Electric Brake or Surge Brake? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-28-2006, 01:44 PM   #29
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Brian B-P's Avatar
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 4,999
Yes, Benny, I agree that that it's the braking of the tow vehicle which triggers the surge brake system - I was just pointing out that it doesn't matter how the tug brakes. The tug could slow down by engine braking, and it would still run the surge brakes on the trailer.

Electrically-triggered hydraulic disk brakes do seem like the ultimate in performance, and are used on very large RV trailers for that reason. They're about the only way to get electrical control and disk brakes together. As a system to tolerate immersion in water, the electrical hardware on the trailer would need to be mounted up high or sealed - not that this is a factor for our eggs.

The auto-reverse issues to apply in both hydraulic and cable systems. There is an auto-reverse drum brake design, which is also called a "free-backing" brake.

While the Prodigy (which I use) does act in reverse, it seems that some other acceleration-sensitive proportional electric controllers do not (which is why that is listed as a feature for the Prodigy). I agree with Andrew - this doesn't seem like a big issue to me.

I can be cynical, but I think I'm just being realistic when I say that I think electric drum brakes are standard on RV trailers only because they are cheapest - if they also work well, that's an accidental bonus. In my case, I considered going to the electric/hydraulic disk system, but killed that idea when I saw the cost, so I'm not criticising the trailer makers for doing the same thing. The handbrake, on the other hand, seems like a good idea for what should be a moderate cost - there's no more to it (even on an electrically-actuated drum) than an automotive handbrake with drums.

1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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