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Old 05-04-2014, 10:06 AM   #1
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Surge brakes or electric brakes

Can anyone tell me how to tell the difference between the two? I have a 2013 rockwood signature ultra lite 8319ss and I'm not sure what type of brakes it has. I need to know if I need a brake controller as I'm headed to Mobile,Al for memorial weekend
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:14 AM   #2
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Surge brake use the stopping force of the tow vehicle to work. As the TV slows down the trailer weight going forward forces the brakes to engage. (usually a mechanism on the tongue usually attached to a master cylinder (hydraulic) . They can be a real PITA when you try to back up.

Don't see them too often the bigger Uhaul trailers have them as not too many renters have controllers on their TV.

Do not know what you have but I would bet electric brakes.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:46 AM   #3
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They would be ok probably on a very lightweight TT, put nothing more than say 3500 lbs. They are mostly used on boat trailers, because the brake mechanism is not electric and can be used under water. The brakes are Hydraulic. I've used them for years in the U.S.C.G. There is no real control on them ,and when you hit the brakes on the TV, be prepared for a big tug from the Trailer. You do get used to it, but there's no adjustment on the sensitivity as far as I know. At least on the ones that I have used.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:42 PM   #4
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I can't think of any travel trailers with surge brakes.

My folk's Catalina 22' sailboat's trailer had them. Pretty much like having no breaks at all.
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:46 PM   #5
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Another question, What brake controller does everyone use and why? I want a good one that will not break the bank
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:45 PM   #6
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surge brakes are pretty rare anymore and are generally only on smaller utility trailers and popups.
surge brakes don't require a B.C.

Prodigy is the best selling and recommended B.C. on the market.

i have a question. your pic shows a truck and trailer.
have you been towing your trailer without a brake controller?
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:07 PM   #7
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Yes I have. I've ran from Houston TX to Pensacola FL and it towed (and stopped) just fine. My dealer never informed me of a need for a brake controller. Any specific model of prodigy? Or anything to look for performance wise?
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsibarra2010 View Post
My dealer never informed me of a need for a brake controller.
all i can say is WOW! this is what you should do to that dealer.

because it's the law to have one if the trailer is equipped with electric brakes.

either the P2 or P3, depends on how much bling you want on it.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:55 PM   #9
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How much bling? Does the 3 shine more than the 2?
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:39 PM   #10
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Pretty much. I have a P2, works just fine. Think I paid $120 at camping world (had a gift card).
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