Do I really need a brake controller? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2011, 11:31 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
The P-3 might be a bit overkill. You want to consider the Prodigy. Tekonsha PRODIGY Brake Controller - Proportional Tekonsha Brake Controller 90185

FYI. In some states, (Oregon for one), if your trailer is equipped with electric brakes you must have a brake controller, it must be in working order. That applies to trailers that normally don't require brakes. It would not be legal for me to tow my trailer with a vehicle that doesn't have a brake controller connected and working order.

I have the Prodigy and two vehicles that I can tow with. All I have to do is remove the controller from one vehicle to the other to change tow vehicles. But, I do have to remember to do that.
I have brakes and use them, don't really need to be intimidated, cajoled, or threatened to do so, but here's a couple of points which apply...
1] brake controller not needed or desirable with surge brakes.
2] If the quoted chart is correct, Oregon does not require trailer brakes to be present or hooked up, only that the combination be able to stop in a specified distance from a specified speed....

Quote...
Weight Limits for Towing without Auxiliary Brakes:
No Weight Stipulation - Combination of vehicles must be able to stop within legal limits.

Is this an unreliable chart? Where can we find a good one?

Safety doesn't change over time, laws do,... so maybe Oregon has changed the laws since the charts were printed.

I.E....Illannoy just passed a law which requires rear seat passengers to wear seat belts starting this Sunday. No more napping in the back seat while someone else shares the driving chores,but we can still ride double in swimwear on a motorcyle!
I guess they just care more about car passengers?
(taxis & police cars,are exempt)
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:00 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I have brakes and use them, don't really need to be intimidated, cajoled, or threatened to do so, but here's a couple of points which apply...
1] brake controller not needed or desirable with surge brakes.
2] If the quoted chart is correct, Oregon does not require trailer brakes to be present or hooked up, only that the combination be able to stop in a specified distance from a specified speed....

Quote...
Weight Limits for Towing without Auxiliary Brakes:
No Weight Stipulation - Combination of vehicles must be able to stop within legal limits.

Is this an unreliable chart? Where can we find a good one?

Safety doesn't change over time, laws do,... so maybe Oregon has changed the laws since the charts were printed.

I.E....Illannoy just passed a law which requires rear seat passengers to wear seat belts starting this Sunday. No more napping in the back seat while someone else shares the driving chores,but we can still ride double in swimwear on a motorcyle!
I guess they just care more about car passengers?
(taxis & police cars,are exempt)
Floyd
Reread my post please, never mind.. Here's a direct quote, read carefully.

"if your trailer is equipped with electric brakes you must have a brake controller"

Correct on the brakes are only required if you can't stop from the prescribed speed in the prescribed distance without them. However, my trailer has electric brakes installed, therefore I must has a brake controller so that the brakes are active. To say it one more way, it is illegal to pull a trailer with electric brakes and NOT have them functioning.

ORS 815.125
(7) Brakes on vehicles of the following described weight must be able to stop the vehicle moving at the described speed within the described distance without leaving a 12-foot wide lane: (a) Vehicles with a registration weight of less than 8,000 pounds must be able to brake from a speed of 20 miles per hour to a stop within 25 feet.
(b) Vehicles with a registration weight of 8,000 pounds or more and combinations of vehicles must be able to brake from a speed from 20 miles per hour to a stop within 35 feet. [1983 c.338 472; 1985 c.16 247]


Further information can be found here . Below is a paragraph from page 15.

"Oregon law does not require trailer brakes, but
their use is strongly encouraged as an additional
safety measure. Oregon law requires that all safety
equipment that came from the manufacturer on
your vehicle, including brakes, be kept in good
working order. So if your trailer is equipped with
brakes, they must be kept in good working order
.
You must follow both the tow vehicle and trailer
manufacturer's recommendations for all aspects of
towing, including the use of trailer brakes."



There ya go.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:34 AM   #45
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Hi: All... You really only need one PANIC stop to convince yourself that trailer brakes are necessary; drycleaning required or not!!!
We inherited a Husky digital readout controller and just switched it to the new tug. As part of my pullaway test I squeeze the manual slide control to apply the brakes on the trailer and try to pull away with the rig. Can't BUDGE it!!! Works for me.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:11 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Floyd
Reread my post please, never mind.. Here's a direct quote, read carefully.

"if your trailer is equipped with electric brakes you must have a brake controller"

Correct on the brakes are only required if you can't stop from the prescribed speed in the prescribed distance without them. However, my trailer has electric brakes installed, therefore I must has a brake controller so that the brakes are active. To say it one more way, it is illegal to pull a trailer with electric brakes and NOT have them functioning.

ORS 815.125
(7) Brakes on vehicles of the following described weight must be able to stop the vehicle moving at the described speed within the described distance without leaving a 12-foot wide lane: (a) Vehicles with a registration weight of less than 8,000 pounds must be able to brake from a speed of 20 miles per hour to a stop within 25 feet.
(b) Vehicles with a registration weight of 8,000 pounds or more and combinations of vehicles must be able to brake from a speed from 20 miles per hour to a stop within 35 feet. [1983 c.338 472; 1985 c.16 247]


Further information can be found here . Below is a paragraph from page 15.

"Oregon law does not require trailer brakes, but
their use is strongly encouraged as an additional
safety measure. Oregon law requires that all safety
equipment that came from the manufacturer on
your vehicle, including brakes, be kept in good
working order. So if your trailer is equipped with
brakes, they must be kept in good working order.
You must follow both the tow vehicle and trailer
manufacturer's recommendations for all aspects of
towing, including the use of trailer brakes."


There ya go.
The highlighted portion of your quote is prefaced by the sentence... "Oregon law requires that all safety
equipment that came from the manufacturer on
your vehicle, including brakes, be kept in good
working order"...
Truly a great brochure with good advice, but it is apparently not code.
Also, it doesn't address the legal affect of aftermarket modifications.
It does however to some extent, inform common sense, whether it is a legal document or not. That is the thrust of my position.
Alf,
Never panic behind the wheel,or wear clothes which require drycleaning!
Before this thread is locked and I am censured, let me just reiterate that I am not advocating being ill-informed or disrespectful to the law, I merely think that a free man should be well-informed and do the right thing,because it is the right thing, not out of fear or intimidation.
I am saved by the Grace of God,not the fear of hell.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:11 PM   #47
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The Tekonsha Prodigy, is a good one, Tekonsha is owned by Reese, they liked them so well they bought the company
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:13 PM   #48
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Hi: floyd... Touche...but sometimes the last guy into the frey, caused by rubberneckers isn't aware of the need to stop. Then it's a matter of... can the guy behind, do it as fast as you???
I believe in the rule thats unwritten... Never drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!!
I'm saved by my skill as a professional driver. Grace may or may not be.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:40 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Alf S. View Post
Hi: floyd... Touche...but sometimes the last guy into the frey, caused by rubberneckers isn't aware of the need to stop. Then it's a matter of... can the guy behind, do it as fast as you???
I believe in the rule thats unwritten... Never drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!!
I'm saved by my skill as a professional driver. Grace may or may not be.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Mine fly at the speed of light!
I have brakes on my 13 Scamp, for the same reason that I use better than stock tires on my TV and trailer. It is better to have that margin and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
Being an American....I just can't get a feel for fealty!
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:34 PM   #50
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Difference between a breakaway set and regular brakes?

I have a breakaway switch on my 1990 16' scamp, working well. It is not wired up through the switch to use a controller. Is there any difference between the actual brakes - i.e. do I just need to wire up the brakes and get a controller, or are the brakes themselves different beasts?
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:04 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by rtgebm View Post
I have a breakaway switch on my 1990 16' scamp, working well. It is not wired up through the switch to use a controller. Is there any difference between the actual brakes - i.e. do I just need to wire up the brakes and get a controller, or are the brakes themselves different beasts?
You need a brake controller in your tow vehicle to properly modulate the brakes as you drive. The breakaway switch provides full braking power (no controller) to the trailer brakes using your trailer battery to stop the trailer if it comes off the tow vehicle.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:15 AM   #52
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I'll add an opinion as well.
I don't know anything about controllers or the various laws, etc.
What I do know is that you don't want to be wishing you had
"hooked-up" the brakes as you are sliding through a stop light and
intersection in downtown Tampa, FL.
Yep, that was me.
More brakes are a good thing!
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:41 PM   #53
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What I do know is that you don't want to be wishing you had "hooked-up" the brakes as you are sliding through a stop light and intersection in downtown Tampa, FL.
... More brakes are a good thing!
I had that feeling on a green light in Quebec City once, as I nearly T-boned a police cruiser coming through the red. That was the day I would install brakes on my boler. Once I had experienced brakes, there was no second thoughts of ensuring I had them on my Trillium.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:45 PM   #54
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Thanks...didn't know if they were a separate thing - sounds like breakaway brake systems are identical - just without a controller in the vehicle So...im gonna get a decent controller and hook them up and see how good I can do ....
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #55
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Arise old, burried thread!

Just wanted to give an update and thanks to all those who offered advice. I ended up buying a Tekonsha Prodigy P2 from ebay for about 100 bucks. I had it installed, along with a new 7 pin harness/connector by U-haul. That was about $200, parts included. There was a slight problem with the harness, but U-haul stepped up and fixed it. They even threw in a couple of extras to compensate me for the trouble. Everything was done in one day.

Trailer was towed 3 separate times, and I do think the P2 makes a big difference. Brakes are fully functional, and make stopping effortless. Unfortunately, we discovered that the Trillium leaks over the door, but that's another story.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:37 PM   #56
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I'm glad this got bounced up I was looking for it not to long ago, now I can bookmark the thread and have all this good info available.
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