When you drive your towing vehicle with a teardrop trailer attached, at some point, you will need to stop. As you do this, it’s important you roll to a stop long before you’d normally hit the brake. This allows both your towing vehicle and your teardrop trailer to pause at the point you intended.
You know that having brakes in your teardrop trailer would make stopping easier. It would also aide you when you park your trailer on uneven ground such as hills, slopes, or rocky terrain like what you see at campsites.
If you want to know more about whether teardrop trailers have brakes, I implore you to keep reading. I’ll tell you the answer in this article.
Do Teardrop Trailers Have Brakes?
Okay, so let’s start with the big question: should you expect to have brakes in your teardrop trailer? Like with most things, it depends. The teardrop model you choose will play a big role in whether your trailer has brakes. Not all trailers include them. For that reason, if you prioritize having brakes in your teardrop trailer, then I recommend you choose your brand carefully.
Is It Illegal to Go without Brakes?
In some cases, not only does having teardrop trailer brakes come down to a matter of personal preference, but it’s a legal issue, too. There are several states that mandate your trailer must have brakes. These include:
- Wyoming, where a trailer should be able to successfully roll to a stop at 20 miles per hour within 40 feet
- Utah, where the same requirements as above apply
- Rhode Island
- Oregon, where the vehicle’s empty trailer weight must be 1,000 pounds or under
- New Jersey
- New York, where the empty vehicle weight requirements are also 1,000 pounds
- Idaho, which has an empty vehicle weight requirement of 1,500 pounds
- California, where the same applies
If you’re caught without brakes in these states, you could incur a fine or possibly get into more serious legal trouble.
Even in other states without legal rules about teardrop trailer brakes, you probably don’t want to foregot them. That’s especially true if you often camp in mountainous terrain. You’ll often have to park on uneven slopes and rocky surfaces, as we mentioned before. To keep your trailer secure during your stay, a set of electric brakes will really come in handy.
Teardrop Trailer Models with Brakes
Are you looking for a teardrop trailer with brakes so you can assure it’s roadworthy? Look no further. The following manufacturers add brakes to their teardrops for matters of safety, convenience, and legality.
Whether you get the 550 Teardrop or the 560 Raindrop from Camp-Inn, you can expect electric brakes in both vehicles according to the manufacturer’s FAQs.
You can even get a breakaway switch system installed. You might want to strongly consider this. As Camp-Inn says, if legally you need brakes in your trailer, then you probably must have a breakaway switch system as well.
What does this switch system do? It can brake the trailer on the off-chance it ever gets unintentionally disconnected from your towing vehicle. While it doesn’t work the same as a parking brake, a breakaway switch system can save your trailer if the worst happens. You do want to make sure you have a fully-charged battery so the switch system can do its job.
Sierra Teardrops produce the T@G Escape, T@G Nomad, T@B Sofitel, T@B Bixby, T@B Outback, and the T@B Topanga. Per information on their site, the T@B trailers do come with electric brakes due to their weight, which exceeds 1,500 pounds.
To use these brakes, you need a 12-volt source of power (typically a line) and a seven-pin connector. While you tow your trailer, the battery will receive trickle charge power so it never completely drains.
Alternately, there’s the remote brake controller that Sierra Teardrops attaches to their trailers. You can find this on the frame of your trailer. It requires you use the 12-volt cigarette receptacle and attach a remote control unit to it.
With a remote brake controller, you can determine the braking pressure ahead of time so you can always stop safely.
High Camp Trailers
The simple design of Portland, Oregon’s High Camp Trailers includes one especially useful amenity: electric brakes. On their FAQs page, the manufacturer mentions that all its trailers come with these drum brakes. They’re 10 inches each.
You also get an emergency breakaway switch. You’ll need a battery in your vehicle for this switch to activate. Once it does, it can stop your trailer brakes for you, using the abovementioned battery power to do so.
Can You Add Brakes Yourself?
What if you’re driving a teardrop trailer produced by another brand and it doesn’t have brakes? Remember that you don’t always need them. If you live in a state that doesn’t mandate electric brakes, you might consider foregoing them. This becomes especially true if you have a lightweight trailer that’s less than 1,000 pounds. You often don’t need the extra stopping power.
If you’ve reviewed the above criteria and have determined you still need brakes, don’t despair.
You can always get them added to your vehicle.
If you’re in the early shopping stages, you can ask the manufacturer to install the brakes for you. If it’s after the fact, you can install them yourself or hire a professional to do so.
Do you want a brake controller for a heavier trailer? You can find a whole slew of them at TeardropShop.com. While these controllers aren’t always cheap, they’re worth having.
Not all teardrop trailers have brakes. Still, plenty of states mandate these vehicles have electric ones, especially if the trailer exceeds 1,000 pounds. From Camp-Inn to Sierra Teardrops and High Camp Trailers, many manufacturers will add electric brakes to their teardrops. These brands also often include a remote brake controller or an electric breakaway switch for your safety.