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Trailer towing and trailer brakes?

2788 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  minnesotaart
I just bought a brand new 2010 Escape Limited with 3.0L V6, Auto, and 4wd. In the winter, I'm going to be pulling a two place snowmobile trailer with it and I'm looking at upgrading to an enclosed trailer. The total weight of the two snowmobiles assuming they each have a full tank of gas is about 1200 pounds. The two trailers I'm looking at are 1065 pounds and 1325 pounds respectively which would make my total weight to be towed 2265 or 2525 depending on which trailer I pick. Ford says my towing capacity is 3500 so I should be OK with either of these two setups. A third trailer which is also a possibility is a two place Triton XT series which is 1550 pounds and would put total towed weight at 2750.

The question I have is on weather or not I will need trailer brakes. The Ford towing guide is not much help as it just says brakes are recommended for ALL trailers. State law in my state says they are required for trailers exceeding 3000 pounds so I'd be well under the legal limit. So at what weight should I be really concerned about having trailer brakes? My inclination is to just get them but if its just redundant it might be a waste. Also, has anyone used electric trailer brakes? If so how much did it cost to modify the truck for them?

PS: I did get the factory installed Class II towing package.
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I have an '02 Escape with the factory trailer tow. I had a brake controller and 7-wire plug-in installed in 2003 for about $250. Had it done at a professional place that only does hitch installs and has been in business for many, many years. More expensive than other places (like U-Haul) but I've had zero issues with their work. I very much recommend going with electric brakes on the trailer, they help a lot.
Yup - I live in Bloomington. The work was done at Burnsville Trailer Hitch ( A little bit of a drive for you, but not awful. They do superb work and treated my vehicle as if it were their own.
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