safety questions: electric brakes/ brake controller

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Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 06/27/2020 - 18:21
safety questions: electric brakes/ brake controller

Good morning!


I'm looking at ordering a 13 ft scamp
(with no bath)

I am not sure what options I will incorporate into the final build,
but budgeting is an issue.

My question is whether I should get the electric brakes & brake controller,

being they are a significant cost & I would need to remove other options I am considering.

(awning, outdoor shower outlets)

My tow is a 2012 Toyota Highlander & it is rated at 5000/500

2 factors: are the brakes on the highlander sufficient & I've read that trailer brakes help controlling sway if it occurs.

Is sway an issue with a scamp when a tractor trailer passes on the highway for example?

Wondering how stable they you need an anti sway bar?

Thanks in advance



Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2017 - 20:49

Sway is normally due to insufficient tongue weight, so weight distribution is important. 

I pulled a 13' with front bath with electric brakes with a Ford Escape, which is way smaller than your vehicle. Never had a sway problem.

Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2019 - 20:24
I recommend going with

I recommend going with electric trailer brakes:  

1.  your loaded scamp will add approx 50% weight to what your tow vehicle will have to deal with (2000 lb trailer, 4000 lb TV).  This will significantly impact your stopping distance

2.  Adding 200# of tongue weight to the rear of your TV will unweight the front end of your TV, reducing the effectiveness of your front brakes

3. Trailer brakes will support the resale value of your scamp

As far as sway bars - not needed on such a light trailer, and they can make backing up a real pain

I would give strong consideration to going with the awning as a factory option.  You can add it later, but that too is a pain


Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 06/27/2020 - 18:21
Thank You

Thank you for your responses.

It is great to be able to receive knowledgeable feedback.

I keep going back & forth on the awning, as it is quite costly, but I feel if I do not get it

I will regret it, as it does add functionality & room to a small sized trailer.

The brakes sound like the prudent way to go



Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 04/26/2020 - 12:43
It's up to you

I pulled our 'new' 2000 16' from Grand Rapids, MI to Central Missouri without brakes with my 06 Highlander (v6, FWD).  It did not care and didn't push me around into intersections, etc.  I will note that I didn't have any significant crosswinds that I noticed.  Tail and headwinds were fine.  Now we pull it with our 2019 Grand Caravan with brakes and I swear it sways more.

athearn2's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 days ago
Joined: 02/16/2015 - 10:43
Soft Suspension

I believe  the softer suspension on the Grand Caravan is more susceptible to sway than the stiffer suspension of the Highlander. 

Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 08/20/2018 - 13:45

The soft suspension and the car tires used on Mini vans are a contributor to the sway for sure the softer side wall that gives a nice ride allows the van to mush around a bit adding to the lack of stability. 

2019 Scamp 13 standard