TrailManor Owner's Forum  

Go Back   TrailManor Owner's Forum > TrailManor Owners Community > Prospective Owner Questions
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-26-2010, 05:54 AM   #11
MisterP
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EAKlebe View Post
Aha! I thought all the newer proportionals were "no moving parts"....thanks for the heads up....I'll be sure to check on that.
An accelerometer is not a moving part but in some controllers the unit must still be close to level.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 06:59 AM   #12
grakin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I agree about the brake controller first and foremost - don't tow it out of wherever it is currently parked until you get it installed. It's not tough to install it, your F150 probably has a harness for it under the dash somewhere (assuming you have the towing package), which means it literally just screws into some piece of the dash and plugs into the harness - no advanced technical knowledge is needed. I tow with an F250, which I believe has larger brakes than an F150 - we had a minor brake issue on the way to our current campground (this dumbhead forgot to plug the trailer lights in). Fortunately, it's extremely obvious to me that I had no brakes when I came to the first stop sign and was shocked at how much distance it was taking to slow down - enough to be dangerous. Obviously I immediately stopped, yelled at myself for being in too much of a hurry to do things right, and plugged in the loose connector.

With the brake controller, the F250 stops in about the same distance with the trailer as it does without. That's a good thing when someone on the highway in front of you does something dumb.

After that, I would look into the tow vehicle - does it have the towing package from the factory? If not, you might want to look at things like a transmission cooler. Hopefully your tow vehicle does have it. Also make sure you have LT tires, not P tires, on your truck. If you don't have the LTs now, you'll be amazed at the difference.

I think you can go either way with the WDH - if your vehicle seems to "bonce" a bunch, look into it - but after you make sure you are running max sidewall pressure in your rear tires. I personally didn't feel like I needed a WDH on a 1/2 ton Chevy truck, but I'm sure it would have been a better ride/towing experience if I had one. But I don't think it is a safety issue on a full size truck to not have one.

As for the TM tires, unless they are a few years old, I personally wouldn't, although if I was using a WDH, towed with full tanks, and carried a lot of stuff, that might change my mind - you do transfer some weight from the tongue to the tires if you use a WDH.

One other thing you should get: a good quality (dial-type, not pencil-type) tire gauge. And use it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 08:23 AM   #13
Bill
Site Team
 
Bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
Posts: 9,430
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EAKlebe View Post
No the trailer does, of course, have brakes and the inspection station said that the brakes were fine. However, I did notice that stopping distance was quite a bit farther. I have already read the mentioned thread which was VERY informative.
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. Of course the trailer has brakes in the wheel/axle assembly. All TMs have brakes built in, since they are required by law to have them. However, the brakes don't do any braking on their own. It is the controller which puts power to the brakes and causes them to do some braking. Without a controller, the brakes are just a lump of useless inert metal. That is why you noticed that stopping distance is farther, of course. The trailer brakes were not being activated, and the TM probably weighs about as much as your tow vehicle.

I'll be clearer next time around, but the bottom line is that you MUST get and install a controller.

Bill
__________________
2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
2014 Ford F-150 4WD 5.0L
Bill's Tech Stuff album
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 08:43 AM   #14
Bill
Site Team
 
Bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
Posts: 9,430
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EAKlebe View Post
I also happened to come across this controller:
http://www.brake-controller.com/brak..._features.html which is not that much more than the Tekonsha, but appears to be better. But perhaps it is overkill?
I don't see anything wrong with this controller, though I don't see anything special, either. The ad is full of pretty meaningless hype, but in no particular order, I seem to see:

It is proportional, which probably means it is accelerometer-based. So is the Prodigy.

It can detect hydraulic brake systems. But TMs don't have a hydraulic brake system, so why pay for this feature?

It comes with a mounting kit. So does every other controller on the market.

It can provide up to 48 amps to the brakes. But the brakes will accept only 3 amps each, so the brakes on a 3023 can accept only 6 amps. For what it is worth, the Prodigy can provide up to 24 amps, which is also more than is needed.

PWM (pulse width modulated) braking. All controllers - or at least all decent ones - use PWM. The last time I saw a non-PWM-controller was in the 60's.

Deceleration sensor - yup, that's the accelerometer that gives it proportional braking. Just like any other proportional controller.

Automatic short circuit protection. They all have it.

Works in reverse. A lot of controllers, including the Prodgy, boast about this. And perhaps some have it and some don't - but I'm not sure why anyone would need it. If you are backing up at more than 2 mph, you are headed for other troubles. And your truck's brakes can certainly handle the trailer at 2 mph.

Manual emergency button. They all have one.

No need to tap into the tow vehicle's hydraulic brake line. Years ago, again in the 60's, many controllers did tap into the hydraulic brake line. But within the world of RVs and camping trailers, no controller has done this for decades, for two reasons. First, modern cars/trucks are extremely fussy about what is done to their brake lines, so tapping in would probably cause the tow vehicle brakes to fail, and would certainly void any warranty. In addition, a controller doesn't know how to handle the pulsing caused by ABS systems.

Automatic gain adjustment - this is the one feature that I find somewhat intriguing, but since they don't don't actually tell you what it is, it's pretty hard to tell if it is worth any extra cost.

But at the bottom line, the real advantage of the Prodigy is that it is probably the most-used proportional controller, owned by millions of people. And most of those people, like you, are new to electric-brake controllers, and so this speaks well to its ease of installation and use. It also means you can get help, advice, and replacement parts anywhere.

Bill
__________________
2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
2014 Ford F-150 4WD 5.0L
Bill's Tech Stuff album
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 08:54 AM   #15
Bill
Site Team
 
Bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
Posts: 9,430
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EAKlebe View Post
No the trailer does, of course, have brakes and the inspection station said that the brakes were fine. However, I did notice that stopping distance was quite a bit farther. I have already read the mentioned thread which was VERY informative. However, I also happened to come across this controller:
http://www.brake-controller.com/brak..._features.html which is not that much more than the Tekonsha, but appears to be better. But perhaps it is overkill?
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. Of course the trailer has brakes. However, the brakes don't apply themselves. It is the controller which puts power to the brakes and causes them to do some braking. Without a controller, the brakes are just a lump of useless inert metal. That is why stopping distance is farther, of course - the trailer brakes were not being activated.

I'll be clearer next time. But in the meanwhile, you MUST get and install a brake controller.

Bill
__________________
2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
2014 Ford F-150 4WD 5.0L
Bill's Tech Stuff album
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 09:39 AM   #16
EAKlebe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

grakin wrote:
your F150 probably has a harness for it under the dash somewhere (assuming you have the towing package), which means it literally just screws into some piece of the dash and plugs into the harness - no advanced technical knowledge is needed.
If not, you might want to look at things like a transmission cooler. Hopefully your tow vehicle does have it. Also make sure you have LT tires, not P tires, on your truck.

I bought the truck used. It had a Reese hitch receiver installed, but I don't believe it has a transmission cooler. I'll have to get that checked by the mechanic I use. As to tires: I just had new tires put on: General Grabbers and I'm sure they are LTs.

Re the controller: according to an email I just got from the factory:
The new controller doesn’t require leveling, Edmund. You can mount it anywhere on or under the dash.

Reading the company write up on this controller, you set this controller up by just entering the "trailer - tow vehicle configuration number based upon the weight of the combination." and once set it doesn't have to be reset unless the weight of the trailer changes by more than 2000 pounds.
I read in a posting about setting up the Tekonsha Prodigy controller (perhaps I got the wrong impression) that one had to drive the combination at various speeds and apply the brakes to determine the proper power/gain setting - it sounded like a bit of a complicated process. Is it?
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 09:40 AM   #17
Scott O
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Well, you have pretty much zeroed in on what you need. The order is not important as they ALL need to be done. You know about the tires, if they are older than 4-5 years replace them, no matter what they look like. 15" would be a priority for me. The brake controller operates the trailer brakes, without one no brakes. We can argue all day about a WDH, but simplest test is to measure bottom of wheel fender top to ground front and back without the TM. Drop the TM...if the back drops more than the front by more than 1/2" you need one. Chances the back will drop and the front will rise, hurting both steering and braking. Hey, no one said it would be cheap!!! And don't get lulled by that old "we don't go far" argument. Most accidents happen close to home...
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 10:14 AM   #18
B_and_D
Site Sponsor
 
B_and_D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Santa Cruz County, CA
Posts: 2,389
Default

Definitely get the brake controller AND new tires. They're too old. You're just asking for a blowout running tires that old. Buy three new ones before you go anywhere else. Read the posts here about the recommended types, sizes, load range, brands, etc. to buy. Having to deal with a blowout when you're out looking to have a fun weekend camping takes a lot of the "fun" out of it.

We have a Chevy 1500 and we do fine without a weight distributing hitch, but I don't know about your TV so I don't feel qualified to give you an opinion about it.
__________________
'97 2720 & '01 Chevy Silverado 1500 4x4
2011 & 2017 Prii, 10'x18' & 10'x9' Tents
B_and_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 10:36 AM   #19
mtnguy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EAKlebe View Post

I bought the truck used. It had a Reese hitch receiver installed, but I don't believe it has a transmission cooler. I'll have to get that checked by the mechanic I use.
Almost all automatic transmission have a cooler built into the radiator. With heavy duty work like pulling a trailer, what you need is an auxiliary transmission cooler.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 11:43 AM   #20
EAKlebe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

With heavy duty work like pulling a trailer, what you need is an auxiliary transmission cooler.

Thanks. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have an auxiliary cooler. My ABS pump just went out on Friday, so a cooler may just have to wait a while. I'll just have to make sure go slow it down on upgrades and shift it into "2" on long ones. I'm very familiar with the route I'm going to be taking up to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, so I should be O.K.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Guidelines for Parts and Accessories for sale. Chris Parts and Accessories For Sale 1 02-27-2022 11:17 AM
Spending $$ for camping accessories B_and_D General TrailManor Topics 0 10-29-2005 09:01 PM
Carrying water hose accessories Bill General TrailManor Topics 2 10-06-2004 08:52 PM
TrailManor Accessories KdHammonds General TrailManor Topics 9 03-29-2003 08:26 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2021 Trailmanor Owners Page.