An update from Lil Snoozy Land - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-24-2013, 12:18 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I have towed a utility trailer with surge brakes in the past. With a 3000 lb machine loaded, it was fine. Unloaded, the tires locked up every time the brakes were actuated. I never want such a system again...
I don't blame you, Mike, but that just sounds like a poorly configured brake system. In a way I'm not surprised, since surge brake components seem to be sold with none of the information needed to properly balance the system. Correctly configured the system is fundamentally good, but there's no way to fix a bad setup by just turning a calibration knob.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #44
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I hope I never need to apply trailer brakes only, as a way to stop trailer sway. But it remains a valuable safety tool to have if ever needed. I am sure that no one who ever encountered uncontrollable oscillation and ended up jackknifed, ever thought it would happen to them. And I know about proper trailer loading to maintain appropriate hitch weight. Yet I still desire that extra safety tool.

And as has been pointed out in another thread, what happens when the tow vehicle is headed down a steep grade? Will the surge brakes remain applied much of the way down, and overheat?
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:05 PM   #45
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I'm surprised to hear that there are folks out there that have never used the manual control knob for sway prevention/control.

It's certainly come in handy for me many times, especially for such out-of-one's-control events as passing semis etc. And there are other times when its "anchor" effect is much appreciated, too.

Each to his own style, I guess.

Francesca
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:24 PM   #46
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I've never experienced sway, passing or being passed by a semi or in cross winds.

In days of yore, when I towed a tent trailer with a Subaru wagon, I once had the trailer try to overtake the tow in a curve on a gravel road. I just stomped on the gas and pulled away.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:35 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post

In days of yore, when I towed a tent trailer with a Subaru wagon, I once had the trailer try to overtake the tow in a curve on a gravel road. I just stomped on the gas and pulled away.
Same effect as using the manual knob, with the added element-of-danger thrill!

Both methods create opposing force at the ball that will pull the trailer into line, but for my part I prefer slowing the trailer to accelerating the tug.

Francesca
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
I'm surprised to hear that there are folks out there that have never used the manual control knob for sway prevention/control.

It's certainly come in handy for me many times, especially for such out-of-one's-control events as passing semis etc. And there are other times when its "anchor" effect is much appreciated, too.

Each to his own style, I guess.
I respectfully suggest that's not a difference in style, it's a difference in stability of the tug/trailer rig. I have not used the brake controller manually because there has been no reason to do so, not because I have been unwilling. I went to some effort to mount the controller in a way which ensures that I have easy access, in part to make this operation possible.

I continue to be amazed by the degree of concern that people have with passing trucks, since passing them even with a substantial crosswind has never been a problem for the Sienna and Boler. If I had to grab the manual brake control every time a gust of wind hit the trailer, I would fix the trailer, or get a more capable tug... or give up on whole idea of towing. I should note at this point that I have not towed with a short-wheelbase SUV or car, just the Sienna, compact and full-sized pickup trucks, and full-sized vans.

If I bought a Lil Snoozy with surge brakes and found that I missed the ability to hit the trailer brakes to control sway, I would be very disappointed. From what I have read about this trailer, I would not expect such disappointment.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:12 PM   #49
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And as has been pointed out in another thread, what happens when the tow vehicle is headed down a steep grade? Will the surge brakes remain applied much of the way down, and overheat?
As I said in that other thread, our Boler usually seems to be an anchor pulling on the Sienna on highway downgrades, but of course on steeper slopes and when needing to maintain a lower speed, something needs to hold the rig back.

Yes, if the tug is pushing back on the trailer, the surge brakes should be dragging. I do see this as a potential issue, although the rest of the world doesn't seem to have a big problem with it. I towed the U-Haul cargo trailer which I rented across the Rockies and did not notice a brake overheating problem with it, but then I don't recall how much engine braking I needed, and the thing probably had worn out brakes which might not have engaged under light application anyway... it was, after all, a rental.

For those looking for the technical solution to all problems, I note that the Snoozy has disks. Disk surge brakes require a cutoff solenoid valve, triggered by the backup lights, as a way of disabling the trailer brakes when the trailer is pushed backward by driving in reverse. An additional relay and connection to the brake lights could be used to block the surge brakes whenever the brake lights are not on, but that would be most of the time so the solenoid valve would need to be rated for continuous duty. The same approach could be used with drum surge brakes, although a drum-brake trailer would not already typically have the solenoid valve in the system (they use free-backing brake systems).
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:19 PM   #50
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I hope the Snoozy comes with a 7-pin - at least in camping versions - to include a power line for charging the trailer's battery from the tug while driving. It's possible that it has only a 4-pin, and in that case there would be a few dollars of connector and cable upgrade.
As the discussion has continued, I looked up an earlier discussion regarding the surge brakes, and came across this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Got a lickety-split reply from Nicholas at Lil Snoozy about the brakes...
"The brakes on the trailer are surge brakes with a back-up override. When you connect your lights to the tow vehicle, you usually have a 4 pin connector. In the Snoozy we use a 5 pin (same flat plug just with one extra pin). This extra pin is the brake lock out, if wired into the reverse lights of the tow vehicle. Your same 4 pin plug will work but you will not have the brake lock.
Yes, when I wrote my 4-pin comment above I was forgetting about the brake reverse lockout. So... 5-pin is stock so no provision for charging the trailer's battery from the tug, and an upgrade (to 7-pin would be the normal choice) would be needed for electric brakes. This may have changed - the above quote is from July 2011.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:38 PM   #51
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I've just e-mailed Alan about the Snoozy plug-in.
I will get back to everyone on this. My tow has the 7-pin so if they are using the 4 or 5,
I will need an adaptor. I have one for the 4 for my jon boat trailer.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:49 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
As I said in that other thread, our Boler usually seems to be an anchor pulling on the Sienna on highway downgrades, but of course on steeper slopes and when needing to maintain a lower speed, something needs to hold the rig back.
I don't understand the "anchor" part of that statement- how/why does the Boler pull against the Sienna on downgrades?

Francesca
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:44 AM   #53
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Got a return email from Alan at Lil Snoozy.
The Snoozy takes the 4-pin flat plug like any boat or utility trailer.

That does raise the question of the brake solenoid.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:11 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlkeigley View Post
Got a return email from Alan at Lil Snoozy.
The Snoozy takes the 4-pin flat plug like any boat or utility trailer.

That does raise the question of the brake solenoid.


That's strange- some time ago I wrote Snoozy and asked if the trailer came equipped with an override for the surge brakes to prevent their locking up while backing, and here's the reply I got:

(Here quoting from my post, # 26 in this thread. )

Nicholas responded by E-mail:
Quote:

"The brakes on the trailer are surge brakes with a back-up override. When you connect your lights to the tow vehicle, you usually have a 4 pin connector. In the Snoozy we use a 5 pin (same flat plug just with one extra pin). This extra pin is the brake lock out, if wired into the reverse lights of the tow vehicle. Your same 4 pin plug will work but you will not have the brake lock."

So- what's the deal? Have they changed to four pin or what????

Francesca
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:50 PM   #55
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I was wondering if he just wasn't thinking or changed systems some how.
I was in Walmart earlier today and found an adaptor with the 4 and the 5 adaptor.
So, I guess I will purchase one just in case. Then I can keep my other adaptors in
my other vehicles.

This was the response:

Yes Carl, a 7 pin round to a 4 pin flat just like on a boat or cargo
trailer.

Alan
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #56
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Well, I'd sure like to know which it is- it must be a nuisance to have to unplug the trailer if you want to back it up an incline!

What do you think about the lack of the vehicle-to-trailer battery charging line? I do a lot of no-hookups road trips, and can't imagine doing so without the car charging the trailer battery- especially if I had an all-electric trailer like the Snoozy.

Francesca
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