News & Articles from Sierra Teardrops

T@Bs and T@Gs teardrop snow chains

FunDirectorMitch Oct-20-2017 brakessnow Systems

Joe deep in the Tahoe snow with our Tiki teardrop

One of our guests was renting our Outback (a T@G MaX XL)  recently and expected to be in snow over the Sierra's.  "Do I need chains" he asked?  Good question!

When roads are under chain control and vehicles are required to have chains, trailers with brakes are also required to have chains.  You might have seen rows of professional truckers pulled over to the side putting chains on their tractors as well as the trailer wheels.  The chains on the trailer wheels assist in braking and help reduce lateral sway.  The speed limit when chains are required is 25 or 30 miles an hour.

You can reference this article which discusses brake requirements for T@B and T@G trailers.

Now here's where it gets a tad confusing.  Does the T@G require brakes?  I don't believe so.  People find the specs for the T@G Max and see the GAWR listed at 2200 lbs.  Here in California, a camp trailer with a GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) of 1500 lbs or more must be equipped with brakes on at least 2 wheels.  GAWR is Gross Axle Weight Rating, which is obviously the rating for the axle which is NOT GVW.  So if your T@G Max has an empty curb weight of 1015 lbs and you put 100 lbs of gear inside and in the clamshell kitchen, your GVW is still under 1200 lbs, which is well under the 1500 lbs point at which you need brakes.  So while the newer T@G Max models have electric brakes, they are not required on California highways. 

If you are outside of California you will have to research the brake and trailer requirements for that state of course.  Sierra Teardrops does not supply chains for the trailers so plan ahead if you are bravely pulling one of our trailers through weather that involves chain control (and therefore mountains!).   If you are renting one of our fabulous teardrop trailers, please keep in mind that any damage incurred (including the result of chains if you install them) is your responsibility.    Might be a good time to explore the 840 miles of California coastline instead :)