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Old    Hyrum Kirton (hyrific)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-23-2005, 3:51 PM Reply   
Anybody installed or have any expirience with one of these. I have the standard disc brake surge brakes on my trailer and I am sick of burning my brakes going up and down the canyons here in utah. From what I understand this electronicly controls the breaks with a break controler so it only breaks when your foot is on the pedal. If anybody has installed or has something similar to this I would appriciate any information about if its reliable and brakes well on a marine application like mine. Thanks
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-23-2005, 4:07 PM Reply   
Hyrum if you have the electric reverse lockout on your trailer brakes, a simple relay tied to the brake lights could do the trick. It would also require a diode so it didn't feedback into the backup lights.
Old    Hyrum Kirton (hyrific)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-23-2005, 4:35 PM Reply   
I do have the electric reverse lockout on our trailer. I am guessing I would be making a relay that would only turn on the brakes when My foot is on the petal? If you could be more specific on that I would appriciate it. From what I understand the fifth plug on my harness if activated at 12 volts makes turns off the brakes for backing up. so I would have the always at 12 volts unless my foot was on the pedal right? would going down canyons downshifting most of the time hurt the electric lockout? It would seem to me I would be putting a lot of pressure on it. Anyway if you could be more specific that on the I would appriciate it.
Old    ag4ever            03-23-2005, 4:51 PM Reply   
I spoke to a company about them, and they loved them. They install them on goosneck horse trailers, and claim it makes the best brake system available.

I have just removed my brakes since I have a F250 to tow with, but I am planning on adding disk brakes to both axles and using the materbrake controller with the brakerite electric over hydraulic actuator.

Remember most controllers are based on a pendulum that would react very similar to a surge actuator, and while going down hill it might ride the brakes. That is why I like the master brake controller that reads the hydraulic pressure of the tow vehicle and apply the brakes on the trailer as required.
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       03-23-2005, 5:00 PM Reply   

You may be confusing the controller for electric brakes, which is an entirely different animal.

A trailer equipped with electric brakes has an electromagnet in the brake drum that is held close to the "face" of the drum. The arm the magnet is on is part of the brake linkage. When electric current is passed through the electromagnet it attempts to stick to the face of the brake drum, which due to its rotation ties to pull the magnet along, which applies the brakes. The greater the current to the magnet, the more braking force applied.

To control the current to the magnet the tow vehicle has to have an electric brake controller. One of the connections for the controller is to the brake light circuit so that it can sense when to turn on the brakes. The controller also has an "inertia sensor" to establish how much braking force to apply.

None of this applies to surge brakes.
I would not expect the "reverse lockout" to be able to provide the function that you want. There are two possible ways that the lockout could work, and I am not sure if ALL systems are the same.

One way, and I believe the most common (if not only way) is that the reverse lockout is actually a bypass. When the solenoid valve is actuated (via the backup light circuit) the valve allows the brake fluid to flow freely back to the resevior. If you activated this circuit while traveling downhill, the brake coupler would collapse to its limit, pumping the brake fluid back into the resevior. If you then stepped on the brakes, the trailer brakes would be inoperative because the coupler is already at its limit.

Another possible way that the lockout could work is that the soleniod valve is in series with the brake line. If the valve was normally open then normal brake functions would work. If you closed the valve then it would stop the brakes from being applied. If you connected this system up to the brake lights then it would stop the trailer brakes from changing while your foot was off the brake. Note that I said "changing" and not "applying". If the brakes were disengaged they would stay disengaged. Unfortunately, if you stepped on the brakes, which would apply the trailer brakes, the trailer brakes would stay on once you took your foot off the brake pedal.

A great source of information on trailers, trailer brakes, etc. is the following web site:

Old    Trace (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       03-23-2005, 5:13 PM Reply   
if your trailer has a 5-way plug, more than likely you have reverse lockout. figure out which terminal is the reverse signal, and get an automotive relay.

check out this page if you don't know relays:

hook 85 to ground, the trailer side of the reverse wire to 30, the truck side to 87A, and run fused power thru a switch on your dash to 87 and 86. this switch will lock out surge brakes. turn it off, and the brakes work normally.
Old    Hyrum Kirton (hyrific)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-23-2005, 5:37 PM Reply   
I deff know what electric brakes are. The brakerite and other products have an electric solenoid that puts hydraulic pressure in your brake lines based apon what your brake controler tells it to. I suppose I could add the solenoid and just completly turn my brakes off when going down canyons like trace is saying to do. Has anybody done this. Would I be possibly damageing my surge solenoid towing down canyons with it locked out?

(Message edited by hyrific on March 23, 2005)
Old    Hyrum Kirton (hyrific)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-23-2005, 5:40 PM Reply   
Sorry for my spelling and grammar BTW.
Old    ag4ever            03-23-2005, 6:41 PM Reply   

He is talking about electric over hydraulic.

as far as I know there are three manufacturers, Master brake (ElecDraulic), titan (BrakeRite), and Carlisle (HydraStarFlier). These systems are really the best way to make a brake system. Some people over on have installed these on their travel trailers, boat trailers, car carriers, and horse trailers, and claim they would never go back to the other typse of brake systems available.

Here are some links to the various systems:

For my money, I will be installing a masterbrake controller, a brakerite actuator, and some tie-down disk brakes when I redo my system. With brakes on both axles. That way I should be able to stop better with a trailer than without.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-24-2005, 1:12 PM Reply   
Based on what Rod Said I would not intstall the relay I mentioned earlier unless you wanted to eliminate the brakes altogether, not a real good idea.
Old    Trace (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       03-24-2005, 2:41 PM Reply   
please note i don't tow in mtns, so have no direct experience with this.

yes, for your brakes to work with the switch & relay i described above, you would have to turn the switch off. it also wouldn't be hard to come up with a circuit that would allow your brake light signal to override the override... :-)

i like tinkering with that kind of stuff, so that's prob the way i'd go if my existing master cylinder was in good shape. if the MC is pretty shot anyway, i'd consider one of those electric over hydraulic systems.
Old    Hyrum Kirton (hyrific)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-25-2005, 6:39 PM Reply   
I just decided to purchase a brakerite system because people who have done so seem to really like it plus that way I have brakes when I am towing down hills if I need them. It just seemed like a safer way to go. anyway thanks for all the input! I'll post when I get it all installed with how well it works.


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