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Old 06-07-2008, 08:36 AM   #1
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If you were to equip a new Dodge 1 ton w/DRW, 8' bed, for towing a 14k fifth wheel which hitch (air hitches included) and which brake controller would you buy? Trailer pin box is standard.

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Old 06-07-2008, 08:36 AM   #2
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If you were to equip a new Dodge 1 ton w/DRW, 8' bed, for towing a 14k fifth wheel which hitch (air hitches included) and which brake controller would you buy? Trailer pin box is standard.

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Old 06-08-2008, 05:01 AM   #3
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I also have the Dodge and am using the Brakesmart controller. I have used the pendulum type and had problems in panic stops. Thats when I switched to the Brakesmart and have really enjoyed using it. I tow more than one trailer and they vary in weight and I have never had to readjust the Brakesmart. It works off the brake pressure so it matches your truck braking. You can set it up to be aggressive or passive.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:16 AM   #4
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i like the Reese 4-way swivel hitch and an air kingpin (Trail-Air and 5th Airborne come to mine). I have no experience with the Mor-Ryde kingpins.

My last two trucks have had integrate brake controllers so my experience with them is outdated. last one I used was the Prodigy by Tekonsha. I liked it, but i'm sure there are more advanced units on the market now.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:46 AM   #5
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Any of the hitches rated for the trailer will do just fine. Personally i have a hyjacker and it does just fine. Brake controller? Prodigy. It is now in my second truck and does a good job and is easy to mount.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:39 PM   #6
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Southwest Wheel, one of iRV2's sponsors, is advertising a true proportional controller that operates off the tow vehicle's hydraulic or air brake system pressure similar to the Brakesmart. It looks interesting - more info HERE. I've used the Jordan Ultima 2020 since 2001, but it's no longer in production. If I were buying today, I'd go for the Brakesmart or something similar. I could never go back to an inertial or time-based controller - been there and done that.

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Old 06-08-2008, 04:54 PM   #7
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Rusty, that controller impresses me. Were it not for the sticker shock, I'd order one now. It appears to be a modern computerized version of the old Kelsey-Hayes controllers from the '70s. BTW, I still have two of them. I use one on a farm tractor when pulling a 24' hay trailer in the field. When I get around 8 tons of hay on the trailer the tractor brakes are scary without the controller(used manually) to power the trailer brakes.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:14 AM   #8
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If and when I I have to replace the Jordan 2020, like Rusty, I'll spring for the extra $$$ and get a BrakeSmart or like controller. No more time inertia controllers for me. Too much money tied up in a truck and trailer to chance a brake controller that is not the best.

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Old 06-09-2008, 07:34 AM   #9
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Basically, there are three types of controllers.

Timer based controllers get their only input from the brake light switch, and on most of them the operator can adjust the maximum output to the trailer brakes, and how fast it ramps up to that level. Unless readjusted they apply the same trailer braking in town easing up to a stop sign as they do in a panic stop at freeway speeds.

Deceleration proportional controllers are a step up. Either by pendilum or electronic sensor they detect deceleration and apply braking in proportion. They are way better than timer based controllers. Tekonsha P3 or Prodigy I think are better ones in this class.

The third type detect tow vehicle brake application and apply trailer brakes directly in proportion to that. Back in the day there were controllers that tied into the tow vehicle's brake system, but they displaced fluid and were not compatable with proportioning valves or anti-lock brakes.

Jordan made a controller that read brake application with a linkage that attached to the brake pedal. I'm told they were very smooth, but I think they may no longer be in production.

Brakesmart came up with an electronic pressure sensor that T's into the brake system. It does not displace fluid, so it doesn't effect modern brake systems. Installation only takes a few minutes extra.

I have one, and the first time I used it I was shocked at how smooth and powerful it was. The truck stops nearly as quickly and smoothly with the 5th wheel as it does without. The only downside is that they are very expensive.

Recently the Maxbrake has come on the market (see link Rusty provided). It also appears to use a solid state pressure sensor like the Brakesmart, but without the extra features I don't use, and it's cheaper. I've read positive reviews on line, and I think if I were to need another controller I'd try one.

Hitch wise, you need to decide if you want to pay the extra for an air hitch.

If so PM FiverBob. He is up to speed on the various air ride hitches, and uses one...

If you go fixed, I'd look for something with jaws that fully surround the pin and that you can easily see are on the groove of the pin.

Also make sure it has 4 way pivot, and a good range of forward and back, and up and down adjustability.

I went with the B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch, that mounts to the socket of their Turn over ball goose neck hitch. Mainly I wanted a flat bed when the hitch was removed, and having the goose ball was a plus...

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