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Old 10-07-2009, 10:27 AM   #1
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Hollister , Missouri
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Need Help with Brake Controller

Hi all. New here and glad I found this site. Have a question. I have a 1996 Airstream Cutter (motorhome) and I want to tow a trailer behind it. It has a brake controller for the tag axles but will I need another one for the trailer? And if so, is there a plug to wire the brake controller into or will I have to wire the thing manually? Any help is appreciated.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:42 AM   #2
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Never done that, but here a the reasons I would say a second controller is in order.

First off you want to be able to set the response of the trailer brakes to match the weight of the trailer. Highly unlikely they will match the tag axle.

Second I would question that the 2 controllers are even of the same operating type.

Third there are times when you want to be able to control the trailer brakes without having the brakes on the tow vehicle come on. Sway control and wet road conditions.

Considering the weight of the MH and that most brake controllers are inertial activated or some form of none operating timer I would recommend a Jordan mechanical controller. It is the only controller that is directly connected to the barke system and thus operates as a function of the MH brakes. The problem is someone bought Jordan a few years back and they may no longer be available as new. I would look for a used one. Some modifications may be necessary to install it but it is worth the effort if stopping the trailer is a consideration.

Yes you will have to manually wire in the new system. Considering the length of the MH I would go at least 1 size larger on all wiring and make the brake signal to the trailer 2 sizes larger. This will reduce voltage drop over the length of the MH.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. So can I tie into the hot, ground, and brake switch wires from the tag controller and then simply run a new wire for the electric brakes of my trailer from the new controller?

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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Never done that, but here a the reasons I would say a second controller is in order.

First off you want to be able to set the response of the trailer brakes to match the weight of the trailer. Highly unlikely they will match the tag axle.

Second I would question that the 2 controllers are even of the same operating type.

Third there are times when you want to be able to control the trailer brakes without having the brakes on the tow vehicle come on. Sway control and wet road conditions.

Considering the weight of the MH and that most brake controllers are inertial activated or some form of none operating timer I would recommend a Jordan mechanical controller. It is the only controller that is directly connected to the barke system and thus operates as a function of the MH brakes. The problem is someone bought Jordan a few years back and they may no longer be available as new. I would look for a used one. Some modifications may be necessary to install it but it is worth the effort if stopping the trailer is a consideration.

Yes you will have to manually wire in the new system. Considering the length of the MH I would go at least 1 size larger on all wiring and make the brake signal to the trailer 2 sizes larger. This will reduce voltage drop over the length of the MH.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:28 PM   #4
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keep the wiring separate

I would run a complete set of new wires, including appropriate fusing for the 2nd brake controller. The wires in place are sized for the job they perform now-loading them up with a second controller is asking for either brake systems that do not work correctly, or wiring/fusing that is overloaded causing at minimum blown (operated) fuses/breakers or at worst burned wiring. My advice is to treat it completely separate from any circuitry onboard now.
ol bill, who had a stereo wired into his 6 way power seat-and got the hot seat...
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick response. So can I tie into the hot, ground, and brake switch wires from the tag controller and then simply run a new wire for the electric brakes of my trailer from the new controller?
I would use a new 30 amp circuit breaker and wire for the brakes. Remember your don't want to combine the amps through the 2 systems on the existing breaker and wire.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. I'll run it separate.
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