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The manual for my 02, 4.3L S10 indicates that for towed loads over 1000 Lbs gross, the trailer must have it’s own brakes. The dealer along with U-Hall advises I can probably tow a 4000Lb load with out trailer brakes. What is correct? Anyone have any practical experience?
 

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I think 1000 lbs is the limit for a non-braked trailer. I don't think 4000 is safe, nor is it smart. Stopping 4000+3000 lbs auto of weight by the Blazer brakes alone is not smart.

I towed my 2500 lbs race car with steel open trailer (maybe 1000 lbs) with an electric brake controller from Philly to Las Vegas and back (5000 total miles) without an issue.

Oh, if I were you and I was towing 4000 lbs, I would also recommend installing a transmission cooler on the car. Its not expensive and it'll save your tranny.

1997, 4.3L S10 Blazer
 

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You DO HAVE to have brakes on the trailer if over 1000#. If you opt not to you are in for a rude of wakening. Your probably more likely to stop quicker by coasting if you don't have the electric brakes hooked up.
 

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life begins @ 20 psi
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Sounds like the "stealership" and U-Haul by you don't have their stuff straight. In my Rand McNally road atlas, it lists the laws in each state with regards to trailering. And in Jersey it states that trailer brakes ARE required if it weighs over 3,000 pounds. And that you "must be able to stop within the legal distance". Seems that there is a provision for breakaway brakes too for weights over 3,000 pounds. I got this atlas last year when I trailered my syclone 3,000 miles round trip to the nationals so, it's up to date.

Ditto everything bltst2 said. Get a tranny cooler and make sure that your cooling system is it tip top shape. Ever notice how many vehicles pulling trailers/campers you see broke down on the side of the road in the summer due to overheating? My trailer weighs 1,900 pounds (tandem axle hydraulic tilt) by itself and my syclone is 3,600. With the trailer brakes, that 5,500 pounds never even felt like it was back there... HTH

Mike
 

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Fleetwood Truckers So. Cal.
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Where can I get a tranny cooler for my truck....it's a 99 s10 w/ 4.3L auto
 

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I'd Rather be Blown than Injected
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I tow two 600 lb bikes on my 800 lb trailer all over the country
and have no prob. The trailer does not have any brakes. But i
would not go any heavier. Yes you will need a trans cooler.
Try Summit Racing or Jegs mail order they sell them.
 

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Project ZO6 S-10
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I tow a bass boat with a total weight of about 1700 pounds and it stops fine without trailer brakes.
 

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I tow a 3500# camper plus about 500# of gear with my Honda Passport. I have shut the trailer brakes off just to see what the differance it makes. I would probably melt the rotors right off the axle by the time I got out of town without the brakes.
 

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life begins @ 20 psi
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If you need a case to prove the worth of electric trailer brakes consider this. In the example Night Owl described, he was told that he could trailer a 4,000 pound load without brakes. Four thousand pounds is roughly the weight of your truck. So, you have about twice the weight going do the road relying on the brakes of ONE vehicle to stop the weight of TWO. Imagine going out and disconnecting half of the brakes on your truck and driving around. That is what you are essentially doing if you trailer a load about as heavy as your truck without brakes... I can see pulling a trailer around 2,000 pounds without brakes if the terrain would allow and it wasn't required by law. City driving with a lot of stop and go traffic or hilly terrain means if your brakes are gonna get used a lot, and they are going to begin to fade if they don't have time to cool adequately. Be careful out there and use sound judgement :) !

Mike
 

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Tranny Cooler Info...

I got my installed in about 2 hours at a local AAMCO Center. Any competent transmission service center can install it. I think I paid about $200.00.

Its a simple install and it will keep things in check when the gears start working hard to tow, very much in the hills.

The only noticible difference in the car is that it shifts a little harder when it is cold and cold weather. (I live in PA) Once it warms up, no problems. Also, you will have an extra piece or equipment in front of the A/C radiator.

-BT
 

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life begins @ 20 psi
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You can save some green by installing the tranny cooler yourself. It's pretty easy to do and with the B&M coolers, they come with everything that you will need except for the tools to put it on. You will need to get a small pipe cutter to cut the tranny lines and a flaring tool to expand them. Most autoparts stores will let you rent one if you don't want to but one outright. If ya wanna get really ambitious, install a remote tranny filter too. Summit racing has one that has a bung for mounting a tranny temp sender so you can monitor the temps.

Mike
 
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