Trailer Brakes, electric or hydraulic?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by capt. dan, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. capt. dan

    capt. dan New Member

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    Hey guys, I spent all day installing a brake controller and 7 pin connection. Went and picked up my 2002 Jayco LSO 12 from storage and my P3 controller say no trailer connected. I have not had a chance to look into any further as it is dark out now. I am hoping I did not spend the money and do a bunch of work for nothing. I noticed when I got home that the trailer has what looks to be some hydraulics on it. Here is a picture.

    [smg id=4384 type=preview align=center caption="IMG 20120602 212948"]

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am hoping that I just have a loose connection some place because I really do want to use this cool new brake controller.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    Sure do look surge (hydraulic) brakes to me! And Jayco use to really like them!

    My boat trailers had/have hydraulic as that's what you want for water. But I've got so that like them and I suppose that's because you can hook just about any TV to the trailer, take off and you have brakes (providing they are maintained).

    But look here, there are activation systems for the surge bake, too, but much more expensive then the electric. AND ... once you set the hydraulic up for the controller it can only be used with that vehicle ... will not work for just any TV anymore.
     
  3. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    Your photo isn't showing up for me. If you have a hydraulic piston on the top of your tongue that is actuated by the ball coupler, that's hydraulics. Does it look like this -

    [​IMG]
     
  4. capt. dan

    capt. dan New Member

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    Looks very close to it. Guess I spent a lot of money and wasted a lot of time and did not need to.
     
  5. capt. dan

    capt. dan New Member

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    Let's try this picture.

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/56782218/IMG_20120602_212948.jpg
     
  6. warwgn3

    warwgn3 Car Shows are 2nd only to Camping!

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    I'm guessing Electric and Hydraulic brakes both have their pros and cons.

    My father used to have a '79 Lionel with hydraulic brakes and never had any problems with it, until he let it sit for 19 years, and we had to replace the coupler to tow it to the junk yard.

    We haven't had any experience with electric brakes yet, but my camper is equipped with the increasingly rare 3rd kind of trailer braking system, called "NO BRAKES".... and let me tell ya, it's some fun trying to stop that thing in a panic.
     
  7. turborich

    turborich Active Member

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    Your Jayco has hydraulic surge brakes. No need for a brake controller.
     
  8. capt. dan

    capt. dan New Member

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    That is what I figured. I guess I will see if ETrailer will take the brake controller back. I have a 1995 suburban and would think I would upgrade tow vehicles before I upgrade campers. What a bummer, this took me all day to install and was looking forward to using it. I like gadgets!!!

    Can anyone tell me the advantages and disadvantages of surge brakes over electric?

    Thanks everyone.
     
  9. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    Again, the advantages of surge brakes are (1) - you can hitch up to any tow vehicle and have brakes with no need of a controller which is a must for the electric. (2) - The surge is the only brake for a boat trailer, i.e., being submerged into water.
     
  10. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    You don't have any manual control over the pups brakes like you do with electric brakes.
     
  11. Misc99

    Misc99 New Member

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    We have hydraulic brakes on our 99 Jayco. I can load a pic if you want, but I think you figured out if you have them.. We have a manual if you need it. So sorry about your SPUT. I didn't laugh, because we might have done the same thing.
     
  12. capt. dan

    capt. dan New Member

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    Well, I have the surge brakes and they do not work. Not sure what is wrong yet. We had some storms move through so I got her buttoned up and back to storage. We are going camping this weekend so I may get a chance to look at while at the site. Right now I am thinking about maybe converting to electric. I did a couple searches and have started looking for someone local. Any thoughts on this option?

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    The quick check is to see if you have a wire running to the back of each hub. If you want to verify, pull a tire and slide a drum off. Electric brakes will have an arm with a round magnet.

    Etrailer has lots of photos and diagrams.

    Todd
     
  14. capt. dan

    capt. dan New Member

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    I am going on a short weekend trip to the local state park this weekend. I will get a better look and see if I can find anything wrong with the surge brakes. I would think if it is much more than low on fluid I may think harder about the electric conversion. I tow with a suburban and it is not uncommon for me go back and forward a few times to get it where I want it. I would hate to have to get out every time and lock out the brakes so I could back up. I have done a little bit of reading but have not found too much on people who have done the conversion. Looks like if I did it myself I could be under $500. I wouldn't think I would need to change the tongue out. Heck last time my television went out I just put a working one on top. The broken one on the bottom didn't effect it at all. Probably not the same scenario but if I disconnect the hydraulics I wouldn't think leaving them there would do any harm.
     
  15. Rodger D.

    Rodger D. New Member

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    Dan

    When I got our 1981 Starcraft Star Lite it did not have brakes
    ( but it was an 1981 option )..

    A few phone calls and I found out that I could get The Electric
    Brake Hub Units for Dexter Axles here in Colo Spgs for $205 at a
    local horse - car & etc trailer place. Their biggest question was
    what was the spindle diameter for the bearing.

    ****************************************************
    RV Places wanted more than $100 more for the same part number's.
    ****************************************************

    I had to "pack the new bearings" and then do an R & R with my
    ole unit to the new stuff in the box's. It took about an hour in
    front of the house.



    Rodger & Gabby
    COS
     
  16. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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  17. Rodger D.

    Rodger D. New Member

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    Dan

    I forgot to say that I now have an double set of Electlric Cables from
    the trailer. One cable is an Flat Five and one is an Round Seven
    Pin Unit. My Brother-in-Law did this part last summer and I have never
    removed The Flat Five ( added one for brakes ). All I can say is it was
    easier then and still now to let him "show me how to do it".




    Rodger and Gabby
    COS
     
  18. capt. dan

    capt. dan New Member

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    Well, after some time with it this weekend I have found out that the brakes do work. I guess I was just babying it while towing and stopping. I did some backing up against a curb and it was obvious they work. Obviously it is the first time I have had a trailer with brakes. Thanks for all the help and thanks for the link Flyfisherman.
     
  19. Misc99

    Misc99 New Member

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    So I have a question, since we have them also, what do we need to do to care and maintain them?

    I'm so glad to hear yours are working well. Ours do. I was beginning to wonder if we needed to change ours and it was a change i didn't want to do if we didn't have to do it.
     

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