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Old 08-07-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
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2016 30' Classic
Bokeelia , Florida
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WD Hitch and Brake Controller question

So we picked up our trailer from the dealer yesterday a used 2016 Classic. We have a Blue Ox hitch and I was told if I have to do some serious backing up to get in to a site or my drive I should do the following.....
Zero out my brake controller to save on the trailer brakes and the brake components and take my bars off the hitch as I could damage the hitch components.
Any thoughts or opinions?

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Old 08-07-2016, 04:46 PM   #2
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I have never done either. I do not have a Blue Ox hitch or self adjusting brakes. But the Blue-Ox adds specifically say you do not need to disconnect anything to back up with their hitch. I have seen people back with them and it worked fine.

I back up about 120 yards every time I park the trailer at home and have noticed no ill effects. No grabbing of the brakes. Not even sure they come on. Certainly not the inertia controlled proportional part of the braking. How much can a brake wear at 3 miles an hour?

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Old 08-07-2016, 05:16 PM   #3
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2015 30' Flying Cloud
Gautier , Mississippi
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I use a Blue Ox Sway Pro and have never disconnected the wd bars for backing. Depending on how steep your driveway (curb?) is and how much your tow vehicle drops when the bars are removed the hitch could possibly scrape.
I have never been advised to zero the brake controller the Airstream or any other rv.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:15 PM   #4
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There's absolutely no reason to zero the brake controller while backing up.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:16 PM   #5
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Venice , Florida
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Sounds like you got some bad advise. I've set my brake controller a couple times to see how it felt while towing, once finally set I've never adjusted it. Most if not all WD Hitch set ups don't need to be disconnected for backing up. You will not damage your trailer, hitch or brake controller by backing up. Enjoy your Classic.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:09 AM   #6
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Dunkirk , Maryland
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I have a Blue Ox and have no prolegs with leaving it connected while backing
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:19 PM   #7
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Santa Rosa , California
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I use Blue Ox with my 30 ft Classic, and did so with a 20 ft Flying Cloud. You received BAD advice IMHO. Once your brake controller settings are made, you shouldn't have to touch them again, and I see no value in setting them to zero when backing up.

The only reason I could imagine to remove the WD bars when backing up would be if they drag on the ground due to a sudden, sharp incline (e.g., at the driveway/site-pad entrance). This has only occurred once in my two years and 15000 miles of AS travel. I simply retried the site-pad approach at a different angle and did not have to remove the WD bars after all.
Happy Trails,
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:08 PM   #8
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I have never heard that.
I have never done that.
I don't think you have to do that.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:47 PM   #9
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Woodinville , Washington
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I have an AS27 with a Blue Ox hitch, and it backs perfectly fine with the brake controller set at 8.0 (out of 10) and with the Blue Ox connected. No problems at all.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:19 PM   #10
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The Prodigy RF brake controller that we use has an instruction to remove the boost for backing. We don't use the boost, so it's not an issue for us. That's the only comment I have heard or read that suggested reducing braking to backup a trailer. I suppose it is possible that someone had a bad experience with self adjusting brakes and is concerned they will be set up too tight. Seems unlikely but folks learn from all kinds of input.

The Blue Ox Sway Pro does not require the spring bars to be removed when backing. It does have the same issue that most weight distribution hitches exhibit, which is that they hang lower than the trailer tongue. If the transition is steep, you may have some hitch drag issues. However, you may also have frame, plumbing, and bumper drag as well. Best to reduce that type of transition with regrading, fill, blocks, planks or another destination.

So, go slow. Look before you go.

Travel safe. Pat

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