electronic brakes necessary?

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by brian oliver, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. brian oliver

    brian oliver New Member

    Sep 14, 2017
    We have a 1995 Coleman Yosemite Four Season hard side and are looking to purchase a new TV. We're wondering if it's necessary to hook up the electronic brakes . The question is regarding the after market brake controller and where to locate it in the dash. The new TV is a 2008 GMC Envoy (with the 5.3L motor) and the dash has no obvious location for the controller. We're wondering if maybe we can get along with out the controller and , by extension, the camper's brakes.
    Does anyone have experience with this issue?
    By the way, we live in Colorado and so will be towing up and down mountains.
  2. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

    Aug 5, 2010
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    So, I believe the rule states that if the trailer has brakes on it, they must work. Colorado also requires for the breakaway system to be working as well. Sorry to say, but you're going to have to get it all working.
    xxxapache likes this.
  3. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Adding a brake controller is not that hard or expensive.
  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2018
    The breaks are usally because of the weight of the trailor. Without them making an emergency stop would turn into a crash. Additionally, they help to control sway, and help protect your tv from needless where and tare. They also have a disconect that activate them in case you loose your trailor. As far as i know, most states mandate them for trailers over a certial weight. The dash wasnt build for a controller, so it will not have a place for it. Does your envoy have a tow package? And the 7 pin harness? If so the wiring might be located under the stearing wheel. There is a fuse and maybe a wire to conect in the battery compartment also.
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2018
  6. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    Even if not required, I would want it working anyway, especially going up and down mountains etc. Safety is important especially when towing a trailer.
    kitphantom and kcsa75 like this.
  7. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    bols2Dawall likes this.
  8. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
  9. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2016
    Speaking from experience towing in western Wyoming you want the breaks.
    kitphantom likes this.
  10. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Then I would suggest that the bigger question is, "Why wouldn't you??"
    xxxapache likes this.
  11. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

    Oct 10, 2018
    S Ontario
    Having an operational trailer brake system is always better than not having it but if you'd prefer super simple that requires little installation at all consider the Tekonsha RF brake controller. Here's the link ...

  12. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    990AF620-6104-4937-8321-DC4433ADC89C.jpeg There are many different requirements for each state.

    No where state or federal is there any reference to “if it has breaks they must work”. That is a myth.

    I definitely recommend them towing in the mountains.
    kcsa75 and xxxapache like this.
  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2018
  14. tzmartin

    tzmartin Active Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    A controller can go on top of your dash as well if there is not room underneath. You may not like the look, though. Just has to be level somewhere within reach.
  15. AlohaPup

    AlohaPup New Member

    Apr 18, 2016
    1. Yes, it is necessary and important.
    2. I've had these installed on 3 of 4 of my vehicles in the past, below the dash, down near where your knees would be while driving.
    Not "in the dash", but below the dash.
    bols2Dawall likes this.
  16. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

    Oct 10, 2018
    S Ontario
    That's really no longer the case ... buy any one of a number of different Tekonsha controllers and the dash unit does NOT have to be "level" at all. I'm sure this is true also of many models from other manufacturers.
  17. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

    Aug 5, 2010
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    You might be right on that, I'm looking into that for my own knowledge. I too go by the map you posted, and you will note that Co needs brakes on trailers over 3000 lbs. and also require breakaway system. A quick search of his trailer says it has a dry weight of 1900 lbs. So, he has 1000 lbs to spare. Maybe he's good to go, but I wouldn't tow in the mountains without the brakes working.
  18. Pilsnerpunk

    Pilsnerpunk New Member

    Aug 3, 2018
    Kamloops, BC
    I'd get the brake controller just for peace of mind. Plus, you'll probably save money on prematurely worn brakes or warped rotors in the future.
  19. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I have towed a sub-800# pup without brakes, which did OK. However, after having a ~2500 pup with brakes (& the 3500# TT), I would not choose to tow again without brakes on the camper.
    None of the three vehicles we've has a brake controller installed in have had a niche for the controller. None of the controllers have been in the way - the RV dealer installed the one in our 4Runner, and the Chevy dealer installed the ones in the Colorado and Silverado. Not a biggie - having the brakes on the camper is a good thing.
    Most of our camping is in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, plus towing through NM to get to those places. It's not just the hills, curves, etc., it's the unexpected driver pulling in front and other happenings that make me glad to have brakes. (A couple of times with the pup and TT things have happened and the brakes became disconnected. Being at 50%, or under, of tow capacity, the vehicles did OK for the short time until we got things reconnected, though we didn't have a major stopping situation with any of the episodes. Just made us appreciate having working brakes all the more.)
  20. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    If you have enough of a TV, you won't need brakes. When I had the SD, I didn't need them, just drop it down another gear. But now with the Colorado,,,I need them!

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