EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)  (Read 543 times)

Memtb

  • ---
  • Posts: 162
“Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« on: October 28, 2017, 07:04:05 PM »
   A correct me if I’m wrong! Please be nice....I’m very sensitive!   :)

   I recently saw a posting on an RV forum, where a party sold his truck and upgraded to a larger truck because.....his truck was “not” stopping the RV (RV was within limits of his truck).

    So, isn’t the tow vehicle’s primary responsibility to tow and steer said RV.....not to stop it?  If the trailer brakes are working properly and gain is properly set on brake controller.....then brake effort on tow vehicle should remain equal or nearly so towing or not. If the truck is required to “stop” the trailer... then we have a trailer brake issue... not an inadequate tow vehicle!!!

     If I am correct....maybe some folks can lear from the discussion!
 
      Let the  “stoning” begin!
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 09:12:26 PM by SargeW »
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

healeyman

  • ---
  • Posts: 13
Re: “Riddle Me This”?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 07:27:41 PM »
I have never owned or towed a RV trailer, but I have owned a couple of enclosed race car trailers.  One had 4 wheel (2 axle) electric Drum brakes, the other had 2 wheel (1 axle) electric Disc brakes

I have always held that 65%-75% of the stopping force comes from the towing vehicle and that while the trailer brakes DO assist in stopping, a large part of the trailer brake's job is to keep the trailer from trying to pass and jackknife the tow vehicle.

The brakes & tires on most semi-trailers do not provide a lot of stopping power, that is why so many big-rigs jackknife during an accident.

Many smaller trailers, utility, motorcycle, pop-up campers, do not have brakes and provide NO stopping assistance to the towing vehicle.

Tim

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6374
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: “Riddle Me This”?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 09:11:16 PM »
I have owned and towed many trailers, and two large 5vers. The brakes on the tow vehicle should be able to lock up and stop the wheels from turning on a heavy brake. That being said, no amount of braking by the trailer will change the laws of Physics. If a tow vehicle is pulling a 12,000 pound trailer with a 7,000 pound truck, in a panic stop the trailer WILL push the truck. If the brakes on the trailer are poor or not functioning, it will push it even further.  The best scenario would be if the truck and trailer had ABS brakes to avoid the locked wheels sliding on the asphalt. 

Will a bigger truck with bigger brakes stop the trailer quicker? Sure. As a matter of fact, trucks these days often take much of the responsibility of stopping the trailer because braking systems are so much better than they used to be.  Many towables out there have mediocre brake systems and the owners never know it.  Unless a panic brake situation occurs.  Which is usually a horrible time to find that out.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Memtb

  • ---
  • Posts: 162
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 09:52:04 PM »
   Maybe I’m just spoiled, but...Since around 2003 we’ve been blessed with 5th wheels that had good (if anything slight overkill on brakes....if that’s possible). Our present unit has 3 axles and hydraulic disc brakes. I’m a little aggressive on the gain, and on a normal stop... can feel the trailer slowing the truck. On a panic stop, I don’t think that my stop would be significantly longer than the truck alone. I may have to perform that test one day.  ;)
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Lowell

  • ---
  • Posts: 1950
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2017, 10:33:32 PM »
If you feel the trailer pushing the truck with brakes applied, you don't have your gain set high enough. When you apply the brakes, you should get the same feel you get when you are driving the truck by itself.  That's the way mine is set up.  On the way to the storage unit, I apply my truck brakes hard at about 45 mph a couple of times to get the feel.  After I hook up my TT, I repeat the process and the stopping should be about the same. I'm not talking about making a "panic stop" with pedal to the floor, just a good hard brake check.
Lowell

2005 Cherokee28A TT
pulled by 2009 Dodge 1500 Crew Cab 4X4
KF7YET

Tempe, Arizona

viceprice

  • ---
  • Posts: 104
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 12:15:52 AM »
We recently upgraded to the Tekonsha P2 controller. I am so much happier and confident in this unit. This is a much safer controller.  If you do not have one that is responsive and progressive to harder braking conditions like the Tekonsha P2 or P3, you need to get one. The new Garth Brooks song applies-"Ask me how I know?" 

We got very lucky in a panic stop that resulted in the flattening of the front license plate and holder against the rear bumper of a passenger car. It could have been much worse.  I dragged all 4 wheels of the TV in the last 4 feet.  There is no doubt in my mind I wound not have hit the car in front of us if we had the Tekonsha controller. Spend the money on one! It was a very easy install. It also performs much better in stop and go traffic where the other unit was applying too much current in these conditions yet not enough when I needed it most.
Karen, Kyle and the K9s
1997 Chevrolet C2500 7.4L Silverado
2016 Cougar X-Lite 28RBS

glen54737

  • ---
  • Posts: 1209
  • My camping buddy
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 07:00:24 AM »



The brakes & tires on most semi-trailers do not provide a lot of stopping power, that is why so many big-rigs jackknife during an accident.

Many smaller trailers, utility, motorcycle, pop-up campers, do not have brakes and provide NO stopping assistance to the towing vehicle.

Tim

Try to move a semi trailer with the brakes locked and you will find out how much the brakes work.

The trailer brakes should provide most of the stopping for the extra weight that the trailer adds I adjust the gain until i don't feel it pushing me.
2018 Thor Miramar 35.2
2015 F-350 CC short box 6.7l 3.55 axle
2015 Alpine 3510RE-sold

Glen,Nene
Mickey & Jayco (yorkies)

Memtb

  • ---
  • Posts: 162
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 08:01:35 AM »
    Thanks for your input....it appears that most of us feel the same on several points.

     One point being... as with most things in rv’s today, the brakes are another item lacking

     Another point... many do not have the “gain” set high enough

     And as viceprice  suggested (I’m taking the liberty to expound on his statement)...the old style controllers are technologically outdated.  With the newer technology you can have adequate “panic stop” braking, while not having the “jerk” you feel in “stop and go” traffic felt with the old technology

     Since around ‘07 we’ve had a controller that “Tee’d” into the brake line off of the master cylinder. A “transducer” converts the brake fluid pressure into an electrical signal to the RV brake system. The harder you apply the tow vehicle brakes,  the higher the electrical signal to the RV brakes (master cylinder if you’re running hydraulic disc brakes). Of course...this means nothing “IF” you don’t have the gain set properly.
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60738
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 08:46:26 AM »
 [Sigh]. As with so many techie things, this can get complicated once you try to pin it down.

The trailer brakes are tied to the axle ratings, i.e. a 5000 lb axle has brakes adequate to stop [at least] a 5000 lb load.  The problem is, the trailer axles are typically  responsible for only 80% (5W) or 90% (travel trailer) of the total trailer weight, so the tow vehicle has to handle the rest. If the tongue or pin weight is within the towing trucks cargo capacity, then the truck's brakes should have no problem doing so.  Obviously, though, if the truck is loaded the max, and the trailer as well, the brakes are going to be working hard in a panic stop and the stopping distance is going to be longer than a more lightly loaded truck & trailer.   So yes, a bigger truck, i.e. one with a greater cargo capacity and GVWR,  will probably stop it more quickly. A bigger GCWR may not.  Upgrading the axles on the trailer is another way  to get more trailer braking capacity, and it also reduces the risk of bent axles. Further, larger trailer axles can probably handle larger tires with a greater load capacity, so the tires aren't operating at max load 24/7/365.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

VallAndMo

  • ---
  • Posts: 489
  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 12:04:56 PM »
Hi Gary,

Upgrading the axles on the trailer is another way  to get more trailer braking capacity, and it also reduces the risk of bent axles.

Another interesting upgrade idea is to replace the commonly used purely-electric trailer brakes for an electric-over -hydraulic braking system like these folks did:

http://roadslesstraveled.us/trailer-electric-over-hydraulic-disc-brake-conversion-fifth-wheel-rv-upgrade/

Cheers,
--
   Vall.

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 19727
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2017, 02:09:10 PM »
There is no doubt in my mind I wound not have hit the car in front of us if we had the Tekonsha controller. Spend the money on one! It was a very easy install. It also performs much better in stop and go traffic where the other unit was applying too much current in these conditions yet not enough when I needed it most.

A friend of mine is Mr. Terry Hampton. .Mr. Hampton lives in a little town it appears I will be visiting tomorrow called Tekonsha, MI.. Yup, the town I grew up in.... Once tried (And alas failed) to date a young lady there..  her daddy.. Owned Tekonsha Engineering as I recall.

When last I looked up the company profile (Oh about 30 years ago) Terry ran it.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Lou Schneider

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7372
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2017, 03:12:43 PM »
One elephant in the room no one talks about is the way the trailer brake controller knows how hard to apply them.

When electric brakes were first developed, the brake controller was connected to the tow vehicle's brake system and energized the trailer brakes in direct proportion to how hard the driver applied the brakes.  They worked very well and provided seamless braking under all conditions, including when the vehicle is skidding on a slick surface.  I had a later version of one of these controllers, the MasterBrake and the difference between it and any of the present day brake controllers was like night and day.  You literally did not know the trailer was there while braking.

Trucks with a factory installed brake controller still work this way, reading the truck's brake pressure and sending the correct amount of current for that amount of braking to the trailer brakes.

Unfortunately, concerns about the liability of tapping into the tow vehicle's brake lines along with the introduction of dual brake circuits in the 1960s spelled the end of aftermarket controllers that responded directly to the tow vehicle brake input.

All of the present day aftermarket controllers lack direct input from the tow vehicle's brakes, so all they can do is guess at how hard to apply the trailer brakes.  They do this by various means, some by just gradually ramping up the trailer brakes based on how long the brake lights remain on, others by using a pendulum or other means to determine how hard the truck is stopping and applying the trailer brakes in proportion to the slowing.  If the truck loses traction and skids on a slick surface, there's no slowing for a proportional controller to detect so it doesn't apply the trailer brakes.

Some controllers play the guessing game better than others, but since none of them are 100% right all of the time, you can't assume the trailer never adds additional loading to the vehicle brakes.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 03:40:34 PM by Lou Schneider »

VallAndMo

  • ---
  • Posts: 489
  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2017, 05:41:44 PM »
Hi Lou,

Trucks with a factory installed brake controller still work this way, reading the truck's brake pressure and sending the correct amount of current for that amount of braking to the trailer brakes.

Thanks for this info. Do you know whether this is indeed the case for the new RAM HD trucks? We are planning about getting one with the trailer package (which includes a factory trailer brake controller) and were considering whether to get one controller-less and installing a Tekonsha instead, given its great reviews.  But if the factory-installed is so good, we might as well not bother...

Cheers,
--
   Vall & Mo.

Lou Schneider

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7372
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2017, 05:55:41 PM »
Yes, the Ram and Ford factory controllers read the brake pressure and send the appropriate amount of current to the trailer brakes.   They're way superior to any of the aftermarket controllers.

VallAndMo

  • ---
  • Posts: 489
  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2017, 06:20:43 PM »
Thanks again, Lou. We will be definitely getting the factory controller then.

grashley

  • ---
  • Posts: 3656
  • Western KY for now.
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2017, 08:28:52 PM »
Yes, the Ram and Ford factory controllers read the brake pressure and send the appropriate amount of current to the trailer brakes.   They're way superior to any of the aftermarket controllers.

Thanks,too, Lou!

I had the same question!
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Memtb

  • ---
  • Posts: 162
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2017, 08:37:29 AM »
     Lou,   I mentioned this in post #7.....this is the system we have. Our controller is a MaxBrake.
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

gwcowgill

  • ---
  • Posts: 2251
  • Retired USAF, Retired Auto Instructor Dade Cty Sch
Re: “Riddle Me This”? (Trailer braking question)
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2017, 12:03:23 PM »
Keep in mind that bad grounds, bad connections and adjustment of the brakes all affect the performance of the brakes. Otherwise, preventive maintenance is required.
2009 Bounder 36B, 2014 Honda CR-V, various grandchildren when school is out. KG4LHS
2014 Honda CRV Toad,
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Toad

 

Hosted by Over The Network