Trailer Brake Controllers

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by SHINTON, Aug 1, 2005.


    SHINTON Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Triad area of NC
    Ok, last weekend was my first ever experience with a brake controller and wanted to ask some folks here about what I 'should' expect, etc.

    Quickly, the tow rig is the Excursion, it has a REESE brand aftermarket brake controller wired in. (I am assuming it is a "solid state" via the FAQ I linked below) The camper is a 1978 travel trailer by Winnebago, no idea how much it weighs, brakes looked good when they repacked bearings before the trip, etc.

    I started off VERY slowly around the neighborhood, and used the "wheel" on the controller to start the brakes at zero and worked up until I found the 'right' amount of braking for my situation. (Scale is 0 to 10) For me, 5.5 or 6.0 seems just about right, camper stops itself without feeling like it is pushing me or anything.

    HOWEVER...when pressing the brakes, the controller seems to go VERY quickly from zero to 6.0..."in theory" I think it is supposed to be controlled by inertia/"how much brake" I am applying or something is that right?

    Related to the above...when sitting in stop/go traffic into Myrtle, only moving say 5mph or less, if I applied my brake, it was applying the FULL 6.0 pretty quickly and thus the brakes on the camper were "groaning"

    Basically what I figured out was in "stop/go" I need to set the controller down to a max of 3.5ish to keep the camper brakes from groaning...but probably means very little is being applies/really using the Excursion brakes at that pt?

    The "issue" is, what if you forget to reset the brakes to 6.0 after getting out of stop/go traffic...and thus the next time you need em they are not applying what you really need/desire.

    So...after reading that this pretty much the "standard problem" with brake controllers...or, maybe one of those Tekonsha PRODIGY (inertia activated) models will help with the braking under slow speeds vs high, etc?

    Thanks in advance for the help! (We are going to rewire the trailer I tow the Jeep on soon so this is all good info!)

    Sam Hinton
  2. Caver Dave

    Caver Dave Just holdin' it down here in BFV Moderator

    Mar 10, 2005
    Hooterville (24171)
    Sounds like you may to double check your controller for additional controls! Mine has 2 controls... one for what your describing on a 1-10 scale (power) and a second control that determines when it happens (level). These are commonly refered to as "hard" & "soft" controls.

    If you only have the hard control, it might be time another controller. FWIW, I have a Tekonsha Voyager (I think Rich has this also) and it works good.

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