Electric trailer brakes and snow - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-05-2013, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Electric trailer brakes and snow

I've never owned a trailer that was large enough to have electric brakes and the wife and I will be towing a Wells Cargo 7x16 (7000lb) fully loaded for about 1500 miles. Anyway, I was wondering, if while you are towing and hit really bad winter weather, do you leave your settings alone on the brake controller or do you lower the gain way down so the trailer brakes don't lock up? We probably won't hit any snow or ice but I thought I'd better ask just in case.


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post #2 of 9 Old 11-05-2013, 08:25 AM
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If it were me I'd set the gain when I start the trip with the load in the trailer and not touch it. If the gain is set correctly then you shouldn't have problems locking the brakes up on ice. If they do lock up then you'll most likely be locked up in the tow vehicle also.

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post #3 of 9 Old 11-05-2013, 02:36 PM
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^ I agree. I would do the same.

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post #4 of 9 Old 11-05-2013, 05:11 PM
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What they said.

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-06-2013, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Ok cool! Thanks.

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post #6 of 9 Old 11-16-2013, 10:25 AM
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I've towed heavy up and down the ALCAN in winter many times - pure ice. Go slow, brake early, and memorize and rehearse how to grab the manual brake while keeping eyes on road. If the trailer starts to jackknife, only way to save it to go full brake on trailer with manual control and release brakes on truck, let the trailer straighten out the truck. Best advice is go slow and slow way way early.

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post #7 of 9 Old 11-18-2013, 03:29 PM
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hauled many large RVs out cleveland in snow storms and crazy weather. as everyone else said, set it up so you feel the trailer brakes, but they arnt doing the braking for you. if your locking up tires, you have it too high. all the trailer brakes have to do is assist the truck brakes. if they are tugging on you when braking, they too high.

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-22-2013, 12:27 PM
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jetjock is on the right path with using trailer brakes to pull out of a jackknife. however you want to avoid locking up the trailer, and sending the whole shebang for a loop. any modern brake controller works off inertia, so it should only brake enough to stay straight behind truck if set correctly.truck ABS comes on=less inertia trailer brakes release. while recovery is important, just plain avoiding the whole scenario by driving slow enough, looking far enough ahead to anticipate events, so that emergency maneuvers are not needed AKA driving defensively is even better

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post #9 of 9 Old 11-22-2013, 12:48 PM
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Lol, by correct path you mean I kept a 20k trailer and 8k truck on the road for over 3k miles of straight sheer black ice (Yukon/Ak) two different occasions lol - I sure did. By the way I also chained up the front axle of the trailer going down the steep hills. On my first trip I ran studs on truck and trailer, on second trip I did not run any studs. Studs on trailer worked amazing on the ice, all the weight I guess.

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