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Discussion Starter #1
:? Recently I read in a thread that the writer had been advised not to have electric brakes installed on his motorcycle camper trailer. I was going to have surge or electric brakes put on my camper trailer this spring, but now I'm wondering why installing brakes on a camping trailer would be a no-no. I'd appreciate comments pro/con from riders who have personal experience with this issue.
 

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I have a Bunkhouse camper. The folks there used to offer electric brakes on the Bunkhouse, but apparently no longer recommend, and in fact, recommend against it. They'll sell them, but only if you insist.

As I understood the reasoning, most if not all of the steering on a motorcycle is done by the front wheel/tire. The rear just follows the front and prevents stuff from dragging on the ground. When you apply the brakes on a motorcycle, about 75 to 80% of the braking (hence the large transfer of weight to the front tire) is done by the front tire/brakes. If you are pulling a trailer and apply the brakes, you get brakes on two wheels pulling a large amount of weight rearward, and unweighting the front tire, which can adversely affect the braking and/or steering action of the motorcycle. This could (but not necessarily) result in a crash, injury, death, etc., etc.

Anyway, this was how it was explained to me and served to discourage me from putting brakes on my camper trailer. At least it made sense to me. Hope this helps answer your question and doesn't muddy the waters.
 

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Bunkhouse w/ brakes

I've have numerous wings from a 76 to my current 1800. I've pull cargo's for quite a few years and now have a bunkhouse camper which is by the way the Goldwing of camping trailers. It has electric brakes which I modulate with a reese controller. I can set the brake pressure so the load I'm pulling is not hauling down on the rear of the bike but just assisting in the overall braking.
I'll increase the braking pull for heavier loads ( that three week trip with my sweetie and all the stuff she needs) or less for lighter weekend trips, I'll even lighten it slightly more for rainy roads. I haven't tried the trailer at the dragon nor do I intend to. I stick to moderate speeds and easier roads with the trailer in tow and have never had any problems. If you do go for trailer brakes and I personally think they can reduce the stopping distance with a loaded unit be sure to go out in a large parking lot and try different settings and build up to full out skid. My bike is not ABS equipped which could have an effect on the stopping when the ABS cuts in.
Remember that the previous post concerning how the trailer can and will cause the weight to be reduced to the front tire is true if the brakes are not adjusted correctly for each load is true. Its pretty easy to figure them out but remember that going downhill in the rain into an increasing radius turn will mean you'll want to get your speed down before you hit the corner.
Good luck.
 

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Do a search of the MC Trailer board and you will find lots of information.

The summary seem that

1) the brakes on the Goldwing are more that adequate to stop the motorcycle and any trailer that can be SAFELY pulled with the Goldwing

and

2) it is inherently dangerous to have trialer brakes on a trailer being pulled by motorcycle...as such manufactureres that previousy offered electric brakes on their trailers no longer offer/reccomend them

Hope his helps
 

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Boomer,


Went to a trailer seminar @ Americade about 5 years ago.
I believe then it was a definate NO on having brakes on your trailer.
I also remember that the trailer you are pulling should be around and or less than 1/3 of your bikes weight.
Do not quote me.
Try some of the Trailer manufactures on this board.
They will provide you with updated and safe pulling info.
There is definate guidlines and rules to follow.
txs, F
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Motorcycle Trailer Brakes

I read with interest all of your replies, and then found the thread in the MC Trailer forum that dealt with the issue of trailer brakes. It does seem that there is a body of opinions against motorcycle trailer brakes, with very good explanations. There is also a group of riders who believe in the benefits of electric trailer brakes, if attention is paid to the proper settings, and common sense speeds. I went from a non-abs ST1300 to an '07 airbag goldwing, with abs, and was stunned by the distance required to stop the Goldwing while hauling a camping trailer when I did practise panic stops in a parking lot with our local GWRRA Chapter. At highway speeds there's no way that I could stop the bike in a panic situation in time to do any good. I feel that I need an extra measure of stopping power, so I'm going to investigate the price tag for electric brakes and go from there. I do have some experience with electric trailer brakes on my '03 Wells Cargo trailer, and I know that adjusting settings based on the situation is important. Thanks to all of you who responded. Much appreciated!:thumbup:
 
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