Do you know if Jayco Trailer has brakes? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.
The Jayco trailers are probably the best-known ones in the US, after all, their Jay Flight line of travel trailers is the best selling one since 2005, each and every year.
Whether you are buying or renting one of their models, your first and foremost concern should be their safety on the roads.
Arguably the most important safety device of any vehicle, and trailers, in particular, are the brakes.
Their purpose is to safely bring the vehicle to stop and maintain control of them while you are towing them.
So, do Jayco trailers have brakes? Yes, practically all Jayco trailers have brakes equipped on them, the exceptions are rare, and limited to older smaller models that have GVWR under 3,000 pounds. There are 3 most popular types of trailer brakes available.
So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of this answer.
Table of Contents
Why Trailers Must Have Brakes?
Simply, for safety reasons.
When it comes to braking on the road suddenly, the trailer can behave like a pendulum.
In other words, its weight because of the inertia could swing it on either side.
Depending on its weight and the speed from which you are braking, this swinging motion could range from a fraction of an inch to a catastrophic road accident.
The way to prevent this is by slowing down the trailer at the same time when the towing vehicle is slowing down, and this is done in the same way, with brakes.
Where And When Trailers Must Have Brakes?
Having brakes on a trailer is a requirement of traffic safety laws in almost all states.
And such laws state what is the minimum GVWR of a trailer above which it must have them.
Problems for trailer owners or renters can cause situations when you are not aware of the exact local regulation in some states, so here’s the list of them grouped by the minimum GVWR limits:
- 1,000 pounds: New York and North Carolina
- 1,500 pounds: California, Indiana, and Nevada
- 2,000 pounds: Mississippi
- 3,000 pounds: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dacota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
- 4,000 pounds: Delaware
- 4,500 pounds: Texas
- 5,000 pounds: Alaska
- 10,000 pounds: Massachusetts
If you are planning to tow a trailer through one of the above states, if the trailer’s GVWR is above the stated limits, it has to have brakes.
In the states that are missing on the above list, requirements for having brakes are differently defined and not per the trailer’s GVWR specification.
In Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, and Utah; the combination of towing vehicle and trailer must be able to stop within 40 feet when slowing down from 20mph.
For this, the brakes on towing vehicle could be sufficient if the trailer is light enough.
In Oregon, this required braking distance is set to 35 feet.
In Michigan, if the GVWR is less than 3,000 pounds and doesn’t make more than 40% of towing vehicles’ GVWR, brakes are not required.
In case that the trailer has brakes on all wheels, the combination of towing vehicle and trailer must be capable of stopping within the distance of 30 feet, otherwise within the 40 feet brake distance.
In Nebraska, trailers with GVWR between 3,000 and 6,500 pounds must have brakes on at least two wheels, while above 6,500 pounds on all wheels.
While in North Dakota, all trailers towed at speeds above 25mph must have brakes, which for all intents and purposes means that trailers without brakes are not allowed on public roads.
Types Of Trailer Brakes Jayco Can Have?
There are several types of trailer brakes that any Jayco trailer can have, besides the general division into drum and disc brakes.
Here are the 3 most common types of trailer brakes you can have, which included:
- Electric brakes are always drum-type brakes, they require a controller inside the cabin on towing vehicle which measures the acceleration. When you step on the brake pedal controller senses the deceleration and activates the magnetic brake pads.
- Electrohydraulic brakes are similar in design in the sense that they also need to have a controller in your cabin, but with them, it activates an electric hydraulic pump that controls the brake elements. They can be either drum or disc brakes.
- Surge hydraulic brakes are very different design as they require no controller inside the cabin, instead, a hydraulic piston installed into the tongue reacts to a change of acceleration, and when you are braking the inertia of hydraulic liquid creates a surge of pressure which activates the brakes proportionally to the force of towing vehicle’s brakes.
All three of these types have advantages and drawbacks.
For example, electric brakes are the cheapest as they are drum type, and also provide very fast activation.
But because they are drum type activated by electromagnets, have the worst stopping power.
Electrohydraulic brakes have much higher stopping power as they can be disc brakes, but also the hydraulic system can exert a higher amount of force on the braking surface.
But they come at a higher price.
Surge brakes have the least parts, and in the case of the trailer being disconnected, they will remain operational, just as the previous type, they have the advantages of hydraulic activation.
But just the same as electrohydraulic brakes they have a higher initial cost.
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