Brake controller location. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-10-2013, 05:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
A Break-Away switch is a very inexpensive form of insurance, We always worry about trailer sway but it appears the most common accident is a break away trailer. I had my hitch come off the ball and added a break away switch within days.
Trailer sway can be an important cause of a trailer breaking away, so the two subjects are related. It's more common, though, for sway to result in the flipping of the still-coupled vehicle, trailer still attached. The utility/necessity for proper location of the controller's manual control knob can't be overemphasized in light of its ability to bring a sway event under control before it gets out of hand. Presumably this is part of the O.P.'s reason for asking for suggestions per location.

Having a coupler come off the ball is pretty rare, and preventable by the proper use/maintenance of locking couplers and properly sized/attached balls. In my opinion, that kind of failure points more toward the necessity for sufficient and correctly crossed/tightened safety chains than it does to any "necessity" for a breakaway switch.

I'd point out that breakaway switches aren't deemed critical enough to be required in many jurisdictions (and in none that I can find for trailers under 3,000 pounds).

But without exception, every trailer must have safety chains.

Francesca
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:50 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
I do believe it is required by law that if the trailer has brakes, there must be a break away safety device. Please check province/transport Canada laws about that.

Jason
Jason in BC the requirement you stated is only stated under the commercial trailer laws not under recreational trailers section on the act.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:59 PM   #17
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I'm with Jason here. They cost less than $15 bucks. Why on earth would you not install one?
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:18 PM   #18
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I'm with Jason here. They cost less than $15 bucks. Why on earth would you not install one?
Dont disagree there not a good thing to have for such a small price but they are not required by law as Jason suggests on most of our trailers.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:20 PM   #19
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... the Prodigy RF. .. One controller and then I can tow with other vehicles too.
Yes, which I found attractive as well; however, each of those tow vehicles must still have a 7-pin connector with power supplied to it for brake operation. That essentially kills the universal tug idea, although it would be somewhat easier to set up all of your tugs with this wiring than with the full brake controller wiring and mounting.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:24 PM   #20
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..As I know of gereral rules for both US and Canada when towing trailers in which weights exceed 3,000lbs they are required brakes and with break-away switches...
One problem is that while 3000 pounds is a common limit, there is no generally applicable rule.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:44 PM   #21
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I don't have much faith in those collections of rules, although I suppose they are a starting point.

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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
... they are not required by law as Jason suggests on most of our trailers.
I don't know about "most" of us, but here in Alberta the Vehicle Equipment Regulation AR 122/2009 Part 3, section 56, subsection 2 does require a breakaway feature on any trailer requiring brakes (which generally means those over 907 kg / 2000 lb). Yes, this would apply to visitors.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:41 AM   #22
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...Unlike heavy duty commercial trailers which are subjects to everyday use, light RV trailers are often used a few weeks per year. The cons of break-away sw in RV is...it is activated by separate battery and this battery is always hooked up. With a whole year parking, the internal current could drain out the required voltage leading failure in case of emergency unless being checked before the trip (the cost of this battery is insignificant to the owning and using the RV) That is why the rule is applied with tolerance as...common sense. (How many time within 5 year period the break-away sw would be actually used in a RV trailer- safety chains is other safeguard). In my case, my F.G trailer weighs only 460kgs, less than 1,000lbs. So I am happy with the regulation...
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:46 AM   #23
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I'd be surprised if the typical break away draws any stand by current, mine appears to be a simple switch that closes when the pin is pulled allowing current to flow to the brakes.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #24
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Yes, which I found attractive as well; however, each of those tow vehicles must still have a 7-pin connector with power supplied to it for brake operation. That essentially kills the universal tug idea, although it would be somewhat easier to set up all of your tugs with this wiring than with the full brake controller wiring and mounting.
To me the Prodigy RF was also attractive in another way. My truck does not come pre-wired from the factory for a "plug and play" brake controller installation, and this feature is not included in the tow package provided by the dealer. I was not terribly interested in doing the brake controller wiring myself (even though it was described fairly well on the FJ forums). Given that the 2 quotes I got from reputable local hitch installers was around $500 each for the brake controller install, including the brake controller, it did not take me long to see the value in buying the Prodigy RF from an online supplier for about $300. No regrets so far.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:27 AM   #25
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As Norm has suggested, a breakaway switch uses zero current until activated. It is just a mechanical switch.

By the way, 460 kg is slightly more than 1,000 pounds (1014 lb), but the difference is not important. The Boler or Trillium weighing under 1000 pounds seems to be generally regarded here as a marketing myth; is that a real weight, with all equipment and everything carried in the trailer?
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:33 AM   #26
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The cons of break-away sw in RV is...it is activated by separate battery and this battery is always hooked up...
It does need a battery on the trailer, separate from the tow vehicle's battery, but in travel trailers that can be (and normally is) the same battery as used for everything else on the trailer. Is this trailer planned to have a battery, other than one dedicated to the brakes?
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:56 AM   #27
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My local RV dealer installed my brake controller (which I had taken out of a previous tow vehicle) for free. Definitely locate it so you don't do a number on your knee or shin when driving and using the brakes.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #28
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My local RV dealer installed my brake controller (which I had taken out of a previous tow vehicle) for free. Definitely locate it so you don't do a number on your knee or shin when driving and using the brakes.
..To my understanding, any battery connected to a circuit will be subject to drainage if .." standby " a period of time. This phenomenom is caused by internal current. Commercial trailers have their own routine maintenence, so it won't be a problem. To private owner of such as..RVs, I doubt about it's function when parking too long without use. IMO, make sure to check it's voltage before the new year trip. A battery whose voltage dropped to a threshold( I don't know how much, 50%???) it will be replaced with the new one, recharging is...no cure. Just my thought...
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