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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Truck Campers- A Word About Brakes

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Raften

Northern Calfornia

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Joined: 01/27/2003

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Posted: 09/28/04 11:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the majority of surge brakes are used on boat trailers. I recently had the use of an electric over hydraulic brakes on a boat trailer. Much more control over a big boat decending a steep grade and the boat trailer had disk brakes. As they say SWEEEEET.


'01 Dodge 3500 CTD, Lance 1121, Air Bags, Rancho 9000, All Wheels Under Power When Needed, A Few Engine Mods For Increased HP

Burning Grease, 800 ft/lbs. of torque from something you throw away.


wellsdesigned

Above the Sacramento Fog, CA

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Joined: 07/10/2002

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Posted: 09/29/04 08:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Very close except that the brake controller (at least the ones I've seen) are activated by the brake light switch rather than the master cylinder pressure sensor. Another advantage is that the controller will have a lever so the driver can manually apply the trailer brakes if the trailer starts to sway."

WL is correct for low end brake controllers. There are higher end controllers that don't rely on the brake light or the master cylinder. I tow with a Prodigy controller that has an internal inertia sensor that applies more brake power according to how the inertia of the truck is changing. It very reliably brakes accordingly to changing needs.

Solarfry

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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Joined: 04/12/2004

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Posted: 09/29/04 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lately I read topics like these and I can't help thinking to myself: "Oh, Oh! More internet paranoia" Sure are a lot of salesmen attempting to terrorize netizens into buying "safety equipment".

It seems like you should know enough to ride carefully while towing a load, hauling a heavy load or even both. specially while in rain. If you don't, you should'nt be driving..

Never had a problem stoppin my truck unless it was raining hard. Even then I know enough to slow down.

Anyway, I imagine someone will go crazy checking his brakes and stopping distance.


Quote:

Truck Campers- A Word About Brakes
Another factor to consider is that ¾ ton and more trucks were built to tow. If you look at the owner's manual, there is usually a statement to the gist of "supplemental trailer brakes are required for trailers that weight over XXX lbs". That weight takes a loaded truck into consideration and is usually going to be much greater than any camper you put on the truck ends up being greater than the cargo capacity. The understanding I get from this is that the brakes have been designed to stop the loaded truck plus the figure the manufacturer has stated. Granted, a trailer load is different on the truck and perhaps the engineers have taken the resistance of the trailer's tires into consideration, but if a camper adds 4000 lbs on your truck and the manual says you don't need supplemental trailer brakes for trailers under 2000 lbs, then the worry is less (not erased) because the cargo capacity of the truck was 2600 lbs, plus 2000 lbs capacity of the no-brakes on a trailer = 4600 lbs of stopping power. This is not a license to overload. Just an observation of again why the 80% overloaded do it for so many miles.

Regardless of what your situation is, your camper will cause you to have to drive much more carefully. Braking will require more skill and braking at curves will instantly be radically different. Take it slow at first and develop a feel for your rig, and never become over-confident.

See also:
Truck Campers- Overall Weight Basics
Truck Campers- Stepping Beyond Weight Basics
Truck Campers- Axle Weights
Truck Campers- Tires
Truck Campers- Suspension Upgrades
Truck Campers- Camper Options
Truck Campers- A Word About Brakes
Truck Campers- Towing With A Truck Camper
Truck Campers- Center of Gravity (COG)

I’ve talked about the basics, now’s the chance for specifics. Reply to this topic with your specific truck camper situation and if your new, ask questions.



04'Chev 2500HD 9200GVWR ExtCab LongBed 6L GAS tow pack
04' Lance 815, CP, AC, FF, MW, RE, ElectAtwoodjacs, loaded.
13.2mpg/w TC @ 55MPH tow'g 15' boat, 12 mpg @ 65-69 mph.
10@70mph. 8@75. Stock over 26k miles. All mileage before ethanol mandate in FL.

Solarfry

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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Joined: 04/12/2004

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Posted: 09/29/04 08:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Surge brakes are illegal in some states. You gotta have em linked to car or with separate controller. That's what I have read in boating magazines.


Quote:

I think the majority of surge brakes are used on boat trailers. I recently had the use of an electric over hydraulic brakes on a boat trailer. Much more control over a big boat decending a steep grade and the boat trailer had disk brakes. As they say SWEEEEET.


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