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Old 01-27-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
jkwoodrow
 
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Springfield , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 155
Dual circuit brake controller?

My 345 has a single electric brake controller installed. I am interested in having a new inertia brake controller installed along with new tag axle brakes. It seems logical that when towing a trailer the brake control values for it will likely be different than the tag axle. I can't find information addressing the question and have sent an email to Tekonsha (sp?) but have not heard back from them. One answer could be to have two controllers but that would be less than optimal. Has anyone dealt with this issue?
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:32 PM   #2
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Alliance , Ohio
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 251
How heavy a trailer are you towing? The 345 really can't pull too much unless you've done some upgrades. You might have this covered but thought I should raise a flag in any case. I tow an HHR that exceeds the recommended 2000 pound Airstream rating. I have reinforced the rear frame and hitch and have a brake system in the HHR that activates by air pressure modulated by the brake line pressure in the 345. I believe the issue with the frame is lateral rigidity of that long extension behind the rear and tag axles. Others may chime in on this. This might have been a little off track for what you were asking, but I do see your point about the tag brakes and trailer brakes requiring different control.
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:21 AM   #3
jkwoodrow
 
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Springfield , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 155
I did get a response from the brake control manufacturer. They don't offer a dual circuit unit and recommend using separate controllers for the tag and trailer. I suppose that one controller adjusted for the tag axle could handle a trailer too. Would the extra draw of trailer brakes on the controller line change the value the tag brakes saw when braking? Any electrical engineers out there?
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:54 PM   #4
jkwoodrow
 
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Springfield , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 155
Update

Turns out that my single electric brake controller is wired to the tag axle and trailer brakes. It's the "old school" type controller that ramps up at a fixed rate to the adjusted final output voltage. The new style proportional control units self adjust immediately in accordance with how hard you stand on the
pedal. I think that is preferable for the tag axle in the event of a "panic" stop. The local truck chassis service folks quoted $425 to install and set up new 12" loaded backing plates and a proportional controller for the tag axle.
I think that's the thing to do. I'll end up with two controllers, each optimized for their specific task.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:55 PM   #5
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,550
John, dual controllers sounds like the right approach. I think you'll like the braking response a lot better.

Brad
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