Trailer Brakes - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-04-2003, 07:43 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Trailer Brakes

After reading Pete D's post about surge breaks on the other thread, I started madly typing...then decided, rather than trash that thread...I would start over here. I really hope to have some input on this. Here was my initial response:

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh :feet I just had another one of those head whacker moments that I am becoming so famous for. :bh There's another name for 'serge' brakes and for the life of me I cannot think what it is. It's the same dohicky in the seats that lock up the seat belt when you stop too fast.

Anyway having pulled a UHaul or two in my day, I am familiar with this kind of brake, but it wasn't until just this moment when Pete explained it like he did, that I realized that is probably what my '89 has on it. All the pieces are now starting to fall into place. Duhhhhhhhh. Now I have a question. What harm/good am I doing with my break controller that is installed in my tow vehicle since I am now convinced that my trailer had surge brakes installed? It seems to work fine, but I am wondering what, if anything I should do about the other one that is mounted on the trailer tongue. It's obviously a retro fit where they cut into the wiring harness. Should I leave it as is, or should I remove the tongue mounted brake and reconnect the wires. If I do this, will the brakes work properly with my brake controller?

Many, many questions. Thanks Pete for finally solving a long-time puzzle for me.
__________________

__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 07:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Suz,

Can you take a close-up picture of the one on your trailer?

And post it of course.
__________________

__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 08:09 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
brakes

Suz;

I think what you are describing is a break-a-way switch.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 08:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Brakes

Morgan....I will try and take a picture tomorrow.

Ron M....Could be, but don't think it is configured as I would think a break-a-way should be. It is hard wired into the trailer pigtail wiring and is permanently mounted halfway between the body and the hitch on the tongue.

Tomorrow, when the dark is gone ;) , I'll try and post a picture. I know that it is a Tekonsha which are brake controllers.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Umm, Suz, that is prolly the breakaway switch for your electric trailer brakes. Has a steel wire with loop on end attached to it that you should attach to the truck so if the truck and trailer are separated, the pin on the trailer end of the wire pulls out of the box and the electric brakes come on. The electric wires coming out of the box go to the battery and the brakes and are hardwired. Often is only mounted to tongue with one bolt so it can swing and let the pin line up with the cord so the pin pulls easily when needed.

A surge brake coupler will bend like a knee or one part slips inside another, either action compressing a hydraulic cylinder which in turn puts pressure on the wheel brake pads.

Tekonsha makes breakaway switches and brake controllers.

Pete and Rats
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 10:10 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Brakes

I think the word that I've been struggling to come up with is inertia. Are surge brakes ever called inertia brakes?

I really do not believe that this is a break away...it and everything attached to it is definitely permanent.

It's probably not a surge break either. I think that it was just added on after the fact and this is where they mounted it. Here's a picture...it's not very good so may have to try to get a better one later in the day when sun is in better position. I believe the wire to the right is a ground wire.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e185867d3425trailerbrakes.JPG/>
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 11:52 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
I'm guessing, but it's possible that's a gel-cell battery to operate the elec brakes via a breakaway switch. Either you don't have an on-board battery or you have a lot of redundancy if that is the case.

OTOH, that may be an inertia (aka surge) mechanism designed to activate electric brakes when the rig slows down; if sensitive enuf, it may also serve as a breakaway switch itself.

Pete and Rats

PS I think the terminology would be "Surge brakes are activated by the change in inertia".
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 12:39 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
ummm.....

I was able to recontruct enough of the faded top label to figure out the name after only three trips outside.

What I came up with (in addition to the Tekonsha that I knew) was ''Weathertronic.''

Doing a google on Tekonsha Weathertronic only came up with one hit. It was a list of items. One of which was this:

EB3 Weathertronic TR/mount controller each $ 177.72

Searching for ''Weathertronic'' produced a multitude of hits. Best I can tell it is Meteorological and Hydrological Instruments or just weather stuff in general.

The Tekonsha site was no help, so I e-mailed them and asked exactly what it was and if it worked with or against my Prodigy controller.

I come up with the dernedest stuff, don't I?
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 02:07 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
It looks like an old timey brake controller to me, SUZ.

Note: The brake controller in my pickup (and probably in your tow) is inertial. The (inertial) pendulum controls the application on the brakes. There's no reason for it being inside the tow except for monitoring the little light, adjusting and for manual application. Functionally, it could be mounted anywhere.

Pete (or one of the rats) said, "Surge brakes are activated by the change in inertia." Actually our brakes are activated by a change in velocity (acceleration) sensed by an inertial element, a pendulum.

Some brake controllers don't use an inertial element. They rely on timing. The longer you hold your foot on the brake pedal, the more current they apply to the trailer brakes. I've never used that type, but I don't think I'd like it.

I have used surge brakes and did not like them at all. It felt like a load of elephants bumping around in the trailer. They're controlled mechanically by sensing the force with which the trailer tries to push the tow. The harder the trailer pushes, the harder they brake. I guess, in one sense, surge brakes are inertial; the trailer is the inertial sensing element.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 02:16 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Hi All
I don't know about the States but in some areas of Canada surge brakes are not permmited. Food for thought.:)
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 02:34 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Waiting for Tekonsha

Hopefully, I will hear from Tekonsha and they will clarify what, if anything, I need to do. If I don't get an e-mail from them soon, I think I will give them a call.

It may be that I have a redunant system that is somehow competing with itself. I just don't know that much about it. If I can, I will remove it, reconnect the wires and use just the Prodigy.

Would there be any reason anyone could think of that I would need that AND the one in my tow vehicle?

At this point, I think Tekonsha will have to clear it up for me...what do you think?
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 03:41 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Suz
I don't think having two breaking systems is a sound idea. I think I would ask advice from RV Dealers Teck.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 03:59 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
I agree

Ches, I totally agree. I just want to make sure that is what I have. RV techs are pretty good...some are very good...I just want to talk to someone who knows exactly what a 'Weathertronic' AND a Prodigy is. That way, I'll be sure I'm getting the straight poop. You'd be amazed at how many people just make stuff up cuz it sounds good...especially when talking to a woman.
__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 04:59 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 18,870
Suz
I agree with what your saying. I beleive most people are sincer. but when it comes to safety I tend to take a harder look at things. On the market today you can buy anything you want, But is it safe for your application and is it legal.
Things like propane.electrics,brakes,Hitches are items I look at very strongly.
Any remodling like painting and items of this nature is most likely ok.
The other item I look at is tow vehicals. Lots of people say you can tow with this or that. Sure you can.Question I ask is CAN YOU STOP.
The article in another thread on towing and weights is really a good one on this subject.:E :E :)
__________________

__________________
Legacy Posts is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
brakes


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
Trailer Brakes Alexandra B Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 07-20-2009 12:53 PM
Trailer Brakes Pete Dumbleton Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 0 04-25-2008 08:57 PM
Do you have brakes on your 13' trailer? Cam A Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 64 02-11-2008 10:40 PM
Trailer Brakes Jen'nBarb General Chat 9 08-21-2006 12:53 AM
Trailer Brakes Pete Dumbleton Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 0 12-31-1969 07:00 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 09:19 AM.


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