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brake controller


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I just purchased a new to me international prostar and it does not have an electric brake control unit.  My Freightliner has a Tekonsha P2 which I have been pretty happy with, however I am wondering if there is something better out there people are using.  I am sort of eyeing the Hays air actuated trailer brake control, https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Hayes/HA100400C.html Mainly because they only offer one other controller ton etrailer, made by warner. That unit is twice the price and they say it is not compatible with electric over hydraulic brakes(which I have). is there a better option out there? Where does one go to plumb this into the truck? I would assume on the back side of the brake pedal would be the easiest, or am i mistaken?

 

Thanks for your help

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5 hours ago, ARGO said:

Did a side-by-side test of 3 controllers, Hayes was faster response. However, it's not nearly as good/quick as Bludot.

Argo - is the Bluedot all electric? i.e. does it apply trailer brakes before the tractor air brakes take up?

What I like about the Hayes is the tractor and trailer act like air brakes...kinda...

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 

 

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Not Argo, but nothing is electrical about Bludot. It is simply air over hydraulics. You mash brake pedal and trailer brakes apply. No lag, and truck is made to do this, sweet set up.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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I have the old MaxBrake which is similar to the Hayes and works well for me but when it dies will probably go to DirecLink.  To me it seems more versatile.  BlueDot is an excellent system, but anyone pulling your trailer for you in an emergency situation has to have glad hands to utilize it.  Prodigy just in my opinion not as capable as the others.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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I have had two Hayes controllers.  The first was as simple as they can get, a wire-wound resistor with a slide to pick off voltage.  Sounds good but mine was so erratic it was not reliable.  Cleaning and checking bolts did not help. Then I found out that the Hayes had been upgraded to an electronic controller.  Works much better.  I have a voltage/current monitor on the blue wire for the brakes.  The current going to the drum electric brakes was a match to the voltage being sent. 13.1 volts send, 13.1 amps out.  Sweet. That was reasonable since the 4 magnets in parallel presented 1 ohm resistance. 

Then I went to electric over hydraulic disc brakes by Dexter on the 5er.  The Dexter hydraulic control box took only .8 (yes, eight tenths) of an amp to lock up the tires.  However, the Hayes controller could not be limited to that low of amperage.  I had to put in a mechanical limiter to keep the Hayes  from giving the Dexter control box more than .8 amps.  That consists of a small block of wood taped to the manual override knob. 

This is why "House" said the Hayes is not compatible with disc brakes.  It is working for now but I don't like it.

Chet & Deb
'01 Volvo 660 w/ Smart
'19 Forest River Columbus 320RS 5th wheel
2022 Chev 2500HD Long Bed
Retired CWO4, USN and federal service
Electronics Tech/Network Engineer/Welder/Machinist

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I went wireless and picked up the Curt Echo Bluetooth brake controller. I have not used it in the truck yet. I did pull a car trailer 2,000 miles with the wife's Tahoe and it worked great.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Controller/Curt/C51180.html?msclkid=4876a3ee365910d0e163ff95e8a22ab6&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shop - Brake Controller - RLSA&utm_term=4577679224990887&utm_content=Curt#/

 

Farmer, Trucker, Equipment operator, Mechanic

Quando omni flunkus moritati-When all else fails, play dead
I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.

 

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Direclink - works great with my electric over hydraulic system.  Great people to work with - they provided me with a prototype cable (newer Volvo with square OBD port) and we worked through the bugs - could not be more happier.

 

Mark

2014 HDT Volvo 780 "Baby Bird"
2016 Smart Car "Baby Bird Turd" - on the back
2020 Momentum 376THS
We're both proud USAF Retirees...

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We're wireless too,,,Blu-Dot.  After several events where my trailer brakes failed, for various reasons, I switched, and couldn't be happier.

As to the point that you can't find someone to tow your trailer with Blu-Dot, I contend there are many more big trucks looking for work, than little trucks.  If we have a major truck issue half way across the country, I can hire a trucker, grab the Jackalopee and put it under the trailer nose, and be rolling in little time.

KW T-680, POPEMOBILE
Newmar X-Aire, VATICAN
Lots of old motorcycles, Moto Guzzi Griso and Spyder F3 currently in the front row
Young enough to play in the dirt as a retired farmer.
contact me at rickeieio1@comcast.net

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26 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

We're wireless too,,,Blu-Dot.  After several events where my trailer brakes failed, for various reasons, I switched, and couldn't be happier.

As to the point that you can't find someone to tow your trailer with Blu-Dot, I contend there are many more big trucks looking for work, than little trucks.  If we have a major truck issue half way across the country, I can hire a trucker, grab the Jackalopee and put it under the trailer nose, and be rolling in little time.

Rick,

You are correct about the truckers.  I should explain further.  My comment was directed towards fellow HDT RVers since most of the time we will “volunteer “ to help our friends and move each other’s trailers.  Most of us have removed our glad hands.  I recall one of our “family” whose trailer was moved cross country from east to west coast when he became ill.  In fact if memory serves you were one of the folks who offered to help in that caravan along with Roger. 😊   BTW I’m not dissing BlueDot.  Just think DirecLink is more versatile.

Edited by SuiteSuccess

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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Good points Carl.  Yes, I hadn't factored in the generous nature of our fold.  That does change things.

It's funny this is being discussed, as Jeff Brett and I were just talking about it yesterday.

Most of our trucks could have glad hands installed in an hour or two.  It would likely be temporary, but safe and functional.  My Jackalopee is wired so as to be able to move to another truck in a few minutes.

I don't see a perfect solution, but am trying to cover the possibility that I may need, or offer, assistance.

KW T-680, POPEMOBILE
Newmar X-Aire, VATICAN
Lots of old motorcycles, Moto Guzzi Griso and Spyder F3 currently in the front row
Young enough to play in the dirt as a retired farmer.
contact me at rickeieio1@comcast.net

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Well, if you dump the air in the emergency tank on the trailer, anyone can move it. But no brakes. Enough to get you to a safe place, repair shop, etc.

And BTW, if you have Bludot & disc brakes like I do, you should be dumping the air as soon as you disconnect, calipers don't like that long term pressure.

You'd have to see the movie to understand..........

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I have to say, one of my goals is to get all my trailers set up so I can move them with a Penske Truck, after getting stranded 150 miles north of Albuquerque this January.  But i am on the fence about going to blue dot because you take the possibility of using a pickup out of the mix, and I would have to set my second truck up for air brakes. 

One of my trailers go stuck on the side of the road for 3 days until I found a kind soul with a pickup and a flatbed truck to move it for me.  Something I Want to be more prepared for in the future.

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On 3/13/2019 at 7:16 AM, rickeieio said:

As to the point that you can't find someone to tow your trailer with Blu-Dot, I contend there are many more big trucks looking for work, than little trucks. 

Rick, I know someone here that converted to Bludot. I asked if he kept his electric controller, too. He replied that he had not. Well, if I break down I can't call him to come get my trailer. I have (only on 1 occasion) experienced the need to pull a smaller, bumper pull, travel trailer. If I ever convert to Bludot, I will make sure to leave the electronic controller in place. Did you keep yours?

Edited by Big5er

MY PEOPLE SKILLS ARE JUST FINE.
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2005 Volvo 780 VED12 465hp / Freedomline transmission
singled mid position / Bed by Larry Herrin
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Have to admit, I kept it.  It would take perhaps 15 minutes to put it back in the truck, as I left most of the wiring in place.

There are plenty of reasons to go one way v. another.  It all boils down to what we think we might encounter.

KW T-680, POPEMOBILE
Newmar X-Aire, VATICAN
Lots of old motorcycles, Moto Guzzi Griso and Spyder F3 currently in the front row
Young enough to play in the dirt as a retired farmer.
contact me at rickeieio1@comcast.net

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Hit the brakes!

It looks like a Bludot brake system is not a “controller” it’s a brake system for trailers that  doesn’t need a “contoller” beyond a normal trailer air brake controls (aka trolley valve, Johnson bar, the spike, company jake).  In other words nothing needs to be done to the truck to hook up to one? 

So a towmobile should be able to have both electric trailer brake controller and pull eith Bludot  trailers or electric brake trailers?

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 

 

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Sure, you could leave both in there. But once you have Bludot, you won't go back. Besides, that won't help anybody towing YOUR trailer.  I kept my Carlisle electric/hydraulic brake system if anyone ever wants to buy my trailer. But after several times of ("GAWD, are the brakes EVER going to come on?"), I had had enough. My trailer is easily 22K dry, and it takes some stopping.( I might note I have full disc brakes on the trailer, which are not "self energizing" on the leading shoe like drums. ) A lag time of a couple of seconds seems like an eternity to someone used to driving professional.

I had had enough

You'd have to see the movie to understand..........

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