Brake controller in both car and on trailer - will it work or will I break somet

Submitted: Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 22:47
ThreadID: 92641 Views:4255 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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Looking for some quick advice. I've done hardly anything with trailers before. I'm about to pick up a second hand Trackabout camper trailer and have realised it has electric brakes, which is great, but with its own controller mounted on the trailer.

Well I also have an electric brake controller mounted in the landcruiser above my leg (previous owner installed it for towing a trailer with electric brakes).

Can I just plug the trailer into my normal trailer socket and maybe just back the gain right off on both controller units?

Or can I switch one unit off? I've got no idea how these brake controllers work!

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Reply By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 23:16

Monday, Mar 19, 2012 at 23:16
My c/t has an A-frame mounted (solid state) controller, and both my vehicles are fitted with a Prodigy P3 (same unit that I swap between vehicles as required)...

I simply turn the gain control on the trailer mounted unit to zero, and adjust the vehicle mounted unit as normal, and it works fine....

I retain this set-up so that if necessary, the trailer can be towed by a vehicle that doesn't have an on-board controller...


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AnswerID: 480857

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 08:46

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 08:46

My trailer has a trailer mounted control as well since other family members will be using the trailer. I don't have a control inside the car yet but have been told that once I get my in car controller I can just turn the gain down and the in cab unit should take over.
AnswerID: 480867

Follow Up By: Paul F2 - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 16:10

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 16:10
Thanks guys,

I have to tool around a bit with my setup as the reverse lights on the trailer were lighting up when I pressed the brake pedal. All other trailer lights worked.

So I turned both controllers right down to start with and got home ok. This was pretty safe as the trailer was largely empty, and the electric brakes were still kicking in even with both controllers turned right down. My biggest concern was that the brakes may be constantly "on" due to incorrect wiring, but just drove for a little while, checked the drums for heat, and found no probs.

So need to trace the wiring to figure out what is happening with lights - once I know that is right I'll play with the brake controllers to get it all right.

Thanks again.
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Reply By: LeighW - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 18:11

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 18:11
For the trailer controller to work it would need to be connected to
the towing vehicles brake lights and to the aux +VE.

It would not be connected to the electric brake circuit from the
car as this power changes depending on the amount of braking
required and is not suitable to power another brake controller.

Therefore I think you'll find the vehicle mounted brake controller
will have no affect on the trailer unit as the wires for the electric
brakes from the tow vehicle are most likely not connected.

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Follow Up By: Paul F2 - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 12:33

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 12:33
Thanks LeighW

You were right. Blue wire (electric brakes) is not connected in the trailer's plug.
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