Who uses trailer brakes?

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by Jeep Guy, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. davido

    davido Active Member

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    • Trailer brakes will improve safety.
    • Trailer brakes improve the ride while towing.
    • Trailer brakes improve the towing experience for the driver.
    • Trailer brakes reduce wear on the tow vehicle's brakes, including warped rotors, burnt linings / pads, tire wear.
    • Trailer brakes are probably required by law for this trailer in most states.
    • Trailer brake controllers will set you back $30 to $200, with a sweet spot around $100 (Tekonsha Primus IQ, for example.)
    • Wiring for brake controllers will cost you from $15 to $150 depending on what your tow vehicle comes equipped with, and who does the install.
    If trailer brakes prevent an accident the cost savings will be nearly immeasurable.
     
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Orchid,

    I live the Appalachians.
     
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  3. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    WY and OR don't actually have a rating just a braking requirement that is never checked for smaller RVs. and WY (like most US states) allow two trailers on the back of the TV. I have seen many double tows, usually an RV and a boat trailer, traveling Teton Pass in the summer. I hope they have brakes and hope they are in front of me vs. behind me when going down the 10% grade.:eek:
     
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  4. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    I agree with f5. I believe the “if your trailer has breaks regardless of state requirements they have to work” is a myth.
    I love that map. It provides so much clarity and debunks a lot of myths, especially about breakaway switches.
    I have brakes and a breakaway switch, even though KY does not require it.
     
  5. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    Regardless if required or not, I'd hook the brakes up.

    In an emergency, you want all the braking you can get.

    I used to tow my 2900 GVW pup with a 3/4 ton diesel. Trailer had electric brakes, I had brake controller in the truck, I made sure brakes were working.

    No I didn't "need" them, engine braking with the diesel was normally more than enough to come to a stop with planning, and down hill descents were in overdrive.

    I was returning from a camping weekend and took a different route home.... I rounded a corner to see a rapidly approaching stop sign and cross traffic. I left black marks with the 3/4 ton and PUP trailer and came to a stop a almost on the cross road I came to. I will guess the trailer brakes made the difference of stopping before the cross traffic, rather than being into it.
     
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  6. momofEAP

    momofEAP Member

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    Is there a way to tell if the camper has brakes other than looking at the camper itself? I just checked the paperwork that's on-line and it shows them but it has 5 different models available in it.
     
  7. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    You would have to look up the specs for that model and year. However most mid and (dare I say it?) all large sized pups do have brakes, either surge or electric.

    Your Avalon does have electric brakes standard, according to the spec sheet, here.
     
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  8. aslag

    aslag Pacific Northwest

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    Our first popup didn't have brakes (GVRW 2339 lbs) it was under the 3000 lbs state requirement for brakes. My tow vehicle was a full size half ton pickup and twice during the short time we owned this pup I had to slam on the brakes at freeway speeds. Both times it scared the heck out of me because it felt like I was being pushed into the vehicle I was trying to avoid. I upgraded to a larger pup 3 years later that had brakes and when the brakes are properly adjusted even panic stopping is not much different than not towing. If you got brakes use them, it not worth the risk to you or the other guy.
     
  9. Jeep Guy

    Jeep Guy Active Member

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    We took the camper to a campground about 45 miles from our House this weekend for 1 night just to try out the camper. My 4 door Jeep Wrangler stopped the camper without much problem, but I have already ordered a Tekonsha P3 trailer brake controller to get the trailer brakes working. I could definitely feel the trailer pushing me as I stopped. If someone had stopped quickly in front of me, I may have had trouble stopping with the 2,000 trailer pushing me. The controller will be in this week and I will install it next weekend.
     
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  10. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Thats a great map. Interesting that my single axle boat trailer, with 20 foot I/O boat on it weighs 3300lbs, with only a half tank of gas in the boat. Thats an accurate number, I weighed it myself at work on a drive on scale. The sticker on the trailer says GVWR is 3740 lbs. The trailer is built in USA by Tracker Marine. This came from the factory with no brakes on it. According to that map, the only places in Canada that it would be legal are BC and Nova Scotia. About 5 years ago, I put brakes on it because it was difficult for my previous TV (Caravan) to stop with the boat on back there. I wasn't worried about laws or weights, I wanted them on for my well being. By comparison, the Pup weighs 2600lbs fully loaded, and came with brakes, go figure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  11. Daddy Rabbit

    Daddy Rabbit Member

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    My trailer brakes saved me from an accident in heavy traffic once and that made a believer out of me.
     
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  12. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    You'll love the P3; it comes with the wiring harness you'll need to get it going. Great choice!
     
  13. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    the electric brakes on my 2nd popup really, really saved me... I was going down steep hill on I-17 in Coconino National Forest. I told my wife not to talk to me while I descended down from a mountain. The grade was pretty steep. The electric brake helped but I did not want to use the engine brake. I live in mountainous areas so electric brakes is a must.
     
  14. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Were you on the decent near Camp Verde? I was on I-17 a couple of years ago (2014) while visiting my brother in Phoenix. We took I-17 to Montezuma's Castle and I remember that the grade was pretty steep coming out of elevation. Beautiful drive, too.

    On a side note, we stopped in Camp Verde and ate at Babe's Roundup. Best damn BBQ I've had in a long time!
     
  15. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Yes I was going to Surprise. Darn it, I missed the BBQ! I love BBQ and wonder what kind of BBQ they cook at Babe's Roundup?
     
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  16. Mamie

    Mamie Active Member

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    I looked underneath my camper and it looks like I have brakes wired, but I don't know what shape they're in or if they're usable though. I have a 4 way flat trailer connector on my truck and a 6 way square plug on my camper. I was looking to do the 7 way so I could have backup lights and use a 4 to 7 adapter. But, I found out I can't use the trailer brakes. So now I've got to rethink all this. I need a brake controller and need it wired. This camping adventure is getting more expensive by the day and I'm still waiting on the title.

    The only trailer that I have ever pulled was a horse trailer hitched to a Scottsdale and a duly. I don't remember braking, but neither time had a horse in tow. What I do remember is driving my aunt's station wagon with a wedding cake and two grooms cakes in the back with my nephew keeping an eye on them. I wasn't even out of my neighborhood and when I went to stop, the cakes slid forward and I had to go back home to fix it. A station wagon pushes forward loaded or unloaded and I don't like the way it feels. So I'm sure a camper hitched to the truck would be worse. My question is, is it expensive to have my truck wired for a 7 way plug and get the trailer brakes working?
     
  17. Mamie

    Mamie Active Member

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    I looked underneath my camper and it looks like I have brakes wired, but I don't know what shape they're in or if they're usable though. I have a 4 way flat trailer connector on my truck and a 6 way square plug on my camper. I was looking to do the 7 way so I could have backup lights and use a 4 to 7 adapter. But, I found out I can't use the trailer brakes. So now I've got to rethink all this. I need a brake controller and need it wired. This camping adventure is getting more expensive by the day and I'm still waiting on the title.

    The only trailer that I have ever pulled was a horse trailer hitched to a Scottsdale and a duly. I don't remember braking, but neither time had a horse in tow. What I do remember is driving my aunt's station wagon with a wedding cake and two grooms cakes in the back with my nephew keeping an eye on them. I wasn't even out of my neighborhood and when I went to stop, the cakes slid forward and I had to go back home to fix it. A station wagon pushes forward loaded or unloaded and I don't like the way it feels. So I'm sure a camper hitched to the truck would be worse. My question is, is it expensive to have my truck wired for a 7 way plug and get the trailer brakes working?
     
  18. Mamie

    Mamie Active Member

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    I looked underneath my camper and it looks like I have brakes wired, but I don't know what shape they're in or if they're usable though. I have a 4 way flat trailer connector on my truck and a 6 way square plug on my camper. I was looking to do the 7 way so I could have backup lights and use a 4 to 7 adapter. But, I found out I can't use the trailer brakes. So now I've got to rethink all this. I need a brake controller and need it wired. This camping adventure is getting more expensive by the day and I'm still waiting on the title.

    The only trailer that I have ever pulled was a horse trailer hitched to a Scottsdale and a duly. I don't remember braking, but neither time had a horse in tow. What I do remember is driving my aunt's station wagon with a wedding cake and two grooms cakes in the back with my nephew keeping an eye on them. I wasn't even out of my neighborhood and when I went to stop, the cakes slid forward and I had to go back home to fix it. A station wagon pushes forward loaded or unloaded and I don't like the way it feels. So I'm sure a camper hitched to the truck would be worse. My question is, is it expensive to have my truck wired for a 7 way plug and get the trailer brakes working?
     
  19. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    Get the 7 way on your truck. If it's a newer 1/2 ton, chances are it's already wired for it anyways, just needs the right connector. My old F250 came with a 4 way plug, to make it 7 way you just plugged the 7 way plug end and put two fuses in the fuse box under the hood, and fished the brake controller wire from under the dash. Yours might be similar.

    I had the 6 way plug on my Jayco. I put the normal 7 way RV plug on the 6 wire cord. I ran a 7th wire in the wire loom and put back up lights on my pop up.
     
  20. Mamie

    Mamie Active Member

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    Thanks. My truck is older - a 2008 F150. But it sounds like I need to do just what you did. This is the first I've heard about fuses and I would probably get lost under the hood. I would have to watch a lot of youtube to attempt it, but having anything done on a vehicle is expensive.

    I've got the 6 pin square and thought about rewiring to the junction box and adding the extra wire for the backup lights which sounds like what you did. If your truck had the 4 way flat and you had the 7 way on the camper, what did you use to connect the truck and the camper. Is this what you used?
    s-l1600.jpg
     

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