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Old 06-24-2015, 08:14 AM   #603
gpt
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i know the rotors on the Tundra are pretty big in size having owned two of them. this certainly sounds like your brake controller is not set up correctly and you, as a result, are having to deal with the full weight of the trailer when braking.

i would start someplace level, a wally world parking lot, and then start fiddling with your controller. the goal here is to have the trailer brakes come on a fraction after you apply the truck brakes. once you get this right, you can certainly feel the difference. take your time and get this right for your setup. coming down from elevation with your trailer pushing you is dangerous.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:17 AM   #604
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My Classic has the hydraulic disc brakes. I have the Prodigy P2 set for electric/hydraulic brakes. I don't think I had enough gain for steep downhills. The funny thing about the vibration is it came on pretty fast going down I70 so I don't think the Tundra brakes were overheating yet. I was pumping the brakes and shifting down but when I came up on a slow truck I had to put constant pressure on the brakes. Maybe it was the trailer pushing the truck and ABS kicked in as mentioned above.

I notice on my AS in the brake actuator compartment what appears as a brake magnet in parallel to the electrical connections to the Dexter actuator. Maybe I should disconnect the magnet and see if the braking is better. Sometimes the trailer seems to brake harder than the Tundra. Can't seem to find the sweet spot on the gain, its either too low or too high.

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Old 06-24-2015, 01:26 PM   #605
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i use a separate brake controller for my boat trailer, hydraulic over electric, but too old for the built in truck controllers of today. in both cases, the relative numerical index is set at about 8.5 which seems just right for the boat and trailer as well as for the AS. don't forget, when the brakes are cold, that sort of setting will seem like a bit much but once things warm up, i find that setting works just perfectly for me. obviously lots of other adjustments are possible so just consider this a starting point. but getting that trailer to participate in slowing down is critical for you safety.
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:35 PM   #606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Just finished my first trip out west towing my 2008 Classic 25fb with my 2010 Tundra DC 2wd using Equalizer hitch 1000lb bars. Towed out from Springfield, MO to North Rim Grand Canyon via I44 to I40 to Flagstaff then up 89 to get to North Rim. Average mpg to Flagstaff was 11.8 trying to average 60mph. Handled the hills OK, having to drop to 3rd gear a few times. Best mpg interval was 13.4mpg and worse was 10.4. Fighting the wind from Sayre, OK to Amarillo, TX. I drove in S with the transmission set to 5 and manually shifted down when approaching hills.

From Flagstaff, AZ to Jacobs Lake, AZ including the climb was 12.6mpg. The Tundra seems to get better mpg at altitude so far.

The only issue I had with my Tundra was the brakes. Probably didn't have the trailer brake controller set high enough for the trailer maybe After leaving North Rim I headed for Zion NP. Just before Hurricane there is an 8% grade down to Hurricane. I manually shifted down from 5 to 4. Too fast then down to 3 still too fast then down to 2 and still not able to maintain 40 for those curves. Started to pump the brakes but had to use steady pressure before a few curves. Suddenly the steering wheel started to shake when applying brakes almost like I had a warped rotor.

Got down into Hurricane and stopped and performed a visual check. Rotors and pads looked OK. Not much braking to Zion and the braking felt normal, no vibration.

No issues from Zion to Bryce going north on I15 then over to Panguitch on Ut 20.

However coming back home on I70 down from the Ike tunnel into Denver the problem came back. Trying to maintain the speed limit I'd come onto a truck descending at 25 mph and I couldn't get into the next lane due to heavy traffic. I had to apply brakes steady while in 2nd gear. Started to get the shimmy again. I70 was not fun coming into Denver, the combination of heavy traffic, slow trucks, rough road surface and winding downhill grades. But once out of the mountains and into Denver the brakes felt normal. Checked all discs and they and the pads look OK.

Another issue I had was I felt uneasy with some of the curves down these passes. Most of the time I went the speed limit or maybe 5mph slower. I never felt I was about to loose it over the curve but I got that uneasy feeling in my stomach. I never squealed the tires around any curves but it felt like the trailer wanted to continue straight while the Tundra was trying to turn. I'm thinking I need to adjust Equalizer to add more load to the steering axle. The Tundra is riding level as well as the trailer.

So my confidence in my Tundra's performance on the downhills is a little shaken. I'll be looking into getting new brake pads soon anyway and tires.

MPGs got worse as I drove through eastern Colorado and Kansas. I guess the wind, lower elevations took its affect.

I had one Tundra towing a longer trailer pass me on I70 east of Green River. I was 60mph and he must have been going 70 mph. He must of been in 4 gear and shifting to 3 a lot to maintain that speed. Probably getting 7mpg vs my 12.5mpg I got between Richfield, UT and Grand Junction, CO.
Your fuel economy is similar to mine.

I also have faded my brakes on occasion. I try to downshift to the lowest gear as quickly as possible.

I see a pad/rotor upgrade in my future.

Dan
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:56 PM   #607
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The Airstream is heavy enough to push the Tundra in the mountains.Today's abs systems have become very sensitive (a good thing).You can only run so much gain on your trailer brake.
On a steep mountain road decent with a 1/2 ton truck you should use the transmission by stepping down in gears until the engine is a steady 4500 rpm.Apply trailer brakes intermittently manually buy gently squeezing the two knobs together on your controller until you feel the trailer slowing the tow vehicle.Also intermittently if needed apply the tow vehicle brakes.
Think of a lawn mower going down hill with a load of rock equal to or slightly greater in weight.
Your trailer brakes are your freind use them.


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Old 06-24-2015, 10:24 PM   #608
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I agree on using more trailer braking, setting up the gain and/or squeezing the controller. The idea of the Airstream pushing the tow vehicle (light or heavy duty) on very steep grades with curves is unnerving. I think if we traveled in this type of terrain regularly I would install disc brakes on the Airstream to ensure there is little brake fade when used on long, steep grades.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:44 PM   #609
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Toyota Tundra as a Tow Vehicle

From what I have read there is very little to gain from the addition of the disc brake kit on a Airstream.The standard braking system is sufficient.Physics comes into play (remember the lawn mower example)disc brakes on the trailer would not help in this scenario.
A heavier tow vehicle with larger brakes and a engine exhaust brake along with a larger transmission cooler has a definite advantage in this situation.


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Old 06-24-2015, 11:24 PM   #610
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I disagree about nothing to gain with dics brakes in the mountains. Electric Drums fad when HOT, out of adjustment, not equally set for each wheel. I replaced my electric drum set up with Kodiak rotors and calipers on my Classic 2004 28'. Works great with no crazy electric magnet to make the electric hydraulic actuator work. I also have a Prodigy 3 electric/hydraulic unit. The brakes on the trailer will stop the truck and trailer. Electric drums won't even come close. Electric drums work great in the flat lands but are dangerous in the mountains with when they get Hot. There are several posts on the site about electric verses disc. Just like the discussions about discs on cars when they first came out. For those of us who are old enough to remember NO power brakes, No power steering and No AC. Hydraulic discs are great.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:04 AM   #611
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Toyota Tundra as a Tow Vehicle

My trailer standard drum trailer brakes will bring down my 2015 F350 6.7 turbo diesel super crew long box 4x4 on steep mountain passes so they would definitely work for your Tundra.
It's true that disc brakes have less fade but when used properly drum brakes work fine but the proper tow vehicle also comes into play.


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Old 06-25-2015, 11:25 AM   #612
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One of the issues with my Tundra is the lack of an integrated trailer brake controller. I have my P2 mounted under the dash below my right knee. It was the only place I could find to mount it. Reaching down to try to find the manual controls is difficult when driving.

Where are others mounting their brake controllers on Tundras?

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Old 06-25-2015, 01:12 PM   #613
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I have a SR5 with the bench seat and installed the brake controller on the access panel where the IBC was suppose to go on the 2015. The brake controller is pointed up within the mounting guidelines. Not sure with the Bucket seat setup. If you search the site, several others have posted pictures of different setups. With Prodigy 3 once set have never had to use the manual method. You can change the Boost from 0 for light weight trailers to all the way up to 3 with a push of the button. I use a Boost of 1 for tandem axle, 2 can also be used but just a little to aggressive. With the Carlisle HBA-16 brake actuator I do not have to use the electric magnet to trick the Brake controller to work the way the some of the other manufacturers do. In my opinion that is why several people have stated no difference between discs and drums braking. If you make the controller think it is applying electric energy to electric brakes verse Hydraulic actuator to make hydraulic pressure for discs brakes, totally different.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:17 PM   #614
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I don't know when the magnet was installed. It might have been there when I purchased the trailer. I had the dealer, as part of the deal, replace the Actibrake with the Dexter. I don't know if they put it in or just left it. Maybe the previous owner had it in place because of issues with his brake controller.

I discovered it earlier this year when tracing wires try to figure out why my tow vehicle wasn't charging my trailer batteries. The black wire was connected directly to the Dexter actuator.

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Old 06-25-2015, 01:36 PM   #615
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i think its rather fool hardy to try and manually run your brake controller. there you are trying to stay on that mountain road with corner after corner facing you as you are headed downhill. now start fiddling with your controller while you are trying to stay on the road and keep everything straight. no thanks.

best to take the time to get your controller set correctly so your trailer brakes are actuated a fraction after your tow vehicle starts to brake. easy enough to do, just take the time before you leave home to get this set correctly.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:13 PM   #616
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Toyota Tundra as a Tow Vehicle

That is why it is there.lol A little common sense goes a long way.It is simple to set up your gain on your electric trailer brakes but in the mountains the constant use of trailer brakes or vehicle brakes take a toll quickly.By using the brakes intermittently they cool and don't glaze.But if you think it's to hard for you than no worries....


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