Is a Brake controller required for towing a vehicle on a trailer? - Nissan Titan Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 08:21 AM
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Is a Brake controller required for towing a vehicle on a trailer?

If we rented a car hauler from Uhaul or somewhere else, is it required to have a brake controller or not?

The car would be a 3800 lb 99 Camaro Z28. I would be towing it from SA to Houston, tx for tuning after the blower is installed.


I noticed the brake controllers are around 100 bucks, and didn't expect to spend that much right now.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 08:54 AM
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A lot of those U-haul trailers have surge brakes built on ...

But .... when your total trailer weight starts getting up about 5000 ... I sure think it's a good idea to have brakes on the trailer ....

Why don't ya give U-haul a call and find out how their trailers are set up ...

They are NOTORIUS for non-standard trailer wiring ... making you buy special harnesses, adapters, etc.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 09:22 AM
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I got a Drawtite E-Controller listed below in my sig.......it was $80...and is digital.....I was about to get the digital Tekonsha for about $150 and thought I would give this one a try. So far no regrets. Have you checked your tow running light relays yet???
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mincarelli
I got a Drawtite E-Controller listed below in my sig.......it was $80...and is digital.....I was about to get the digital Tekonsha for about $150 and thought I would give this one a try. So far no regrets. Have you checked your tow running light relays yet???
Peace-Tom
I pull a jetski currently and the relays and wiring all work.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 10:52 AM
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If you decide to get a brake controller ...

And you want the Tekonsha Prodigy ...

http://www.rvwholesalers.com/catalog/home.php has them as cheap as I've seen them ....

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 05:13 PM
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The Uhaul trailer weighs 1000# by itself. You can't tow 5000lbs without trailer brakes. That would be insane. You'd be stopping two titans with one set of titan brakes. That would be a good way to boil brake fluid and lose all brakes. $100 is cheap in comparison. I think its a law in most states to have trailer brakes for over 1000#, but I dont know how it would be enforced.

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terceltundra
...but I dont know how it would be enforced.
By the "Trailer Brake Police" ... of course ...

They hang out with the "No Smoking Police" and the "Don't Tear The Tag Off Of The Matress Police" ...

LOL ....

Seriously though ....

The limits are published here ....

http://www.drawtite-hitches.com/towbars/laws.html

For Texas ... it's 4500# ... so you're either gonna have to get a brake controller ... or tie a few helium balloons to the corners ....

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 06:18 PM
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More stopping power

You could most likely could get by with not using one on the highway, but plan your trip so you won,t be driving in heavy Houston traffic.

If you were to but one, I would recommend the Tekonsha Prodigy version 4.
They have the best electronic sensing and you mount them in a position.
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 06:48 PM
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Geez ... Surge brakes= no electric brake controller

okay
surge brake equiped trailor do not need electric brake controller's.
most u-haul trailors have surge brakes, when you step on your brakes the weight of the trailor moves forward against a acuator applying pressure to the master cylinder on the trailor which activates the hydrolic brakes on the trailor, they will work fine,

just be sure to take some time to get use to how they react. and if you are towing down a long down hill a brake softly they will not apply them selves, just give you truck brakes a quick jab to setup the surge brakes, it will help keep your truck brakes from over heating on a steep or long down hill.

electric brakes need a controller, they use electro-magnets to apply the brake shoes, IMO they are far better to tow with than Surge brake because you can adjust them to your needs. and on slippery conditions you can slow the trailor down to avoid jack-knifing

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Last edited by 4x4creature; 01-15-2005 at 06:55 PM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 08:06 PM
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I have towed using the Uhaul car transport several times and it works well - what it does take is some planning. So that means if you're on the interstate, stay a good distance behind the guy in front of you so that you don't have to slam on the brakes. If you're going to go down a steep hill and pick up speed, downshift and let the drivetrain do the braking for you. If you live in the mountains like I do, drivetrain braking is a way of life. I can't count how many cars I have seen with brakes smoking & burned out on my way to work every day because they're riding the brakes coming down 11 miles of mountaintop.

You might not have many problems even on hills with the Titan because it's not that aerodynamic; I usually have to give it a bit of gas here and there coming off the mountain to keep speed, whereas with my Buick it'll go 100mph if I let it without stepping on the gas.
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