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Old 01-31-2012, 06:28 PM   #1
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Brake Controllers

We have been pulling a 30' Sunnybrook Trailer around the country for several years and recently we purchased a new 5'er, we had planned on using the same brake controller, but we have just found out that it is not a very good one. If you slam on brakes, it has a timer that controls the amount of force that is sent to the brakes...if its not time to brake suddenly, then it want..We want something that will respond as soon as we apply the brakes, certainly in a panic situation for sure...I understand that we need something that works on inertia based proportional controller...need some suggestions on what is best to use?

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Old 01-31-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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I'm partial to Tekonsha. Never had a bad one. Find what you like and check Ebay. I picked up a perfectly good used P2 for $50.

Tekonsha Brake Controller | etrailer.com

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Old 01-31-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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Max Brake what to know how it works on the web Plug it Right no do I have any intrest in this company but if you want the best than so be it
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
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I have the Tekonsha P3 Electric Brake Control Controller and it has been flawless so far. Have had it for several months now. Very easy to set up.

I got it online from www.adventurerv.net, for around $119.00 and also got the wiring harness for around $14.00.

I'm sure you can find them cheaper at other places, but I've purchased from these folks several times and they're great to work with!!!!!

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Old 02-01-2012, 05:48 AM   #5
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I went with a Tekonsha Prodigy P2 Brake Controller in our Subaru, it works well.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:43 AM   #6
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Inertia controllers have a number of serious drawbacks. A true proportional controller such as the MaxBrake applies the trailer brakes in direct proportion to the truck's braking system hydraulic pressure so that the two braking systems are fully synchronized. It costs a little more, but in this case, you get what you pay for.

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Old 02-01-2012, 05:04 PM   #7
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X2 for the Max Brake and Plug it Right!
A short history on brake controllers- (as I remember it)
My parents had a small single axle pull trailer back in the mid 50’s. The brake controller was a pressure operated variable 6V resister pad about brake pedal size and 1/2in thick. It was clipped to the brake pedal. This was truly a PROPROTIONAL controller i.e. Pressing the brake pedal compressed the resister and the voltage to the Rv brakes would increase. No computer or anything, just a pressure operated high amperage variable resister.
The next generation of brake controllers tapped a small hydraulic line into a brake line at the master cylinder and was snaked into the cab and connected to a small slave cylinder in the brake controller body. This slave cylinder was connected to a variable 12V resister. There again a truly proportional system. This was the system of choice for 20-25 years until Anti-Lock brakes were introduced, the vehicle manufactures wouldn’t allow you to tap into the brake hydraulic systems. The controller manufactures came up with the problematic pendulum (inertia) type and time constant controllers.
I also had one of these time constant death traps! When you applied the TV brakes the controller slowly ramped up to max in applying the RV brakes. This means that when you were gradually slowing down the longer you had the TV brakes applied the harder the RV brakes were applied, then release the brakes and apply them again. Conversely under a panic stop the TV brakes were doing all the stopping while the RV brakes were gradually increasing.
Also about this time there was a Jordan Ultma 2020. This was operated by a small diameter cable that one end was connected to the brake pedal arm and the other end connected to the controller body that moved a variable resistor to vary the voltage to the brakes. This was again a truly PROPROTIONAL brake controller, i.e. apply the brakes when going forward, reverse or even stopped and voltage was applied to the RV brakes. I understand that the Jordan was sold and the new owners stopped producing them.
The MaxBrake has a pressure transducer connected into a Hyd. Brake line. This is again a truly proportional brake controller! Press the brake pedal and the voltage to the brakes increases even when you are stopped or are backing. The small volume of brake fluid displaced by the transducer is approved for use with TV Anti-lock brakes. The Max Brake controller is available mail order only, I am not aware of any RV dealer that stocks them.
I did make a change to the instructions- Max Brake supplied a steel brake line that went between the adapter “T” and the Transducer. To me that presented two potential problems, 1- bending the steel line without kinking it, 2- vibration of the relative heavy transducer could cause the 8 inch long steel line to work harden with the potential of a resulting fracture. I had a local hydraulic hose company fabricate a length of hydraulic brake hose with the proper crimped on end fittings. I then attached a small piece of 1/8”aluminum to the firewall pinch weld and used a small “U” bolt to attach the transducer to the bracket. On my truck there are two power brake lines alongside the Master Cylinder that the transducer could also be attached to using cable ties.
BTW- I am under the impression that the Brake Smart (very similar in operation to the MaxBrake) is either no longer business or are almost out of business!
Max Brake is available only by mail order. http://www.plugitright.com/ and http://www.maxbrake.com/
There may be othersuppliers also.
Disclaimer- I have NO financial or other interest in “Plug-it-right” or “Max Brake”.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
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max brake

someone tell me more about max brake controllers... i have an issue with bucking a little about the last 20 feet while coming to a stop and was wondering if the max brake would resolve that issue... any input on this would be great
Voltage 3200 T.H. tugged by an 04 F250 CrewCab 6.0 4x4 "Bone stock motor" bilstein's w/air lift , Max Brake controller... yep its heavy... I just take my time
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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I also have the Tekonsha P-2. Works great and I also have the disc/hydrolic brakes.
As noted above easy set up.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:45 PM   #10
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The Max Brake is very simple simple in operation. Disconnect one of the brake lines from the master Cylinder (either the front or rear brake line can be used depending which is easier to access). Screw the supplied adapter “Tee” into the Master Cylinder, attach the removed brake line to the ‘Tee”. Connect the pressure transducer to the “Tee”. Bleed the air out of the fittings that you have just worked on, if you are careful you will have almost “zero” air to remove. The voltage output of the pressure transducer is directly proportional to the pressure applied to the RV brakes going fwd, reverse and even when stopped, or going uphill or downhill.
Do the wiring and mount the controller where you want on the dash or knee bolster. There is about a 5 minute calibration procedure to do then go out and use it!
By logging on to Max Brake site you can probably down load the installation procedures. Or call them, I called them and found the owner to be very informative and helpful.
As for your “bucking”
Does your TV vehicle do it W/O the RV connected? Does the RV have an out of round brake drum, bad magnet, hard spot on the brake drum, leaky hub grease seal that has contaminated the brake shoes or magnet/armature surface? Does the brake drum armature (the surface that the magnet rubs against) need to be machined etc. Assuming that you have a inertia (pendulum) type controller, is it adjusted properly, level etc.?
I don’t know where you live, however if you are near to a little traveled country road or a large dirt field, you could probably isolate the problem with a little experimenting. Loosen the brakes on one of the axles, drive in the field, apply the brakes, if it still “bucks” it is probably the axle with the normal brake adjustment, if it doesn’t buck it is probably the axle that you loosened the brakes, maybe you could do individual brakes to isolate the bad one. When finished and using all safety procedures be sure to re-adjust the brakes.
One time I had a brake that bucked very bad, I finally found that when the brakes were applied a brake wire on one magnet moved and shorted to ground, releasing the brakes which removed the short then the brakes were applied again etc. simply adding a little liquid insulation the bare spot on the wire and moving it solved the problem.
Even though the Max Brake is quite expensive, after you use it you will never go back to a non-proportional type of brake controller!

2005 Dodge, 2500, auto, 2wd. Pac brake PRXB. CB, Max Brake Brake Controller, Rhino Lining, Aero 60 gal. replacement tank.
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