Originally Posted by krob911
I am the second owner of a 2004 alpine 400 Cummins with hydraulic brakes. I would like to pull a trailer that has 2 axle electric brakes. The previous owner had installed a unified tow brake system which the control head is still in the cockpit. I have 3 questions
1. is there any way to use the unified system or part of it to operate the trailers electric brakes? What I have found out this system is used to operate a toads vacuum brakes.
2. Has my coach been prewired for electric brakes? Is there a dedicated wire going to the rear of the coach specific for trailer electric brakes?
3. Or is the a better way for me to obtain trailer brakes?
just made following submittal to ACA Webmaster which you may find useful info:
Not included as equipment on the 2006 34’ Alpine Coach I purchased in June was a brake controller suitable for the 7,000 lb tandem axle enclosed trailer I typically pull with the coach; the previous owner used a self-contained braking unit for his towed vehicle.
After consulting with ACA members about sourcing a “stop” signal and power for a “wired” controller, including running power leads the length of the coach, I elected to go the easier, but more expensive route, i.e., a Tekonsha Prodigy RF
because the handheld controller in the cockpit only requires power from a standard 12 volt cigar lighter; the trailer mounted, RF signal receiver required about 15 minutes to mount following very adequate instructions. Your 7 pin trailer plug goes in one end of the box; the other end is a new pig-tail that plugs into the coach. The cockpit handheld device is an inertia sensor, so no signal from coach braking is required. Additionally, I set the trailer mounted receiver up so that I can easily transfer the unit from the enclosed trailer to my tandem axle trailer for the Jeep.
My coach had inadequate wire size to the coach trailer receptacle for both trailer braking (blue) and break-away battery charging (B+, black), so I did have to modify those wire sizes and supplies (fused, direct from battery compartment to additional fuses and relays described below).
because a quality brake controller runs about $150, whereas the RF unit runs about $300 including shipping from ETrailer.com. However, total install time was about an hour; I’m sure I could have spent at least 3 times that getting the coach up on blocks, crawling around under the coach to run wires, etc.
Another thought - I had problems with the mix of trailer LEDs, coach LEDs, and incandescent lamps causing "winking" of the parking/position lights on the trailer. I "fixed" that by isolating the coach parking lights (and reduced the load through the coach parking light switch), plus the back-up light, trailer battery charging, and brake power with a fuse block (supplied from the coach battery) and four 40 amp relays, using the coach park lamps (example) as a trigger signal to the respective relay coil, and so on for the other relays.
Several internet blogs complained about sync’ing communication among the cockpit controller and the trailer mounted receiver – I experienced zero problems establishing communications by following the detailed instructions explicitly. The engine mass of the diesel pusher does not inhibit operation at all.