Why not surge brake? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-16-2008, 12:15 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
Posts: 20
As I see a lot of brake questions on here I have to wonder why the RV industry does not use surge brakes. I know there's a lot of very experienced RVers and even some very intelligent engineers on here. Can you explain why electric if preferred over a simple hydraulic surge brake set up.
__________________

__________________
EricMeyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 01:31 PM   #2
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
I believe the UHaul has surge brakes on their trailers. This would make sense since they were rentals and not all renters would have their cars/trucks set up with controllers and wiring for electric brakes.

I don't know much about how surge brakes go together, but my guess is they are more expensive than electric ones? Probably heavier? Someone will correct that if it's wrong.

Surge brakes don't work in reverse either..
__________________

__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 02:41 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Mike Watters's Avatar
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Amerigo & Trailmanor (popupish)
Indiana
Posts: 459
It's not so much that they "don't work" in reverse - moving in reverse activates them.

My wierd little French pop-up has surge brakes. I'm supposed to go out to the hitch and shove a pin in the hitch (blocking out the brakes) when I put it in reverse. I never do... It's been fine so far, but I'm not backing a LOT and tend to do it slowly so the brakes might not be really kicking in.

I really like the surge brake set-up though since it lets you use a plain-jane 4-flat connector and still have brakes. The other cool thing about them is they normally come with a little hand lever that lets you set the trailer brakes while parked. No more chocks!

Course - the wierd thing about them is that since the hitch is mounted on a moving cylinder - it actually rotates around. I can spin my hitch 360 degrees around. It's sometimes a mild bother when hitching-up (if you're slightly off it'll rotate around instead of locking) - but it hasn't been a real problem. It's great for freaking people out at campgrounds though - give it a little kick and spin it so the hitch is facing up.

Mike
__________________
Mike Watters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
Better phrasing.. yep..

It should be.. They work TOO good in reverse..

Unless, of course, you are backing down a hill. I don't do that often, but boat owners do.
__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Dan Meyer's Avatar
 
Name: Dan
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
Posts: 559
Surge brakes also work at other times you might not want them to work. Like going down hill while using engine braking. Not really a big deal unless it is a long downhill stretch, and the trailer brakes overheat.

-- Dan Meyer
__________________
Dan Meyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 10:18 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Surge brakes also don't have a way to activate them independently of the tow vehicle brakes, like to straighten out a skidding trailer (presuming one has enough presence of mind to actually do it!). Also, surge brakes are much harder to adjust for highway vs city driving.

Consider yourself as an RV trailer manf :

You get the axle with electric brakes, mount it on the frame and run some wires up to the front plug.

OR, you get the axle with hydraulic surge brakes, mount it on the frame, then get some metallic tubing, bend it to fit the frame, attach it to the frame, put $$ surge coupler on front, connect tubing to brakes and coupler, fill with brake fluid, bleed air out of brakes and clean up spilled brake fluid.

Surge owner now has to check brake fluid level.

Surge brakes make more sense on boat trailers, being occasionally submerged, but even that area is changing.
__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2008, 10:37 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
Posts: 20
I work as a auto tech instructor and as more vehicles brakes/brake lights circuits are run through one or many computers, the days of Me keeping up with electric brake wiring is getting numbered. CAN as they call it, is a network of body, engine and brake computer controls working in sequence to keep you in control. I'm have been, and still going to school a couple times a year and I hope I can keep up to date, (If you don't work for a dealer and receive their training your out of touch)

Simple hydraulic surge brakes seem a perfect answer to this unless the more experienced folks can tell me the disadvantage of these. (Except for the backing up thing)
__________________
EricMeyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 01:16 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
All the electric brake controller needs from the tow vehicle is an indication that the brakes have been applied.

Typically that comes by wiring into the switch that the brake pedal trips to turn on the lights, however, it could be accomplished as a separate signal by tow vehicle designers so it won't interfere with 'bulb out' sensors, or a physical switch added to the brake pedal or even an optical sensor next to the bulb with a wire to the controller, factory or after-market.

I would expect the auto industry to be going towards, not away from, electric brakes. Ford now includes the brake controller in their big pickup truck tow packages. I can see integrated controllers that would be controlled by the tow vehicle's braking computers...

Also, in the commercial trucking world, surge brakes are not used because they can't be controlled from the cab.
__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 05:11 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
pjanits's Avatar
 
Name: Pete
Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
Tennessee
Posts: 881
When hauling a U-haul rental trailer down to Athens ,Ga it was a rainy day and while trying to stop on a downhill off ramp in Kentucky, I just slid . No surge, NO brakes. It's that simple.
Very scary.
__________________
pjanits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 06:18 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Lizbeth's Avatar
 
Name: Liz
Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
California
Posts: 2,027
Registry
Hubby says most new trucks, and SUVs come with a trailer brake plug in under the dash. He works on Fords every day and was surprised that our new to us Explorer didn't have one. He was bummed, he actually had to wire it.

I like being able to activate the brakes separate from the vehicle brakes. Like when someone is following too close.
__________________
1979 Boler B1300 | 1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | We officially have a collection!
Lizbeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 07:26 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Umm, be careful doing that. Trailer brakes come on but no brake LIGHTS on trailer or TV come on.... Lights are totally independent of brakes and are activated by TV brake pedal only.

I prefer to tap brake pedal lightly a few times to flash brake lights.
__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 07:29 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Lizbeth's Avatar
 
Name: Liz
Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
California
Posts: 2,027
Registry
I know on our big trailer they come on...not so sure about the Boler. I'll have to check it out.
__________________
1979 Boler B1300 | 1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | We officially have a collection!
Lizbeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2008, 08:11 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
 
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
Send a message via Yahoo to Pete Dumbleton
Just to be clear, I'm talking about activating the trailer brakes using the controller only.
__________________

__________________
Pete Dumbleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Surge Guard 30 AMP For Sale -$45.00- Tom T. Classified Archives 0 12-04-2008 02:36 PM
Switching from Surge to Electric Brakes? Kevin A Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 9 06-18-2007 11:00 PM
Does Anyone Know How to Fix A Surge Braking System? Kevin A Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 6 04-18-2007 11:09 AM
Electric Brake or Surge Brake? Bonnie Barge Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 28 08-28-2006 02:44 PM
Power surge 12volt DC Hutt Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 04-18-2006 06:37 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.