Electric brakes on my trailer


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GL1500Foster
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Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by GL1500Foster » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:36 pm



I've been pulling my Aspen Classic trailer for a couple years now, and there have been a couple times when I had to make a hard stop and I could feel that loaded trailer pushing me along. I'm sure I'm heating up my bike's brakes pretty good as well.

I'm thinking of putting some electric brakes on the trailer this winter, but I'm not really sure where to start. I saw on another site that people recommended these brakes for the Aspen trailers, as they are using Dexter torque suspension:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007Z0S9YM/?tag=goldwingdocs-20 ... ingdocs-20

That's fine, I can order those, and wire it up, but what about controlling it? Has anyone done this, and what kind of controller do they recommend?



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RoadRogue
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by RoadRogue » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:08 am

First of all Welcome to the forum, this is a great place to hang out.
Those brakes you show a link to are for 3500# axels, I'm no expert but I think the trailer axel is a 700# unit, I'm pretty sure they are too big for your trailer. Get ahold of Aspen for details.
As for a brake controller a good quality "digital" unit like you use in the cab of your car or truck, with a gain control, works just fine. A lot of people mount the brake controller in a waterproof container on the tongue of the trailer. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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GL1500Foster
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by GL1500Foster » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:34 pm

I've actually been a member for many years...I've always just lurked though, so this was my first posting!

When I talked to Aspen they said they don't recommend brakes because Dexter says they don't recommend them on motorcycle trailers. So I was kind of left to my own devices to figure out which ones to get.

I had already ordered those brakes but you're right my trailer is nowhere near 3500 lbs. So those will probably be too big, I'll have to return them.

I looked around and the smallest ones I could find are 1200 lbs. Is that all I have to order? Do I need to order drums as well? Now I'm totally confused.

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RoadRogue
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by RoadRogue » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:01 pm

I do t know what you would need to make it work on your trailer. The RollaHome website says that with their Dexter axels you can not add on brakes, you would have to replace the whole axel that has brakes built in from the factory....... Looks like you have some more research to do, I will help where I can, when I find out something to share..... good luck 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by FM-USA » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:51 pm

I have read on other bike sites that electric brakes can be installed on torsion axles. You have to weld the mounting plate to the axle. Getting it square is a challenge and is HIGHLY needed for the brakes to work together evenly.
The backing plate hangs out of the wheels rim about 1/2 to 3/4 in..

Back in the early 80's I ordered a custom size width Dexter axle with elec. trailer brakes already installed. Cost me a little more but I was in a rush. You could call Dexter for info. Heck they might even have a kit at the ready.

You don't need 12" brakes for a 12" wheel. I'm using a 7" elec. brakes and they stop 1500 Lbs just fine. I have yet to change the shoes and it's going on 10 years of use, tho I'm not pulling the trailer ALL the time.

Use the yellow pages (LOL)... OK,ok, internet to find a trailer store near you and take your trailer in. They'll know right away if you can or cannot add brakes. Just watch out for their PUSH for a sale.

Food for though...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Add-Electric-Br ... SwuAVWxjRL
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C.

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RoadRogue
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by RoadRogue » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:07 pm

Putting brakes on most anything is possible, it may not be easy, you may have to get creative and modify the existing axel. You may have to weld parts on. It's a matter of trying with parts in hand. It all depends on how handy you are and what tools you have. Oh ya and how much money you are willing to spend to get what you want.
I agree with FM-USA that the 7 inch brake kit would be more than adequate and may be the exact kit you need .

I'm still trying to figure out a way to put electric brakes on my home built trailer. It's made using 18" motorcycle wheels , electric disc brakes anyone? There has to be a way......


Guess I better start welding up a prototype....... 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:03 pm

Another thing to think about: adding brakes to your trailer adds 50 pounds of UNSPRUNG weight to EACH wheel.

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GL1500Foster
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by GL1500Foster » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:38 pm

Well the brakes arrived today, and not only are they big (way too big for the wheels I have), they are heavy!! It's pretty obvious that there are more parts required, like the drum, which isn't included. So these are going back.

What is unsprung weight, and why don't I want it?

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by FM-USA » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:45 pm

The suspension may not have been designed for extra unsprung weight.
Actually pretty much all suspensions are over designed somewhat for safety margins. Just know hat adding electric brakes about doubles the axles weight. More weight = more stress.

You should be in the green zone, just check the trailers suspension parts on your stops,... for a while.
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by FM-USA » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:58 pm

RoadRogue wrote:Putting brakes on most anything is possible, it may not be easy, you may have to get creative and modify the existing axle.

I'm still trying to figure out a way to put electric brakes on my home built trailer. It's made using 18" motorcycle wheels , electric disc brakes anyone? There has to be a way......
Guess I better start welding up a prototype....... 8-)
Add a brake light activated solenoid to this system. 8D


.
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:09 pm

RoadRogue, the Aspen trailers don't have an axle, per se. They use independent Torflex suspension setup:


Kind of like a trailing link aircraft suspension, and the spring is a piece of metal inside the "axle" that is twisted as the suspension is compressed.

The only brakes that can go on them are electric drum brakes that mount directly on the hubs.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:33 pm

I looked up the brakes required for my Aspen Sentry - I suspect the Aspen Classic uses the same hubs and axles, so would use the same brakes.

You will need two of these drums, part number K08-257-91: http://www.easternmarine.com/dexter-7-x ... k08-257-91
You'll need one right brake assembly, part number K23-048-00: http://www.easternmarine.com/electric-b ... k23-048-00
And one left brake assembly, part number K23-047-00: http://www.easternmarine.com/electric-b ... k23-047-00

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by RoadRogue » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:59 pm

gl1500foster wrote:
What is unsprung weight, and why don't I want it?
Unsprung weight is referring to the weight of the suspension that is below the springs in what ever form they are. This is the weight of the tires,wheels drums,brake mechanism and backing plate. Pretty much everything that doesn't move up and down when you push down on the trailer sprung weight is everything that does move up and down.
The reason you want to keep unsprung weight down is that as the road gets rough the more the unsprung weight the harder it is to dampen the vertical momentum keeping the tires in contact with the ground and the trailer can bounce around.
It is my opinion after dragging several different trailers behind my bikes over the years and over many miles that 400# is the tipping point. If your trailer fully loaded weighs in at more than 400# you may very well want to consider adding brakes, under 400# I feel them to be necessary, yes the trailer will push you and make stopping in a hurry a handful but I find that if you adjust your riding style to take this into account, give yourself more room, slow down a little
Generally be more careful........
After a little digging, I found this on the Aspen site regarding brakes on Dexter axels 8-)


Ride safe, Todd
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by FM-USA » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:16 am

RoadRogue wrote: After a little digging, I found this on the Aspen site regarding brakes on Dexter axels 8-)
Screenshot_2016-11-30-16-04-24.png
My trailer weighs 275# Net. That's fairly light to what everyone's talking about here.
I installed the electric brakes including the mounting plate, which is a small bear but doable.

Dexters light trailer and brakes warning is viable but a little more of a scar tactic. Since everyone's concept of trailer braking is different, Dexter is making a "Blanket Warning". I understand there warning but what I found is when my trailer is empty and the brakes lock up, the tires just skid... LOUDLY! I've never had it slide to the side since I immediately back off the brakes to let the braking process start over. "Start over" means, power is first applied at lower voltage, about 3 volts, then ramps up to near full power.

I've eventually found 2 sweet spots for the brake actuator during empty and loaded trailer. Empty (to me) meaning up to 400# and loaded 400# up to 1500#.
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by Bukwas » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:53 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Another thing to think about: adding brakes to your trailer adds 50 pounds of UNSPRUNG weight to EACH wheel.
You must mean for the pair of wheels. No way it's 100 lbs for the pair. Anyways, I contacted Trailmaster, Inc before I purchased my 2014 Aspen Sentry and asked them how much weight do the electric brakes add to the trailer. I was told about 30 lbs.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by GL1500Foster » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:18 am

Well my Aspen Classic trailer is 350 lbs as it comes from the factory, so with all my gear loaded into it, it's well above 400 pounds. Wingadmin thanks for looking up those parts for me, that's a bit more money than I had originally planned on, so I think it might be springtime before I order my new brakes. But I still think I will put brakes on my trailer, because that trailer definitely pushes me around, and I have nightmares of having to brake hard in a curve or something and having that trailer jackknife my bike!!! It would be nice to have the trailer slowing me down in that case, instead of trying to push me into the ditch!!!

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by FM-USA » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:21 pm

Retractable brake?


"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by RHalbur482 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:19 pm

Don't forget, You will also need a brake controller. there is 2 styles. Don't get the delayed style. The other gives you percentage braking and that you can setup it up for what you like. I just done my BunkHouse camper and will see how it works this spring. I got my information from another person that done last year and loved his. Plus when you order make sure which bolt pattern you have 4 bolt or 5 bolt and does your axel already have the bolt on plate built on the axcel or not. I order #2000 pound brake system. Good Luck.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by hebert3007 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:40 pm

Just install brake on my bunkhouse I can not Believe the difference and I I mean a big big difference I now this is a old site if you'd like more information like controller where to put it or where I put it .the breaking difference is quite A lot shorter and could make the different between vertical and sorry to say horizontal

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:42 pm

hebert3007 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:40 pm
Just install brake on my bunkhouse I can not Believe the difference and I I mean a big big difference I now this is a old site if you'd like more information like controller where to put it or where I put it .the breaking difference is quite A lot shorter and could make the different between vertical and sorry to say horizontal
I'm planning to do this to my trailer as well, I'd be interested in knowing what you did in terms of the controller.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by hebert3007 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:46 pm

I'm sorry in my previous post you can get a hold of me on this forum .

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by hebert3007 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:06 pm

Wing Admin I will get all the information and post tomorrow . The controller I put in the left glove box I have a GL 1800 to give you all the specs what the current controller is that I'm using and mu testing that I did for stoping with and with out.

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by hebert3007 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:28 am

Wing admin I'm using Prodigy 2 electronic trailor control. www.tekonsha.com The brake control L5 3/8"x W3 1/4" xH1 1/8" I put it in my left glove box it has a plug in the back of the unit when not in us I store in trunk. There web. Site has full wireing diagram. I checked EBay $65 to $ 135. I'm the guy with the Yellow trike at the Gathering last month. From a point A to point B stoping distance with out brakes and point C with brakes on 421/2' shorter @ 65 miles an hour. Hope this helps ? Ps that brake control is made in the USA, Mi. Bernie

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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by FM-USA » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:48 am

Extra tires on the road that are braking always helps.

Early 80's I installed trailer brakes on mine, behind my 1977 XS1100.
So comforting to know the trailer is pulling you to a stop. In essence, it's clothe-lining you from jack-knifing.

HAPPY HAULING
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Re: Electric brakes on my trailer

Post by AZgl1800 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:11 pm

I was looking for electric brakes for the 8" wheels, but the local trailer supply store said 12" wheels are the smallest ones that can be fitted with brakes.

So, I use the "look ahead" method and engine braking to save the brake pads...

At all Intersections, I treat them like there is an invisible bullet flying thru whether I can see anyone or not.


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