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Old 08-21-2015, 09:33 PM   #1
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electric brakes

I bought a used 2006 17B and the original brochure indicates that electric brakes were standard. How can one tell if their trailer indeed does have electric brakes? I'd like to check before investing in a brake controller. Also, if I have the controller harness under the dash, could I buy a controller at Costco and mount myself? Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:15 PM   #2
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Electric brakes have wires going to them that are obvious if you throw down a piece of cardboard and slide under and have a look.

There should also be a break away switch on the tongue. You should be able to trigger the brakes by pulling on the wire lanyard. Someone standing near them should be able to hear a click.

Ron
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverplace View Post
I bought a used 2006 17B and the original brochure indicates that electric brakes were standard. How can one tell if their trailer indeed does have electric brakes? I'd like to check before investing in a brake controller. Also, if I have the controller harness under the dash, could I buy a controller at Costco and mount myself? Thanks!
If you have the harness, then mounting the controller is a fairly simple operation. If you work at a snail's pace, it should take you all of 15 minutes. But.......read the owner's manual which will tell you how to adjust the controller for optimal break performance.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:19 PM   #4
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Regarding Costco: I've never seen brake controllers for sale there.
I would recommend looking at the etrailer.com website.
Etrailer has a lot of explanatory text and videos about how things work and how to install them. Prices are generally pretty good (at least in the ballpark with other on-line discount sources).

P.S. Note to admins: I just posted this a minute ago, but it posted to a different thread.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by riverplace View Post
I bought a used 2006 17B and the original brochure indicates that electric brakes were standard.
If there was ever an Escape made without electric brakes, it would have been the 13-foot model. Any 17-foot or larger trailer is too heavy (when loaded with your stuff) to tow without brakes on the trailer; I really don't think Escape ever built a 17-foot without electric brakes.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:11 AM   #6
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I agree with Brian, it was definitely built with brakes. Whether they are still in working condition is the question. That is easy enough to check, just jack up one wheel and make sure you have battery power. Pull the break away switch on the tongue and see if the wheel turns or is locked up.
Rinse and repeat with the other wheel.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by riverplace View Post
I'd like to check before investing in a brake controller. Also, if I have the controller harness under the dash, could I buy a controller at Costco and mount myself? Thanks!
What tow vehicle are you using?
Some brands of controllers have adapters that plug into the factory harness under the dash. You buy the adapter separately.

Toyota's with towing packages give you the 'pig-tail' that plugs into the harness under the dash but just has loose wires that you have to match and connect to your controller.

My truck had neither and took me the better part of a day and lots of parts and tools and wire. I liked doing it but I'd be concerned about the persons skill set before I'd tell them to do it themselves.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:08 AM   #8
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electric brakes

I have a Honda Ridgeline for towing the 17B and it does have the breakaway wire, I didn't know that was part of the electric brakes.....etrailers is a good suggestion, I will check it out. Costco has the controller online, two models, one is digital. If I check the brake by pulling on the breakaway wire, will it release when I let go, or will I have to do something else? Is there a spring mechanism? thanks!
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:54 AM   #9
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The part that is pulled by the breakaway cable is a piece of plastic about 2" long. Pull it right out. Pushes back in.

Also, the trailer brakes rely on one of the wires going to ground on the trailer frame. It would be good to remove the wire, clean the lug, and reinstall. And, on my few month old trailer, one of the connectors from the brake, about a foot from the wheel where it joins the ETI wire, had a frayed and damaged wire. So checking those items also would be good. Poor wire grounds equal poor brakes.

Ron
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:26 PM   #10
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riverplace, check out Amazon for brake controllers, and don't forget you need the wiring harness.

Amazon.com: TEKONSHA P2 PRODIGY BRAKE CONTROL + WIRING HARNESS FOR HONDA RIDGELINE AND PILOT. CONTROLLER + PLUG/PLAY WIRE KIT.: Automotive
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