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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm concerned about the type of braking system we should have for our needs.

The tent trailer has the surge brake. The ones that when the tow vehicle slows, the forward motion of the trailer compresses the mechanism which in turn applies the trailer brakes.

We would have to have the electric brakes installed on the trailer and the electrical component added to the hitch.

We will be travelling in mountainous areas (British Columbia) and mostly on dirt roads and off road.

Will the surge brakes be enough?

The tent trailer GVWR is 2000 lbs
The tow vehicle is a 2011 Kia Sorento AWD 4 cyl with max tow cap of 3000lbs.

Thanks for your help!
 

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surge brakes will be just fine as long as you use a hitch that is compatible with surge brakes and the brakes are in proper working order.

using a weight distribution hitch that is "not" compatible with surge brakes will make stopping and down hill braking very difficult as the weight of the trailer will just push your tow vehicle.
 

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My friend has a 13,000lb boat. The trailer has a type of surge brake. When you step on the brake the trailer comes forward pushing brake fluid to the brakes. It works very well. In my opinion, I like it better than the electric brakes on my 5th wheel. You should be fine.
 

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The trailer will be equipped with whatever is required. If surge brakes are what came with it, then the GTWR will be satisfied with those brakes wherever you drive and they are designed to supplement the tow vehicle's braking system per its GVWR. Uphill, downhill, highway or off road, doesn't matter. The GTWR and GVWR will have considered whatever is necessary.

You are certainly welcome to incur the huge financial expense of adding something meatier, but this typically means the owner plans to drive over what's recommended if the ratings cover it already. In the case of brakes that's not necessary.

For example, on larger trailers, there will be electric brake systems meaning they need more than a surge braking system.

As long as the equipment is well maintained and not abused, there is no need to change the surge brake. I had a popup and it had NO braking system meaning it relied on the tow vehicle and the tow vehicle's braking system. Since the trailer had a 1,000 lb weight rating and I did not overload it, I had no braking problems.

You must still slow down sooner to help braking, but in the event of a panic stop, I was confident the tow vehicle could stop with the trailer since the ratings considered this. I could have added a supplemental braking system, but what for? I forgot to add, you should NEVER be relying on the brakes when driving downhill. If you are braking too much, then downshift!!! Even with an automatic. If you brake too much, they overheat, glaze over, then stop working. Use the transmission. That's what all those gears are for! I see this so many times and sometimes follow the ignorant and the smell of overheated brakes is not good and not safe! Learn to use the tranny!
 
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