Brake controller location. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-10-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
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Name: Randy
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Brake controller location.

I would like to know about the alternative position for electric brake controller if anyone has experiences with it. Please analyze pros, cons and in details if possible. Prefer brake controller without...break-away switch. What do you think in which case you applied? ...for instance in towing vehicle, trailer...Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
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Randy,

The brake controller and the break away sitch are mechanically and electrically seperate devices.

The location of the brake controller is in some measure determined by your tow vehicle. In any case the brake controller should be easy to activate in an emergency. For example, should your trailer ever begin to sway, manual activation of the trailer brakes only via the brake controller will usually stop sway.

The break away switch is totally independent of the brake controller. It is located on the trailer, typically on the tongue. It's sole purpose is to activate the trailer brakes automatically should the trailer become seperated from the tow vehicle.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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I think Randy may be asking about the possibility of locating the controller on the trailer, rather than in the tug. This is possible, but the driver still needs controls to adjust the controller and to manually apply the brakes; this can be achieved by a remote control near the driver, linked to the controller by a radio. The only example that I know of is the Prodigy RF. I have no personal experience with this controller.

I agree that the breakaway switch is completely separate from the controller; it applies the brakes as a crude alternative to the controller if the trailer becomes separated from the tow vehicle.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #4
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Thankyou for your advices, Brian B-P and...honda03842. My light F.G trailer will be installed electric brakes without break-away sw. Mentioning ab emergency situation as your advices, I would follow manufacturer's instruction to locate it within reach...i.e under the dash of towing vehicle...Thanks again.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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Randy when looking for a break controller look for one that allows you to mount it at a big angle which will make it easier to find a good spot to install it for easy reading & reach - some of the older models dont allow that the controller be mounted at more the x so many degree angle.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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I wanted my controller in easy reach, also inside the dash if possible.
I first removed the ashtray and used the resulting slot but didn't like the way it interfered with the cupholder....also, I had to lean over a bit to reach it.

I then moved it across to the left side of the dash where there was a "blank" space evidently left for options that hadn't been installed in my car. I removed two of the three faceplates and the controller fits inside nicely, protruding just enough to allow access to the manual knobs.

This has worked really well, and looks as if the controller was designed to go there. (This method of course depends on available space in the instrument area of the dash.)

Francesca
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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Francesca raised a good point. When I mounted mine I tried to put the screws that hold it through a part of the dash that could easily/cheaply be replaced when I sell the car so the new buyer doesnt see the screw holes. I placed mine on what is the door to a fuse box - door is easy to replace with a new one when the time comes and it just happened to be in a good location for seeing and reaching.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinh View Post
Thankyou for your advices, Brian B-P and...honda03842. My light F.G trailer will be installed electric brakes without break-away sw. Mentioning ab emergency situation as your advices, I would follow manufacturer's instruction to locate it within reach...i.e under the dash of towing vehicle...Thanks again.
Without break away switch??? 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.

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Old 04-10-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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Requirements for breakaway switches vary from province to province- they're not required in Randy's home province of Ontario.

Here's a link to a rundown of all the Provinces' requirements, though it does look like they only apply to trailers over 3,000 pounds or so (laden).

Francesca
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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While this isn't a photo of mine, it is the location I mounted my controller in my RAV4. The switch bracket is easily removed for installation & future replacement...
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:49 PM   #11
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How about traveling to other provinces or to US? Off topic, but window tint laws vary by state and some states enforce their laws on out of state travelers. It would put damper on a trip because of a pissed off state trooper.

How would it work if an accident, with the trailer coming loose, were to occur in a province that requires a break away switch?

It seams like a simple little piece of hardware, though if you don't already have a battery in the trailer I can see that making it a bigger investment.

Jason
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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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. Some outlines as following:2010 Driving Laws for the US and Canada
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Experience

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.

If your trailer has electric brakes, I believe it should have a break away. switch.

Safe travels.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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Had never seen the Prodigy RF. I like that. One controller and then I can tow with other vehicles too. I also wanted a controller that has better access to the manual over ride. If I got into a bad sway, I doubt I'd be able to steer with one hand, watch the road, find the controller uder the dash and get things straightened back out. The RF model looks like it could be a lot handier and more options for mounting.

Too bad it has to have a cord, I'd have duct taped it to my steering wheel where I could find it. Of course seperate batteries in it would be dead when I needed it.

My 2002 has electric brakes but no break away switch..
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