Travel Trailer Brakes

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Jorgeoliva

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This forum is great for us newbie still shopping for my TT now for the million dollar question do travel trailer comes with brakes and if so my Ram 1500 3.6 VVT does not have the towing package it does have a hitch the plugs on the back to plug in the lights it has the Tow/Haul button in my dash  but do I need a brake system installed is it 100% require. I know it sounds like a dumb question but were new soon to be TT owners 
 

darsben

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Depending on the state trailer over a certain weight MUST have brakes. Most travel trailers fall into the MUST HAVE category.
Brake controllers can be purchased aftermarket or a RAM dealer may be able  to install a factory controller..
It is the law to have trailer brakes functioning
 

SpencerPJ

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Hmm, if you have the Tow/Haul button, you might have a tow package.  I'd write down your VIN# and do some research, I'd guess Dodge has a # you could call, I know GMC has a website and you can get a free complete breakdown on your vehicle.  As said, most TT nowdays have brakes.  You might need to purchase a $100 brake controller that will probably plug into a spot on your fuse box, and yes, you need brakes.. lol  Check out a website etrailer.com, tons of information and videos.  You are a smart man, research then buy. 
 

Back2PA

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spencerpj said:
Hmm, if you have the Tow/Haul button, you might have a tow package.  I'd write down your VIN# and do some research


You can probably go to the service department of most Chrysler dealers with your VIN and they will be able to tell you if you have the tow package.


Be careful selecting a trailer so you don?t exceed the max hitch weight, the max towing weight or the max combined vehicle weight.
 

Back2PA

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Looks like you do have a towing package. Now you just have to shop within the weight limits mentioned above
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Short answer: Yes, any travel trailer you get will have brakes, usually electric (as opposed to hydraulic brakes in the Ram).  It is legally required throughout the USA and Canada.

You need to have an electric brake controller in the Ram to operate the trailer brakes. Your Ram has a tow package, so it's possible it is already equipped with one. Some pick-ups have them from the factory, but I don't see any mention of it on the 2018 Ram pickup tow package description (online).  You would probably see its controls & display on the dash if you had one.  You can add the Dodge Ram controller or an aftermarket model for around $150-$300 (plus labor if you cannot DIY).
 

Jorgeoliva

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ok now that we have the tow package how does it work when I plug my truck into the trailer when I hit the brakes does that actuates the trailer brakes to
 

Back2PA

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Jorgeoliva said:
ok now that we have the tow package how does it work when I plug my truck into the trailer when I hit the brakes does that actuates the trailer brakes to

As Gary said, IF your tow package includes a trailer brake controller the answer is yes. If you don't have a trailer brake controller, you will have to purchase either the Dodge version or an aftermarket version
 

SpencerPJ

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Sun2Retire said:
As Gary said, IF your tow package includes a trailer brake controller the answer is yes. If you don't have a trailer brake controller, you will have to purchase either the Dodge version or an aftermarket version

Here is a video that helps explain how aftermarket trailer brake controller works.  Decent job explaining. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lrnRV4u5-g
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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Your owner's manual for your 2016 Ram 1500 discusses the optional trailer brake controller and how it's used on page 711.  There is also a picture to show you what it looks like and where it's located on the dashboard if you have it.  If you don't have your owner's manual, a Google search for "2016 Ram 1500 Owner's Manual" will take you to an online pdf version.

If you don't have a factory controller, you will need to add an aftermarket one from someone like Etrailer.com:

https://www.etrailer.com/

It's often possible to get a kit that will allow the aftermarket controller to plug right in to the factory wiring where the factory one would have hooked up.  Ask about that if you need to order one.

 

Jorgeoliva

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Ok back at the computer I do not have the controller on the dash so looks like were going to buy one. on the controller I see it has + and - what are those use for sorry for all the dumb question but this is our first TT and I want to have all the facts crossed out before we buy a TT
 

Lowell

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+ increses Trailer braking, - decreases trailer braking.  When I go get my TT out of storage, I drive at about 30 mph on a side street and apply my brakes. If it doesn't slow down  as much as the truck does without the TT, I push + and try it again. If i feel that the TT is dragging too much with the brakes applied, I push the -.  I like to get my brake controller set such that the braking is about the same with the TT hooked as when it is not.  Having a bit more braking on the TT is not a bad thing,  You don't want the TT pushing the tow vehicle.
 

grashley

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To answer your specific questions:

Yes, any Travel Trailer should have electric actuated brakes.  Brakes are required by law in almost all states, but the weight where they are required varies.  COMMON SENSE AND BASIC PHYSICS BOTH REQUIRE BRAKES.

A Trailer Brake Controller (TBC) is needed to use those brakes.  It is usually prewired in the truck.  Once installed and adjusted, applying the truck brakes will apply the trailer brakes.  Also, the TBC allows you to apply trailer brakes only.

The + and - buttons are for adjusting the controller sensitivity.  You want the truck brakes to apply your trailer brakes firmly without locking up.
 

Jorgeoliva

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looks like were going with this after market model was doing research on how much a dealer charges to install and just the module for a ram 1500 cost over $250 and installation runs about $350 plus the cost to flash the truck computer.... wow the after market looks simple plug and go and its only $140.00 does anyone have this Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller and are they any good.
 

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Koodog

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Jorgeoliva said:
looks like were going with this after market model was doing research on how much a dealer charges to install and just the module for a ram 1500 cost over $250 and installation runs about $350 plus the cost to flash the truck computer.... wow the after market looks simple plug and go and its only $140.00 does anyone have this Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller and are they any good.
I currently have the prodigy P3 and have actually had several. Darn good brake controller. Check under your dash for a brake controller connector. (it will have a large blue wire on it)My Honda ridgeline had one and all I had to do was mount controller and plug in. Wiring connector for the truck to the prodigy was easily purchased on Amazon.
I'm not sure where your getting your info, but there is no reason to have to flash the truck computer.
 

Jorgeoliva

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Miami Florida
When I talked about flashing the computer if you install a original ram module after installation they need to flash the cars computer so in the display your towing package info shows up unfortunately  ram dealer charge to much its understandable seeing that they have to take the center console apart to install this unit so were doing with the prodigy more simple and I like the idea that's a plug and play unit 
 

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