Do you still use a 4 flat connector? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-14-2016, 06:39 PM   #1
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Name: kanga
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Do you still use a 4 flat connector?

I was wondering if folks that have an older 4 flat connector if they still use that or do they modify to a modern 7 round? Is there a benefit to changing to a 7 round if your unit is an older 4 flat?
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:05 PM   #2
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The 7 blade round connector adds a wire (black) for power from the tow vehicle to the trailer and a wire (blue) for electric trailer brakes.

Some people use the power wire from the tow vehicle to charge the trailer battery while towing.

Installation of trailer brakes greatly improve towing safety.

Edit: On our first two campers (Boler 13 and Trillium 4500) we switched to a 7 blade round connector. Added brakes to the Boler 13. Re-connected the brake wires on the Trillium 4500 and replaced the brakes. Our latest camper, a Boler 17, has functioning brakes and a 7 blade round connector.
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:52 PM   #3
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Though wer're wired for 7 round, electric brakes don't seem needed for a 950lb Scamp. So we'll leave the 4 flat. It would be nice to be able to charge the Scamp's battery though.
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker22 View Post
Though wer're wired for 7 round, electric brakes don't seem needed for a 950lb Scamp. So we'll leave the 4 flat. It would be nice to be able to charge the Scamp's battery though.

Have you actually weighed that "950lb Scamp". I suggest you do, you're probably going to be surprised.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:22 AM   #5
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My 79 Boler had a 4 wire flat and I changed that out to a 7 wire just for the fact that I wanted that charging wire for the Battery. The Boler 1300 doesn't come with Electric Breaks so that wasn't an issue but that charge wire sure made a differance.
In recent threads I read that the only way I could install Elec. breaks on the Boler was to swap out the Dexter axle for a bigger one.
I don't worry too much about it as here in the east there's not too many long grades where one doesn't even know he's going down hill until he tries to stop.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:10 AM   #6
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Do you still use a 4 flat connector?

Trailer brakes can be applied independently of the vehicle brakes to control a sway situation. They decrease stopping distance in a panic stop situation and extend the life of expensive vehicle brakes.

Sway and panic stops can happen to anyone, no matter how and where you drive. Even if you never make a mistake, sooner or later someone else will, a deer will dart into the road, or...

Many newer tow vehicles specify them at a fairly low threshold- typically 1000 pounds- as do some states. That includes pretty much every molded fiberglass trailer except a few teardrops. See the thread "Trailer Weights in the Real World" at the top of the General Chat section for a reality check.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:17 AM   #7
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We have a four pin connector and no real plans to switch it out. While it would be nice to charge the battery while towing, over two camping seasons, we've yet to run into a situation where the battery ran low, but we only have two reading lights that it runs, as our fridge is an icebox and our stove is gas. We check the battery about every third camping trip to see if it needs an external charging and then charge it fully via a battery charger/tender. Should it need a charge, we just hook it up while unpacking/cleaning after a trip and by the time it's ready to take over to storage, the battery is fully charged again.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:37 AM   #8
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Some states, such as Oregon, require that if a trailer is equipped with electric brakes they must be used regardless of weight. This pretty much requires changing to the 7-pin connector. It also lets you run auxiliary 12 volt DC power from the tow vehicle to the trailer. Great for running DC refer while towing as well as charging the house battery.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #9
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I had an existing 4-pin and installed the Hopkins 7-pin that allowed me to plug it into it without having to rewire. THEN the Hopkins has it's own 4-pin socket in case I ever need to pull a trailer with that connector.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:07 AM   #10
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Trailer came with 4 pin, our tow vehicle is wired for 4 pin, so all is good.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:45 AM   #11
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Four pin ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brendadave View Post
Trailer came with 4 pin, our tow vehicle is wired for 4 pin, so all is good.


My 13' Scamp came with a 4 pin connector, mainly because the original owner ordered few accessories except the over stove window. We use an ice chest so we can take food with us in the truck, and have 4 led lights, so the battery lasts for many days, I really don't know how long it will go. If we are in a park or campground with power I plug in a small trickle charger and it seems to catch up with the power use of 2-3 days. I also have a very small ( 6x13 ?) solar panel that plugs into the same 2 prong ''pigtail' on the battery that the trickle charger uses. And I have a 12' ( length )thick-wire with a cigarette lighter connection on one end and the 2 prong mini 'pigtail' on the other to plug into the truck cigarette lighter if I ever need to. It came new on a tent trailer and is hardly ever needed. So the 4 pin is effective if you have minimum accessories, and it also fits my utility trailer without an adapter. Happy Trails to you ! David in Fresno and Sonora
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:37 PM   #12
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You "4 Pinner's" will change your mind about the need for trailer brakes and your ability to control wild trailer sway with your trailer brakes after your first incident where you are either involved in on road accident OR just "Poop In Your Pant's" scared due to that potential road accident or heavy trailer sway incident you just luckily avoided by the Grace of God!
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:04 PM   #13
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It is not as if one can not add for doing battery charging an additional 10 gauge wire with its own plug connectors and then secure it with wire ties to the bundle of the 4 plug wiring. You don't HAVE to switch to a 7 pin plug just to gain that function.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:54 PM   #14
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I have a 4 pin on the trailer for my 14 ft aluminum fishing boat.
I have a 7 pin on my travel trailer ( Casita)
NO states require your trailer battery be charged from the tow vehicle.
All states have rules / laws covering trailer brakes .
Probably a good indication of which is more important .
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:07 AM   #15
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Electric brakes seem over rated on lightweight campers if you stay the speed limit. Problem is many states now allow traffic to speed to 70, 75 and even 80+mph, especially out West. Fast driving is infectious and dangerous, so electric brakes seem like a good idea these days.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker22 View Post
Electric brakes seem over rated on lightweight campers if you stay the speed limit. Problem is many states now allow traffic to speed to 70, 75 and even 80+mph, especially out West. Fast driving is infectious and dangerous, so electric brakes seem like a good idea these days.
You really really need to weigh your trailer when it's loaded for camping. There are some states that require brakes for trailers weighing over 1500lbs. You probably qualify.
You really need to weigh your trailer.
Trailer brakes do more than just add braking power to the trailer weight, they help keep the trailer behind the tow vehicle. I can attest to that from experience.
You really need to weigh your trailer when it loaded for camping.
Many of us tow at no faster than 60mph, your tires (assuming you have trailer tires on) are rated for a maximum of 65mph.
Weigh your trailer.
Did I mention that you need to weigh your trailer.
Now go look at, trailer weights in the real world on this site. Here's the link. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...rld-43010.html
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:05 AM   #17
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Byron, I'm glad I don't need trailer brakes in Oregon as the trailer never was made with them. Lighter trailers don't have trailer brakes because they are not needed for careful drivers. I just have to look out for the speeding California transplants At 950lbs empty it is still in it's original state with nothing added since 1976. Add about 200-300lbs of gear and water. I hear the new Scamps are a heavier load. Your newer 13' Scamp probably weighs more empty than ours is full. We don't carry much though.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker22 View Post
Byron, I'm glad I don't need trailer brakes in Oregon as the trailer never was made with them. Lighter trailers don't have trailer brakes because they are not needed for careful drivers. I just have to look out for the speeding California transplants At 950lbs empty it is still in it's original state with nothing added since 1976. Add about 200-300lbs of gear and water. I hear the new Scamps are a heavier load. Your newer 13' Scamp probably weighs more empty than ours is full. We don't carry much though.

I wouldn't be too sure that brakes aren't required in Oregon. Go read the laws. And did mention weigh you trailer.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:52 AM   #19
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As for Oregon braking laws, they don't specify a weight where you have to have brakes. The way the law is worded part of it depends on the tow vehicle. Oregon requires you to be able to stop with x distance from x speed. Depending on your tow vehicle you might or might not by law require brakes.
For safety reasons brakes are a must.
If you believe that 950lb weight you might be interested to know that gullible is NOT in the dictionary.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:42 PM   #20
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Byron. I'm sure California is that way as you know all too well. My Scamp wasn't made with electric brakes, so I can drive with a 4 flat for safety. The fact you use Overkill is obvious!
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