Trailer Brakes and controller for Burro 13' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: Burro
New Mexico
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Trailer Brakes and controller for Burro 13'

I have a 13 foot Burro (just like a Scamp or Casita) that weighs about 900 pounds. I pull it easily with my 4-banger (Subaru Forester), w/ a towing capacity of 2000 pounds. I am thinking about adding trailer brakes but I don't know much about it at all. I am going to inspect my axle today to see if there is something to attach a 4 bolt brake. Has anyone out there installed electric brakes on a 13 foot trailer like this? If so, any recommendations? Should the axle be replaced? I suppose I'll need to install a coupler because I converted to a flat 4 pin electrical last year when I tore out the refrigerator. (It was too heavy to justify the tremendous weight). Any suggestions regarding product types, cost, etc?
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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Name: Fallon
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You will need a 7 pin connector on both ends & a brake controller in the tug. The extra 3 pins do brakes, 12v utility & reverse lights. You don't necessarily need reverse lights. Installing a brake controller isn't bad, but it can be a pain identifying the right wires to tap into.

Is your axle on your trailer getting tired? If so, it would be a good time to replace it & just get one that's not sagging & gas brakes already. If its not tired at all, I'd look at adding brakes to your existing one.

What does a 4 pin plug have to do with the hitch? Or are you confusing plug with coupler?

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Old 05-02-2015, 05:04 PM   #3
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2000 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe...Tow vehicle 2015 Toyota Tacoma Dble Cab V6 Prerunner
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What are gas brakes ?????


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Old 05-02-2015, 05:25 PM   #4
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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When asked, I always recommend trailer brakes. Safety for certain, but using the trailer brakes will save on the tug brakes. Have you ever replaced tug brakes ($$$$), trailer brakes are cheap to replace...
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:46 PM   #5
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2000 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe...Tow vehicle 2015 Toyota Tacoma Dble Cab V6 Prerunner
California
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I'm either very confused or as dumb as a rock ( probably the later).... but in the earlier post it mentioned "gas brakes"..... I thought most brakes were electric with a few being surge brakes..... Can someone explain what "gas brakes" are and how they work


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Old 05-02-2015, 08:22 PM   #6
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Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
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The "h" and "g" keys are next to each other on the keyboard...
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
The "h" and "g" keys are next to each other on the keyboard...
Even worse when posting from the touch screen on your phone.

Ya, electric brakes are the way to go. Surge brakes are better than nothing, but not as flexible or robust.
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:06 AM   #8
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Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: Boler 1978 17' 4" Earlton Ont Model
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Thumbs up Brakes a great idea

Great idea to have brakes on any trailer over 500 lbs. will need to add a little weight.

Battery (brake power and for the Breakaway switch) deep cycle unit you had a fridge so maybe already have a battery; breakaway switch required in some areas when electric brake installed (cheap easy to install add in) and brake units they come in two sizes at our RV supply smaller units will probably work best.

That said as was stated above in prior post if your axle needs work get new axle with brakes.

What type of suspension is on a burro maybe first question.

And good luck with the great upgrade after all safety first


P.S. want to add backup lights to my boler just have to find the ones that will work with the original look.
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:40 PM   #9
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
Even worse when posting from the touch screen on your phone.

Ya, electric brakes are the way to go. Surge brakes are better than nothing, but not as flexible or robust.
Surge brakes are more common to boat trailers than travel trailers.

One also needs to read the state/provincial requirements in regards to rv trailers and brakes. Many places state there must be a separate way of engaging the brakes without stepping on the tow vehicle brake pedal. Thats not possible to do if using surge brakes. It is though possible to do using the electric brakes controllers manual switch.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:59 AM   #10
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I am also thinking of adding electric brakes to my Burro
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:38 AM   #11
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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I am also thinking of adding electric brakes to my Burro
Good idea Jim. You may not need them with your tug but the one time the panic stop happens you'll be cussing yourself for trying to save a few bucks. The P 2 controller is a good one.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:57 AM   #12
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Surge brakes if not setup right may cause a little surging/pulsing when going slightly downhill.
I thought seriously about the surge brakes since then is is relatively easy when buying new to spend a little more and install disc brakes that need less adjustment and can give stopping power for a longer period of time downhill.
The actuator is different for disc and drum setups. The Europeans use "surge brakes almost exclusively for small trailers and theirs are cable operated and have handbrakes as well.
This the why the Euro trailer wiring setups almost never have provisions for electric brakes.
When I setup my new VW TDI I plan to install the Teknosha wireless system so that I can tow with whatever offers itself and still have control over the brakes.
I did not install the disc/surge brakes so that I could engage the brakes on the trailer independently if necessary. If you install the surge brakes you often have to bring out the reverse lights to the trailer to work the reverse lockout system.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:10 AM   #13
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Name: Roamin
Trailer: Scamp 13'
New Hampshire
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We just did this on a 13' Scamp last year and had a few problems. I recommend buying good parts from E-trailer if you are doing it yourself because they stand behind what they sell and provide customer service. I did not buy from them initially and got no help from the place I bought from initially. And if you are not up to doing it yourself, find a good rv service place and consult with them on the project right from the beginning - before any parts are purchased. I tried to use a truck/trailer shop and while they are very knowledgeable about what they do, they had not worked on such small electric brakes before, and were not all that happy that I supplied my own parts. So when they had problems they could not go back to their own trusted parts dealer to get help or replacement parts.
I think we may have it straightened out now, a year later. An rv service place found that the spring in the brakes was installed upside down, so was not holding the adjustment and was rubbing on the drum all the time. But I don't want to jinx it by saying its fixed yet.... it's been an ordeal. And I've thought many times that I wish I never started up with the brakes. <_<
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:04 AM   #14
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Escape 19 and Escape 15B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
...When I setup my new VW TDI I plan to install the Teknosha wireless system so that I can tow with whatever offers itself and still have control over the brakes...
I have used the Tekonsha Pridigy RF (wireless) controller for over two years now. It has operated very well with no problems. Although this controller can make it a simple matter to switch tow vehicles, this is not always the case. Your 7-pin connector on the tow vehicle must be wired to have 12V power coming from the car/truck battery to the connector in order for the wireless controller to operate. If this is not done, your wireless module mounted on the trailer will not recognize that the tow vehicle is connected and will not allow you to pair the tow vehicle to the trailer. (ask me how I know this )
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