Towing an RV is definitely something that requires patience. Ideally, you would want to know what you are doing because, simply put, we do not want to make mistakes. However, the one thing that I will tell you right away is that not all RV campers will have their own brakes.

This leaves you confused as you struggle to figure out what needs to be done.

This is why, in this article, we are going to help you understand if towing a camper without electric brakes is safe more importantly, we are going to look into other information that should clear the air for you, and you will have a proper understanding of how things work. So, let’s not waste time and have a look.

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Towing Camper without Electric Brakes – What You Need to Know?

If you are wondering why your trailer needs a set of brakes, the answer is simple, to be honest. Trailers need brakes, so there is support when it comes to stopping a trailer when you are towing. This will alleviate the two-vehicle from facing the entirety of the trailer’s weight when you are stopping. This will also mitigate any wear and tear on the towing vehicle’s brake system and allows for a much smoother stopping.

Not just that, there are other benefits of having trailer brakes. For instance, if you are driving on a steeper path, having these brakes will give you more control of the trailer. These brakes can be activated when you are pressing on the tow vehicle’s brake pedal. Doing so results in an evenly distributed braking power, letting the trailer slow down at the same rate as the vehicle does. This also prevents

Now that you know that towing can be done, there are a few questions that you need to answer before proceeding. For starters, you need to have enough stopping power. All states are going to have regulations as to the trailer brake requirements. 1000 pounds is the most common requirement, but you will even find states with 5,000 or 10,000 pounds as the limit.

The simplest thing is to ensure that you know the latest information when you are towing. Checking with DMV is the best thing to do so you can have all the information. 

Understanding Different Brake Types 

Most of the things that need to be sorted are already sorted. Before we wrap this up, however, we need to understand a few different brake types as we believe those are important to our cause. The more awareness there is, the better it will be for everyone; we cannot overlook that.

Below, you will see two different types of brakes that are found in an RV. Whether you are buying an RV at retail or you are looking at a wholesale rv, having this knowledge is paramount, so let’s not waste time and have a look, shall we?

  1. Electronic Brakes

Relatively new in the market, electronic brakes normally start with a controller in the towing vehicle’s cab. Vehicles that are designed specifically for towing will have a brake controller installed by default. If not, you can always go ahead and install it with ease and without any complications.

For those wondering how electric brakes work, these have the ability to stop the trailer you are towing with the help of electromagnets. The electromagnets actuate the drum brakes you find in the braking system on the trailer. You can even go ahead, and just the amount of electricity that is sent to the braking system found on the trailer. If you manage to tune these brakes perfectly, you will have an effortless way of stopping the trailers.

However, you probably will have to activate the brake controller so you can properly get rid of the sway in the trailer, which can be an issue for most people.

  1. Surge Brakes

On the other hand, we have surge brakes, and if you are unfamiliar, these brakes are powered by hydraulics and use the trailer’s momentum to activate the brakes. When you do press the brake pedal, and the tow vehicle starts to slow down, the trailer will start pushing against a hydraulic cylinder, and this process will then activate the braking system in the trailer that will allow it to slow down. 

The harder you press on the brake pedal, the more pressure there will be on the braking system, letting the trailer slow down faster. This allows for a much smoother stop as both the trailer and towing vehicle are achieving the stop at the same speed. However, since there is no way to activate the trailer brakes themselves, this creates a risk because if the RV is swaying, things can get difficult.


There you have it, folks! We have tried our best to ensure you know what is possible and what is not. I do understand that this can be overwhelming for a lot of people, but the whole purpose of this article was to ensure that you are not having any problems whatsoever in understanding how the braking system works.

I will reiterate my previous statement and tell you that not all campers or RVs come with brakes. However, you can find RVs and campers with brakes installed on them. If you are worried, any RV sitting at 1,500 or more pounds is more likely to have brakes on it.

However, it can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore, it is advised that you do your research beforehand so things don’t get out of hand and you are not confused.

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