How Much Should it Cost to Install Brake Controller & Adaptor? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2015, 04:29 PM   #15
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Name: Gordon
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
.... if it isn't charged your trailer brakes will not stop the trailer if it detaches from the tow.
So it will go on forever? Gosh - we could solve the energy crisis!

But seriously, you bring up another good point if you have a break-away switch - my last camper did not (and there no need to discuss that shortcoming in this thread).

So there is something else for Jen to consider. If you have a break-away switch by all means keep your battery up.

EDIT: It occurs to me that I never answered Jen's question about the cost... the reason is that I never hired anyone to do this work, I did it myself.

In my case I spent many hours (a few days in fact) doing all the trailer towing prep. But my van is not pre-wired so it took more work. I would have gladly paid $200 to have someone do it IF I knew it would be done to my specs. (I do suggest you get all the specifics requirements in writing, such as charge line - yes or no).

Since a truck that is pre-wired should be a lot easier, I don't think I would spend $200, but $150-175 maybe. But that's just me and I don't have any estimate to compare it to.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:03 PM   #16
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Solar.
Yes you are guessing.. many people only camp with shore power. They don't NEED the charge line. In fact, for a time I camped only with shore power and didn't even have a battery on my camper.. I survived.

I agree, but many people don't do the TOTAL RV'ing experience. Many only use shore power, some only go out for one or two days and recharge the battery at home. Some don't even use electric at all when camping.

Anyway, your advice is sound and we both agree the charge line is a good idea, but what is essential for you might not be for everyone.
As I am apparently the opposite of you and almost never use hook-ups..

In June and July we spent 28 nights in campgrounds throughout the west and only had power available on two nights, and that was in a private RV Resort that we had to use by default

One of the more common questions asked by newbies on the site is "Does my car charge the RV's battery". After explaining how to determine that, the next question is usually "How do I get that hooked up" if it's not in place. In FGRV's, charging lines are by far more common than not. In my experience those without are few and far between.

And adding an expensive solar set-up is not a viable substitute for an inexpensive charging line.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:55 PM   #17
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I don't recall but had a local hitch shop supply and install the controller and 7 pin on my 2003 F-150. They quoted me one price, and then charged me LESS because they discovered that Ford already ran wires to the back of the truck at the factory. I recommended them to a coworker and they were a lot cheaper than Camping World (a lot). I will say that "next time" I will swing by and pick up the 7 pin bracket and mount it myself exactly where I want it. They put it a little farther left than I liked but I had enough slack in the wire that I was able to move it over to "just right". Ask around and find a GOOD local place and don't be shy about discussing what you want and expect..
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:48 PM   #18
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U Haul will do the job for you, it will be done well and most likely at a very reasonable price.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:32 PM   #19
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U Haul will do the job for you, it will be done well and most likely at a very reasonable price.
Last harness work I had done by a U-Haul shop used very cheap crimp connectors that corroded in less than 2 years. Had to redo them myself. Insist they wrap all crimps with waterproof tape.
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:05 AM   #20
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Last harness work I had done by a U-Haul shop used very cheap crimp connectors that corroded in less than 2 years. ..
Quote:
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U Haul will do the job for you, it will be done well and most likely at a very reasonable price.
Regardless of what work you have done, the quality varies from shop to shop.
Thats why you should consider DIY if you have the knowledge and skills. And if you don't DIY, you should still have the knowledge of best practices (not cheapest or easiest) so you can see that the work is done right.

You should also research the shop, check BBB.org, etc. Many (most?) people have been happy with the work done by u-haul but there will always be some that take shortcuts or are even incompetent.
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:02 AM   #21
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Last harness work I had done by a U-Haul shop used very cheap crimp connectors that corroded in less than 2 years. Had to redo them myself. Insist they wrap all crimps with waterproof tape.
I recently saw a wiring job done by a Uhauyl shop that was a disaster. Instead of a plug in harness for the trailer lights they tapped into wires using Scotchlock connectors. Some of them under the vehicle and exposed to the weather.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:28 AM   #22
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I had my hitch installed at my large local U Haul shop. Great work. Then I asked how often they did brake controllers. They remembered doing one a few months back. So I took my new Outback to an outfit that speciallized in truck springs and trailer work. After one minute of conversation it was obvious they did it all the time and asked and answered all the right questions. In meeting the crew in back it was also obvious they were experienced and had been with this company for some time and were not the recently hired minimum wage temps. (I try to patronize outfits that provide real living wage jobs.) Some U Haul shops are likely very experienced, but it pays to ask a few questions. With today's computerized vehicles I did not want mine to be their teaching tool. Next vehicle (God willing) I will have both hitch and controller installed by the pros at Madison Spring, Inc.

John
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:43 PM   #23
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Thanks all! I was going to ask about uhaul. The local mechanic who wants to charge $175 asked too many questions indicating it wasn't something he often did.

What are crimp connectors and where will they be put?

My camping experience is likely to be a slow stress free as possible learning curve. I plan to practice towing nearby and turning in the walmart parking lot. My first trip won't be far. I haven't even learned about my fresh water tank nor the boondocking 12 volt battery. That's for another year.

I seem to have a spigot below my spare tire where the two stabilizing jacks are. Is that for an outdoor hose? That would be nice cuz my sinks are soooooo tiny!


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Old 08-12-2015, 08:50 PM   #24
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Jen, that hose bib is your fresh water tank drain.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:51 PM   #25
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Oh whoops :--).
So I need a splitter at the city water connection I guess.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:04 PM   #26
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What are crimp connectors and where will they be put?

Crimp connectors is a rather general term for wire connectors that form a union by compressing the connector so that it squeezes on the wire forming an electrical and mechanical bond. They are commonly used but if exposed to the elements (which seems to be the case for “tractors1” they need to be protected. In fact some connectors have built in insulation called heat shrink that does just that – shrinks when heated, forming a water resistant connection. They cost a few pennies more but a good shop will use them when appropriate whereas a shoddy shop won’t care if things fail in a few years.

You might want to take a walk around your neighborhood and look at your neighbors who have their vehicles prepared for towing, and if it looks “neat” and well done (as opposed to falling apart with loose wires) then ask them where they got the work done and if they are happy with the job.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:14 PM   #27
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Crimp...

Thanks, Gordon2. I've taken a screenshot of your explanation so I can mention it.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:44 AM   #28
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One more question -- is it necessary or advised to tow my trailer in for the installation?
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