trailer brakes?

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Zed
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trailer brakes?

Unread post by Zed » Mon May 27, 2019 7:27 pm

I bought a 16 ft. used trailer to tow my Toyota pickup behind my 270. Last time I used it the trailer socket at the rear of the Travco worked with a convertor I picked up to modernize the connection. The trailer I bought is a conversion from a stripped down trailer camper. It has electric trailer brakes installed on both dual axles but they are not hooked up. I am going to work on them soon, does anyone have experience with wiring trailer brakes? I assumed they just keyed off the trailers brake lights, but I'm seeing all kinds of controller kits on Amazon so I guess there's more too it? Any recommendations on what to buy? Thanks.

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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by Woodsman » Tue May 28, 2019 4:59 am

You need a controller for electric brakes, it allows you too set how much the trailer is braking. For example, if you're running empty you lessen the trailer braking, so the tires don't lock up every time you touch the brakes. If you are towing the truck you increase the trailer braking so the trailer is slowing itself rather than the tow vehicle brakes.

Reese, a major towing component company, will sell a package that has the controller and wiring instructions. You should be able too buy one for around $50. I think you will find it fairly straight forward too install but let me know if you get stuck.

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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by Woodsman » Tue May 28, 2019 6:05 am

It might be worth contacting Reese and seeing what unit they recommend, they have been around for a long time.

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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by Zed » Thu May 30, 2019 12:01 am

Ok got it. The U haul trailer I've rented must have had one on board which is why I was confused. Thanks.

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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by Woodsman » Thu May 30, 2019 4:39 am

U haul trailers generally use surge brakes, where braking is initiated by forward pressure being put on the tongue of the trailer.

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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by datsit » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:54 pm

As woodsman said - - good advice . In my opinion & experience I would stay away from surge brakes, if you have a lock-up on surge brakes - - your going to have a BAD DAY - - with electric you cut wire - - free to head to trailer shop !! much cheaper parts & labor !!
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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by PrivatePilot » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:18 pm

Buy a quality INERTIAL based electric brake controller. The <$100 ones (and yes, some >$100 ones) are cheap "timer" based models.

Timer based brake controllers are accidents waiting to happen in the case of an emergency stop, and even in non emergency day to day use they result in uneven and often herky-jerky annoying braking from the trailer. A quality proportional controller will actually detect the emergency and apply full brakes immediately to the trailer instead.
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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by Zed » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:07 am

WHEW made it, 1500ish miles from Asheville NC to the Travco's new home near Trinidad Colorado. I ended up buying a cheap controller and it preformed flawlessly, would recommend. I'll link it at the bottom of this post. I'm going to make another post in the 270 section about the adventure but she made it but it was not all easy.

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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by Zed » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:39 am

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017N ... UTF8&psc=1

Oops forgot link. Looks like the price went up I thought it was only like $32 when I bought it a few weeks ago? Anyways even at $50 I would recommend this one, worked flawlessly. Tapping the slider worked awesome when semi's powering past my slow ass induced mild trailer wobbles, after I couldn't make it up Raton pass (see post in 270 section) it took only a second to reduce brake power for unloaded vs. loaded. I had to creatively wire it in (you want that middle wire on the 3 wire junction under the dash that controls the brake lights) but thats to be expected there aren't going to be stock harnesses for a Travco. It wasn't hard, I found a deal on 100 ft. of 10 AWG wire on Amazon, tin plated copper strand. I could have installed the new school big round brake/lights connector but I didn't want to deal with it so I used the OG small round connector that was stock and a converter to change that to the 4 pin connector which is what my truck has anyways, then added the power line for the brakes separately with a flush mount 2 pin connector that I attached by drilling a hole in my bumper. If anyone actually buys this PM me and I'll do a writeup on how to wire it, I found a empty slot on the fuse panel and gave it its own fuse but jumpering off the bus with a inline fuse wouldn't be hard if thats your situation.

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Re: trailer brakes?

Unread post by PrivatePilot » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:54 pm

Just so you know, that's a timer based brake controller, which is why it was so cheap.

Some day in an emergency stop scenario you may regret it as timer based controllers treat every stop the same, and since you have to generally set them up very conservatively to avoid uncomfortable braking from the trailer, when in an emergency situation, they have no idea...and won't provide the needed braking to the trailer at all.
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