Adding brakes? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-24-2007, 05:59 PM   #15
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Brian B-P's Avatar
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
In the mountains around here you would never ride your brakes all the way down. If you attempted it you wouldn't have any brakes when you got to the bottom, if you survived until you got to the bottom.
Most of my Boler towing has been in the Rockies and the mountains in interior BC. I agree, you don't ride the brakes all the way down; however, modern tow vehicle brakes are so much better than trailer brakes that I am a little concerned that shorter periods of braking which are okay for the tug would be bad for the trailer, so I am careful to watch how I brake while towing.

In a car, without a trailer, I rarely downshift for descents. I brake approaching turns to reduce speed to whatever value is prudent, coast freely the rest of the time, and on any highway section in BC I've driven (which is all the major ones from Kamloops south and Kamloops to Jasper) the car's brakes are fine. I think we really are spoiled by modern brakes.

With the Prodigy I've noticed when ever braking going down hill there is trailer braking power applied
I have the same controller, but I have not noticed it braking in this condition; I'll make a point of watching more closely on the next trip. It shouldn't apply the trailer brakes if speed is really constant, since there is no deceleration and it should compensate for the inclined position (that's one reason for the two-axis accelerometer in this model).

With engine braking going down hill the trailer brakes are not applied, and boy am I glad of that. If there were applied they wouldn't last very long around here.
The Prodigy can't tell if the tug's engine or the tug's brakes are resisting motion, except that the brake light signal is on. If any controller is a little confused about whether is should be braking or not, triggering only with the brake light signal helps keep it from braking when it shouldn't... potentially an argument against surge brakes (which don't "know" about the tug's braking) for anyone concerned about this.

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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