Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-07-2010, 11:12 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
bertro's Avatar
1971 23' Safari
Groveport , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 279
Images: 29
Brake Question

Hello all, On the first trip this season I was in the worst traffic jam ever on the way home 2 1/2 hrs. I have a cheaper tekonsha controller and I turned everything on it down in the stop and go creep of traffic. Is this the proper thing to do to prevent an overheat of the brakes or will they only heat up on the long down hill use I have read about. Robert

bertro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
moosetags's Avatar

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,381
Images: 5
It really shouldn't make much difference. Stop-and-go driving in a traffic jam will generally not heat the brakes at all.


SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
moosetags is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Bob Thompson's Avatar
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 936
Images: 67
Heat as in brakes is just energy and ,for the sake of discussion, energy can be calculated by multiplying the mass times the velocity sq'd. Higher velocity means higher energy. Thats why brakes get so hot when they slow something down from high speed. Thats why the space shuttle gets so hot on re-entry. It is converting mass and velocity to heat. Something moving at low low speed doesn't constitute much energy (or heat) when it comes time to stop it. It is extremely unlikely you will overheat the brakes creeping along in a traffic jam. You can adjust the controller to achieve a smoother stopping action, but heat will not be an issue.
So Long!
Bob Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 12:52 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
bertro's Avatar
1971 23' Safari
Groveport , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 279
Images: 29
Thank You,
I was just not sure if the power going to the magnets all the time would cause some type of heat issue.

bertro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 12:57 PM   #5
Rivet Master
JFScheck's Avatar
Vintage Kin Owner
Rockville , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,463
Images: 32
Now if you had "Disc" brakes - there could be an issue with the "Hydraulic" pump with some of the older units as the pump used to need to keep running every time the brake pedal was depressed - luckily within the past few years said controllers now have a "Hold" mode where the pump will energize the system then hold the pressure to the brakes - having only to run every few minutes to re-energize if the brake pedal is still depressed....

John "JFScheck" Scheck
2014 Itasca Solei 34T in Red Maple
Freightliner XCS Chassis with Cummins 6.7 ISB & Allison MH Transmission
**I Love U.S.A.**
JFScheck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 02:09 PM   #6
Site Team
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,469
Images: 59
I don't think you will have a problem having power going to the magnets full time.

The brake magnets have about 3 ohms resistance. Even if you applied full voltage (not the case) to the magnets, the most power they would generate is only 40 watts.

Now if you put a 40 watt light bulb in a paper bag it will burn up. But if you surround the magnet with a large cast iron brake drum and hub, I think you will be able to dissipate enough energy to keep from melting the magnets or warping the armature.

Thats my take on it. Any advice is worth what you paid for it.
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
pmclemore's Avatar

2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,369
Turning the controller down when you are stuck in slow moving traffic can actually make the trip a little more comfortable. At slow or crawl speed, the rig will stop just fine without trailer brakes and there is no grabbing.

Somebody, please, point me to the road.

AIR 3987
wbcci 9239 (Re-enlisted 2013)
pmclemore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 04:24 PM   #8
Rivet Master
HowieE's Avatar

1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,311
Images: 12
If your brake controller was set up correctly there is no reason to ever adjust it do to traffic or road conditions.

There is a safety reason not to change the setting while on the road. You may suddenly brake out and travel at highway speed and have NO BRAKES when you need them.

Cehck the set up procedures for the controller and set it and forget it.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 11:19 PM   #9
Rivet Master

2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,239
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Originally Posted by bertro View Post
the brakes, or will they only heat up on the long down hill use I have read about. Robert
Hi, going down hill you need to manually down shift your transmission to a low enough gear so that you will only need to barely use your brakes or some times not at all. I have driven down many hills/mountains with out ever using my brakes. If you go down hills in overdrive, you will for sure, burn up your brakes on your tow vehicle and trailer.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2010, 01:32 AM   #10
Maniacal Engineer
barts's Avatar
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,210
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Remember to shift into neutral when sitting in traffic jams for those of you w/ automatics... otherwise they overheat. Your brakes won't overheat, though...

- Bart

Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
barts is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brake Question milesmason Brakes & Brake Controllers 5 03-12-2010 10:19 AM
Brake question 63air Brakes & Brake Controllers 1 10-08-2009 06:58 PM
Brake Question Skycop Brakes & Brake Controllers 1 06-18-2009 07:59 PM
brake question PLEASE HELP airstreamer Brakes & Brake Controllers 11 05-30-2007 04:38 PM
Brake question mtnman All Argosy Trailers 13 12-11-2005 08:42 AM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:14 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.