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Old 09-09-2016, 05:30 PM   #1
Rich and Kat
 
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Any reason to add an aftermarket brake controller ...

... to a new (2016 RAM 3500)? I saw the sticky Patrick posted about the 2013 Ram not being compatible with aftermarket controllers... But I was wondering if there was any reason to add an aftermarket controller if already equipped with an on-board controller in a late-model TV.

All the talk in a different thread about panic-hitting the trailer brakes to straighten out a fish got me to wondering if anyone has thought enough to add a "remote" brake on the steering wheel or otherwise...?

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:37 PM   #2
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I find that the on-board controller on my 2015 Ram 2500 works great. See no need to modify/add anything.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:46 PM   #3
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Rich your OEM controller should have a manual control to enable engaging the trailer brakes in a sway situation, assuming one has the presence of mind to reach down, find the manual control (ours is L/R slide button), and apply it before instinctively hitting the tow vehicle brakes. I try to use the manual control briefly quite often just to train my body to know where it is automatically. This retraining process is difficult I find after decades of driving without a trailer most of the time.

A location on the steering wheel would be closer, but I have not seen any systems set up for this, and adding an aftermarket controller like this -- into the rolling computer that most modern tow vehicles are -- would be difficult IMO.

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
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Why add another if your OEM one is working?
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:57 PM   #5
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The location and function of the factory controller on the new rams trucks is better than any aftermarket controller. There is no reason to change it.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:14 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I just didn't know any better ... I just wondered if the aftermarket controllers added any value beyond my integrated controller, which has fully adjustable gain, as well as a slider to manually engage the TT's brakes. Don't need one! Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:20 PM   #7
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Brake controllers and their proper usage.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by riffin-rich View Post
... to a new (2016 RAM 3500)? I saw the sticky Patrick posted about the 2013 Ram not being compatible with aftermarket controllers... But I was wondering if there was any reason to add an aftermarket controller if already equipped with an on-board controller in a late-model TV.

All the talk in a different thread about panic-hitting the trailer brakes to straighten out a fish got me to wondering if anyone has thought enough to add a "remote" brake on the steering wheel or otherwise...?

Thanks,
Rich


Rich:

The last four tow vehicles I had were all equipped with a full-fledged operational-with-a-slight-adjustment-setup factory controller, and all of them were (are) essentially the same operation.

The second comment has to do with what I sincerely hope was a shot in the dark by someone when they apparently spoke to the topic of "panic-hitting the trailer brakes to straighten out a fish ("tail", I assume?)". That it a mental/physical conundrum, if one considers the situation(s). Whenever there is a potential jack-knife, I'd be willing to bet that there are VERY few drivers who have the skill or training to do this maneuver in a "panic" situation and make use of trailer-only braking on the fly. If they were able to do that, I don't think they were in a panic. I have been in situations where I anticipated a possibility of some sort of braking problem and placed my right hand thumb and forefinger on the controls in order to prepare to squeeze deliberately for some trailer control but that's prior planning, NOT a "panic". In one memorable occasion that I spoke of in this forum, coming down Raton Pass, I got into a situation at about 40-45 MPH where oscillations started (bad wind gusts, about 4 or 5 of them). Trust me, I *KNEW* where the trailer brake control was, but I couldn't find it, being somewhat involved in the more important problem of steering to stay on the road. All I needed to do was to put just a little drag into the situation, and all would have been okay, and I couldn't find it. I lost both TV and trailer, totaled 'em both when they rolled. Actually, the TV rolled twice, but the AS just laid on its side and more or less deflated.

My first trailer/trailer brake controller setup was one in a case that was banded with hose clamps to the steering column, and had a stainless steel pressure tube that came off the brake reservoir on the engine side of the firewall and run to the controller case. Brake pedal pressure was taken into the controller where a hydraulic cylinder attached to a rheostat produced more or less voltage for the trailer brakes. There was a 6-8" rod that came out of the controller case that could be operated by pushing the rod with your right knee, and operate the trailer brakes independently of the brake pedal, while still pushing in the accelerator.

The factory stuff works better.


Kent
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent M View Post
Rich: ...
... The factory stuff works better.
Kent Houston
Kent, thanks so much for sharing your experience and comments. Sorry to hear about your previous TV/TT loss ... Hope you all came out of it unscathed. Good info to know. No wondering why manufacturers don't add remotes or a third pedal or something on the wheel to activate the brakes in a high stress situation... Anyway, thanks again for sharing. Take care, Rich
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:11 PM   #9
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The reports on the 2013 RAMs was basically the controller did not work. Add an aftermarket. Easy enough to test the operation with your Classic.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riffin-rich View Post
... to a new (2016 RAM 3500)? I saw the sticky Patrick posted about the 2013 Ram not being compatible with aftermarket controllers... But I was wondering if there was any reason to add an aftermarket controller if already equipped with an on-board controller in a late-model TV.

All the talk in a different thread about panic-hitting the trailer brakes to straighten out a fish got me to wondering if anyone has thought enough to add a "remote" brake on the steering wheel or otherwise...?

Thanks,
Rich
...you can always buy better if you want to spend the money.

Try it, see if it works to your satisfaction.

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Old 09-10-2016, 09:50 PM   #11
Rich and Kat
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
...you can always buy better if you want to spend the money. Try it, see if it works to your satisfaction. Bob
Thanks Bob. So, what's the difference then? My integrated trailer has user-set gain control from the computer ... I can adjust it on the fly, while the brake controller has the slider to adjust output to the TT brakes. What features constitute "better" and why "spend the money" to improve what I already have? Sorry in advance if these are elementary questions...

Thanks,
Rich
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