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Old 04-12-2018, 10:32 AM   #1
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Built in Brake Controller

Is it true that the Durango towing package includes a built in brake controller? I've heard it said but am suspicious. What about other similar vehicles, like Armada, Expedition, Tahoe, Yukon?

This isn't on the spec sheets, or not as I understand it, so I'm appealing to y'alls greater knowledge.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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I don't know about the others but the Expedition includes the integrated brake controller if you get the optional tow package.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:26 AM   #3
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I own a 2016 GMC Yukon with the Heavy Duty Tow Package and it DOES have an integrated brake controller that actually out-preformed my Tekonsha 3 that was set up on the Mercedes. The advantages when in tow mode is that everything works together, going down a hill, the truck detects the increase speed and downshifts. As for setting it up, I just plugged the rig in and tweaked the boost to where I liked it - easy-peasy. Also, you have a separate settings screen that you can toggle to and watch the boost increase or decrease based on applied brake pressure. Great system and highly recommended.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:30 AM   #4
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My 1500 Silverado and 2500 gmc Denali do
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:47 AM   #5
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Included for 2017 Expedition Limited with HD tow package.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:55 PM   #6
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I suspect the Durango does. And the Uconnect system shared by FCA vehicles even allows different trailer profiles. In my RAM I have a heavy electric profile tweaked for my AS and a light electric set up for my 18’ lawn trailer.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:25 PM   #7
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So, I test drove a Tahoe today that had a break controller integrated into the dash, one with the sensitivity adjustment sliders on the dash. But none of the Durangos--all with the towing package - - have had these obvious controls. Does that tell me something?
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:50 AM   #8
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I just googled that question. I didn't see a mention of it in the sales literature on the 2018 Durango including: https://www.dodge.com/durango/performance.html

My guess... there isn't an integrated controller.

IMO there are enough good aftermarket controllers to make this a non-issue. I would look favorably on a factory integrated controller. The testimonials above sound great. But if all other aspects of the vehicle and the deal met my needs, the controller is an easy add on to a vehicle that didn't have one.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:44 PM   #9
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We purchased a BrakeRite SD hydraulic pump for the disc brakes we installed on our 2014 31’ Classic. The distributor failed to mention it was incompatible with every brand of vehicle factory installed brake controller.

Had a most “interesting” driving experience thru the mountains at night on a very twisty and narrow two lane road with erratic bake action.

I learned how to disable the factory brake controller on our 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins so no error codes would be thrown by the truck’s computer (cut and cap off blue wire on factory wiring). Wired in Tucson DirecLink NE brake controller and all has been well in the braking world for this rig.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
a most “interesting” driving experience thru the mountains at night on a very twisty and narrow two lane road with erratic bake action.
You ought to be writing horror stories. That sentence gave me the full feeling of being there. I'm still sweating.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:21 AM   #11
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Any comments on a GMC Canyon 2.8 diesel with integrated brake controller pulling a 25' A/S?
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:14 AM   #12
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Many factors

Quote:
Originally Posted by refski View Post
Any comments on a GMC Canyon 2.8 diesel with integrated brake controller pulling a 25' A/S?
I'm not sure that the brake controller has anything to do with it. The real question is whether the entire vehicle is up to the task.

A quick check of the GMC website says that some Canyon diesels have a max trailer weight rating of up to 7,700 lbs. A 25' Airstream typically weighs less than that. GMC doesn't say precisely what equipment yields that rating. Equally important are the ratings for payload, tongue weight and axle weights. Those are hard to find online for a typical Canyon. I would suggest looking at an actual Canyon that you would consider for the task, opening the driver's door and taking a picture of the sticker with the ratings for that specific vehicle. Then you'd have the data you need. There is lots of discussion in the forums on how much stuff people carry that adds weight to the rig. Your travel style is a big factor.

That said, the Canyon seems light for the task. Here's a link to a Canyon-Forum site where GMC guys hang out and answer the same sort of questions we do. Aside from a GMC salesman who says "of course!", their crew seems to think a 25' AS is too much trailer for the Canyon diesel.

https://www.tfltruck.com/2016/08/wil...-ask-tfltruck/
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I'm not sure that the brake controller has anything to do with it. The real question is whether the entire vehicle is up to the task.

A quick check of the GMC website says that some Canyon diesels have a max trailer weight rating of up to 7,700 lbs. A 25' Airstream typically weighs less than that. GMC doesn't say precisely what equipment yields that rating. Equally important are the ratings for payload, tongue weight and axle weights. Those are hard to find online for a typical Canyon. I would suggest looking at an actual Canyon that you would consider for the task, opening the driver's door and taking a picture of the sticker with the ratings for that specific vehicle. Then you'd have the data you need. There is lots of discussion in the forums on how much stuff people carry that adds weight to the rig. Your travel style is a big factor.

That said, the Canyon seems light for the task. Here's a link to a Canyon-Forum site where GMC guys hang out and answer the same sort of questions we do. Aside from a GMC salesman who says "of course!", their crew seems to think a 25' AS is too much trailer for the Canyon diesel.

https://www.tfltruck.com/2016/08/wil...-ask-tfltruck/
“The data needed” is the door sticker axle ratings AND a CAT Scale ticket. Topped off fuel and driver aboard. The TARE weight.

The difference between axle rating and scaled value is the range that a WDH works within.

Playing with numbers won’t get you a good TV.

An integrated brake controller is “nice”, but I’d rather have the DirecLink controller.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:06 AM   #14
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I'll put a vote behind Slowmover's approach. Actually setting up the rig requires real measurements. My impression of the question was that it's a hypothetical and that there isn't a real Canyon to hitch up the AS and weigh. Maybe that's not the case.

If you're considering buying a Canyon then start gathering data about all of its capabilities and limitations. Start a new post here to get feedback and experience of actual 25' setups and hopefully Canyon owner experiences, too.

One thing I realized after my post was that refski lives in Ontario. Many forums folks sing the praises of Andy Thomson and team at Can-Am RV in London Ontario for setting up unusual TV/trailer combinations. It might be worth checking with them for advice and assistance.
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