Pup Brakes

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by RandyT, May 6, 2020.

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  1. RandyT

    RandyT New Member

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    I'm a newbie to this and haven't even bought a pup yet, just getting the itch.
    I'm wondering about the brakes. I've seen reference to checking the pads, so I assume they're disc brakes similar to a car. But are they hydraulic, or electric? If hydraulic, they don't plug into the towing vehicle's hydraulic lines, so there must be a reservoir for brake fluid somewhere?
    Would it be a dumb question to ask a seller where the brake fluid is added?
     
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  2. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Drums ,not discs, for our Pups, AFAIK

    Usually electric - plugging in to TV and needing a controller

    Hydraulic brakes are surge type, and stand alone - not plugging in to TV hydraulic lines.

    Los of detail on the web if you search
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Welcome.png

    Older camper trailers could come with surge brakes ....... drum brakes that would controlled by a master cylinder that is part of the trailer coupler. The backward push of the tow vehicle stopping applies the brakes. Has to be disengaged to back up. Used on just about every boat trailer (discs or drums). The bad part is as they get older they get troublesome.

    The other type of brake system are electric brakes. Controlled by a brake controller mounted at the dashboard of the tow vehicle. Went the tow vehicle brakes are applied the electrical signal form the brake lights is sent to the brake controlled that will adjust the amount of current sent to the electric brake magnets. The controller will vary depending on angle of tow vehicle on road and the tow vehicle stopping force. This gives you a more controlled trailer brake operation. Also the electric brakes are wired to a breakaway switch that is connected to the trailer battery. If the trailer becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle the electric brakes will be applied fully to stop the disconnected trailer.

    The tow vehicle will have to wired for the brake controller and at the same time a "charge line" is usually installed to power/charge the trailer battery driving down the road.

    My campers and car trailer all have electric brakes ...... wouldn't use them without ........ and have been trouble free.
    I towed a Coleman Cheyenne all over with Subaru Forester and would never been able to do that without brakes .....a must have.
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah Gold Supporting Member

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    My old 1990 Jayco never had or
    Was wired for breaks. Not ideal, but at the time they figured a 1500 pound popup didn't need them. My current Fleetwood has electric breaks and I love them. I cheat and just get a shop to work on them if needs be. In my state if a camper has breaks I am required to get the camper inspected every year. So if work has to be done they might as well do it, too much trouble otherwise. Good luck with your search.
     
  5. smither

    smither New Member

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    With electric brakes, the entire assembly can be replaced. You buy the brake assembly, cut the wires to the old assembly, unbolt the old assembly, bolt on the new assembly, splice the wires, and you now have new brakes. The new brake assemblies are not that expensive. You can still just replace the shoes and turn the drums if you know how to service drum brakes.
     
  6. RandyT

    RandyT New Member

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    Thank you!! I'll be towing with a Mazda CX-9 with a V-6, which is similar in size and towing capacity to a Buick Enclave.... rated at 2000-2500 I think. I already had a hitch and wiring installed- a standard 7 plug. I took it back after 1 day because the harness was defective- they replaced it no charge, so I'm happy with that. I'm sure the same place could install a battery recharge line if it turns out I need that.
     
  7. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    If you have a 7 pin installed or factory it may already be wired with a charge line.
     
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  8. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    Wow I don’t think a 2500 tow rating would ever had the 7 way. Verify Max hitch. That low could be 200 pound max. In PA we need brakes on campers 1500 pounds on up. Surge are nice. Electric are better
     
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  9. jeicher

    jeicher Member

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    Some dealers that rent RVs will specify surge brakes since they do not require a controller. In fact I purchased a TT set up like this couple of years ago (Hook-up and go) - Never had any problems.

    Most all boat trailers use surge brakes since electric brakes don't like being submerged in water. Then there is the electric/hydraulic brake system where a controller is used to operate an electric hydraulic pump to provide the variable hydraulic pressure. Many high-end units use this system, which is a bit pricey for most TTs and PUPs.
     
  10. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    The CX-9 is almost certainly capped at the somewhat standard 3500 pounds. If they offer a 7 way plug for it, it's definitely more than 2500.
     
  11. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Thats what worries me. I couldn't find a 7 pin factory Mazda kit. So we really don't know what got installed.....plug or hitch.
     
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  12. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    Google says 3500 is pretty standard on the cx-9. that's a pretty big SUV. Should have no problem with that as long as the usual precautions are in place. Some attention to loading, brakes, reasonable cruising speed etc.
     
  13. RandyT

    RandyT New Member

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    I rechecked my towing capacity with the CX-9, and it is indeed 3500.
    I also stopped by the place that installed the hitch and 7-pin plug.
    They said I will still need a brake controller, and when they do brake controllers, they put in a recharge line too (which can use one of the 7 pins, they said). I will just need to check the Pup I purchase to see what kind of recharge system/plug it has.
    I looked at one today, and forgot to check that. It did have a battery mounted right up front there next to the propane tank, and the WFCO power converter inside the Pup is a 3-Stage, so I know it's designed to handle battery power as one of the 3 modes.
    20200509_093818.jpg
     
  14. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Well-Known Member

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    "3 stage" charging does it mean it has 3 different "modes"
    3 stage charging refers to how the charger delivers the energy to the battery.
    Bulk, absorption, and float are the three stages. Each of these stages are programmed to deliver the charge in a specific way. Basically, Bulk charge holds the current (amps) until the voltage reaches a set point.
    In the absorption phase, the voltage is at a constant value until the battery is fully "charged".
    Float more maintains the battery's charge level at a certain voltage.

    Your converter doesn't have different modes, with vehicle charging being one of them. If you had your 7 pin wired correctly, one of the lines will deliver energy from your tow vehicle directly to the battery.
     

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