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Was surprised to read in owners manual section 8-11 that trailer brakes are required over 1000# overall trailer weight. My 1900# trailer/boat combo is too small to add brakes...yikes, now I have to buy a new trailer. Surprised that Subaru didn't put bigger brakes on their biggest Subaru yet.
 

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Most trailers under 3000 lbs will not have brakes, at least in the US. I believe anything rated over 3000 or 3500 lbs requires brakes. Subaru should have had the braking set up accordingly. I am not even sure if I could add brakes to my smaller trailers due to the small wheels.
 

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Was surprised to read in owners manual section 8-11 that trailer brakes are required over 1000# overall trailer weight. My 1900# trailer/boat combo is too small to add brakes...yikes, now I have to buy a new trailer. Surprised that Subaru didn't put bigger brakes on their biggest Subaru yet.
My 1800lb boat never had trailer brakes salt water and trailer brakes don’t go together very well. Never had an issue. Just don’t speed and drive like a idiot and your fine.
 

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My 1800lb boat never had trailer brakes salt water and trailer brakes don’t go together very well. Never had an issue. Just don’t speed and drive like a idiot and your fine.
Certainly, cautious and prudent driving while trailering is a no brainer but Subaru does not take their engineering lightly, so if they specify that a trailer gross weight over 1000# REQUIRES trailer brakes, I don't think it's a good idea to disregard their requirement.
 

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Certainly, cautious and prudent driving while trailering is a no brainer but Subaru does not take their engineering lightly, so if they specify that a trailer gross weight over 1000# REQUIRES trailer brakes, I don't think it's a good idea to disregard their requirement.
Your call I get 60,000 miles out my brake pads and last subaru had 180,000 on the original in spec smooth rotors when my current and now 110,000 mile OB replaced it. Zero issues or handling problems with either. Just watch the hot temps and long climbs.
 

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Your call I get 60,000 miles out my brake pads and last subaru had 180,000 on the original in spec smooth rotors when my current and now 110,000 mile OB replaced it. Zero issues or handling problems with either. Just watch the hot temps and long climbs.
I don't know and am not advocating for either way. I would potentially agree you will be fine without trailer brakes for 99% of the time but if there is an emergency situation the trailer brakes can make all the difference.

The related-ish story I have is from a court case that my mother was on the jury for. An unnamed truck manufacturer was being sued for causing a driver to become paralyzed. The driver added on a crane that obviously was not crash tested or endorsed by the truck manufacturer. The guy lost because the manufacturer clearly stated in the manual what was supported and that non approved additions would not be covered.

So all I'm trying to say is the engineers for Subaru have safety in mind and probably add a cushion for the people that are not going to use trailer brakes, however, if you have someone pull out in front of you I can't imagine you wishing you didn't have trailer brakes.
 

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I don't know and am not advocating for either way. I would potentially agree you will be fine without trailer brakes for 99% of the time but if there is an emergency situation the trailer brakes can make all the difference.

The related-ish story I have is from a court case that my mother was on the jury for. An unnamed truck manufacturer was being sued for causing a driver to become paralyzed. The driver added on a crane that obviously was not crash tested or endorsed by the truck manufacturer. The guy lost because the manufacturer clearly stated in the manual what was supported and that non approved additions would not be covered.

So all I'm trying to say is the engineers for Subaru have safety in mind and probably add a cushion for the people that are not going to use trailer brakes, however, if you have someone pull out in front of you I can't imagine you wishing you didn't have trailer brakes.
Like I said your call.

For one trailers under 3000lbs dont offer much tire friction regarding stopping power. So braked trailers under 3k don’t have a big impact on your ability to stop. Do they shorten the stop? A little. But my Subaru Outback stopped my trailer quicker and with more control than my v8 8pass SUV.

I tow yr around. Thousands of miles if it was a RV trailer yes Get brakes. Swap in a new axle with brackets and toss em on might cost you $1000.

If my boat and trailer was 3000 yeah I would probably eat the new brake system every 3 yrs . But 1800lbs? No way. I have avoided enough accidents while towing to say 1800lbs or 1900lbs isn’t a big concern. The Subarus stop it well and control it well.

RV get brakes, atv trailer get brakes. Salt water dunked trailers under 2000lbs skip it.
 

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State regulations also enter into the mix here...brakes should be involved for either Subaru or state/province regulations, whichever is lower. Jurisdictions you might travel through that have lower limits also has to be taken into consideration. Personally, I'd prefer to err on the side of "brakes" rather than "no brakes" when things get close to the mark.

Here's a link to a handy graphic relative to US States and Canadian Provinces with their minimum weight requirements. While most seem to be at 3000 lbs, some are as low as 1000. Note that many require break-away brakes, too.

State and Province Towing Laws
 

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For one trailers under 3000lbs dont offer much tire friction regarding stopping power. So braked trailers under 3k don’t have a big impact on your ability to stop. Do they shorten the stop? A little. But my Subaru Outback stopped my trailer quicker and with more control than my v8 8pass SUV.

I tow yr around. Thousands of miles if it was a RV trailer yes Get brakes. Swap in a new axle with brackets and toss em on might cost you $1000.
The fun part is rules and regulations. One of the main reasons the Outback is only rated to tow 2,700 pounds in the U.S. is because it can driven at highway speeds with that much weight behind it. The Subaru Outback sold in England - which is the same car as sold here, other than where the driver sits - has a towing capacity of 2,000 kg. That's 4,400 pounds. What's the difference? Maximum speed on a 4 lane highway there with a caravan (trailer) attached is 60 mph, 50 mph on 2 lane road. Here you could do 75 mph.

In other words, politely, lawyers were involved.

You just have to be careful with such things as stopping distances, basically. New people with no experience towing should get every advantage they can. Those with years of experience (like @Subiesailor) know what they're doing. We can still get into trouble, it's just more difficult. :nerd:
 

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Stopping distance hasn’t ever been an issue with the 1800lb boat. My last close call was I5 north in CA not far from the Redding Carr firea few weeks ago.

I5 through that area is arrow strait except for a couple of slight bends. 2lanes. I had a brand new Nissan Altima kiss the inside gravel shoulder at 80mph at a slight bend as it was passing me. I was doing 70. That Altima swapped ends as quick as a finger snap. I hit my brakes hard the second they kissed the gravel. No joke we were nose to nose looking at each other as the Altima crossed through my lane just ahead of me. To top it off this was right before an overpass the only one for miles. They ramped off the far raised berm of the overpass and went airborn. Jumping the altima clear over the highway fence didn’t touch it. Landed in a drainage colvert trunk first and went over on its lid in the Almond orchard!!

The second they cleared me I got of the brakes given I had a semi hard on the brakes behind me.

The Outback didn’t even twitch nor did my boat/trailer.
 
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