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Brake Controller Question

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  • Brake Controller Question

    I just bought a newer truck...a Toyota Tundra! It is replacing my 1995 Chevy. I have a brake controller in the Chevy, it is a Draw Tite Activator 2. For the past couple of years, I have NOT been able to get my rig to stop smoothly when horses are in the trailer. If it is set to 2, it is like I have no brakes. If I set it to 2.5, it is like I am slamming on the brakes. I have played with both controls on the box and just can't find a setting I like. Everything has been checked and the box and the trailer brakes are apparently working fine.

    Anyone else have this issue? I am torn right now between getting a new box or just putting the one I have in the Chevy into the Tundra. I hate to throw money away on a new controller, but I would really like to be able to stop smoothly for a change!

  • #2
    I looked it up. It's a time delay device. Do yourself a favor and get a better one. The cheaper ones work by time delay. This is not a good place to save money. Better ones have an inertia sensor. The best ones directly read the pressure in the hydraulic part of the braking system on the truck, and send a signal to the trailer brakes instantly in direct proportion. Mine is an old Brakesmart that ties into the master cylinder on the truck, but it's been replaced by something else now in that market, and I haven't kept up with it. After using it, I don't like the inertia sensor ones (whatever the latest flavor of Tekonsa is) much better than the time delay ones, but I don't have your average seat of the pants feel.
    www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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    • #3
      There are some really nice controllers available today for reasonable money that work smoothly and safely. I happen to have a Tekonshia P3 and really like it. It was plug-and-play with my vehicle, too, using a pre-terminated Tekonshia cable that plugged into the vehicle's brake controller plug on one end and onto the back of the controller on the other end. I bought from e-trailer.

      Also, be sure that your trailer's brakes are properly adjusted, too. If they are "grabby", they may need to be tweaked.

      Comment


      • #4
        Agree, there is a great difference between TB controllers. I had great experience with a Tekonsha Prodigy model. (Actually it was a Draw-Tite rebranded Tekonsha)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tom King View Post
          I looked it up. It's a time delay device. Do yourself a favor and get a better one. The cheaper ones work by time delay. This is not a good place to save money. Better ones have an inertia sensor. The best ones directly read the pressure in the hydraulic part of the braking system on the truck, and send a signal to the trailer brakes instantly in direct proportion. Mine is an old Brakesmart that ties into the master cylinder on the truck, but it's been replaced by something else now in that market, and I haven't kept up with it. After using it, I don't like the inertia sensor ones (whatever the latest flavor of Tekonsa is) much better than the time delay ones, but I don't have your average seat of the pants feel.
          Replaced by MaxBrake.

          Buy it and you will never use any other.

          Comment


          • #6
            I second the Tekonsha P3. It's great and has a ton of settings.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks! Looks like I will be getting a new controller.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds like a good plan...and if your trailer brakes haven't been checked/adjusted in awhile, it might be a good time to do that, too, so that you know your new controller setup and trailer are working at their best.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have my wheel bearings packed twice a year, brakes and magnets check at the same time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jim_in_PA View Post
                    Sounds like a good plan...and if your trailer brakes haven't been checked/adjusted in awhile, it might be a good time to do that, too, so that you know your new controller setup and trailer are working at their best.
                    The last set of trailer brakes that needed adjusting probably rusted off of something several decades ago. They are all self-adjusting now. Back up, put on the brakes, and they self adjust.
                    www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, yess but .....

                      do yours tell you whether the linings are scored or worn, or whether the magnets are bad?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tom, you're correct that things are much better in current times...but when there are issues as mentioned in the OP, there's no harm in checking everything, especially when safety is involved.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jim_in_PA View Post
                          Tom, you're correct that things are much better in current times...but when there are issues as mentioned in the OP, there's no harm in checking everything, especially when safety is involved.

                          Yes.

                          There are lots of things to look for besides brake adjustment.

                          I bought a horse to be shipped to NC from Montana and made the mistake of selecting the wrong guy to bring it east.

                          He got as far as a drop off in VA and a trailer wheel broke the axle and broke the trailer floor in such a way that the floor was dropping down.

                          He told the people I sent to get the horse that the tire blew and that caused the problem.

                          I did not see it, but I know better. The bearing in that wheel went dry and the heat caused the axle to break due to the high heat generated by a dry bearing.

                          You will recall that a horse trailer caught fire, burned and killed a couple of high class show horses a couple of years ago, all because of a hot wheel bearing.

                          Nothing takes the place of a personal inspection by a knowledgeable person.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another vote for Tekonsha P3. I had an old Drawtight brake controller and my problem was that I had to set it to the highest numbers to get any braking action. Then sometimes it would brake so quickly and hard that the trailer jerked. Never could get it set to work smoothly and even had 4 complete new wheels put on the trailer. Soon as I got the P3, it was heavenly.

                            Mary in Western NY
                            http://www.bpequine.com

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