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Old 06-06-2002, 05:07 PM   #1
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Ok, I need a brake controller

I decided to take the plunge...buying a 73 safari 23'. I'll need a brake controller for my Dodge Ram. Any recommendations?

this trailer should be easy enough to pull w/ my truck...gvw on the trailer is in the neighborhood of 5500lbs...truck will do 7000+. The truck came from the factory with a towing package, so it has a plug built in and a wiring harness for a controller, but I see that there are different types/prices....which one do I get?

now...I thought I saw a plug-wiring diagram somewhere for the airstream.....
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Old 06-06-2002, 07:20 PM   #2
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Factory tow package wiring

As in many options, none are the same. Many tow electrical packages have wiring altho correct lack any protection. The wiring may be in position but is very undersize. Airstream electrical systems need a good wire sizes for the battery charge and the electric trailer brakes. The wiring for brakes should be at least 12 AWG with a circuit breaker and relay. If there is any electrical fault, the tow vwhicle will not be affected. The battery charge wire needs the same protection and use a 10AWG. AWG= American Wire Gage. If in doubt ask about the electrical with knowledgeable techs......
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Old 06-07-2002, 09:00 AM   #3
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Chuck,
Your Dodge Ram is wired for trailer tow. The 7 way connector on the hitch is wired to SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standards. Your trailer is also wired to these same standards but may be a pin type connector instead of the blade type on your truck. Newer Airstreams now have the blade type. The battery feed wire in your truck is a 10 gauge and is protected by a fuse in the power distribution center under the hood, not in the fuse panel inside the truck. The brake controler wire harness will plug into the truck wire harness under the instrument panel behind the parking brake lever. Caution when connecting the Dodge supplied harness to the brake control as the wire colors are different but the same. In other words the blue wire does NOT hook up to the blue wire on the controler. All the controler manufactures are aware of this, so just follow there installation instructions. In my experence I have found the best controler to be the Tekonsha unit.
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Old 06-07-2002, 10:04 AM   #4
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I found the plug wiring diagram on the airstream.com website. (http://www.airstream.com/faq/7wayplug1966-81.pdf). This does NOT match the plug diagram on my truck.

The previous owners told me that they had to change the wiring around on their truck to match the trailer. This sounds like a bad idea to me, considering that the charge-line goes to a specific circuit with fuse protection, etc.

What's the best way to deal with this?
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Old 06-07-2002, 10:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
The previous owners told me that they had to change the wiring around on their truck to match the trailer.
You are correct. It is a bad idea. Always make the trailer fit the tow vehicle, otherwise you will not be able to safely tow anything else with the truck and if you ever have any electrical problems on the truck, it will make it harder to trace.

-BobbyWright
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Old 06-07-2002, 12:59 PM   #6
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Re: Ok, I need a brake controller

Quote:
Originally posted by chuck
I decided to take the plunge...buying a 73 safari 23'. I'll need a brake controller for my Dodge Ram. Any recommendations?

this trailer should be easy enough to pull w/ my truck...gvw on the trailer is in the neighborhood of 5500lbs...truck will do 7000+. The truck came from the factory with a towing package, so it has a plug built in and a wiring harness for a controller, but I see that there are different types/prices....which one do I get?

now...I thought I saw a plug-wiring diagram somewhere for the airstream.....
Buy the best brake controller you can afford. The better ones will work in reverse as well as forward. The low end models are just better than nothing IMO.

Dan
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Old 06-07-2002, 01:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips...

I found the plug diagram...its totally different from what's on my truck. It looks like you can get a replacement plug and re-configure the trailer, though.
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