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Old 06-15-2016, 07:31 PM   #1
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Hooking up brake controller on a DP

I was reading my owners manul for the coach and it says that when the engine brake comes on so do the brake lights,

so that would mean my trailer brakes would be engaged the whole time down the hill... don't seem right, does it... seems like you would cook the brakes in one time out???
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LVRVLUVR View Post
I was reading my owners manul for the coach and it says that when the engine brake comes on so do the brake lights,

so that would mean my trailer brakes would be engaged the whole time down the hill... don't seem right, does it... seems like you would cook the brakes in one time out???
forgot to add,... towing a triple axel box trailer.15,600 axels, rated to 9,900
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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No, the trailer brakes should not be hooked to the engine brake switch even though it turns the brake lights on. It should be connected to the brake pedal switch. Most newer coaches should have pigtail under the dash if you don't already have a controller installed. I put a prodigy controller in my Vectra two weeks ago. The freightliner supplied trailer brake plug is a weird one. Couldn't find the female part of it in a pre made pigtail. Freightliner makes one but they want over $100 for it, robbery, should come with the coach it's a $3 part. I just cut the plug off and wired it to the supplied pigtail that came with the brake controller. There are only 4 wires. 1 12v power. 2 signal from controller to plug on rear of coach. 3 signal from brake pedal switch. 4 ground. I saw a post about hooking the brake controller to the engine brake circuit and the guy finally decided against it.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVRVLUVR View Post
.......



so that would mean my trailer brakes would be engaged the whole time down the hill............:

Only if your trailer brakes are surge brakes or are activated by your coach brake lights. Unlikely.


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Old 06-16-2016, 08:03 AM   #5
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I had that problem with a controller that was mounted to trailer and was wireless. New coach i have regular controller and it only activates brakes when i push pedal. The problem i do have is when going down long hills the brake lights are on and have had a couple instances when i had to brake hard for some reason and truck behind me nearly rearended me as he had no idea that inwas going to slow as brakes lights were on the whole time. On my last coach i had that eliminated and will on this one when in for service. To me its a safety issue with brake lights on like that.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:57 AM   #6
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The only valid answer is that it depends on the toad brake system. Some of them are tied to the brake light switch, but even then many (most?) of them also sense the rate of deceleration and brake proportionally. That means they might be "on" but in fact not doing much braking at all. And if the coach is decelerating quickly, you probably do want the toad brakes on as well. Others are not tied to the brake lights at all, e.g. the Brakemaster system on my diesel coach is not activated by the brake light circuit.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:16 AM   #7
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When a brake controller is added to a vehicle not prewired, the activating power to the controller comes from the output of the brake light switch on the brake pedal. How the prewire works may be a variable. Now, if you activate the engine brake, which many times turns on your brake lights, the power for those brake lights is not coming from the brake pedal switch, that switch is still open. But is that switch receiving power from the engine brake activated brake lights, lack of a diode? Dunno. You'll just have to open a beer and crawl under there and look. I'd not take anyone's word on this issue with 9,000 pounds of triple axel mounted toys pushing my mh and family down a hill. Plus, the wifey will think you're such a man with your doohickey (circuit tester) doing all kinda man stuff.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:09 PM   #8
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We just purchased our first diesel pusher, a 2014 Forest River Legacy, and need some info from other Legacy users. Is the Freightliner chassis prewired for an electronic brake controller? I've looked in the literature and under the dash and can't find anything obvious. Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:33 PM   #9
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If necessary you can install a diode , to isolate the trailer brake controller , so it will only get a brake light signal from the brake light switches and not the exhaust brake activation of the brake lights.
But for some, true proportional, trailer brake controllers this wouldn't be necessary.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:38 PM   #10
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We just purchased our first diesel pusher, a 2014 Forest River Legacy, and need some info from other Legacy users. Is the Freightliner chassis prewired for an electronic brake controller? I've looked in the literature and under the dash and can't find anything obvious. Thanks.
Welcome to iRV2.

A phone call to the Freightliner free help line , with your serial number , will answer your question ; as to, if the chassis has the wire or wiring . Where FR tucked it away could depend on who finished the dash wiring in your coach.

F/L help.
1-800-385-4357

BTW; For a question like your's it would be better to start your own post, in the FR owners or Freightliner chassis forums , more people will see your question.
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