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  • hdff
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Question about electric trailer brakes
I'm thinking about pulling a trailer that has electric brakes, do I need to do anything special using the retarder? I know the brake lights come on when the retarder activates, would the trailer brakes engage also?  If so what do I do other than...

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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #1
I've never pulled a trailer but the previous owner did.  He installed a standard brake controller like I had on my Ford truck when I pulled my 5th wheel.  I had not considered the retarder question.

Rich

Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #2
I use this.  Check out install  instructions,  it appears to be activated by brake lights which come on with the retarder application. 

I can use this with both my toad and my rv, a Lexus 470 suv and my FT 295, to pull my utility trailer with...

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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #3
I installed a diode to keep the brake lights that are applied with the retarder from activating the trailer brake controller. You can pm me if you need more information. Ron

Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #4
Brake controllers use an inertia pendulum, the faster the tow vehicle slows down or the harder the braking system slows the vehicle the more braking power it will ask the trailer to apply.
Brake controllers are not connected to the coach braking...

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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #5
Brake controllers use an inertia pendulum, the faster the tow vehicle slows down or the harder the braking system slows the vehicle the more braking power it will ask the trailer to apply.
Brake...


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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #6
Some Foretravel setups activate the brake lights when the retarder is activated while others do not. Therefore the above statements may or may not be accurate--depending upon the configuration...


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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #7
I don't have a retarder, so I'm only a casual observer.  I have noted in the past some discussions about this subject: "Should the retarder activate the coach brake lights"?  Some say "Yes"...


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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #8
Chris,

You mention some of the common reasons for "No" on retarder/brake light connection...all valid.

IIRC, some reasons for "Yes" on the question are:

1.  Coming down a mountain road with heavy retarder action, cars/trucks behind you may not...

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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #9
Chris,

You mention some of the common reasons for "No" on retarder/brake light connection...all valid.

IIRC, some reasons for "Yes" on the question are:

1.  Coming down a mountain road with...


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  • jcus
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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #10
Chris,

You mention some of the common reasons for "No" on retarder/brake light connection...all valid.

IIRC, some reasons for "Yes" on the question are:

1.  Coming down a mountain road with...


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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #11
Chuck, just curious, do your brake lights come on with your exhaust brake?
No, there is no connection between our exhaust brake and the brake light circuit.  I think I remember seeing something in the...

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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #12
 If the brake lights are always on they become running lights. 

Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #13
If the brake lights are always on they become running lights.

There you go. My thoughts exactly.

After driving back from the 4 wide race in a rental car, watching everybody hitting the brakes...

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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #14
I see a lot of trucks using exhaust and jake brakes that are not attached to the brake lights.

That's as it should be, at least in my opinion. I use my retarder to gradually slow down or to maintain...

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  • hdff
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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #15
So am I reading that when the retarder slows down the coach the service brakes are not activated it is only the motor doing the  slowing.
The lights coming on does not mean the service brakes are being used
My brake lights come on with the...

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Re: Question about electric trailer brakes
Reply #16
Thanks guys interesting read that got me wondering how my exhaust brake actually operates and how to best use it. I can switch it on or off, same with the brake lights each with an red ON indicater light. What I do know, if you lift off the...

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