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Old 03-15-2016, 10:34 AM   #1
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DPs and Trailer Brakes

On my quest for my next MH, I noticed most have the heavy duty trailer hitch and the standard, round, 7 prong plug. But I have yet to see a brake controller or mount inside the vehicle that suggests it's wired for trailer brakes. On my gasser I installed a Tekonsha controller. The rear of my MH looks the same as all these pretty DPs with the receiver and plug outlet. So what am I missing here? No controllers in DPs? I find that a little hard to believe. My trailer, loaded with my toys, hovers around 5k lbs. I can't imagine going down an I-5 grade without trailer brakes. Thanx...

Dubya
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by B Dubya View Post
On my quest for my next MH, I noticed most have the heavy duty trailer hitch and the standard, round, 7 prong plug. But I have yet to see a brake controller or mount inside the vehicle that suggests it's wired for trailer brakes. On my gasser I installed a Tekonsha controller. The rear of my MH looks the same as all these pretty DPs with the receiver and plug outlet. So what am I missing here? No controllers in DPs? I find that a little hard to believe. My trailer, loaded with my toys, hovers around 5k lbs. I can't imagine going down an I-5 grade without trailer brakes. Thanx...

Dubya
Hey Brian,
It's me again. Well, first off, you need to stipulate that you are talking "Trailer" vs "Toad". Yes, a TRAILER, i.e. one that carries a car, jeep, truck, motorcycles, boats or anything ABOVE GROUND, will need some form of brakes. And, that means primarily, one of two methods of brake activation.
The first method and, most used, is ELECTRONIC and, involves magnetically applied trailer brakes, mostly drum types. And that means some form of electronic brake controller that you are used to.

Many coach builders, in an effort to "pre-assist" future owners, automatically wire in, all the wires necessary to connect to an aftermarket electronic brake controller. Most of the time, they are tucked up, under the dash. You'll need to dig around under there to find them. Gas coaches, depending on year/make/model etc. will also have pre-wired setups for trailer braking.

But, for electronic braking, you won't see any other additions to the rear of a coach. The wiring for controlling the brakes, is built into the 7-pin plug.


The second method of trailer brakes is HYDRAULIC ones. And, those are mostly seen on boat trailers. The reason is obvious. Magnets don't like being UNDER WATER! So, a SURGE brake master cylinder is mounted on or, connectected to, or is part of, the actual tongue of the trailer. When you begin stopping the car/coach/truck etc., the surge of the trailer against said vehicles, pushes on the master cylinder of the trailer and, applies the hydraulic trailer brakes.

U-haul, in most of it's rented trailers, incorporates a surge brake system. I hope this answers some of your questions on this issue.
Scott

P.S., Oh, I forgot. In towing a "Toad", as in any type of vehicle that's approved by the manufacturer for flat towing, there are numerous types of AUXILIARY braking devices that can be installed, either permanent or, temporary in the toad, to apply the brakes (by having a mechanical arm) that pushes on the brake pedal of the toad or, a cable, that "pulls" on the brake arm to apply the brakes.

Discussions about auxiliary brakes are abound on here and many other RV forums. I just recently installed a system called the "M & G" braking system. It utilizes the coaches air brakes to send air, to a unit that's permenantly installed, in between the master cylinder and the power brake unit of the toad. So, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING inside either of our toads that operates the brakes. It's all done under the hood. If you'd like info, PM me and, I'd be glad to explain and send pics.
Scott
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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Well, that SUX! It was not fun wiring that thing from the front to the back. But doing it again might be a lot simpler than testing every wire in the coach just to trace a few. My experience has been that when a vehicle is pre-wired for an auxiliary installation, the wires are there, just bundled in with around a thousand other wires and not identified. My trailer is magnetic. Worst case scenario is 3 wires and tap into the hot wire on the brake pedal assembly. I gotta build some wooden graduated ramps!! (Know what I mean?)
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:48 PM   #4
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Both my DP's were prewired to underside of dash. I never could find them on my first one and bought a wireless controller that mounts on the trailer. Stood on my head and held my tongue just right and found the harnss on our new one.
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:58 PM   #5
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Both my diesel pushers have been on Freightliner chassis and are prewired for a brake controller. Freightliner can tell you where the connector is under the dash and what each wire is for. I never used the wiring since hydraulic surge brakes on a trailer work so well with no need for wiring or driver intervention.
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:58 PM   #6
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Well, that SUX! It was not fun wiring that thing from the front to the back. But doing it again might be a lot simpler than testing every wire in the coach just to trace a few. My experience has been that when a vehicle is pre-wired for an auxiliary installation, the wires are there, just bundled in with around a thousand other wires and not identified. My trailer is magnetic. Worst case scenario is 3 wires and tap into the hot wire on the brake pedal assembly. I gotta build some wooden graduated ramps!! (Know what I mean?)
Graduated Ramps, like these?
They are made of 1 1/8" tongue and groove decking plywood from Home Depot. It's about $54 a sheet for a 4'x8'. Mine are about 9" wide since my tire treadwidth is close to 7". (you definitely want full tread support)

In making them 9" wide, I got a total of (5) ramps, with the bottom sections, around 24' long and the top sections around 10" or 11" long. Not many people have the kind of room to store this kind of lumber yard on or in their coach. That's one thing about the Horizon, by having that dumb propane tank in the center of the coach, it does not take up any room by using a cabinet. So, you end up with more storage area for needed things, like ramps.
Scott



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Old 03-15-2016, 05:04 PM   #7
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Yup. Them's the ones. Wonder where I could have gotten the idea?


Why tongue and groove? They look like solid pieces.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:04 AM   #8
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Yup. Them's the ones. Wonder where I could have gotten the idea?


Why tongue and groove? They look like solid pieces.
Hey Brian,
That decking plywood, is tongue and groove made, to interlock when using it as decking. That way, there's less movement when walked on, on or above second story etc. When I started making those ramps, using my table saw, I sliced off both the tongue and the groove from each side. That way, I had clean edges to work with. I'd then proceed to rip, 9" wide sections for the full length of the plywood. Then, I'd cut the bottom sections all at once. Then I'd cut the upper sections. Then I'd bevel the sections. Then I'd put it all together and, do a bit of sanding, then the three coats of Urethane. Finally, I install flexible handles on both sides of each ramp and block, so that they can be handled, stored and used, from either side.
Scott
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Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:08 AM   #9
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Got it
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