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Towing For questions about towing or to show off your tow rig.

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Old 07-08-2010, 02:46 AM   #1
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so i'm going to be towing a 1936 ford model 68 behind my truck, about 1000km (650miles) i have the stock class v hitch, and the stock 4 pin wiring, i'm 99% sure i'm going to have to wire up brakes, depending on what trailer i manage to get...

the uhaul one i am looking at, has surge brakes, which means i can't run a weight distributing hitch, which means i am limited to 3500lbs, which is less than what i expect the car and trailer to weigh, (it will still be under 5800lbs, which the truck is rated at) the hitch is classed at 6000 weight distributing, and 3500 weight carrying... if i go with electronic brakes, i can run the weight distributing hitch, but will need to wire a controller...

ANYWAYS, how hard is a brake controller to wire? i'm thinking that with a 14 hour trip, (what we figure it will take, with the load) the battery won't last on it's own, and i will need to hook up a charging system... so is it more than a few wires to the back for charging, and 1 wire for brake control?
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:15 AM   #2
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You use the 4 pin wiring for your lights/signals/brake lights.

You then need to connect battery power to a 20 amp circuit breaker, then run that power wire inside to where you will mount your brake controller. You Mount your brake controller, ground it, attach your power wire to it, run the wire from the brake controller to your brake on/off switch at the brake pedal, and run your brake power out to the back of the truck along the inside of the drivers frame rail.

For the charge line you will run another battery power wire wire to a 30 amp circuit breaker, from the circuit breaker to a solenoid which will be triggered by ignition power. So when the ignition is on you have power going to your trailer. You then run your wire to the back of the truck again like before.

I used 10 gauge wire for both the brake and charge wiring.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:30 AM   #3
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ok cool, that doesn't sound too difficult... next set of questions,

1) is there any difference in the INSTALL of the time delay and inertia style controllers? i know there is a significant difference in how they work, and setting them up...

2) are the brakes powered by the battery on the trailer and actuated by the controller, or is all of the power to the brakes directly from the controller? (trying to understand the necessity of the charging)
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:44 AM   #4
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ok cool, that doesn't sound too difficult... next set of questions,

1) is there any difference in the INSTALL of the time delay and inertia style controllers? i know there is a significant difference in how they work, and setting them up...
No, the install is the same. I recently just purchased a 24 foot travel trailer (4100lbs dry weight) to tow behind my 05 sport trac. I went with an inertia style brake controller. I find them to be much better than the time delay style. With a time delay controller, every time you release the brake pedal and re apply it there is a delay in when the brakes on the trailer start to work. With the inertia style the trailer instantly starts to slow down, but only as fast as the tow vehicle is slowing down allowing more control and no brake lock up. I went with the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 and love it so far.


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2) are the brakes powered by the battery on the trailer and actuated by the controller, or is all of the power to the brakes directly from the controller? (trying to understand the necessity of the charging)
The brakes get their power right from the brake controller. The controller controls how much amperage is being sent to the magnets in the electric brakes on the trailer. The charge line is there simply to charge the battery(s) that supply power to accessories on the trailer like interior lights/power jacks etc.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:50 AM   #5
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perfect, thanks for the help, i was leaning towards the inertia style, because it seems much more advanced plus i dont' have to wait a couple seconds for trailer brakes, if i have an emergency stop...

the trailer i will be pulling is a flatdeck car trailer and shouldn't have any lights on it (other than running lights of course) and the only accessory that it might have is a winch, which i kind of doubt... so i shouldn't have to worry about a charging system then eh?

thanks again for your help! i will be stopping in at my local custom truck parts location tomorrow morning on the way home from work to see what they've got for me!
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:53 AM   #6
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Doesn't sound like you will have a need for the charge line then, but it might be nice for future use possibly.

Oh and if you want I can get pictures of my install if you need ideas of where to mount stuff.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:27 AM   #7
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woudn't hurt, i'm sure everyone would love to have a how to:

i think i should be able to figure it out, and i don't know how similar it would be between the st and the ranger though...

if you don't end up making one, i'll do one when i make my install
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:43 AM   #8
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The charge wire is for the battery on the trailer (if it has one), There's usually a breakaway switch on the front of the trailer with a cable attached to it that seperates and applies the brakes (needs power for brakes) in the event the trailer gets away from the tow vehicle. You probably don't need to worry about it anyway.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:07 AM   #9
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i think it will be one of those we will see how much time i have, type things... if i get around to running that wire, i will, but who knows...

are trailers all wired (pin out) the same? of course there is going to be people who screw around like my friend did with his trailer, and move all the wires around so that if anyone tried to steal his trailer, it would blow all the fuses and the brakes would lock up from the constant power
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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For the most part they are standard, with the possible exception on the constant hot pin and the reverse light pin. If you are installing a brake controller, you may want to look at a multi-tow receptical. Hoppy makes one that you just plug in your 4 pin and then wire up the others. With a multi-tow you would have a 7 pin and a 4 pin at all time without the need for an adaptor.
As for the constant hot power, you going to run a wire from the engine to the rear bumper for the brakes just tape a second wire on and pull the 2 together.
PS: msot brake controllers suggest direct to battery for the power source. that way there is limited chance of lossing trailer brake power.
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