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Old 07-16-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
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Electric Brake Controls

I have a couple of questions about the electric brake controllers. First, which controller do you all consider to be the better ones to use. Second, I have one in my truck now, if I get a new one do they generally hook up the same way or do they come with different connectors that need new wiring?

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:55 PM   #2
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First allow me to say
Electric brake controllers come in several "formats". I would avoid the time-based controllers regardless of how low the price. They do not allow for "panic stops" because they operate on a timed current flow to the brake magnets. True proportional, inertia-based units are better because they sense how fast the tow vehicle is decelerating (in mili-seconds). The best units are BrakeSmart and (sorry mind went blank-can't remember more) others. These cost about $300 but are the Farrari of electric brake controllers.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:10 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!!
We've been using our Max Brake controller for over 3 years. One of the best things we've bought. No problem stopping our 38' triple slide Carriage and you don't have to adjust the gain when going from city to hwy or hwy to city driving or when you change drivers. In the beginning we just set it once and we've been good to go.
The Max Brake comes with everything you need to install it but most likely it will just be a plug N play. It really depends on the year of your truck. Hugs, Di
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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I used to run a Reese POD time-delayed type. It came with my truck. When that controller bit the dust, I replaced it with a Tekonsha (I bet I didn't spell that right) proportional controller. Night and day towing. I always felt the trailer braking with the Reese. Things are very smooth now withe the Tekonsha.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVbysummer View Post
This is a nice system because you don't have to adjust when going back and forth between city and highway. I had mine installed at my Indianapolis Ford dealer because I wanted to make sure it was installed correctly! Not being able to stop was a concern for me!
Your link just goes to the dealer home page, no brake controller shown. What brand is your controller?
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:38 AM   #6
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The Max Brake operates the same way. No adjustment needed from city to highway or vice versa. We also don't have to adjust the gain when switching drivers which we do every 2 hours. If you happen to use 2 trailers no adjustment needed there either. Di
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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Calling Dutch and Diana Irrgang

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch & Diana Irrgang View Post
Welcome to the forum!!
We've been using our Max Brake controller for over 3 years. One of the best things we've bought. No problem stopping our 38' triple slide Carriage and you don't have to adjust the gain when going from city to hwy or hwy to city driving or when you change drivers. In the beginning we just set it once and we've been good to go.
The Max Brake comes with everything you need to install it but most likely it will just be a plug N play. It really depends on the year of your truck. Hugs, Di
Don't mean to hi-jack this thread but I couldn't help notice your last name. I am also an Irrgang, Rick Irrgang. Will you email me? I'd like to know if we may be related some how.
rick@livesafeandhealthy.net
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:17 AM   #8
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Hijacking is ok with me. I sent you a pm. Diana

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Originally Posted by Rick 2005 Dolphin 5376 View Post
Don't mean to hi-jack this thread but I couldn't help notice your last name. I am also an Irrgang, Rick Irrgang. Will you email me? I'd like to know if we may be related some how.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:19 AM   #9
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The MaxBrake is an excellent controller since it provides a direct link between what the driver's foot does with the tow vehicle brakes to the trailer brakes. It doesn't use the deceleration of the slowing truck as its input as inertial controllers do - these controllers are fraught with their own problems!! A ramped time-based controller is a non-starter, as far as I'm concerned.

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Old 08-01-2011, 06:24 PM   #10
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X2 on the Maxx Brake controller!
A short primer on brake controllers-
My parents had a small pull trailer back in the early/mid 50’s. The brake controller was a pressure operated variable 6V (or maybe it was 12V, I can’t remember which) 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 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.
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 MaxBrake 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!
MaxBrake is available only by mail order. Do a search for- “Plug-it-right”
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