Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-03-2007, 09:02 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
Dan S's Avatar
1975 Argosy 26
Normandy Park , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 281
Brakes & Controllers

Please clarify for me.

If a trailer has electric brakes installed, and you have a 7 pin plug on your vehicle, will the brakes "auto-magically" work? Or, do you need a brake controller to tie everything together?



Dan S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2007, 09:11 AM   #2
Site Team
azflycaster's Avatar
2002 25' Safari
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,418
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
A few have built in brake controllers, most do not. I installed a Prodigy unit in mine, it is one of the better units.



Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2007, 10:08 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
overlander64's Avatar
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Brakes & Controllers

Greetings Dan!

Originally Posted by Dan S
Please clarify for me.

If a trailer has electric brakes installed, and you have a 7 pin plug on your vehicle, will the brakes "auto-magically" work? Or, do you need a brake controller to tie everything together?


You didn't mention whether you are considering late model or Vintage, but if you are considering Vintage from the mid-to-late 1970s there can be another consideration regarding trailer brakes on Airstreams. Beginning in the mid-to-late 1970s, Airstream offered Excella Hydra-Vac Disc brakes on their trailers (so far as I have been able to determine these were never offered on Argosy even as an extra-cost option). If you consider a coach with these brakes, selection of the brake controller can be critical, and in addition to that a vacuum port must be supplied to connect the coach to your tow vehicle's vacuum (this can be a problem if your tow vehicle is diesel -- there is also a potential for issues with late model gasoline powered tow vehicles where the vacuum tap may pose issues with some of the engine electronics.

Due to issues such as sourcing vacuum, and the increasing difficulty in locating repair parts, many of these coaches have been converted to the more familiar Dexter or Kelsey-Hayes drum brakes.

Another issue to keep in mind if you are considering any Airstream product (including Argosy), is that Airstream used its own wiring pattern for the seven-pole connector that does not necessarily match today's industry standard. I know that both of my coaches needed to have their connectors re-wired before I could tow them with my tow vehicles all of which have been wired to the current industry standard. It isn't difficult to insall a new connector on the coach, but it can be an unpleasant surprise if you aren't prepared in advance.

Good luck with your search!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2007, 10:36 AM   #4
Round on both ends
SafeHarbor's Avatar
1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 783
Images: 39
Hi, Dan,

What Kevin said. But if you find a trailer that has the Airstream specific pattern, you can make up an adapter for less than $20 to go from the modern 7-pin square to 7-pin round pattern. I got the parts to do it from the local welding shop.

Very little magic occurs with Airstreams, and what does occur is usually due to where you are at the time. What tow vehicle do you have or are you considering?
1975 Argosy 28 "Argosy"
1979 Excella 500 31 "Betsy"
1992 Lincoln Mk 7 LSC
2003 Dodge 2500 Cummins "TowHog"
"Lucy Loosehair" the cat - Airstream mascot
Klaatu barada nikto
SafeHarbor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
Dan S's Avatar
1975 Argosy 26
Normandy Park , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 281
what I'll tow with

Thanks for the info.

I'm currently looking into Argosy Minuets (20). I don't wan to go larger than a 22 based on the fact there are just the two of us and I want to keep it as simple ($, size, towing...etc) as possible.

I currently have a Ford Ranger small V6 which I will replace. I spent a lot of time this last week at the Dealerships and on the web researching tows. Thus far, I've concluded:

I still need a truck for yard issues. Therefore, no Tahoe stye/type rigs.
I prefer the smaller trucks .i.e Tacoma's over the large F-150's from the size and economics stand point. My wife or I will commute in it 97% of the time and the other 3% will be to tow. Seems like overkill....untill you need it!

I like the Tacoma 4.0L V6 as well as the Nissan Frontier (same engine but more hp and torque)......but the Tundra would be nice if price were not an issue. I'm going to test drive the Tundra today. However, they seem to have grown in size and are getting very big like the F-150's?

Dan S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2007, 12:17 PM   #6
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
New Borockton , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,303
Images: 21
What I like about your follow-up post is that you are true to the facts. You need enough truck to do the job safely but you also realize you will tow less than 3 percent of the miles you travel. Many people don't realize that. Good luck.
Randy...Converters, Inverters, Trimetric, Surge Protectors, Zamp Solar, AGM Batteries
68 Overlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2007, 04:10 PM   #7
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,340
Typically you'll need a controller to run the brakes on a trailer.

Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie 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
Brakes working correctly? Dbraw Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 8 02-27-2007 07:16 AM
Grabbing Brakes 74Tradewind Brakes & Brake Controllers 15 08-05-2004 05:26 PM
problem with Brakes jazzbone Brakes & Brake Controllers 33 08-23-2002 07:05 AM
Disc Brakes? J.Hemingway Brakes & Brake Controllers 2 08-22-2002 07:56 PM
Heeeelp! My brakes have failed...anyone have a similar experience? williamhenshall Airstream Motorhome Forums 9 07-12-2002 03:04 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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