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Old 04-24-2016, 06:18 AM   #1
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Brakes

Hey all!
New to RVing and setting up a toy hauler for full timing. I looking to start buying in the next 30 days and there's soooo many questions. :-(

My question is about proportional trailer braking systems. I have never used trailer brakes before, from what i gather, I want my rig to have a top end brake controller--proportional.
But do I need special brakes on the toy hauler to work with that? I hear terms like Hydraulic and Electric-over-hydraulic...what is the standard?
Right now my primary target for the toy hauler is a 40 foot FleetWood Gearbox...or something like it. I never see a listing for what kind of brakes this TH has. Is there a standard?
I guess I want make sure that I get the best possible braking system on this thing, but I don't know what that looks like. :-)
Any advice most appreciated.
Thanks
Dave
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoDog View Post
Hey all!
New to RVing and setting up a toy hauler for full timing. I looking to start buying in the next 30 days and there's soooo many questions. :-(

My question is about proportional trailer braking systems. I have never used trailer brakes before, from what i gather, I want my rig to have a top end brake controller--proportional.
But do I need special brakes on the toy hauler to work with that? I hear terms like Hydraulic and Electric-over-hydraulic...what is the standard?
Right now my primary target for the toy hauler is a 40 foot FleetWood Gearbox...or something like it. I never see a listing for what kind of brakes this TH has. Is there a standard?
I guess I want make sure that I get the best possible braking system on this thing, but I don't know what that looks like. :-)
Any advice most appreciated.
Thanks
Dave
Most all towable trailer's have electric brakes Dave, you don't say what you are going to use to tow with? Many of the newer trucks have built in brake controllers in them.
One of the best things to get advice that I can think of is to call the fellas at Etrailer, they are very nice to work with and will answer all your questions and have what you will need.
https://www.etrailer.com/
Then after sorting things out, price shop for the equipment you need. Their prices are hard to beat though........
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:49 AM   #3
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The best brake controller is the ones built into late model trucks.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:40 AM   #4
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two feet and a hole in the floorboard is the best braking system yaba daba doo
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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Specifics

Haha! I have yabba yabba doo now. Looking to upgrade. :-)

Thanks for the replies guys.

Yes it looks like it's going to be a 40ish foot toy hauler, coming in soaking wet and fully loaded at 16083lbs. The YEARS of the toy haulers I am looking at all seem to be between 2006 and 2008.

Going to be towing with EITHER a 2008 or later F450 4x4 DRW diesel automatic crew cab or the equivalent in the RAM 3500. Being careful to try and come in under weight specs.
Everything I am looking at has the factory brake controller, but is that a proportional controller? Because I am not adverse to upgrading that.

Also...can I do an axle flip on a trailer this big?

So great news that most likely the trailer brakes will take to a good proportional brake controller without my having to mod them.

Can someone explain to me the advantage of a "Hauler Bed" vs a Regular pickup bed? Is it just about ease of hooking up the 5th wheel or is there another benefit? Seems to me I would lose the ability to back stuff into the bed around the 5th wheel hitch, if I went with the hauler body...but with a short stake bed maybe I could do the same thing?
I don't know...hauler...flatbed...pickup bed?

Any direction most appreciated.
Thanks
Dave
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:43 PM   #6
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But do I need special brakes on the toy hauler to work with that? I hear terms like Hydraulic and Electric-over-hydraulic...what is the standard?
Standard trailer brake system on an RV trailer is electric magnets pushing on drum brake shoes. For that you need an electric brake controller in the cab.

There are three basic types of electric brake controllers.

[1] timed. You set the time delay between pressing the brake pedal and the brakes engaging. You also set the "gain", or how much the brakes come on. The heavier the trailer, the more gain you need. I used one of those for over 10 years dragging an 8,000-pound 5er about 100,000 miles.

[2] proportional. That just means the gain is proportional = i.e., the harder to press on the brake pedal, the more braking force you will get from the trailer brakes.

[3] integrated. The timing and gain are both controlled by the computer in the tow vehicle, so the trailer brakes are integrated with the brakes on the tow vehicle. In a Ford, that computer is called the powertrain control module (PCM).


Quote:
Everything I am looking at has the factory brake controller, but is that a proportional controller? Because I am not adverse to upgrading that.
On a Ford, the integrated trailer brake controller (ITBC) is better than any aftermarket proportional brake controller. I don't know about the other brands.

Quote:
Also...can I do an axle flip on a trailer this big?
I'll bet you already know that you don't literally flip the axle. Instead you move the spring perches from under the axle to over the axle.

How to raise the trailer on its suspension depends on the trailer suspension. If it has ordinary leaf springs, then yes, you can move the spring shackle perches from under the axle tube to over the axle tube and gain 4' to 5" of pin height. If your trailer has torsion axles, then you will need to use a kit that will raise the trailer over the axles. For Dexter TorFlex axles, here is that kit:
http://www.dexteraxle.com/torflex_lift_kit

Note there is more than one kit available. So get the one that matches your axle.


Change gears. There are several types of trailer braking systems.

1] Electric
2] Hydraulic drum or disk, with electric over hydraulic controller
3] Hydraulic drum or disk, with vacuum over hydraulic controller
4] Hydraulic drum or disk, with air over hydraulic controller

Each type requires its own brake controller. Electric magnetic brakes we've covered. High-end trailers might have drum or disk hydraulic brakes controlled with electric, vacuum or air controller.

If you buy a used toy hauler, you definitely need to know which braking system it uses, so you can obtain the correct brake controller for that trailer. An F-450 with ITBC can handle either electric or electric over hydraulic brakes.

Quote:
Can someone explain to me the advantage of a "Hauler Bed" vs a Regular pickup bed? Is it just about ease of hooking up the 5th wheel or is there another benefit? Seems to me I would lose the ability to back stuff into the bed around the 5th wheel hitch, if I went with the hauler body...but with a short stake bed maybe I could do the same thing?
I don't know...hauler...flatbed...pickup bed?
In the good old days before the 2008 F-450 pickup was produced, if you wanted an F-450 or heavier-duty towing truck, you had to buy a chassis-cab truck and add a bed. You could add a flat bed, or a low-profile service body such as the Knapheid Westerner Storage body
https://www.knapheide.com/gooseneck-...er-storage-p21
or you could get fancy and add a hauler bed, such as the Western Hauler.
WESTERN HAULER - FORD TRUCKS

A plain ole flat bed can be made functional by adding storage boxes under and on the bed. The Knapheid Westerner is the most practical of the various options and at a reasonable price. The only advantage of a well-designed hauler bed is it's as cute as a puppy. But the hauler beds cost more, so you pays your money and you takes your choice.

But with the advent of the F-450 pickup, most of us can use the pickup bed and not have to install a custom bed for towing. For a few years, the F-450 pickup was nothing more than an F-350 DRW pickup with a different rear axle, but the new F-450s have returned to be a "real" F-450. If you want a 2010 thru 2013 F-450, then realize that it's not a real F-450. It has the tow rating of an F-450, but the same payload capacity as the F-350 DRW. If you want a real F-450 you have to begin with a chassis cab truck and add a custom body.
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Old 04-24-2016, 02:22 PM   #7
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Proportional is just a word that really doesn't mean much. In proportion to what? If your truck has the ability to slow down while towing, a "proportional" controller will take its best guess on how much to help out. The factory controllers sense the brake fluid pressure and provide braking in proportion to your input, not some sensor that detects deceleration.
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Old 04-24-2016, 02:25 PM   #8
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SmokeyWren did not mention that any type of aftermarket bed weighs more than the stock pickup bed and therefore reduces both available load capacity and towing capacity. Mine weighs an extra 400 lbs, but many of the more stylish beds will add in excess of 1000 lbs.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:21 PM   #9
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How about aluminum beds?
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:32 PM   #10
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How about aluminum beds?
Pricey
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:34 AM   #11
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Wow.
A ton of great info...thank you! Wow...
Realizing as I get deeper into this how much there is to know. I don't even know...what I don't know...
Thank you again guys!
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:29 AM   #12
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SmokeyWren did not mention that any type of aftermarket bed weighs more than the stock pickup bed and therefore reduces both available load capacity and towing capacity.
Generally true for heavy steel beds/bodies. But if your tow vehicle is payload capacity challenged, then you can spend more money for an aluminum bed instead of the normal steel bed. Omit the storage boxes and don't attempt to haul much in the truck bed/body, and you can reduce the gross weight of the TV to about what a similar payload in a pickup bed would be.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:25 PM   #13
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"Pricey"
We're spending his money, not ours...
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:55 AM   #14
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HAHA!
Yes. Actually I am not even spending my money yet. Which is probably a good thing. A little forced self-control will go a long way, I think.
I get to start putting this all together in...23 days....
The wait is maddening.
I know this is going to sound weird, but I have this dream in my mind of sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot...shutting off all the lights and just listening to the sounds of a new life...
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