Electric Brake Control for Subaru Forester - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2007, 04:17 PM   #15
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Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Todd,

I have a tendency to get a little worried when somebody asks a lot electrical questions. Wiring is one of those things that appears to be easy to do, kind of like plumbing. However, if not done correctly large problems can ensue. Costly damage can be done to either or both the trailer and the TV. I therefore suggest that you take the TV to an RV or Trailer shop and have at least check it, better yet is let them do it. You might be money ahead in the long run.

I work with electricity stuff for a living, including vehicle electrical components. Even with the knowledge and understanding I still took my TV to an RV shop to get it wired for the trailer. Several reasons for this;

1. If I make a mistake and kill something in the TV or trailer, they have to do the repairs.
2. They know or should know where the best connection spots are.
3. I don't like crawling around under vehicles any more.

If you like crawling around under vehicles then forget number 3.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:00 PM   #16
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Would a 30A be an appropriate size for the circuit breaker?
That's what I picked, since it is a generally accepted maximum continuous current rating for the 10 gauge wire which I used. I have no idea how much current actually flows in my setup under driving conditions.

Quote:
Any recommendations on relay/solenoid brands?
I don't have any brand recommendations, but for the relay/solenoid type...

A common style (usually what you get when you ask for a "solenoid" in a store) is a hefty device which looks like the external (not built onto the starter) solenoid for starting a car. I suggest making sure that it isn't actually a starting solenoid, which is designed to handle very high currents for very brief periods, but rather a "continuous duty" device, designed to take a more modest current but stay on indefinitely. Auto parts stores, should have the starter units readily available, but might not even know about the continuous-duty units; on the other hand, RV supply stores routinely have buckets of the continuous-duty units on the shelf.

Some members have pointed out here that there are much more compact relays which are still good for 30A continuous duty; I would likely consider this type if I had to do it again, and would try industrial or automotive supply stores for them.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:08 PM   #17
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I don't actually enjoy crawling under vehicles, and truly dislike contorting my way under dashboards; however, I did find the time spent under my van to do the wiring interesting and informative.

Perhaps more importantly, I have more faith in my ability to understand and properly implement this type of system in my van than I do in some stranger in an RV repair shop. Having seen the work done in vehicles by auto sound and accessory installers, and in RVs by the manufacturers, and having no reason to believe that any RV shop would be any better, I have low expectations of their work.

If you work on your own brakes, you might consider yourself capable of taking on a similar responsibility in the wiring area. On the other hand, most vehicle maintenance work does not involve design decisions, as this wiring does. Everyone need to make their own decisions; in my case, there's almost no part of a vehicle which I have worked on (not all on the same vehicle), and I installed both the trailer wiring and the rear suspension air bags in my otherwise dead stock and nearly new van.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
I don't actually enjoy crawling under vehicles, and truly dislike contorting my way under dashboards; however, I did find the time spent under my van to do the wiring interesting and informative.

Perhaps more importantly, I have more faith in my ability to understand and properly implement this type of system in my van than I do in some stranger in an RV repair shop. Having seen the work done in vehicles by auto sound and accessory installers, and in RVs by the manufacturers, and having no reason to believe that any RV shop would be any better, I have low expectations of their work.

If you work on your own brakes, you might consider yourself capable of taking on a similar responsibility in the wiring area. On the other hand, most vehicle maintenance work does not involve design decisions, as this wiring does. Everyone need to make their own decisions; in my case, there's almost no part of a vehicle which I have worked on (not all on the same vehicle), and I installed both the trailer wiring and the rear suspension air bags in my otherwise dead stock and nearly new van.

Brian,

Like I said earlier, when somebody asks a lot of questions about wiring and (which I didn't say) the type of questions asked gives an indicator of their ability and knowledge, it might be time to have somebody that does have the knowledge and insurance to handle it. That's not meant as a negative just the facts.
Whether you have or think you have the knowledge is irrelevant to case at hand. We have a member that is struggling with wiring and wrong advice could cause him a lot of problems. It would be best for him to at a minimum have what ever wiring he does check by somebody that does have the knowledge.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:01 PM   #19
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Anyone who is planning on paying someone to wire their vehicle for a trailer, counting on them to know what they're doing, might want to ask a few questions...
  • Have they installed this equipment in this model of vehicle before? (if not, they really don't have the knowledge you're counting on; will they acquire it?)
  • Where will the brake controller be installed in this specific vehicle? (I have asked this and been given unsafe and unworkable positions)
  • Will you accept responsibility for damage to vehicle systems resulting from errors in the installation? (I wouldn't assume this)
  • How much current is the system intended to carry to the trailer? (ensure that what they are providing matches your intended use)
  • When the tow vehicle is shut off, but the trailer is still connected, can the trailer's refrigerator run down the tow vehicle's battery? (this establishes the capability they are proposing to install, without getting into the details of the design)
These are the sort of questions I essentially asked myself, by considering these (and other) factors in making my choices.

Answers like "don't worry about it... we've done this for hundreds of customers" don't reassure me at all, especially when I realize that not one of those customers had the same type of controller or similar vehicle, and the guy who will be actually doing the installation started last week and has no training.

You could instead, of course, blindly trust... but I wouldn't.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:47 PM   #20
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Brian,
That is a really good set of questions to ask. In this case, virtually no shop has done this installation on this vehicle. (There was a poster on one of the Scamp forums who was towing with a Forester; that is the only one I have heard of.) So the honest technician will admit this is virgin territory.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:08 PM   #21
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I kinda agree with Brian on his questions. I had my vehical wired for brake set up and 7 point plug. The shop doing it said they have done plenty of them so i was not concerned. $800.00 it cost me . I asked why and they said they had lots of problems. I reminded them what they had told me about doing lots of them. I wasted my time. While the wiring was being done i had them install my hitch. Well as you can imagine the bill was quite large, about double what i was quoted. The whole mess came to about $1300.00.

I did some research after about cost from other installers and was told i was ripped off. I live in a small town BUT that bussiness will never get another cent from me. Be aware of what people tell you. Do lots of checking and try to get feed back from other customers.
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