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Old 01-30-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Brake Resistor???

Once again I have been trying to get my brake setup "just right" This time I read the Airstream owners manual for our 1997 34'. In addition to the brake controller (Factory Ford Unit 2009), the manual references a Brake Resistor. I know those were used with the older systems in the 60's, but do I have one on my '97? If so, where would I find it? It is referenced in the manual under the discussion of sequencing the brakes, and says I should start at the mid position and adjust from there for less resistance and greater voltage.

I tried a forum search, but couldn't find anything referencing a newer trailer such as ours.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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I can't imagine why the manual on a '97 would talk about a brake resistor unless they were just doing a "cut and paste" from a much older manual.

As I recall, from the dim memories of the past, the early brake controllers were sometimes factory set for a 4 brake system, and if used on a two brake single axle trailer you needed a brake resistor to cut the current down. Also, if your really old trailer had 6 volt brakes and you had a newer (at the time) 12 volt system you used a resistor.

But all modern brake controllers that I am familiar with do all the work electronically and have enough range built into their adjustments to compensate for any combination of single to tri axel setups.

Bottom line: I would not worry about it. Just get a good modern brake controller, set it up by the directions provided by the brake controller manufacturer, and you will be good to go.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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+1

Any 1997 era or later braking system does not need a resistor.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Thanks all. Andy even sent a PM explaining it. I believe Airstream simply did a cut and paste, or in 1997 there were a lot of Airstreamers out there with older TV's!
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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I don't think any of the newer controllers would need a resistor. Usually they were used to prevent brake lock up problems with the older hydraulic controllers. i have several resistors I have picked up at flea markets but the only time I have used one is with an old horse trailer with 6 volt brakes and then I installed it permanently on the trailer
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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I have a '97 25' Safari and use a Prodigy Electronic Brake Control. It is advertised for 2,4,6 and 8 brake applications. You set the power knob as instructed, test its sensitivity and adjust accordingly. It also has a "boost" button that allows for a more aggressive settings. Works like a charm.
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