Electric brakes - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2016, 02:52 PM   #1
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Name: Heather
Trailer: Suntrek
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Electric brakes

Hello, I just bought a 1998 Suntrek Vista 18' TT. I will be towing it with a 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. I have been told that I should have an electric brake controller installed in my van. Is it necessary? Info will be appreciated.
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:45 PM   #2
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Yes you need an electric brake controller, nice trailer your probably towing between 3500- 4000 pounds thats a lot of weight to have pushing on the van when stopping. A brake controller set up properly will work with the tow vehicle brakes and improve your stopping power dramatically.
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Old 07-30-2016, 03:50 PM   #3
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Thank you. I have an appointment to have controller installed next week.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:43 PM   #4
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You will need a 7-pin connector also, if you don't already have one.
The controller is plug and play. UTube can walk you through it.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:06 PM   #5
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beautiful trailer.....

and rare...never heard of it.....

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Old 07-30-2016, 08:10 PM   #6
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ooops got my answer.....

in the video the guy says it's 1800 lbs dry......wonder why they bothered with the tandem axle set-up then (????)
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:18 PM   #7
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in the video the guy says it's 1800 lbs dry......wonder why they bothered with the tandem axle set-up then (????)
A bit like the sticker on my old scamp 16' that said it was only 1500lbs dry..... but failed to mention that meant without a fridge, stove, furnace, propane, water tanks, awning and of the bathroom
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:09 AM   #8
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Hi again, the trailer in the video is the one I just bought. The specs state Gross Dry Weight is 2200 lbs and carrying weight is 1800 lbs. Hitch dry weight is 237 lbs. I picked it us last weekend in Sudbury and drove to Hamilton without problems. I have no idea what the difference between single and tandem axle. I do have a seven pin connection on the van. Thank you all for the advice.
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:42 AM   #9
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Nice trailer Heather. Sounds like you have it all under control.
Hope to see you in Alganic and or in Niagara. So we can check out your new camper. Can't wait to see it!
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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congrats....

single vs tandem.....generally speaking 3500 total weight is the maximum that can be carried/built on a single axle....more than that means moving to a tandem axle....that's what raised a flag with me about the 1800lbs in the video...makes sense now...

looks like a very nice unit with a nice/interesting lay-out...have fun
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Old 07-31-2016, 01:18 PM   #11
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Check what the maximum weight your tire will hold and that should answer your question.
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:39 PM   #12
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather in Hamilto View Post
I have been told that I should have an electric brake controller installed in my van. Is it necessary? Info will be appreciated.
You might want to read this very recent thread:
Sad Day

Please let us know whether you think trailer brakes are necessary after reading it.
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Old 07-31-2016, 06:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Heather in Hamilto View Post
Hi again, the trailer in the video is the one I just bought. The specs state Gross Dry Weight is 2200 lbs and carrying weight is 1800 lbs. Hitch dry weight is 237 lbs. .
I good rule of thumb is to add 600lbs to 800lbs to that dry weight to come up with a some what more realistic weight. Which would put it in the 2800/3000lb loaded category which is actually still on the light side compared to 17' fibreglass trailers. The fact they have put such a large capacity axle on it to give an 1800lbs carrying weight suggests it most probable is going to weigh over 3000lbs once loaded.

As you can see from the thread Trailer Weights in the Real World 17' fibreglass trailers loaded for camping weigh in from 2585lbs all the way up to 4400lbs... with the average being in the 3300/3400lb range.

As always the best thing you can do is load it up with all your stuff and weigh it including the tongue.
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
You might want to read this very recent thread:
Sad Day

Please let us know whether you think trailer brakes are necessary after reading it.

She has stated that she has an appointment to have a brake controller installed. In my mind her wondering is part of being new to this and has taken the time to clarify with forum members. Hopefully she will learn how best to use that brake controller and it will become her best friend.
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