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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, looking for thoughts on towing.
I'll be traveling from Indianapolis IN to Sturgis SD in August 2023.
I'll have a Forest River 17 foot single axle toy hauler. It's weight is 2300 lbs. I'll have a 1000 lb. Harley in it.
Do I need a trailer brake?
Do I need sway bars?
Will it tow OK?
Anything I'm missing?
Thanks for any thoughts
 

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Brakes are required if the trailer has an empty weight of over 3,000 lbs. Requires any vehicle combination to stop in 40 feet at 20 mph. Requires any vehicle combination to stop in 30 feet at 20 mph. Every trailer having an unladed weight of more than 10,000 lbs shall be equipped with air or electric brakes.
 

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Weight sounds ok. What type of brakes are on the trailer? Electric or Surge?
 

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Post pictures of what it has, what you see
 

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QUOTE="Indyharleyguy, post: 258141, member: 58649"]
I'm not sure I'm going to look and see. Not sure how to check though.
[/QUO[/QUOTE]
I haven't had the chance to try my 2018 Enclave Avenir towing package yet. But I had a Toyota Highlander before a tree fell on it, with a tow package that has the same 7000# weight towing capacity.
We towed an enclosed Wells Cargo trailer that carried a Harley Road King to places like The Laughlin River Run, Sturgis etc.
The trailer didn't come with brakes brakes and I didn't feel it needed any. We've traveled through OR.CA. AZ. NM.TX.LA.FL.ND. SD. WY. MN. ID. WA. etc. and never had any issues with any brake volations or any traction control issues
 

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QUOTE="Indyharleyguy, post: 258141, member: 58649"]
I'm not sure I'm going to look and see. Not sure how to check though.
[/QUO
I haven't had the chance to try my 2018 Enclave Avenir towing package yet. But I had a Toyota Highlander before a tree fell on it, with a tow package that has the same 7000# weight towing capacity.
We towed an enclosed Wells Cargo trailer that carried a Harley Road King to places like The Laughlin River Run, Sturgis etc.
The trailer didn't come with brakes brakes and I didn't feel it needed any. We've traveled through OR.CA. AZ. NM.TX.LA.FL.ND. SD. WY. MN. ID. WA. etc. and never had any issues with any brake volations or any traction control issues
[/QUOTE]
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The vehicle's weight towing capacity has nothing to due with the need for brakes. The OP is taking about towing 3300lbs dry, probably closer to 4500 loaded. Towing Flat and on hill will make a difference in how well it will tow and stop. If I am not mistaken the Enclave has a towing capacity (with the towing package) of about 5K lbs. General rule is to not exceed 80% of that. All I am going to say is to not put the wrong idea of not need brakes for anyone.
 

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Did you get pictures or get the specs. I think this video will help you to understand that the position of how you load your bike will make a difference for swaying.
 

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Hi All, looking for thoughts on towing. I'll be traveling from Indianapolis IN to Sturgis SD in August 2023. I'll have a Forest River 17 foot single axle toy hauler. It's weight is 2300 lbs. I'll have a 1000 lb. Harley in it. Do I need a trailer brake? Do I need sway bars? Will it tow OK? Anything I'm missing? Thanks for any thoughts
I have a 14 awd I use sway bars on my 28ft camper. It weighs more than the enclave is supposed to be towing (with our stuff in it about 500 to 700lb over) but I haven't had any problems and doesn't seem to mind it.
 

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IMO under 4-5k sway bars are overkill. You just need to make sure you tongue weight is appropriate for the hauled load. People don't realize how much that affects handling. When I installed the extended swim platform on my boat I didn't think about what adding a couple hundred pounds to the far end of the fulcrum was going to do to my well balanced 4k load on my tandem axle trailer. As soon as we hit 55mph I knew I had a problem and mentally kicked myself for not thinking about it during the swim platform install. Thankfully we were only going to the local boat launch so I just avoided the highways and said I'll figure it out later. Since I couldn't shift the boat forward (I had installed the swing tongue as far back as possible to fit the rig in the garage) I ended up moving the axles back which accomplished the same thing; more weight on the tongue. It immediately went back to being rock solid at 75mph on the highway (I generally only tow at 65-68 with top gear locked out because the Enclave is working too hard at 75).

Over 5k and weight distributing hitches with sway control start getting really important. When you get into the kind of tongue weights required for those loads it helps immensely to distribute that weight to the frame of your tow vehicle vs loading it all on the hitch ball. Plus with that kind of weight behind you it's easy to get into those "tail wagging the dog" situations where the trailer can simply out muscle the tow vehicle. That should never be an issue for Enclave owners though since you shouldn't be hauling that kind of weight in the first place because the vehicle simply isn't up to the task.

Brakes on the other hand... I won't tow over 2k anymore without trailer brakes. My last boat came in just under 3k loaded on the trailer (light 18's bow rider on a single axle trailer) and it didn't have brakes. While legal in NY (3k limit) the emergency stopping distance was not great. The current boat is 21' on a tandem trailer with single axle disks on a surge setup and in a full panic stop (which I've had to do once at highway speed and a couple times at 45-50 in town) it never feels like the boat is pushing the Enclave.
 

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I towed a boat weighing 3300 lbs that had trailer breaks that were activated by a sliding trailer hitch that had a brake master cylinder which activated the wheel cylinder breaks. Every time I put on my breaks, I could feel the trailer slow down my car. It was a real nice setup. Plus done tow while in over drive. You could take out the clutch for overdrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I towed a boat weighing 3300 lbs that had trailer breaks that were activated by a sliding trailer hitch that had a brake master cylinder which activated the wheel cylinder breaks. Every time I put on my breaks, I could feel the trailer slow down my car. It was a real nice setup. Plus done tow while in over drive. You could take out the clutch for overdrive.
Where is the brake fluid reservoir on the trailer?
 

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This explains electric vs surge, plus the hybrid electric over hydraulic.

I've run electric and surge and on a boat trailer I'll take surge every time for the reliability. Yeah, I can't trigger the brakes on the trailer without braking the tow vehicle but other than controlling sway (which isn't an issue if your weight balance is right) I don't see the need. I've got buddies that pull travel trailers that swear by electronic though. Of course they don't plunge their travel trailers several feet deep into the water a couple times a week all summer. My hydraulically activated disk brakes have no issues with that.

 

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This explains electric vs surge, plus the hybrid electric over hydraulic.

I've run electric and surge and on a boat trailer I'll take surge every time for the reliability. Yeah, I can't trigger the brakes on the trailer without braking the tow vehicle but other than controlling sway (which isn't an issue if your weight balance is right) I don't see the need. I've got buddies that pull travel trailers that swear by electronic though. Of course they don't plunge their travel trailers several feet deep into the water a couple times a week all summer. My hydraulically activated disk brakes have no issues with that.

The benefit of hydraulic is that you can get disk brakes. The benefit of electric is that you have brakes in reverse. When I bought my boat trailer in 2005 I opted for electric, then I was told that there was no disk brakes for this set up. This may be an option for electric over hydraulic, I don't know, but I would like to think that this would have been the better option. In 18 years I have not had any reliability issues with the electric brakes on my boat. Other than wishing I had them installed on all axles, which I later upgraded to. Being able to trigger the brakes is a nice option but I've never had the need to. I don't tow far and don't tailgate others.
 
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