Trailer brakes

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Re: Trailer brakes

Postby noseoil » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:05 am

Trailer "death wobble" is usually caused by improper loading. Even without a cross-wind, if the tongue weight is too light, you're going to have problems at higher speeds. Maybe in town it will feel fine, but on a highway things can happen too fast. Always weigh the tongue (a simple bathroom scale on blocks, whatever you can find) & know what your rolling weight is before a long trip. After a while, it's second nature & you will know how things work. If you're just starting out, take the time to figure this stuff out before planning a long trip or towing at faster speeds.
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Re: Trailer brakes

Postby Tigris99 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:19 pm

heavy back end is a big cause of death wobble but too heavy can be dangerous too because you loose front end weight of the TV. It is a delicate balance. But that issue comes from the fact that heavy tail takes weight off the TV rear end making it unstable. just like too much weight takes weight from the front of the TV making steering unstable.

Cross winds can be dangerous quickly. Trailer profile vs its weight can be an issue. Not just weight balance, but how high the center of gravity. COG too high causes lean which then becomes swaying right to death wobble.

trailer design matters too. Having a more aerodynamic design makes a big difference if its size doesnt keep it in the TVs draft.

the 2 biggest causes of death wobble though are not knowing how to drive with a trailer and towing too much weight vs what the TV has the power to pull. Driving is no sudden movements and dont EVER slam on the brakes.

The ONLY way to save a death wobble if you dont have trailer brakes that will engage and start dragging speed down is to have the power to pull out of it. Been countless times when I have had trailers start to sway bad

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Re: Trailer brakes

Postby StrongFeather » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:45 pm

Hey Homebrewer and Noseoil!

Using the 3rd brake light converter as an input to the trailer-mounted brake controller, do you have a problem with the brakes pulsing if the TV hazards/flashers are on? I was thinking about doing something similar, possibly using relays, when/if I mount the brake controller in my tongue box.

As of today, I'm leaning towards tapping off of the brake pedal switch to feed the brake controller (mounted in the tongue box) via the blue wire on the 7-pin. I believe doing so would still allow any TV with a 7-pin and dash-mounted brake controller to pull this trailer and have operational brakes. Note; I haven't considered this enough yet to be comfortable saying it will work. On the flip-side, doing this wouldn't allow a TV with a 4-pin to pull this trailer and control the brakes, but the trailer won't be heavy enough to require it and a 4-pin isn't meant to control brakes anyhow. Also, our TV, which is a Dodge Grand Caravan wouldn't be able to pull a trailer using the 7-pin connector, but it also has a 4-pin and it will likely never pull another trailer with brakes or a 7-ping connector for that matter.

With that said, one of the reasons I'm leaning this way is because I plan on installing turn-assist lights on the front of the fenders - essentially forward-facing white rock lights that turn on when the blinkers are used. I can't do that using only the yellow and green wires without some funky things happening if the brakes, blinkers and/or hazards are used simultaneously... so I need the brake pedal switch signal to solve this 1st-world problem. The forward-facing turn lights and rear-facing reverse lights (also mounted on the fenders) will act as "porch" lighting when we're camping.

I still need to draw some schematics and wiring diagrams, and do a little more reading on brake controllers before I decide which way to go.

:beer:
Steve
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Re: Trailer brakes

Postby StrongFeather » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:37 pm

After learning about what a tail light converter actually does (my assumption that it was just for adding a 3rd brake light was wrong), and after looking at brake controllers a little more, I'm going to go with the Redarc Tow Pro Elite in the TV. I'll use the tail light converter to drive the turn-assist fender lights.

:beer:
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Re: Trailer brakes

Postby Homebrewer25 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:42 pm

Took me a while to see this.

I have not yet purchased one, but I think noseoil has several thousand miles on his ... that is where I got the idea.

A tail light converter is used to separate the brake signal from the turn signals so that if you have a trailer that has brake lights separate from the turn signal lights, you can use this to make a standard 4 wire connector work. The red wire is used to feed the brake lights.
157255
So when you use it on a trailer that has a single light for brakes and turn signal, the red can feed a 3rd brake light and/or the trailer mounted brake controller. I'm sure you realize that this only works for designs that use the trailer battery for the trailer brake power.

Here is what I was looking at.
https://www.etrailer.com/p-118158.html
It's 5 o'clock somewhere ... time for a :beer:

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Re: Trailer brakes

Postby gudmund » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:57 pm

recently I installed the Tekonska Prodigy RF(90250) which works/mounts like the Autowbrake system but is priced on Amazon just a 'bit' cheaper with a longer/better warranty.($332 Autowbrake/$272TekonskaRF) Both of these mount to the trailer frame and wire/plug into the excising trailer wiring, the main difference is that the "Prodigy RF" has more control being it comes with an 'in the cab' controller that is a radio transmitter for adjusting/controlling the trailer mounted brake unit. What was nice was the 'not' having to 'tap' into my tow vehicle's brake wiring under the dash :thumbsup: (my PU did 'not' have the factory tow-package when new) Only had to run a 12 ga power wire from the battery to my 7 prong plug. Have been using it now for a few months and it has been working --'very nicely.' -- The 'Prodigy RF' trailer control unit comes with a 15 year warranty and a 5 year one on the hand controller. (E-trailer sells this unit also.)
PS-- I did call and spoke to Tekonsha and was told that even though they do not recommend using their system 'without' the hand controller plugged in - he said the braking system will still work with out it - as long as there is power to the trailer unit (which there is if the tail lights are working) It's the hand held unit that gives you all of the ''over-ride'' control & adjustably that you don't get with the Autowbrake system. :thinking:
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Re: Trailer brakes

Postby gudmund » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:27 am

Reporting back after just getting home from a 6500 mile trip cross the northern states and the Tekonsha Prodigy RF system I installed is working great!! :thumbsup:
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