Honda Pilot: Where to place the brake controller??? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-17-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
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Honda Pilot: Where to place the brake controller???

Our mechanic is finding it difficult to find a good, safe spot to place the brake controller on our new Honda Pilot. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks much, Susan
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:28 AM   #2
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I don't know how much difference your Pilot is from my Ridgline but mine is just to the left of the steering wheel column. It is attached with adhesive backed velcro. The sticky part gets old and needs to be replaced now and then but didn't want to drill holes to install it.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:26 PM   #3
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Thanks! We'll suggest this to him. He too was concerned about drilling anywhere.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:34 PM   #4
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You want it located where you can see the read-out ( to know that you haven't become disconnected ) and where you can manually operate the lever that applies the trailer brakes. This is apparently useful if the trailer begins to sway ( I prefer not to get into that situation ). On my RAV, the controller is above my right knee.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #5
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Susan,

On my 2011 Pilot, my Prodigy 2 is mounted on its hanging bracket, just to the right of the steering column, below the dash. I can easily read the monitoring indicators and reach the manual override lever, if I ever needed to do so. The installers affixed the mounting bracket with screws but, if I had to do it again, I use VHB tape. Then I wouldn't have any screw holes.

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Old 09-17-2014, 03:58 PM   #6
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I attach my controller to a cupholder which slides (like a drawer) out of the dashboard... but it's not a Pilot. The point is that there are options beyond an unoccupied section of dashboard (which is tough to find).

One caution: in a frontal collision you may run into the lower dash with your knees, and it would be bad to have the controller forced into your knee... place carefully.
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:20 PM   #7
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We, too, had trouble placing it. It needs to be where you can quickly and easily operate that lever to slow the trailer in an emergency, as mentioned. The biggest thing is probably to try to remember to practice moving the lever every time starting out so that you remember it is there and can use it immediately when needed.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
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Under what circumstances?

Under what circumstances would we have to manually engage the brakes for the trailer? We are getting an Anderson hitch, so we thought that would control swaying and so on. There seems to be a lot more to all of this than we anticipated! Thanks all, Susan
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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You can use it to slow going down grades ( ONLY IF NEEDED SO YOU DON"T SMOKE YOUR VEHICLE BRAKES) , if the trailer is sliding It will pull it straight using it's brakes so as not to jack knife etc yes the Andersen will reduce sway but if the trailer is sliding / hydroplaning etc it may help keep it under control. Others here I am sure will chime in soon.

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Old 09-18-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Under what circumstances would we have to manually engage the brakes for the trailer? We are getting an Anderson hitch, so we thought that would control swaying and so on. There seems to be a lot more to all of this than we anticipated! Thanks all, Susan
Hi: Susan... You really need the controller within arms reach.
In the Rockies this spring with the new 5.0TA I used the trailer brakes manually a few times, with light pressure on the pedal to show brake lights. Just replaced rear rotors and pads on the truck @ 97,000 kms. Alf
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:17 AM   #11
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I have mine under the dash to the right of the steering column. It is very close to my shins, but not quite hitting. I really could see no better place to mount it.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:20 AM   #12
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Brake Control location in Pilot

I also have mine to the right of the steering column, it was the best place for myself. There's also nothing at the back of it so mounting its cradle/bracket with machine screws and nuts wasn't an issue.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:31 AM   #13
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The occasions when I have engaged the trailer brakes manually have been very rare. I think more to see if the trailer brakes were working than anything else. After we came back from our trips we always had the oil changed and the brakes checked. i expected to see additional wear on the brakes -- but never saw anything unexpected. As I recall, we replaced the front pads at about 60K miles.

All that said, I can understand the wisdom of having the brake controller in easy reach. I have adjusted the brake controller on occasion, just becuase it got jiggled, or maybe the conditions changed, or maybe I just decided I wanted to have a bit more braking in the trailer.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:33 PM   #14
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Under what circumstances would we have to manually engage the brakes for the trailer? We are getting an Anderson hitch, so we thought that would control swaying and so on.
The Andersen No-Sway WD Hitch should be an effective sway control device, but nothing's perfect. On the other hand, I've never used any WD or sway control device, and never found one to be needed.

One reason to have the controller within reach is to apply the manual lever if required to control sway. I've never had a reason to do that.

For me, the primary reason for the controller to be in reach is so that it can be adjusted.

Leon's position is about the same as mine.

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You can use it to slow going down grades ( ONLY IF NEEDED SO YOU DON"T SMOKE YOUR VEHICLE BRAKES)...
Given how small and ineffective the trailer's drums are compared to the tug's brakes, I can't see ever doing this. To control speed descending a grade without overheating brakes, the normal solution is engine braking.
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:48 PM   #15
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B_P,

Ever been on the Molly Stark Trail ? I will agree the brakes on the trailer are small but they will slow or stop the vehicle . On some of the steeper down slopes when I have towed heavier loads I alternate to slow a bit better vehicle ans trailer to allow the brakes to cool.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Under what circumstances would we have to manually engage the brakes for the trailer? We are getting an Anderson hitch, so we thought that would control swaying and so on. There seems to be a lot more to all of this than we anticipated! Thanks all, Susan
The situation would be that the trailer is suddenly out of control, swaying back and forth on you. I have no idea how good the Anderson hitch might be on that. If you apply the manual lever on the brake controller, it will slow the trailer, getting it straightened out, because the trailer will be going slower than the vehicle.

Sway is unlikely to happen if you start out by going to a truck scale and getting your tongue weight. You might get the weights with and without hitch also, to partly see what the hitch is doing, as far as weight. Also need to try to balance what you put in the trailer side-to-side. I think the Escape comes well-balanced already but you need to pay some attention to what you add where, and especially in back.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:50 PM   #17
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Where do most people get their trailers weighed? Truck weigh station? RV Center? Camping World? I guess this is a stupid newbie question, but hey, I'm a newbie.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:20 PM   #18
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Truck scales, maybe $9 or $10, if second time through, a dollar. Some people have free scales around that they can go to.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:55 PM   #19
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Ever been on the Molly Stark Trail ?
No - but any road that had me using the trailer brakes to relieve the vehicle brakes would make me wonder if I had a suitable tow vehicle. Mountain roads can be really steep even if the mountains are not very tall, and if it is a really low-speed road, the tug might not be geared low enough to effectively brake with the engine for speed control; however, as a state highway (Vermont 9) I would expect normal road speeds and no gearing problem. Maybe I'll get to try it someday...

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I will agree the brakes on the trailer are small but they will slow or stop the vehicle .
Yes, but because they are relatively undersized compared to the tug, if they are doing their share of the braking work then by the time the tug's brakes are overheated, the trailer's will be as well. Maybe they're not doing their share?

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On some of the steeper down slopes when I have towed heavier loads I alternate to slow a bit better vehicle ans trailer to allow the brakes to cool.
This suggests to me that the brakes are being used continuously to absorb the energy of the descent, controlling speed down the grade, rather than just to stop or slow for a corner. That's where engine braking is good - it can continually absorb energy while descending at a constant controlled speed, without depending on the brakes.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:28 PM   #20
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Every time I leave on a trip, I use the manual activator to test the brakes before I pull out of the driveway...
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