Do mobile home axles have brakes?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do mobile home axles have brakes? We will explain why you should install brakes on mobile home axles and how to do it (step-by-step). 

Do mobile home axles have brakes?

In general, no, mobile home axles do not have brakes. Mobile homes have rudimentary wheels and chassis without suspension or brakes and are therefore transported in the rear of large flatbed trucks, the axle and wheels are used for movement to the final location when the mobile home is moved by platform or 4×4. 

A mobile home typically stays on a single plot for many years and has many of the modern conveniences that one would normally find in a home.

It is possible, however, to add electric brakes to the axles of a mobile home. In fact, if you are using the same axles for a utility trailer, it is recommended to add brakes! 

How to install electric trailer brakes on mobile home axles

Electric brakes are the easiest way to add brakes to a trailer that was not equipped with them when it was built. Without the need to run pipe or bleed, electric brakes are also simpler and faster to install than disc or hydraulic drum brakes. Electric brakes can be added to any trailer, but their use is not recommended on boat trailers.

The addition of electric trailer brakes will help make your trailer safer. A good investment of your time and money.

  1. Get an electric trailer brake kit. A good kit will contain the backing plate with all the assembled goods. You will also need a matching brake drum to match your trailer axles and backing plate.
  1. Remove the mobile home axles.  Support plate bolt to the axle. Please note that the direction of rotation is important. Make sure the support plates are mounted on the correct trailer sides.
  1. Connect the magnets to a wire and run them to the tongue of the trailer. Most brake manufacturers recommend that you use a separate ground wire and do not use the mail trailer chassis for a floor. 
  1.  Make a connection to allow the brakes to be connected to the trailer brake controller. The standard wire colour is blue. Many trucks will already have a blue wire run in the wiring harness for you. 
  1. Install the brake drum and tighten the mobile home axle nut to the specified torque. Make sure to grease the new bearings with the appropriate grease. The hub with brakes will run much hotter than your old hubs had in order to use high-temperature grease.
  1. Test the system by pressing the emergency button on the brake controller. The trailer brakes should activate immediately. If everything works fine, follow the trailer brake controller tuning procedure to set the correct power and retarding for your trailer and loads.

Enjoy your new trailer brakes!

Note:  Be sure to properly support the trailer while the wheels are off. Make sure to tighten all bolts to the correct torque. Check everything after driving a few miles to see if anything has changed due to the heat from the brakes. Make sure to use a brake controller and not tie the brakes to the tail light wires. This will cause the trailer brakes to lock violently and bring them out quickly.

How to install an electronic brake control on mobile home axles

Electronic brake controls enable the vehicle to attach electric brakes to the trailer. Connected to the braking system, the trailer’s electric brakes engage when the vehicle’s brake pedal is depressed. 

Connecting an electronic brake control requires access to four wires: power, ground, brake, and trailer brake. Most vehicles equipped with a suspension and drivetrain suitable for towing a trailer with electric brakes will have a brake controller plug available under the dash.

  1. Pull out the plug from the brake controller. Some come with an adapter. If there is no plug hanging from yours, connect the adapter to the brake controller and clamp the cables at the most distant point.
  1. Strip 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) of insulation from the ends of the four wires attached to the brake controller. Separate the four wires to make room to connect the vehicle wiring.
  1. Locate the brake controller wiring harness under the dash of your vehicle. Extend the wires and compare the colour and location on your plugin the owner’s manual diagram. Identify which wire is for power, ground, brake line, and electric brake. Clamp all four from the socket and strip 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) of insulation from each.
  1. Connect each controller cable to the corresponding cable on the vehicle following the guidelines in the instruction manual. Twist each pair of wires together, fold the connection back on itself, and wrap it with electrical tape.
  1. Connect the trailer plug to the vehicle plug. Step on the brake pedal and have an assistant listen to the trailer wheels to see if the electric brakes engage. There may also be a hum. Adjust the sensitivity of the controller according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  1. Get an adapter that connects the controller to your vehicle, depending on the manufacturer and model. Adapters are usually brand specific. For example, a “Simple Plug-in” connector is the brand name of a Brake-Force brake controller.
  1. Extend the bundle of controller wires from under the dashboard on the driver’s side.
  1. Connect the adapter harness to the harness of the vehicle’s outlet. Connect the adapter to the brake controller socket. If necessary, plug the controller cable into its back.
  1. Position the brake controller in a place within easy reach of the driver and install it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  1. Test the controller by having an assistant listen for the brake clutch when the pedal is depressed. Adjust the sensitivity on the controller according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: The direct connection of the brake controller cables is permanent. If you remove it, you will have to cut the wires. If your vehicle does not have a brake controller plug wired under the dash, locate the respective cables and connect them to those of the brake controller. 

Why you should install brakes on mobile home axles

The main reason you should install brakes on the mobile home axles is if you plan on using them to convert a utility trailer. Learning to pull a trailer can be difficult, and there are several drivers factors that will need to be considered. One of the most important factors is the type of trailer brake. Choosing a trailer with electric brakes, or installing electric brakes on your property’s trailer, can have a number of important advantages.

  • Shorter learning curve: It can be difficult for even experienced drivers to learn the skills they need to safely tow a trailer. Pulling a trailer can more than double the length of the vehicle, and the extra length and weight can be a real challenge for many drivers. 

Making sure the trailer has electric brakes that can decrease the learning curve and make it easier for drivers to learn to pull a trailer. Since the trailer brakes come on automatically when the driver steps on the brake on the tow vehicle, there is one less thing to worry about.

  • Better control: One of the main advantages of installing electric brakes on a trailer is that applying the towing vehicle’s brakes automatically applies the brakes on the trailer. This can provide more precise control for the driver and reduce downtimes for the trailer and the vehicle it is towing.
  • Superior stability: Many trailers have a tendency to sway, especially on rough roads and in windy conditions. Installing electric trailer brakes can greatly increase the stability of the trailer and control the tendency to sway. 

By utilizing the controller that is part of the electric braking system, trailer owners can stabilize their vehicles and allow them to be tracked directly and accurately even in the most difficult conditions. Drivers waiting to take their trailers on dirt roads and other rough surfaces should definitely consider installing electric brakes.

The bottom line

Braked trailers are attracting more and more motorists because of the convenience they offer. Not to mention the additional volume they offer to transfer large materials. Trailers with or without brakes, depending on the conditions of use and the needs of the driver. Also, many companies market these trailers, in equally different formats.

On heavier trailers and caravans, which exceed half of the vehicle towing unladen, consider getting a braked caravan. Its role is to assist the vehicle’s primary braking and relieve it of the trailer’s weight.

The goal is to reduce the braking distance to ensure better passenger safety. But it also makes it possible to extend the life of the brakes of the towing vehicle and the contents of the trailer.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on Do mobile home axles have brakes?

How much can you tow without trailer brakes?

In most states, you can tow up to 3000 lbs without trailer brakes. There is an exception to this rule only in a few places across the US. Lightweight trailers do not have to be braked since the braking of the vehicle towing them is sufficient. It is also necessary to check that the trailer’s mounting bracket is rigid enough to absorb the braking without the vehicle and the trailer colliding.

Do you have to have electric brakes to tow a caravan?

If the caravan weighs more than 750 kg (3000 lbs), you are required by law to have electric brakes. The goal is to reduce the braking distance to ensure better passenger safety. But it also makes it possible to extend the life of the brakes of the towing vehicle and the contents of the trailer.

Can I tow a trailer with electric brakes without a brake controller?

No, you cannot tow a trailer with electric brakes without a brake controller, as it would be useless. Electric brakes need a brake controller to work!