brakes - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-11-2016, 01:06 AM   #43
stefman's Avatar
Name: stefan
Trailer: 76 Trillium 1300
Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 82
I'm going to throw in my 2 cents worth about what I know about this topic.

1. I have been a licenced mechanic for 27 years.
2. Properly installing trailer brake controllers can be a very time consuming process. Throwing a brake controller at a vehicle in a hap hazard manner does not require much time but as I was always the guy that fixed the mistakes that other so called 'trailer guys' made, I don't install them quickly.
3. Adding a complete 7 pin wiring harness to a vehicle and trailer also requires a lot of time to do correctly.
4. Trailer brake assemblies are not cheap. 2 10" drums would cost around $200 plus 2 backing plates with brakes is another $200 plus a brake controller itself is $85 - $250 depending on type and quality. (Check prices at places like Princess Auto or even Napa stores or Can. Tire. You can get this stuff cheaper if there is a sale on.)
5. I always figure a brake controller itself requires a minimum 1 hour and has taken as long as 3 hours, on some vehicles, because of having to run every wire through the whole vehicle and underdash work these days is why my back is killing me (also why I'm retired from the trade).

I just did this whole job to my wife's Rav4 and my Trillium trailer. The Rav4 never had a trailer hitch before and the trailer only had lights and no brakes or charge line (it didn't even have a battery). I had to run every wire in the Rav4 as there were no harness adapters available for the vehicle. I bolted on the backing plates and drums. I would say it took a total of about 8 hours just to do what I described properly. You can subtract about 2 hours for the lights and a junction box as this is not necessary for the Boler that morgymn is describing. I know I should not have any wiring issues for many years as I do not use 'quick crimp' connectors (which should be outlawed) on trailer wiring installations. If I had to do it for a customer I could save some time here and there but 5 hours minimum is what I would have to charge to add electric brakes to a trailer and vehicle (axle would have to have the bolt on flanges for brakes)

Labour 5 hours x $95 = $475
Brake parts for trailer about $400
Brake controller mid price unit $150
Wiring and wire harness protector about another $50
2 7 wire plug ends about $45

I'm at $1120 and I've probably forgotten a whole lot of little stuff.

Like I said my 2 cents worth (plus about $1119.98)

I hope this clears things up a little rather that cloud the original issue.
Hope your brakes work out. I would always have brakes on my trailer as being 'pushed' by a trailer is an uncomfortable feeling as well as potentially being very unsafe. That's my opinion as others may not agree as to how to solve this issue. I have been told that our frames on Trilliums and Bolers and other small trailers are not meant for WDH hitches as they are not strong enough. I know nothing about anti sway hitches. My Trillium stays directly behind my tow vehicles at all times and behaves itself because of proper tongue weight, proper tires, correct tire inflation and (I feel) because of brakes.

For the record my fully loaded, ready to go camping, Trillium 1300 (no washroom, no furnace, 1 battery, 1 propane tank, 8 gallons of water, small 3 way fridge, all the typical camping gear for 3 weeks of travel) weighed in at 1695lbs (freestanding weight). The little stuff adds up fast.

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Old 06-11-2016, 03:06 AM   #44
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Borrego Dave's Avatar
Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
Posts: 3,183
Good post Stefan for real world/location info.

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