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Old 08-23-2014, 12:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
X2

Curious minds here would like to know what YOU know about your trailer brakes that is different than everyone else here that uses a cargo trailer with electric brakes.

Surge Brakes are ONLY used on trailers UP TO a specific weight limit. I think 7000 lbs is WELL over that limit.

Dr4Film ----- Richard

FYI, As per The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
surge brakes are allowed on:
Any trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 12,000 pounds or less,

when its GVWR does not exceed 1.75 times the GVWR of the towing vehicle;
and
Any trailer with a GVWR greater than 12,000 pounds, but less than 20,001 pounds,

when its GVWR does not exceed 1.25 times the GVWR of the towing vehicle.

Full document here http://www.readybrake.com/SurgeBrakeRule.pdf
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:04 PM   #16
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Thunderfoot,

Thanks for bringing me up to speed as to what the federal laws permit. I really didn't know specifics so I was "shooting from the hip".



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Old 08-23-2014, 01:16 PM   #17
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Thunderfoot,

Thanks for bringing me up to speed as to what the federal laws permit. I really didn't know specifics so I was "shooting from the hip".



Dr4Film ----- Richard
Anytime .... I wasn't sure of the limits myself and thought it was good info. I found it interesting that the law includes GVWR percentages of the towing vehicle.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:17 PM   #18
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I would venture a guess that the OP was just mislead or misunderstood what Self Adjusting means. That is an adjustment to account for brake pad wear - not - for applying the brakes.

An electric brake controller is required for applying the brakes...the electric signal from the controller is send down the wires in the plug to actuate the servos inside the brakes of the trailer. Without a controller (which can be standard equipment in some newer pick-ups) the electric trailer brakes will not engage.

Now...about the comment above regarding surge brakes having a weight limit. That is not factual. My 15,000 GVWR boat trailer uses surge brakes - each axle is rated to brake up to 7,500lb. A triple axle trailer of the same mfgt will brake up to 22,500lb. Obviously, boats can easily exceed 7,000lb.

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Old 08-23-2014, 03:04 PM   #19
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So maybe his trailer has surge brakes which will NOT require an electric brake controller.

What say 9dreizig?

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Old 08-23-2014, 03:08 PM   #20
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hey guys, a little clarification.. YES they are electric brakes ( just threw the self adjusting in there for more info)..
So to clarify I was told at the manf. plant that IF the vehicle had the circular connector it was wired into the braking circuit.. I towed it all the way from GA to NV with (apparently) no brakes on the trailer ..
So any recommendations as to the best brake controller out there ?
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:12 PM   #21
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I had very good luck with the Prodigy P2 by Tekonsha when towing my last TT.
Tekonsha

And there are many others out there.

Best luck
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9dreizig View Post
hey guys, a little clarification.. YES they are electric brakes ( just threw the self adjusting in there for more info)..
So to clarify I was told at the manf. plant that IF the vehicle had the circular connector it was wired into the braking circuit.. I towed it all the way from GA to NV with (apparently) no brakes on the trailer ..
So any recommendations as to the best brake controller out there ?
I don't have a recommendation for a controller....been too long since I had one in my Chevy 1 ton dually haulin' my race car trailer...CRS has set in for me...lol

It would help us if we knew what tow vehicle you are using OP. If you went to "User CP" and scrolled down to "Edit Signature" you couls add that info there and it will show up each time you post. Don't forget to scroll down and hit "Save" after you've added it.

[Edit] Sorry, I see you are using a 39' Fleetwood Rev to tow...not sure they came with an electric brake controller unless the trailer manufacturer told you differently.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:01 PM   #23
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Generally motor homes do NOT come with brake controllers.. The reason for this is simple... There are many braking systems used as aux brakes on towed cars.. One type the brakes are activated by the aplication of voltage (Resulting in current flow) to the brake wire, Another it is by the REDUCTION of voltage on that very same wire,,, Thus no single controller will work.

Some trailers come with a surge brake system, basically this is built into the hitch (Visit a U-Haul to see one) These do NOT need a controller in the motor home

Most use electric brakes and WILL

"The motor home has plenty of brakes"

I have had this argument with experts.... and won (I won't give you all the facts as to how I won, suffice to say I know what questions to ask, but they only work with experts, (Trained accident investigators) which I assume you are not)

When you work out how long it will take a vehicle to stop once the brakes lock up the formula is somewhat complex

On one side we have the mass of the vehicle times the square of the speed

ON the other side the weight of the vehicle, the coieficent of friction between the vehicle and road (Same for all vehicles over a short section of road and time I might add) and some other factors I won't go into.. But when you do the math it simplifies to.

Constant * (Speed Squared)/coefficient of friction.

As the weight/mass factors out

Thus on an ideal road a vehicle going 20 mph will skid 22 feet.

Same car or truck doing 40 88 feet (Twice the speed = 4 x the distance)

BUT if you tow a free-wheeling trailer....

Now the math is frankly more work than I care to do as NOW your combined vehicle mass is far greater than than the braking vehicles weight US-Gear says this can add UP TO 30 PERCENT to your skid distance.... Though I suspect that is high end.. I believe them.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:49 PM   #24
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Hey guys, just so I don't sound like an idiot , I ASKED if I needed a control!!!! and they said NO!! I have one in all my other vehicles..
So I'm shopping for one now!!
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:06 AM   #25
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Well that goes to show you what TRUE RV salespeople really know about what THEY are selling. They are the true IDIOT"S and should stick to flipping burgers at MD's.

You are back on track and know exactly what to do.

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Old 08-24-2014, 01:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9dreizig View Post
Hey guys, just so I don't sound like an idiot , I ASKED if I needed a control!!!! and they said NO!! I have one in all my other vehicles..
So I'm shopping for one now!!
Just to double check, since the OP already drove from GA to NV and didn't notice a problem (but a 40' Revolution is pretty big and has good brakes) I would want to test the connection to ensure there was/was not a controller in the RV...it might have had one installed (?). This could save purchase and install costs.

If you have a volt meter, you can test the output on the circular plug at the back. With the RV engine running...Have someone press the brakes and see if there is an output in the correct pin. See:
Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com

Best luck
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