Jump to content

How far would you pull a trailer with no trailer brakes


alan0043

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

 

How far would you pull your trailer if you had no trailer brakes ? I don't think that my brake controller is working. How do I check the brake controller out ? I want to leave on Friday for the ECR. If I don't have trailer brakes, would you chance it ? Can someone help me with the brake controller ?

 

Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That probably makes it a Draw-Tite, basic proportional controller.

 

The simplest test is to put a voltmeter on the Blue out of the controller and apply the Manual button. If you read voltage, then the controller, at least in the manual mode, is working.

 

If the controller is working them work back. Check for voltage at the trailer umbilical cord Blue wire. Then at the brakes.

 

It is easy for a broken wire to give you no brakes in the trailer.

 

As far as a controller, there is an article on those in the Resource Guide.

 

As far as towing. You truck has the stopping power for the rig but the distances will be longer. But running without =trailer brakes is very risky. You trailer weight is approaching your truck weight. In a straight line, truck only brakes aren't too bad but if the trailer is off at an angle to the truck, it will be easy for the trailer to push the rear end of the truck.

 

I lost my trailer brake hydraulics a couple of years back and finished the leg of the trip to get to an area where I could get them repaired, about a 100 miles. It was a very tense time. I kept the speed very low. If at all possible, I would fix your brakes before leaving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would depend totally on the traffic and terrain. AUS outback...brakes, whats them? Joking aside, are you running thru mountains? All Interstate? Lots of little towns? You would probably be fine...the problem is you can't tell when that last little extra bit will be needed. (Although with a basic controller you might find it hasn't been doing much anyway....thats what I discovered after I put in a MAxbrake.

 

Seriously--do the tests. Just unplug the trailer and measure the brake pin to ground on the truck plug while somebody holds the manual slide over. You should have 6-12V depending on the controller. Then work forward or back. OH--measure to both chassis ground AND the ground pin to make sure the ground wire is good, as well.

 

Borrowed a car hauler the other day---plugged it in and smoke started rising from near the left rear axle. After some investigation I found that A) the brake wire on the trailer was run to the 12V charge wire in the plug, B ) no brake coils were attached to the wiring anymore, and C) the brake feed wire had been wire nutted to the ground wire. I cooked about 12" of wire.... I ended up darn near rewiring the whole trailer to get rid of all the poor (scotchlocks) connections before the brakes and lights would all work. I was pulling it with the LDT, though, so no way was I going without brakes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were me, I'd only tow the trailer as far as a service shop if you can't fix it yourself. I don't think you could reasonably or reliably stop the rig on a slightly oil filmed road/intersection when it's raining or recently rained, straight line or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't need them brakes.....LOL, just watch the trafic flow and weather conditions. Myself I went all summer a few years back with just one wheel with power. That was towing with my F250. I think I did about 4000 miles that year, Home (Windsor, Ontario)to Crossville then general camping around home ,then home to Marathon, Ontario. Both through mountain ranges. I had a broken wire on the trailer, cut power to all but the front driver wheel. I found the issue at the end of that season. Ignorance is some times scary. I would do that hook up and tug , I would feel that one wheel grab, just thought I had crappy trailer brakes.

Ralf, {honeagle} lost his brakes last year, we figured that one out on the way home from Marathon, Ontario. He had the Volvo, I dont think he even really noticed any stopping distance issues. Just watch the weather, wet roads need more caution.

Get to the rally and we all may be able to come up with a fix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone,

 

I think that I have a broken wire or butt connector that came apart. How to I test the wires coming from the controller ? What color wire gives me 12 volts ? Also what color wire is ground ? I can unplug the controller and get to the plug. Can I do test at the plug ?

 

Thanks guys for the help,

Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone,

 

I believe I have good news. I found two butt connectors that pulled apart. I replace the connectors with new ones for right now. After the ECR I will re-do the job with soldier and shrink tubing. The controller seems to be responding.

 

Thanks to everyone for your help,

Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had three times where the trailer brakes failed. Twice it was my own fault, and the last it was in Alaska. A crimp had failed on a ground wire inside the Jackalopee. It was discovered when a mechanic went to unplug the wire and his hand slipped, and he pulled the wire out of the terminal. Use quality terminals and a good crimping tool.

 

That particular terminal (slightly undersized) was one I grabbed out my wiring assortment, which had been "re-stocked" by my dad, who bought supplies at Harbor Freight. I went through the assortment and pitched all those.

 

BTW, all three times I ran without trailer brakes, I didn't notice it until I did a "tug" test. These trucks are great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I no need no stinkn' brakes with HDT"

 

I've pulled with no trailer brakes for years (at various times). I have BluDot air over hydraulics but the brakes themselves need a major rebuild (age, etc.). Since I don't pull that often anymore (living in Paradise full time now) fixing the brakes moved way down in priorities. Last year I pulled 1,600 miles up (to National Rally) and 1,600 miles back with no RV brakes, truck stops everything fine.

One bit of caution, in the rain things can get dicey (rig will want to come around the truck) if you try to brake hard.So I just build a bigger distance from the guy in front of me in the rain. My fifth is 40 feet long and weighs 22,500 pounds loaded, three axles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had our trailer brakes fail on us once. It was white knuckle driving for sure. I would drive it just far enough to get to a repair shop.

Three white knuckle situations, twice bad controller, once braking system going south. All three times pulling the fifth with a pickup.

With HDT under the fifth wheel hitch, no sweat!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were only pulling a pop up and (theoretically) had *plenty* of towing capacity. That's when I learned the difference between "towing" capacity and "stopping" capacity. Once was enough, we now have plent of both, even if the trailer brakes go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were only pulling a pop up and (theoretically) had *plenty* of towing capacity. That's when I learned the difference between "towing" capacity and "stopping" capacity. Once was enough, we now have plent of both, even if the trailer brakes go.

The pickup peddlers like to talk about "towing capacity" because those are testosterone conversations. Stopping capacity discussions bring up needs for Depends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We, ummm, ahhh, only have 3 working brakes right now. If the ground in Crossville is a little drier than southern Mississippi, then I'll try to get 4 working again!

I have pulled with none to all working with a Pick-em-up. Not ever doing that again. With the Volvo, I have to be careful when I do the pull test otherwise I can just drag the camper along.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best way to KNOW that your trailer brakes are getting a signal to work is with a DC clamp-on amp meter. Clamp it around the blue wire at the controller. Set the adjust to maximum. Slide the manual over-ride switch and the amperage will vary from 0-about 11.5 amps. Then mash the brake pedal and insure you get something. It is difficult to say what that might be while the truck is sitting still but it should read something.

 

Dexter says each magnet will pull 3 amps at 12.4 Volts DC applied. 4 magnets=12 amps However, wiring and connection resistance will usually only allow the maximum amperage to get to in the mid-11 amp range.

 

I might add here, too, that having DC voltage on the blue wire does not mean you have a complete circuit to draw amps. If there is an open in the wiring, trailer connector, or bad magnets you will see DC Volts but no amperage. On the flip side, if the blue wire is shorted to ground somewhere along the path, you will see a lot of amps for a short period of time. <_<

 

It is a good idea to get a baseline on your brake circuit with an amp meter and then check it periodically. If you loose a magnet, the current will drop by 1/4. Bad connections or poor trailer connector will show up as lower amp draw. If you have problems, you can do a quick check to see if it is the truck or trailer. Disconnect the trailer connector, clamp the meter around either (but only one) of the two wires on the emergency brake-away switch and pull the pin. This applies the trailer's house battery directly to the brakes. You should read around 11.4 amps (assuming the trailer batteries are good).

 

Another good idea (unless you have a MaxBrake controller which I understand has one built-in) is to connect a DC amp meter directly in line (series) with the blue wire on the controller. Then every time you hit the brakes you can tell if your system has a complete circuit to work through and how well it is. The amp meters that read from 0-15 amps are really inexpensive.

 

I had intended to do a "show and tell" at the ECR but had to cancel due to some recent health issues. Sorry I am going to miss the event.

 

Chet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my last trip, the trailer plug had worked its way loose (meaning I had no trailer brakes). The only thing that I noticed was I had to apply a little more pedal pressure to stop the rig. I drove down the El Cajon pass at 45 mph on the jake brake. For you non California residents, the El Cajon is long and steep, with a mandatory 45mph for trucks. When I turned the lights on, I noticed that the trailer did not have running lights. And, then I realized that I had no trailer brakes. :o

 

Had I been in my Ford F550, I would have been looking for the run away sand trap and then the nearest ER.

 

I would never recommend driving without trailer brakes. However, after that experience, I am confident that I could safely stop my rig, without trailer brakes.

 

I am so thankful that I stumbled upon this website and bought an HDT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The pickup peddlers like to talk about "towing capacity" because those are testosterone conversations. Stopping capacity discussions bring up needs for Depends.

 

:lol: We nearly had a Depends moment once upon a California downgrade, in the winter darkness, when the DEB's* had a failure...

 

HDT planning began over coffee the next day. MaxBrake unit had failed.

 

*Damnphool electric brakes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For elec brakes a real quick test to see if you are getting power to each wheel, take a compass by the wheel and apply brakes. It will deflect. Heard this from a trusted RV tech.

 

When we had elec brakes on a fiver 10 years ago, had a few things go on....one was new trailer, brakes were not adjusted from factory or dealer. Way out! Then later only one wheel had brakes...was a Yahoo moment in the Chevy seat! After all sorts of T/S found wires inside axle chaffed to bare and shorting to tube inside. They just swing back and forth inside and wear. Had to pull them out to see after nothing else was wrong. Rewired to Outside the tube! All was good again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sibernut beat me to the punch. After an accident and authorities did an inspection on truck/trailer, they come to you and say do you know your brakes are not working?? What are you going to say, Yes but... Wonder if insurance would walk away from you hanging you out to dry??

I'd make a B line for the closest reputable tire/brake shop and not move until repairs were completed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...