Need advise on whether to add electric brakes - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-11-2014, 09:12 AM   #15
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Add brakes to your trailer for no other reason than maintenance! Replacing tug brakes is expensive when compared to replacing shoe brakes on your trailer. Without trailer brakes you'll go through tug brakes a lot faster. Keep those expensive maintenance expenses in your pocket for use on fuel to get you places.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:22 AM   #16
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Anyway you can improve your towing stability or stopping distances is a real good thing.
If you can get brakes added to your trailer then don't hesitate. Go for it. Money well spent.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:14 AM   #17
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The two big reasons I would not pull a trailer without brakes even if the tow vehicle is able to stop the trailer well without brakes on it are:

1) Safety - much safer to stop trailer sway by using the controller lever to apply the brakes to the trailer only than it is to use the brakes on the tow vehicle. Using the tow vehicles brakes to stop a sway is a great way to create a bigger sway issue.

2) Cost of replacing brakes on the tow vehicle. Yup the tow vehicle may do a fine job of stopping a trailer without brakes but if you are towing frequently you can be sure that you will be replacing the tow vehicles brake pads frequently.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:25 AM   #18
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Lots of good information on brakes! I can see that it should be a requirement to have brakes on all trailers.
I have a question, about Brake Controller's? Which one is the best to buy?
There are a lot of them, I can not figure out which one to get.

Does any one have any suggestions?
Thanks,
Carl
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:39 AM   #19
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A number of good controllers out there but the Prodigy controllers are one of the most popular here when the topic has come up. Lots of folks using the P2.

What every you buy make sure its a proportional brake controller - it will apply the same amount of braking power to the trailer as you are applying to the tug - you will not be sorry!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:50 PM   #20
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A number of good controllers out there but the Prodigy controllers are one of the most popular here when the topic has come up. Lots of folks using the P2.

What every you buy make sure its a proportional brake controller - it will apply the same amount of braking power to the trailer as you are applying to the tug - you will not be sorry!!
Carol,
Thank you for the information! I will check out Prodigy controllers!!!!
I will look for the P2.
Thanks,
Carl
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:12 PM   #21
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P3 is good too.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:15 PM   #22
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P3 is good too.
David,
Thanks! Can you please explain the difference between the P2 and P3?
Carl
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:18 PM   #23
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The proportional brake controllers used to be a very high priced option, now the prices are very near the same as for the time delay brake controllers.

Nice article on the differences between the two. Trailer Brake Controller Information | etrailer.com

Trailer brakes are electric tow vehicle brakes are hydraulic. The time delay controller simply provides an ability to set a delay and adjust how hard the trailer brakes are applied. Needed because electric trailer brake action is instant, hydraulic TV brakes take time to compress brake fluid and increase braking pressure. Without delay you would get yanked back by the trailer brakes coming on first and harder.

Proportional use technology to detect rate of tow vehicle deceleration from braking and feed trailer brakes the correct amount of electric current to provide proportional amount of trailer braking.

One thing to consider is where you will mount a proportional braking unit in the tow vehicle. Because proportional has to detect deceleration front to back the less expensive units have to be mounted closer to level and in a straight line front to back. More expensive units can be mounted so that they are angled up or down and adjust to not being level. At a more expensive price point they can function at more extreme angles.

Half way down these pages the angles are diagramed which may make this clearer.
Cheaper model.
Brake Controller for 2005 Escape by Ford | etrailer.com

More expensive model.
Brake Controller for 2005 Ford Escape - Tekonsha 90885

One other feature of note in the more expensive model, it cuts down power to 25% if stopped for more than 5 seconds, such as at a traffic light. Helps keep the trailer brake activators from getting hot in stop and go driving.

I'm not able to say one way or another if etrailer is good site to purchase from but they have good documentation.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:35 PM   #24
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I figure it is worth adding that the shops I talked to all default to the time delay controller when they install. Mostly I think because that type of controller is not position sensitive which makes their job easier. Not because it is a better controller technology.

Time delay just get triggered by brake lights getting power so you can mount it at any angle or in any direction. Makes trailer shops install job easier. Proportional has to be aligned correctly and within up/down angle that controller will function.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:43 PM   #25
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Actually, the P2 and P3 can be mounted at any angle, as long as it's center line is in parallel to the vehicles center line. I think the older Prodigy had a rotatable acceleration sensor to compensate for mounting it at an angel.

The P2 and P3 controllers are pretty much the same, just a fancy display on the P3.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:45 PM   #26
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RogerDat,
Thanks for explaining the differences in controllers! Since the expensive ones are a little a $100 dollars, that should be affordable.
I think I can dig up some spare change and get the more expensive model!
Thanks,
Carl
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:22 PM   #27
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IMHO time delay controller's are so ineffective they should be banned based on my experience. Best money spent is on a quality controller.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:35 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nut501 View Post
David,
Thanks! Can you please explain the difference between the P2 and P3?
Carl
When it comes to the size of trailers most of us have here the only functional difference between the two is price
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