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After market trailer brakes. Is this possible?
Yes, go to trailer parts site. You can get electric or hydraulic.
Adding brakes to an existing trailer can be a relatively easy project, it can also be a real challenging project.
The first thing you want to do is remove a wheel and look to see if you have a "backing" plate behind your spindle where the brake assembly can be mounted (see photo).
If your axle does have the backing plate you can order the appropriate sized brake assembly (including drums) for your axle and install them. This takes a fair amount of mechanical skill, but it is not too difficult. You would then have to run the electrical wires and re-wire your trailer connector.
By-the-way, I would recommend installing electric brakes, installation is simpler than a hydraulic system and with the lower weights of Scamps electric brakes will perform very well. I would also recommend staying away from a "Surge" type system because they are not legal in many States (going down a mountain they will over heat and become useless).
An easier method would be to replace the entire axle with a new axle which has the brake assemblies already installed. I would strongly recommend this approach if your Scamp is nearing 10 years old or older (the torsion support tends to weaken as the Scamps age and you would probably need to replace the axle fairly soon anyway).
Additionally, if your axle does not have the backing plate for brake mounting you can get a shop to weld a pair onto your existing axle, but, that can be expensive and I would recommend axle replacement as a better choice in that case.
Bottom line, yes you can add brakes to an existing trailer, and you should for your safety and the safety of others.
Personally, I don't think brakes should be optional on any trailer that weighs close to a ton (or more when loaded).
I commend you for wanting to enhance the safety of your Scamping adventures.
Good Luck, and keep us posted on your progress.
Happy Scamping !!!
Replacing the entire axel with the brakes in it sounds expensive. Do you have any idea of the cost? I just got a 81 13' and I am sure I probably need to do this as well.
Congratulations on your New (to you) 13' Scamp.
As I mentioned above, older Scamps often require that the axle needs to be replaced due to sagging of the internal torsion suspension. What happens is that, over time, the rubber inside the axle weakens and can no longer support the weight of the trailer consequently, the trailer rides lower and lower each year (that is why it is recommended that Scamps be stored with the weight on jack stands and not on the axle).
If you look at the two pictures below you will see what I mean:
The first picture is a picture of your Scamp...
Notice how low your trailer sits on the axle.
Now, contrast that with a picture of a new Scamp 13...
Notice the clearance above the wheel vs the top half of your wheel being completely hidden.
This is a prime example of when it would be easier and cheaper to replace the axle with a new axle which has the brakes already installed, rather than adding brakes to the existing axle and still needing to replace the axle in a couple of years, because your suspension is completely worn out.
As far as expense goes, I imagine it would cost around $500 to buy an axle and about $150 to have it installed. Keep in mind, that it would cost half that to add brakes to an axle that does not already have brakes on it.
I would recommend you take your Scamp to a trailer repair shop or a shop that repairs horse trailers in your area and get an exact quote from them, you can also take it to an RV repair shop for comparison pricing.
Please let us know what you find out and what your actual pricing is because my numbers above are simply estimated guesses.
Good Luck !!
thank you for the advice I will post a follow up after I get estimates
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