Brakes--tow vehicle and trailer

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Active member
Nov 17, 2006
North Georgia
I'm a newbie, looking at ultralite trailers.  My tow vehicle is rated at 6000 lbs, so I will get a trailer in the low 4000 lb range unloaded.  My concern is not engine, but braking.  My truck has discs in the front and drums in the rear.  I will use a Prodigy brake controller for the trailer.  I have read that drum brakes do almost nothing in reverse, is that true?  So when I stop on a hill, my front discs will have to provide most of the braking (?) to keep me from sliding backwards.  On a gravel road, this could be a disaster, so I should stay off gravel roads.  Pavement covered in diesel fuel--well, let's not go there.  Do any travel trailers come with disc brakes?  Any other thoughts or comments?

edubb said:
I have read that drum brakes do almost nothing in reverse, is that true?

I'm old enough to remember when the brakes on all the vehicles were drum brakes. And they worked well in reverse too.  You don't need to be concern that your set-up will pull you backwards down the hill.  You be fine.
Thanks for the reply, I feel less concerned now.  I started to wonder if I'd get pulled down a hill backwards on wet pavement.  Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!
Wet with what?? ?You can drift with your wheels fully locked -- if the coefficient of friction is so low that the force of the trailer's weight on the hill is greater than the friction, off you go.? ?That is a matter of tires more than brakes.

However, pulling with a similar set up to yours, on all sorts of surfaces, except snow and ice, I have never had it happen to me.

Just be sure to adjust the trailer brake gain sufficiently starting out, inspect the brakes before every towing season and pay attention to your tires all around.? ?In short, just use good maintenance habits and relax.

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