Brake Control

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Astro, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Astro

    Astro New Member

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    Hello all - longtime lurker but love the site. We are taking delivery Saturday on a new 2016 Rockwood HW276. TV is a Toyota Highlander with 5,000 lb. towing capacity as it's all wheel drive. My neighbor and I installed a Tekonsha P3 trailer brake controller over the weekend. I have never towed anything in my life, except for when as a kid my family had a couple different Jayco PUPs. In other words, I've never been the driver when towing. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or advice for how to first start out with it at the dealership and how to set up the brake controller. Thanks for all of your help. The sticky for what to buy for PUPs has been a tremendous help.
     
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    The dealership should.. note the should .. set up the brake controller for you and give you a quick run down on how to set it..

    Failing that .. here is my [2C] ..

    1) Follow the basic set up described in the P3 manual.. and get the controller alone set up..
    2) Since your just starting out, you probably don't want to complete the set up like Tekonsha recommends (driving at xx speed and adjusting the controller until the trailer brakes lock up etc..) So here is what I would do.. start with the controller set "low" (yes all the braking will be done by the TV for now) and once you get to a fairly non busy street/road slowly increase the controller setting number .. after each adjustment manually apply the trailer brakes (do this while just "coasting" ) continue this process until you feel the trailer tug and slow everything down..
    3) Once set as above try the vehicle brakes.. if it feels like the trailer is pushing increase the controller, if it feels like the trailer is tugging decrease the controller setting.. You want both vehicle and trailer to stop together as a unit..

    Our main TV has a Tekonsha Voyaguer controller in it (back up TV has a P3) and I generally set it up to where the trailer will tug slightly on the TV..
     
  3. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Snow's advice about the controller is good but I would like to add. I suggest you find a place where you can drive around and practice backing up.
     
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    I third Snow's advise........
     
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Practice practice practice. Even practice with the brake controller off to get a feel for how it's stops without trailer brakes. Gosh forbid your trailer brakes die and your stuck having to control everything with your TV. Don't want to find out last minute. Backing up a trailer is its own beast and every campground site throws it's own wrench at you to make things that much harder. When towing you need to remember to look before pulling into anything to ensure there is a way to get out. Remember to add more room to turns, etc. Good luck and congrats on your new popup.
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    To add to the practice backing up also remember that you'll accelerate slower, brake sooner and allow more space between you and the vehicle in front of you ..

    X2 on the when parking with trailer in tow, for grabbing a bite to eat, bathroom break or getting gas, leave yourself a way to get out to the front.. Sometimes it is not possible due to others who will be inconsiderate and you'll have to back your way out.

    And don't worry if you arrive at a campground and start having difficulty back into your site.. While at first you will be the entertainment for the more seasoned campers after awhile some of them will come along to offer you all kinds of advise, some good, some bad but they will help get you parked..
     
  7. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    Good advice above. When you pick up the trailer it will be at the lightest weight it will ever have. It will weigh considerably more when you fill the water tank, add second propane tank, add food, cooking gear, bedding, clothes, toys, campsite accessories, etc. Be sure to go through set up routine again when ready to roll for a three day weekend.

    I keep the Tekonsha set up card in the door pocket, and have made notes in the margin as to settings for trailer emptied out for winter storage, ready for an elk hunts, etc. Useful to have a starting point for finer adjustment.
     
  8. jumpoff

    jumpoff I'm in a camping state of mind

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    Ditto to all said...the only thing I didn't see was making sure about your clearance when changing lanes....you just added another 19-20 ft to your length so changing lanes will take a little more care and planning on your interstate highways...
     
  9. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Also check your local (State) laws regarding the use of towing mirrors.. I would suggest getting them anyways ..
     
  10. cbbankes

    cbbankes New Member

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    Everything on here sounds good, and I will 100% recommend some mirror extensions of some sort. I have a large TV and a large PUP, and I can barley see around the trailer while towing/backing up etc. An additional 3in of mirrors makes a world of difference. With your Toyota and high side pup, you may not be able to see anything behind you while driving.
     
  11. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    And realize that all of the non-towing people out there driving around will think you're a sucker for leaving so much space in front of you that they will feel COMPELLED to fill it in all the time, maybe even waving and mouthing nasty things in your direction.

    Also, ensure that your side view mirrors are far enough out to see around the back edges of the high wall. I had to add mirror extensions to my 4Runner when I went from a standard height PUP to a high wall. The rear view mirror is useless, so you HAVE to have good side mirrors or extensions.

    Towing is an exercise in patience and caution. Don't get flustered. Take your time. Plan your paths for times you have to pull into gas stations and restaurants. Good luck out there.
     
  12. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    That's a way of life in Jersey, towing or not.
     
  13. Astro

    Astro New Member

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    Thank you all. I certainly will be asking the dealer to help with the brake control Saturday, as mentioned. Also I just ordered some towing mirror extenders on Amazon. I didn't even think of that before. Thanks!
     
  14. Yes Dear

    Yes Dear Member

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    Go will all of above and remember drive at a speed you feel comfortable.
     
  15. Scotia 55

    Scotia 55 Member

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    Welcome fellow Rockwood owner!! Excellent start-up advice above.

    If you decide to buy towing mirrors you will be frustrated as most do not fit well on the smaller SUV mirrors. The Milenco Aero Towing mirrors are guaranteed to fit any vehicle. I love mine. They are made in the UK but they are popular so I imagine you could find them in Texas!
     
  16. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    When turning out of gas stations, shopping centers, etc. take the "dip" at as much angle as you can allow. Going over it straight through is generally an invitation to scrape your tongue jack at the least, bend it at the worst.
     
  17. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Could not agree more!!!!!
     
  18. dfitzgerald727

    dfitzgerald727 Member

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    The biggest thing to remember is you are longer and heavier. Take your time, drive the speed limit or below and stay in the cruising lane. Congrats on the new purchase!
     
  19. Astro

    Astro New Member

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    All awesome advice. Thanks so much! We pick it up Saturday so this will be a fun weekend.
     
  20. 00 Quad Cab

    00 Quad Cab Member

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    All great advice, the only thing I would reinforce would be patience. It will take longer to get where you are going (safely) with a trailer in tow, more so than any other time you have traveled to a specific location.

    Be patient and use all of your senses. Don't be intimidated, but don't be aggressive.
     

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