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Old 11-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
AEP
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Brake Controler

Looking for a brake controller for my 2007 GMC Classic. I want one the I can set to activate when applying the brakes. Lets say the setting is at #4. When the brakes are applied using the brake pedal in the truck the max set setting is 4. When I need to apply the trailer brakes manually I slide the brake controller bar over the brake controller will override the #4 setting.

My Drawtite controller, when used manually, will only go as high as the setting.

Hope someone can suggest something.

Respectfully Submitted,

Andy
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Your brake control should be set for maximum braking power just under the point of trailer brake lockup. If the brakes lock up, back off the power adjustment until they will no longer lock up. That's the max braking you want, whether you are using the brake pedal or the manual slider bar. You NEVER want the trailer brakes to lock up. Locked up brakes do not provide nearly as much braking power as properly adjusted brakes that almost, but not quite, lock up.

So it sounds like your DrawTite controller is working as designed.
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Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:51 PM   #3
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And I'll add to be clear, you NEVER want trailer brakes to lock up because that spells potential JACKNIFE disaster...

My dad was a commercial truck driver, and a JACKNIFE ended his life...
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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Yes but there is a difference between smooth braking for average stopping, and emergency stopping prior to brake lockup.

When I drive down the highway above 55 mph my setting is at 4.5. That stops/slows down pretty well. and fast. That same setting below 45 really jerks. It is severe and is far from brake lock-up.

My trailer is a 3 axle and weighs 16,500 pounds.

My ideal brake controller would go 2-3 numbers above initial setting when needed manually.

Andy
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEP View Post
Yes but there is a difference between smooth braking for average stopping, and emergency stopping prior to brake lockup.
Not for me. I set the delay to have almost instant braking whenever I step on the brakes. And I set the power to almost but not quite lock up the brakes. That gives me maximum braking power and speed from the trailer brakes.

If it "jerks" too much when braking with normal driving, then set the delay to add an instant or two more time between hitting the brakes and the magnets going to full power.

I had a DrawTite Activator II trailer brake controller for over 10 years and ~100,000 miles of towing a Keystone Sprinter 25RKS fifth wheel RV trailer. Worked fine, when properly adjusted for road conditions and trailer weight. My only complaint was having to reset the power switch when changing road conditions from dry pavement to wet. About 6 for dry roads, but back off to about 4 when in the rain or slicky stuff.
Brake Controllers - Draw-Tite

I like the Ford integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC) in my current tow vehicle better, but the old Activator II worked fine.
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