Braking situations that fill your Underpants - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-31-2012, 09:39 PM   #15
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Red face Oh, you're supposed to set the Brake Controller first!

Why do I always have to learn new things the hard way?

The very 1st time I used my Fiber Stream was a month after the brake controller was installed. The installer did not verbally remind me about hitching up to my trailer and adjusting the controller, and I had somehow forgotten about this detail.

I decided to go camping after work on a Friday in November. It was dark when I drove up the mountain highway from San Bernardino toward Running Springs. It was my 1st time on the mountain and I didn't know the road, but I was heading for a campground called Camp Switzerland in Crestline.

I got lost. I didn't realize how lost I was until the road started descending! I had driven past Big Bear in the dark and was heading for Lucerne Valley on the other side of the mountain.

I decided I had to turn around and then found I COULD NOT STOP. The controller was set to "0" and was not sending any voltage to the trailer brakes. The road was an 8% downgrade and I was standing on the brake pedal, leveraging my body by pulling on the steering wheel and the rig slowed but kept going! The car started to stink from the smell of the hot brakes! It took about 1000 feet and the rig finally came to a stop near the bottom of the descent.

I had to replace all of the brakes on the Honda the next week. It was 8 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dbailey View Post
For many winters, once we got a bit of snow on the ground I'd take to an empty parking lot to practice maintaining control in less than ideal conditions. I don't do that regularly any more, since I think I've got a pretty good feel for it, but I still do it when I get a new vehicle so I can see how it reacts. And the first couple of snows of every year I hit the brakes hard while still on our street to remind myself of how slippery the roads are.
There is a local skid school that teaches this stuff. You basically drive on their skid pan until correcting a skid becomes instinctive. It would probably be helpful to try the same techniques on the same skid pan but with a trailer in tow.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:39 PM   #17
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I used to use a car dolly with no brakes behind an old v8 dakota. One day, I was towing a buick in the middle of nowhere on a gravel road, and someone blew a stop sign on the gravel road that intersected mine. Well, I slammed on the brakes, and the whole thing jackknifed immediately. I couldn't let off the brakes due to the obstacle ahead, and instaed rode it into the ditch as gently as I could. No cell reception, and lots of snow on the ground. Then, I offloaded the car, put the dakota in 4x4, drove it out of the ditch, and winched the buick back on. No harm done other than wasting hours in the cold and snow, but that incident sold me on trailer brakes.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #18
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Current trailer brakes and hitch setup work so well; they can save your neck glad we spent the money. You may only need the brakes once but so worth it. Our proportional baking unit starts to brake a little ahead of the car comforting to feel it.

One time with with the Echo (smaller utility trailer) was over loaded at quarry and did not want to take off the extra since close to home no trailer brakes surprised how much extra was needed to stop still trailer tracked well and it ended well. In hind sight should have taken some of the load off. Will never be caught in that situation again.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Borden View Post
Our proportional baking unit starts to brake a little ahead of the car comforting to feel it..
Proportional braking essentially synchronizes tow and towed vehicles' brakes - something doesn't sound right if the trailer is braking ahead of the car. Shouldn't/cant happen.

Is it not more likely what you are actually feeling is the trailers brakes going on a little harder than the cars due to having your brake controller cranked up to high in order to compensate for towing a trailer of equal weight as your car?
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:44 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Proportional braking essentially synchronizes tow and towed vehicles' brakes - something doesn't sound right if the trailer is braking ahead of the car. Shouldn't/cant happen.

Is it not more likely what you are actually feeling is the trailers brakes going on a little harder than the cars due to having your brake controller cranked up to high in order to compensate for towing a trailer of equal weight as your car?
The Prodigy has a boost setting which applies additional power at the beginning of the braking cycle. In this mode the Prodigy momentarily anticipates and applies extra braking ahead of the tow vehicle, then instantly reverts back to pendulum(proportional) operation.
So actually it should and does happen on boost mode.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #21
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I think everyone's agreeing with each other in that the Prodigy doesn't apply the trailer brakes until you touch the brake pedal. Then it can be set to boost the trailer braking compared to what the tow vehicle is doing.

I expect, however, that if the brake controller people wanted to add a "clairvoyant" setting, they could sense any deceleration (lifting off the gas suddenly, or going down hill) and activate the trailer brakes before you actually touched the brake pedal. Sounds like a really bad idea to me, but then I'm often surprised at what some people think is a good idea
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:32 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
The Prodigy has a boost setting which applies additional power at the beginning of the braking cycle. In this mode the Prodigy momentarily anticipates and applies extra braking ahead of the tow vehicle, then instantly reverts back to pendulum(proportional) operation.
So actually it should and does happen on boost mode.
Yes the controller does apply extra brake power to the trailer when on boost but you still need to press the car brake first to trigger the trailer brakes. So I stand by my original comment that the brakes can not come on ahead of the cars and the poster must have their controller on a pretty high setting. Impossible to have the brakes of the trailer come on before the cars unless they are using the lever only on the controller. Few folks with 16' fiberglass trailers need/use the boost function on their controllers due to the size of the brakes on a 16' trailer vs a 13'. I know if I was to but my controller on just level 1 boost the 16' would be jumping like a bunny rabbit. If the ops trailer isnt bunny hopping on boost then its a good bet at least to me, that the trailer is not only having to stop its own weight but some of the weight of the tow as well, due to the very light curb weight of the tow. Not a situation I would feel comfortable with towing in a high mountain pass
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 343625
I think everyone's agreeing with each other in that the Prodigy doesn't apply the trailer brakes until you touch the brake pedal. Then it can be set to boost the trailer braking compared to what the tow vehicle is doing.

I expect, however, that if the brake controller people wanted to add a "clairvoyant" setting, they could sense any deceleration (lifting off the gas suddenly, or going down hill) and activate the trailer brakes before you actually touched the brake pedal. Sounds like a really bad idea to me, but then I'm often surprised at what some people think is a good idea
Steve L.;
If your comment was meant to be in response to mine, it's a non sequitur.
The point being that the Prodigy is not proportional at the beginning of the braking cycle when using the boost mode.
Carol H;
The minimum boost, if I recall, is 13%,and it is anticipatory.(essentially braking ahead of the car).
Your original comment was..."something doesn't sound right if the trailer is braking ahead of the car. Shouldn't/cant happen." Your second assertion was...
"the brakes can not come on ahead of the cars"(sic)
Also the Prodigy is activated with the brake light switch and since no real braking occurs at the top of the pedal, it calls into question the technical accuracy of your second point, as would ABS.
Still, at some level, you are not incorrect.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:07 AM   #24
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It says in the instructions that it should barely feel tailer brakes at the start of braking cycle, after that it seems to be proportional. Understanding is this is to prevent a pushing of vehicle at start of braking cycle; yes it only activates with pressing of pedal.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:21 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Also the Prodigy is activated with the brake light switch and since no real braking occurs at the top of the pedal, it calls into question the technical accuracy of your second point, as would ABS.
Still, at some level, you are not incorrect.
LOL dont know Floyd I guess due to the fact I tend to like to keep the brakes on the car and the trailer in good shape - ie probable replace both sooner than really needed I would have to be very careful not to make much if any contact with the cars brake pedal not to get any braking action from it.
Happy to see though that it appears we at least agree on the laws of physics
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Steve L.;
If your comment was meant to be in response to mine, it's a non sequitur.
...
My response was not directed at anyone specifically but to, hopefully, diffuse what I thought what becoming a contentious discussion by recognizing that you were each saying essentially the same thing.

I get the sense that you’re bound and determined to pick a fight with someone, you just don’t know with whom specifically. In my view you make a distinction without a difference when claiming the trailer brake is leading the tow vehicle brakes because although one is pressing the brake, the brake is not effective over the first bit of travel. Yes… but… so what? You are still pressing the tow vehicle pedal before the trailer acts.

I didn’t read anyone as saying there wasn’t more trailer boost at the start (assuming the boost feature is activated) and thereafter it was proportional to deceleration. Maybe it’s all about what “leading” means.

But, hey, I’m no longer a moderator and should let nits be picked without comment.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #27
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Hmmmm...

Does the present side trip down who-cares-lane qualify for some as a
"Braking situation that fills your underpants", in the sense of the O.P.'s truly novel threadtitle?

Francesca
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:54 PM   #28
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On my last trip the acceleration feature on the Prodigy controller caused the trailer to lock up on a steep down hill decent. I had noticed that the trailer was grabbing more then the tow vehicle up to that point. I kinda liked having more drag in the back so that the trailer stayed behind me. The additional acceleration of the down hill caused the brake controller to brake so hard that the trailer locked up. A quick adjustment to the gain fixed the problem.
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