be the way to go if you only had one set.
I believe the same logic that applies to vehicle braking applies to trailers - in that the front axle gets the weight shifted to it during braking, and the brakes are best served on that axle.
 

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As I said, I lock up my trailer brakes manually with the controller. The rear axle has the brakes, the front doesn't. Both front trailer tires come off the ground, even with the Cruiser loaded.

The center swing-arm and shackle design puts the highest braking pressure on the rear axle.

Additionally, proper trailer leveling = either a level deck or a slightly tongue-high setup, so more static pressure is on the rear wheels.

AND, when you panic brake the tow rig, the front dives, and the rear jacks higher, taking pressure OFF the front trailer tires and shifting it onto the rear tires.

IMO, big vote for rear only or duals. (tho if my front trailer tires come off the ground, duals won't do squat....)
 

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woody said:
As I said, I lock up my trailer brakes manually with the controller. The rear axle has the brakes, the front doesn't. Both front trailer tires come off the ground, even with the Cruiser loaded.
So you are saying when the trailer brakes are actuated, the front axle of the trailer comes off the ground?

Have you done this WITHOUT the trailer brakes connected?



Either way - I would say something is wrong with your trailer. There is no reason the front tires should come off the ground. Any time this happens you are overlaoding the rear axle and it's components - especially the tires.

Also, from other comments here it seems your rear brake axle setup is not the norm.
 

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DRM said:


So you are saying when the trailer brakes are actuated, the front axle of the trailer comes off the ground?

Have you done this WITHOUT the trailer brakes connected?
never happens during normal driving/trailering.

BUT, if I manually activate the "oh shit lever" on the controller and allow the tow rig to continue to ease gently forward, the pivoting action of the center swing/center shackles on the trailer rotates the front tires off the ground. Only happens on full lockup, and only if I max the controller. During normal braking, and emergency braking, it never happens....

BUT is does indicate that the rear axle trailer brakes are best to force the trailer tires into the highest braking force.

funny, everyone I know with the same type of spring/shackle trailer setup has rear brakes or dual brakes...none have fronts only, and this is with a wide variety of manufacturers and styles. (maybe it's a midwest thing...lol)

I would assume that front only brakes would not cause that issue, however the friction force of the tires would not be as high without that pivoting action.
 

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woody said:


never happens during normal driving/trailering.

BUT, if I manually activate the "oh shit lever" on the controller and allow the tow rig to continue to ease gently forward, the pivoting action of the center swing/center shackles on the trailer rotates the front tires off the ground. Only happens on full lockup, and only if I max the controller. During normal braking, and emergency braking, it never happens....

BUT is does indicate that the rear axle trailer brakes are best to force the trailer tires into the highest braking force.

funny, everyone I know with the same type of spring/shackle trailer setup has rear brakes or dual brakes...none have fronts only, and this is with a wide variety of manufacturers and styles. (maybe it's a midwest thing...lol)

I would assume that front only brakes would not cause that issue, however the friction force of the tires would not be as high without that pivoting action.
I will have to take a look at my trailer suspension to get a better idea of what you are talking about.


However I do take issue with your conclusion that because if your setup, and the rear brakes being actualed causing the front tires to lift, then assuming that would happen WITHOUT rear brakes, or that if you had front brakes only it would be less effective than the rear brakes you have now.

I am quite sure (never really paid too much attention though) that I have the same or similar suspension on my own trailer, and I can tell you for a fact that it stops wonderfully with front brakes, and the front tires do NOT lift when braking... leading me to believe that the condition you describe is actually CAUSED by your rear axle brakes.

Does this make sense?

I just can't understand how any trailer manufacturer could/would resign a trailer that exhibits this condition you describe. As soon as those front tires are off the ground, assuming you have dual 3500# axles and are towing a 4000# vehicle on the trailer, you have just GROSSLY overloaded that braking axle - at one of the more dangerous times it could be overloaded...


Something just doesn't add up :confused:
 

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I agree...it's the rear trailer brakes only that cause the lifting/loading.

Properly adjusted at the controller, it will never happen when on the road (and never has).

I can ONLY do it when stopped in the driveway...actually, it happens to me when I forget to turn down the controller and have the trailer unloaded...heh heh Twice I've inverted a shackle, very irritating, especially when you don't notice until you've got yer junk loaded and have to high-lift the whole stupid thing to flop it back....

I know what happens without rear brakes (or, in this case, NO brakes)...she don't stop for shit. lol Had a fault once on a return trip that forced me to disconnect the brake system or blow a fuse everytime I touched the brakes, killing all lights. Made for an intersting trip thru Chicago.....

I can't comment on stopping power with front axle brakes only, never driven a trailer like that. I have pulled 4-5 trailers with rear only. All stop straight and true. I've got a book on trailer design at home, think I even know where it is...will see if it says anything on axle choice for brake location relative to suspension design. I haven't found squat on the web despite a few ineffictive searches....lol
 

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woody said:
I haven't found squat on the web despite a few ineffictive searches....lol
I will agree with you there - I spent about 30 minutes this morning searching the web for info on this and came up with NOTHING...
 

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DRM said:


I can tell you for a fact that it stops wonderfully with front brakes, and the front tires do NOT lift when braking... leading me to believe that the condition you describe is actually CAUSED by your rear axle brakes.

Does this make sense?


somebody slap me, i agree with drm:eek: .
 

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As far as I see it, With the style of axle that have a common piviot point, the rear axle is the the better axle to have the brakes on. Ihave drawn a lously pic to show the reasoning.

The red arrows show the forces with the rear axle brakes, and the blue show the front axle forces. If the brakes are on the front axle they would actually loose pressure on the road, as compared to the rear.

Now if the axles use seperate shackle setup, then either axle should be fine.

Hope this all makes sence
 

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