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Old 10-31-2008, 06:34 AM   #1
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tow question

Im renting a power house excavator this weekend. With the trailer and attachments it ways 5500lbs. I havent pulled anything with the truck yet. It has the tow package w/6sp. I know the trailer needs a 2'' ball. Do I need anything else? Like an adapter for the wire harness? A drop Hitch? Im pretty sure the truck will tow 7000lbs so I guess I should be within the limits. Will this trailer have brakes? the clowns at Home depot didnt have any answers for me so I got pissed and hung up.
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:45 AM   #2
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7-pin to 4-wire adapter, just in case.

Slide hitch with 2" ball.

If the trailer has brakes, you will need a brake controller and the harness to connect it to the truck (down by the driver's side kick panel). Harness should be in your glovebox.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:40 AM   #3
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Have you never towed before? You've got a baptism of fire towing a 5500 lb trailer with a Taco as your first towing experience. It will do it ok, but take it easy, leave plenty of space for stopping/when pulling out. Aim to be doing the towing when the roads are quiet. Check and double check all your connections.

You'll have to buy a brake controller, as was already mentioned. It'll probably cost abou $150. It will take a few mins to instal as well, so don't go trying to do it in the Home Depot parking lot.
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:06 PM   #4
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Tow rating for your truck is 6500lbs not 7000. If the excavator, trailer and accessories (counting the fuel in the unit) is really 5500 lbs, you'll be fine.

You will need a brake controller if the trailer is set up with electric brakes. (It could use surge brakes being that it is a rental trailer) If it has surge brakes you can tell because there will be a massive looking coupler on the trailer, as in a big kind of box thing built above the coupler on the trailer frame. (Also with surge brakes the wiring to your truck will only be 4-flat, so you'll need an adapter to go from the 7 round on your truck to the 4 flat on the trailer)

If the trailer has regular electric brakes the coupler will not be built up at all, and just look like the rest of the tongue. You'll also be tipped off to electric brakes because the trailer plug will either be a 7-round (Just like on your truck) a 6 round, or a 5-flat (these two you would also need an adapter for, so you would do well to check before you get there to pick it up so that you have everything you need.

If it is an electric brake trailer then you will need a brake controller, so that the signal gets from your right foot to the trailer's brakes. It is pretty much plug and play, and is covered in the towing bible at the top of the towing section, but you'll need a little time in the parking lot to dial in the output and the gain on the controller to get it to stop the trailer correctly.

Just take your time, follow the instructions for setting up the controller and remember that when hitched up you have more than doubled the amount of weight you need to stop and you'll do fine.

Regards,
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick491 View Post

If it is an electric brake trailer then you will need a brake controller, so that the signal gets from your right foot to the trailer's brakes.
I thought that the trailer brakes are activated by a motion sensor inside the controller which was why it has to be installed the level? This also means that if you use engine braking (and who doesn't when the Taco has such puny brakes) the sensor will activate the trailer brakes.

Or is there a dual system?
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petersharp View Post
I thought that the trailer brakes are activated by a motion sensor inside the controller which was why it has to be installed the level? This also means that if you use engine braking (and who doesn't when the Taco has such puny brakes) the sensor will activate the trailer brakes.

Or is there a dual system?
There are two types of brake controllers. A proportional (also called inertia based) (the kind you describe, which has to be level, and activates the trailer brakes by motion sensor)

And electronic, the kind I was talking about and have detailed the install of, which simply picks up the signal from the brake circuit of the truck, and then increases the output to the trailer brakes at a specified gain rate up to the max power output you have selected. Takes a little time to get it dialed in correctly, and what is correct changes from trailer to trailer. (I keep an index card in the truck with the output and gain values on it for the 3 different trailers I tow regularly)

Inertia based controllers, are somewhat more expensive, and are more difficult to install (read as in a nice looking un-obtrusive manner)

Surge brakes are a pressure switch in the coupler of the trailer that operates like an inertia based controller, but keeps the entire trailer braking system isolated in the trailer, generally found in rental trailers for insurance purposes because the rental comapny can not garontee that every person showing up to rent their trailer will have a correctly wired or operating brake controller installed in ther vehicle.

Regards,
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