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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
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    Default WA Trailer Brake Law - both axles. Great...

    Just learned something new. My trailer is due for a little more love: inspect/replace bearings, seals, brakes, etc. Decided to call around and see how much it would be to just bring it in and be done vs DIY.

    Guy at the first shop told me I'm illegal only having brakes on the front of my tandem axle. WA State requires for anything over 3,000 gross weight that all wheels touching the ground have brakes. Not sure when that law came into effect or if there are any exemptions. Mine is a 2001 and came from Oregon which doesn't have this law so maybe?

    Option 1 - new dual axle surge brakes setup = $2k range.

    Option 2 - convert to dual axle electric brake setup (drums) = $1k range.

    Really?

    From just a brief bit of web research this is definitely the law. Not sure if there are exemptions allowed or not. Rumors are that if you got in a wreck, you would be liable and since the trailer is not up to spec that your insurance may be null and void.

    REALLY?


    Anyone else know the details on this and if any exceptions are allowed?

    Anyone else here from WA with a tandem just realizing "Ah #$%&!, I only have brakes on one axle..."
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    s.e. washington state
    Posts
    2,091

    Default

    1998 Mobius
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    6,019

    Default

    From the way I understand it is, if the trailer was sold in WA it has to meet these laws.

    I would actually call DMV and explain that the trailer was bought in OR and from the factory it didn't come like that. Some states will have a grandfather law, or you can get a permit to continue on the way you are now.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,265

    Default

    Option #3 - Ditch an axle and convert it to single axle trailer. DONE!

    Really couldn't resist Berg. Sorry. But I do sympathize with you and would be a bit put out myself if I was in your position. Maybe time to upgrade to a new boat/trailer combo?
    2007 Moomba Outback - waiting for summer!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmandley View Post
    trailer was bought in OR and from the factory it didn't come like that. Some states will have a grandfather law, or you can get a permit to continue on the way you are now.
    That's what I'm hoping for.

    Just stumbled across a nearly complete 4 wheel disc kit for $650 - not bad, but still a lot of work involved, if it would even fit. Ugh - can nothing be easy?!

    New boat/trailer maybe after a new house, new rv, new suv, new new new.... Mama's got a priority list.

    Right now I'd just settle for new bearings and brakes.
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    s.e. washington state
    Posts
    2,091

    Default

    Actually all trailers have to comply. "Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer, and any combination of such vehicle operating upon a highway within this state shall be equipped with brakes in compliance with the requirements of this chapter."

    That is one reason you see trucks stopped by those DOT vans. You can get by unless there was an accident that could be attributed to the trailer braking. Very doubtful.
    1998 Mobius
    310 HP PCM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,239

    Default

    Hmmmm. I don't know how enforceable it is. There was a case about mud flaps one time and the particular state's statute was found to be too much of a limitation on interstate commerce. But, if you are a resident I don't know how much that helps. Plus you might have to take it pretty high up ($$$$$). Might be easier to comply.

    Edit: A little background:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibb_v....ght_Lines,_Inc.
    Last edited by kaneboats; 03-06-2014 at 09:40 AM.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,239

    Default

    Wow, look at the dispartity between the states:

    https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/trailer-brakes/
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
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    Default

    Talked to my bro, Mr Popo, and he didn't have a clear answer (he's city, not state trooper). At any rate he said this part bolded could leave a little to interpretation:

    (3) Brakes on all wheels. Every vehicle shall be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels except:

    (a) Trailers, semitrailers, or pole trailers of a gross weight not exceeding three thousand pounds, provided that:

    (i) The total weight on and including the wheels of the trailer or trailers shall not exceed forty percent of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer or trailers:


    GVWR on my truck is 11,200. 40% of that is 4,480. Combined weight of the boat 3250 & trailer 1000+? is roughly 4250-4500 on paper anyway. Haven't had it weighed. Not sure if this has any bearing or is applicable to me or not.

    I'm probably just paranoid but have realized the older I get, sometimes that can be a good thing...
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Do the newer dual axle trailers come with brakes on all four wheels? I will have to check mine tonight.
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