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Old 03-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #1
dogsslober OP
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electric trailer brakes

How do they work, do you have to have a controller in the cab? My wife wants to tow a horse trailer with her FJ and it only has a 4 prong plug. The trailer has E brakes and a 6 prong plug. Some one school me please. Other wise she going to take my 1 ton van
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
showkey
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Etrailer.com

Has videos on controller install and setup.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
xcflyn
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You are going to need a controller put in the truck and get the correct hook up. I am not an expert on this so someone correct me if I am wrong. There are a couple different types of electric brakes now on trailers. The most common and most likely what a horse trailer will have is (keeping it simple to understand) the type that energizes a puck -now a magnet-against the surface of the brake drum- thus turing the electric power into mechanical. As the puck grabs the the outside surface of the drum it operates basically a eccentric motion that forces the brake shoes against the drum. The energized puck really is not stopping the rotation of the drum, it is the shoes. The controller in the truck operates the current to the puck wich is your way of tuning how fast and hard the trailer brakes come on. Hope this helps ?
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
tommu56
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First what kind of weight can the FJ tow?

I do a lot of towing but never a horse trailer.

2012 is 5000 lbs I think that will be too small for a 2 horse trailer.
If you do tow you would most likely need an equalizer hitch.

wiring

I use Tekonsha brake controls on my vehicle's they have to be calibrated in the mounting position (there is a electronic pendulum in side) this affects the braking then they have to be adjusted to the trailer and load.

They put out power to a magnet's that grabs the brake rotor and the movement expands the the brake shoe in to the drum to put the brakes on on the trailer.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
Wansfel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsslober View Post
How do they work, do you have to have a controller in the cab? My wife wants to tow a horse trailer with her FJ and it only has a 4 prong plug. The trailer has E brakes and a 6 prong plug. Some one school me please. Other wise she going to take my 1 ton van
Electric trailer brakes require a circuit for the brakes controlled by a "brake controller" in the cab, usually mounted under the dash. The controllers sense applicatin of vehicle brakes and apply curent to the trailer brakes. The 4 prong does not have the wiring for brakes.

However, some trailers use "surge" brakes. U-haul comes to mind. These operate indendent of the towing vehicle by sensing the the push or pull applied to the tongue of the trailer applying hydrolic pressure automatically if the trailer is "pushing" towards the vehicle and releasing pressure when the vehicle starts to "pull" on the tongue.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:08 PM   #6
dogsslober OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommu56 View Post
First what kind of weight can the FJ tow?

I do a lot of towing but never a horse trailer.

2012 is 5000 lbs I think that will be too small for a 2 horse trailer.
If you do tow you would most likely need an equalizer hitch.

wiring

I use Tekonsha brake controls on my vehicle's they have to be calibrated in the mounting position (there is a electronic pendulum in side) this affects the braking then they have to be adjusted to the trailer and load.

They put out power to a magnet's that grabs the brake rotor and the movement expands the the brake shoe in to the drum to put the brakes on on the trailer.
The FJ is rated for 5500 lbs. The trailer is a two axle two horse (not that big really) 2600 lbs,1200 lbs horse x 2 still 500 under the rating. Reluctant to give up my 1 ton van
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
concours
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A few things here. How far and how fast do you want to go? The FJ (and most other similar size/power vehicles) may claim to be "rated to tow XXXX lbs., but some are screaming their guts out doing it. Driving lessons are in order, to manually select the gears needed for climbing, holding back on hills. Also, is the driver a normally "either or" type? (either STANDING ON THE THROTTLE or STANDING ON THE BRAKES) If so, total retraining of driving style will be needed.
The brake controller must be installed in the cab to facilitate reaching it while driving. (for emergency MANUAL operation) BE VERY CAREFUL HERE, THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF (electric) CONTROLLERS.... the cheap kind called, "time delay"has an increasing output based on time (they totally SUCK!!) and the second, called "proportional" increases output based on inertia as measured. This is a good example http://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contro...sha/90885.html The price difference between the two is small, the performance is huge. If you choose to install it yourself, download the Tekonsha PDF http://www.etrailer.com/instructions.aspx?pn=90885 and read it in its entirety before you begin. You'll need a curcuit breaker, cable (if your vehicle doesn't have it already) and sometimes there are plug kits that make it easy to connect to the existing underdash harness. Most domestic full size vehicles, don't know about the FJ. I have come across some very poor (dangerous!) installations. Otherwise, a reputable trailer store (usually a camper service dept.) can help you make it painless.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:06 AM   #8
dogsslober OP
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THANKS to all

Looks like most plug and play set ups are for heavy duty trucks.Leads me to believe I,m going to give up my van when she needs to tow her baby somewhere. Just going to take it to the trailer shop and have them set it up and check out the trailer I got her. Don't want it to cut into my riding time
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:27 AM   #9
ragtoplvr
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I tow overloaded all the time. with something that can move like a horse you need an equalizing hitch or at least sway control. You will need to make adjustments to your driving style, and you will need to manually shift on hills, both up and down to match engine RPM to the load. You do need to tolerate losing speed on hills, and you never want to top a hill fast so you take your time going down, same amount of heat dissipated, but over a longer time is much safer.

If you are an aggressive or inattentive driver, then don't tow. Ever.

Rod
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:36 AM   #10
oldmanb777
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Do you Love her? Then give her the Van!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Horses are very tough to tow. When they move, they tend to move the trailer and tow vehicle. Cut your tow capacity in half, and understand loading and tongue weight before you start. The life you save will be hers. I'm not kidding here. When the horse moves rearward in the trailer, the tongue weight will dramatically shift, that can make the whole thing totally uncontrolable. With a short wheelbase vehicle it's only worse. The DOT has some info on trailering safely that is worth looking at. Most horse trailers i have been around were surge brakes. But I have seen elect on a few. Most new elect hook up through the brake light curcuit. Brake lights come on, elect is sent to the trailer controller. There is usually a reostat on the controller to fine tune how much trailer brakes you get. The older (pre-antilock brakes) used brake fluid from the brake master cylinder to accuate the controller.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:11 PM   #11
roverchild
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someone might have said this already but they make adapters for a 4 to 7 pin, i used one this summer. if you end up getting a brake controller look at them well, it might not be an issue with such a light trailer but the first controller i got (and i think all the cheapos) didn't work reverse. the new one is great and i have trailer brakes in reverse.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:27 PM   #12
darenative
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My wife has an FJ and there is no way in hell I'd try towing a loaded horse trailer with it. I won't even tow my 4500lb boat with it. I'm not saying it can't be done, but rather shouldn't be done....
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