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Old 09-18-2011, 09:44 AM   #1
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GM Integrated Brake Controller Question

We are looking at the used AS market. We have a 2010 Chevy with the factory brake controller. I understand the factory brake controller will not work with newer AS trailers. What is the latest work-around for this, or is it still a problem?

Thank you.

Bud
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:31 AM   #2
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My understanding is that it does not work with hydraulic (disc) trailer brakes like on Airstream Classic models - it does work with regular electric trailer brakes.

Tom
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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We have a 2009 Chevy 2500 with the factory brake controller,it works fine pulling our 2008 27' International CCD FB, which has electric trailer brakes.
Chuck
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:54 AM   #4
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We have the 2011 GMC Sierra 2500 with the integrated brake controller and it works well with our 2011 34' Classic Limited (electric brakes).
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #5
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Same here, it works great with the electric brakes on our '04.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:59 AM   #6
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Same here; 2009 GMC 1/2 ton with factory brake control and we pull a 2008 25' Safari no problem.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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Thank you for the information. I know so little about AS trailers. I assumed they all have the same type of brake system. I see they do not. We are just starting the process of learning more about AS trailers and deciding what meets our needs. Right now our thoughts are leaning towards a 25 - 28 foot with a queen bed. We will probably end up buying a trailer on the used market because the new trailers give me a bad case of sticker shock. We typically make one trip from Tennessee to Yellowstone each year and a couple of trips to Florida along with various short camping trips within a one day drive.

Thanks for the quick information on the brake controller.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:26 PM   #8
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GMC Yukon Denali integrated brake controller

We have learned the hard way that the GMC factory installed brake controllers do not work with Dexter electro/hydraulic brakes. Why is a mystery but it says in the GMC literature they only work with electric brakes.....and there is a warning on Dexter's website that their brakes are not compatible with GM brake controllers.

We purchased a new Denali last week and plugged into our trailer and nada.....no connection......so the dealer had an outside vendor install a Tekonsha Prodigy on the lower right side of the steering wheel....we plugged into the factory plug in the rear and nada......after trouble shooting we found the installer ignored all of the factory wiring, drilled through the fire wall and installed another plug up under the bumper that you can access only by laying on your back on the ground and looking up to see where to plug into the vehicle.......this latest part became evident on Friday afternoon in Thousand Oaks, CA....

We called what we thought was the closest RV repair facility and were told they were too busy but gave us the name of a brake controller guru that was nearer to us.....we called him and went to his shop and he programmed the brake controller for E/H brakes.....went back to storage facility and still nada nothing.

We presuaded this man to make a house call and he discovered the botched installation job.....he fixed it for our rally and says he needs another couple of hours to clean up the wiring job......if anyone needs assistance with trailers in Thousand Oaks, please give a call to Mike Walker at Conejo Vacation Trailer.....he was very careful and did a great job. Without him, we would have missed out on a rally to Pismo Beach, CA. paula
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:46 AM   #9
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Long story made simple. The GM system is looking for the resistance present in the magnets of the electric brakes in order to sense that you are hooked to a trailer. The system doesn't see any resistance in the electro-hydraulic system, because it's not there, so it assumes there is no trailer there. No trailer= no commanded signals
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Long story made simple. The GM system is looking for the resistance present in the magnets of the electric brakes in order to sense that you are hooked to a trailer. The system doesn't see any resistance in the electro-hydraulic system, because it's not there, so it assumes there is no trailer there. No trailer= no commanded signals
So then, wouldn't it be a simple matter to just parrellel the controller output with a resistor to fool the system into believing there are brakes hooked up to it?
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:56 AM   #11
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I don't know. All that circuitry is in the "Magic box" for which schematics are not available. I THINK, since the "sense" circuit is the same wire as the apply circuit, I have no idea if the output to the actuator would be even in the same ballpark as what is required ti properly apply the calipers. Make sense?

Wanna experiment on your truck? Is your new trailer disc?
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I don't know. All that circuitry is in the "Magic box" for which schematics are not available. I THINK, since the "sense" circuit is the same wire as the apply circuit, I have no idea if the output to the actuator would be even in the same ballpark as what is required ti properly apply the calipers. Make sense?

Wanna experiment on your truck? Is your new trailer disc?
Ha Ha, no my system is working perfectly, so I don't want to "experiment" with it. Disc brake capable, or not, it's the best controller I've ever used.

No, I don't think it is, and actually hope it's not. (Need to check on that, don't I?) By the way, was leaving today, but the weather and road conditions aren't up to my requirements due to a snow storm in W. Texas, and only had a small window of time, so will have to postpone the trip till next week. That's difficult for me to do, but it's a must.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner3 View Post
Thank you for the information. I know so little about AS trailers. I assumed they all have the same type of brake system. I see they do not. We are just starting the process of learning more about AS trailers and deciding what meets our needs. Right now our thoughts are leaning towards a 25 - 28 foot with a queen bed. We will probably end up buying a trailer on the used market because the new trailers give me a bad case of sticker shock. We typically make one trip from Tennessee to Yellowstone each year and a couple of trips to Florida along with various short camping trips within a one day drive.

Thanks for the quick information on the brake controller.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Before you purchase an Airstream travel trailer, join this forum and spend a lot of time with the search feature to learn more about:corrison issues, hydraulic disc brake (and actuator) issues, electric drum brake issues, tire type, brand and rim size issues, converter issues, skylight issues, leak issues, TPMS benefits, wheel balancing issues, etc.

There is a lot of information available on this forum, but you will have to do a lot of reading to learn to determine what is good information and what is unsupported (or incorrect) information. The benefits of reading the forum far outweigh any negatives. You will find the forum members very helpful in answering your questions as you educate yourself.

Airstream builds a good unit, but they are not trouble free, and they come with their own unique set of features and issues.

I see from your member information that you are a member of the forum, and already own an Airstream unit. Are you looking for another Airstream?
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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Nickmeloy is on the nail, Ridgerunner.

A/S owners are demanding. These aren't disposable trailers, so problems with them generate more interest than with those who own conventional white boxes . . . where it may be used another year and traded. A trailer that lasts 10-15 years is different than one that will last forty.

This isn't entirely accurate about level of owner response -- those white boxes aren't built nearly as well and have more problems from the beginning it is true -- and it's important to note there are some highly diligent/clever SOB owners when it comes to repairs/maintenance/upgrades, but as a general rule of thumb, the divide between temporary and permanent trailers is considerable, no matter the overlap.

Most of my most interesting threads bookmarked feature that trailer type (brakes, suspension, wiring, etc) as SOB construction calls out for help. Some of it applicable to our needs (brake wiring is high on my list of "to do" according to some SOB write-ups out there).

But take it for granted that nearly all A/S problems you may encounter in ownership have already been discovered, diagnosed and disposed of. Maybe three solutions for any given problem. Breadth and depth.

It may be of use, in reading around, to divide "problems" into road performance and camping performance. The former may require going into some depth about any given component. The latter should be approached from those with occasional use (yearly), and those who travel full-time or close to it as an early way of dividing note-taking.

.
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