Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

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Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby sukig » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:12 pm

We are adding electric brakes and a breakaway system since we have found some states require this (ours does not).

We have 13" tires on a modified boat trailer. I've looked at systems from etrailer.com

Will I need anything besides the brake, drum and breakaway kit? And, is there a brand or system folks recommend over others?
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby G-Mac » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:44 pm

Curious to hear the experts weigh-in on this.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby dancam » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:11 pm

You need the breakaway system but many are supposed to be wired to power to keep the batteries charged, do you have power going to the trailer?
You have a brake controller in the tv?

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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby MtnDon » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:42 pm

sukig wrote:We are adding electric brakes and a breakaway system since we have found some states require this (ours does not).




The present axle is equipped with the square plates necessary to mount the brakes to? Just checking as that is necessary but maybe not obvious.

If the axle does not have the flanges they can be added, welded to the axle. They do have to be perfectly centered though, probably not a DIY job.

As for brakes spend the extra for self adjusters.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby sukig » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:11 pm

Thanks! There are flanges for the brakes on the existing trailer. I added an activator to my order, thanks! I will be running power to the trailer.

Here's a screenshot of my order, I'm about to do some price comparisons but I think this looks pretty good... Please, let me know if I'm off the mark.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby dancam » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:37 pm

Do you need to wire your tv for that controller or does it just plug in? Do you need different sized plugs on the tv and boat traiker where they connect?
If you plan to tow other stuff withthe vehicle the inertia activated brake controllers are nicer. Time delay would be alright just for a boat though if its not close to the vehicles tow capacity.

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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby sukig » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:45 pm

Okay, I wasn't sure which would be better the inertia or time-delayed. Good advice. I'll check the wiring... that's my weakest topic and I have a lot to learn. The trailer already has 4 pin wiring and lights. If I understand correctly, I'll need to change that to 7 pin, right?
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby sukig » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:51 pm

Updated order... Oy, it adds up.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby dancam » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:54 pm

sukig wrote:Okay, I wasn't sure which would be better the inertia or time-delayed. Good advice. I'll check the wiring... that's my weakest topic and I have a lot to learn. The trailer already has 4 pin wiring and lights. If I understand correctly, I'll need to change that to 7 pin, right?


What does your tv have? If its only flat 4 as well then changing it to 6 pin would work as well but 7 pin is way more common and you can just buy cheap little adapters to go from 7 round to flat 4, flat 5, round 5 or round 6. I would go with round 7.

Time delayed sees signal from your brake lights, waits a second, then applies trailer brakes at whatever you set maximum power to.
Inertia based applies brake to the trailer based on how fast your slowing down the tv. The harder you brake the more it brakes the trailer

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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby sukig » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:02 pm

The TV hasn't been wired yet and we may buy a different vehicle before we finish, so I suppose the most universal would be what we aim for.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby working on it » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:20 pm

sukig wrote:We are adding electric brakes and a breakaway system since we have found some states require this (ours does not)....
I have considered putting on a breakaway on my TTT for years, but haven't gotten around to it yet, since the states I'm likely to travel to don't require it for trailers under 2k lbs. This link: http://www.brakebuddy.com/towing-laws shows me that I've been in violation of the law, and of good sense, hauling my heavily loaded car-hauler around for years without a breakaway (only one in five of my racing buddies had them on their trailers...but that was 9-10 years ago). When I put my car-hauler back into service, I'll do it then. Maybe on the TTT, too. P.S. I forgot to add that the wife's 20 ft. Puma trailer already has a breakaway on it. All the trailers have electric brakes: the Puma has them on one axle, I installed two new axles (both with brakes) on the car-hauler, and when I upgraded my TTT axle to a Dexter 3500 lb, I got one with brakes, also. I really noticed the braking improvement on the car-hauler, and somewhat on the TTT (my 2500HD pickup had no trouble with stopping the TTT before, but more is better!
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby KCStudly » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:29 am

Are you sure the big 10 inch/3500lb axle brakes are compatible with your 13 inch tired axle? Check the backing plate bolt pattern and clearance inside of the wheel. You may need the smaller brakes.

Might be worth a call to e-trailer to help you get it right.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby Aguyfromohio » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:10 am

We're building TD's we expect will be well below the weight requirement for brakes, but we're putting on brakes anyway.
When I was a teenager I drove my dad's rig with a big Chevy Suburban towing a 28 ft Airstream, and I found the brakes very useful
When a truck passed us on the freeway or a sudden wind gust hit, and the trailer wanted to sway or dance around, a light touch on the trailer brakes snapped it right back behind the tow vehicle where I like it.

We expect to use these teardrops in more remote areas, and hope the trailer brakes will help us keep it behind us as we crawl down steep winding gravel roads.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby sukig » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:38 pm

KCStudly wrote:Are you sure the big 10 inch/3500lb axle brakes are compatible with your 13 inch tired axle? Check the backing plate bolt pattern and clearance inside of the wheel. You may need the smaller brakes.

Might be worth a call to e-trailer to help you get it right.


My axle is 3500 pound axle and the brakes are for 13, 14 and 15 inch tires. I did some measurements and it seemed like a fit. Backing plate bolt pattern? I'm pretty sure it matches, 4 bolts to my 4-holed flange. I was able to match the drum bolt pattern to my current tires without issue. Maybe I'm missing something... Order has been placed now, though (was making the most of the free shipping yesterday). So, I guess I'll let you know when it gets here and we get into it.
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Re: Adding Electric Brakes & Breakaway

Postby sukig » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:44 pm

Aguyfromohio wrote:We're building TD's we expect will be well below the weight requirement for brakes, but we're putting on brakes anyway.
When I was a teenager I drove my dad's rig with a big Chevy Suburban towing a 28 ft Airstream, and I found the brakes very useful
When a truck passed us on the freeway or a sudden wind gust hit, and the trailer wanted to sway or dance around, a light touch on the trailer brakes snapped it right back behind the tow vehicle where I like it.

We expect to use these teardrops in more remote areas, and hope the trailer brakes will help us keep it behind us as we crawl down steep winding gravel roads.


Yes. I expect to be well below the weight limit but I think of Mtn passes and even some steep hills here in the Ozarks that I really don't want to rely on my tv brakes alone. It just seems safer to add the brakes and well worth the extra expense.
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