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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are many posts about electronic brake controllers for 2002 Tundras. My question is........I have a 2002 Tundra w/o a towing package. I am going to purchase a 2002 Coleman Tacoma pop-up camper that weighs just under 2000 lbs. It is my understanding the camper has electric brakes. One online dealer is saying towing needs include a 4 way flat electrical plug. I do believe the trailer has electric brakes. I am thinking the electrical brakes are more for people towing with a sedan or a van. Is it necessary for me to install an electric brake controller to tow this camper? We wouldn't be adding any weight to the camper for towing. What we carry with us would fit in the bed of the truck.
 

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Legally you don't need brakes under 3K in most states. Having said that I have no idea why you wouldn't want them for the $200 it will cost to have a controller installed. It will make your towing experience much easier!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Legally you don't need brakes under 3K in most states. Having said that I have no idea why you wouldn't want them for the $200 it will cost to have a controller installed. It will make your towing experience much easier!
That is kinda my thought too.....better safe than sorry. I live in NY and not sure of towing regulations. I am thinking of having a tekonsha prodigy installed. Because my truck is a 2002 it doesn't have the plug-in for the wiring harness and I will have to have the brake controller hard wired in. From what I have read on the forums and what the dealer says it is a two hour job or about $140 in labor. Add about $120 or so for the brake controller and you are right it is around $200.......much less upfront than dealing with a camper flying up into the bed of my truck or worse yet, someone elses. Just thought I would ask. I am still interested in what others say.
 

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Personally, I don't think it would really be necessary. With that amount of weight it would be overkill to add a brake controller. My 21' boat and trailer weigh in at about 4000lbs, and it has mechanical brakes which helps alot when slowing down, but it tends to be a pain when backing up. Even one time I forgot to flip the lever to engage them when I had to bring it in for service, and although I could tell something was different, it wasn't that much of a night and day difference as one would think. Plus, I've never had one myself, but I'd be willing to bet that if you were to ask other people with similiar tent trailers, they probably wouldn't have brake controllers. I think you're right in that maybe they install them on the trailer so that in case people want to tow with a smaller sized suv or van with smaller brakes. I'm not 100% sure, but I thought I've always seen electronic brakes using a 5flat connector instead of a 4flat.

Just my $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your opinion. I guess I do agree with better safe than sorry, but still have reservations on whether or not I need electric brakes for a 2000 lb. trailer. Isn't the purpose of electric brakes to stop the trailer on its own so it doesn't push the tow vehicle? Hard to believe that a 2000 lb trailer could push a Tundra. But I ain't no engineer or physicist - I am sure traveling a 65 - 70 down the interstate is a variable that should be factored in. That brings me back to the reasoning that safe is better than sorry.
 

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I pull a 2500 lb fiberglass trailer with the Tundra or the Land Cruiser and have not used brakes on either one.
It does have them but I do not have the wiring or controller yet.

I just returned from a 1500 mile trip from Arizona to Mo. and the Tundra stopped fine in all conditions.
I will be getting the brake connected just for an extra margin of safety but I was fine without them too.

I think there are not enough wires in a 4 Flat connector to include brakes also. So I wonder if the trailer really does have them if they are telling you that is the connector it has????
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I went and put a deposit down on the camper yesterday. The connection is a 7 way and the trailer does have electric brakes. The private seller of the camper said he never used a brake controller and towed it with a 6 cyl. Jeep. He said it would sway some at 70 mph.

That is where electric brakes would come in handy. I live in the Adirondack Mts of New York state which means I travel up and down hills quite often. After reading the posts on here and about brake control, I have decided to install a brake controller. If I ever had the camper rear end my truck or worse yet jack knife and do damage to someone else, I would look pretty irresponsible for not installing a brake controller. I am not sure what is legally required in NYS.
 

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I just finished wiring my Prodigy brake controller into my '01 Tundra. Took about an hour and a half and works well. While I have no idea on your towing questions, feel free to email me if you need a hand wiring in the controller.
 

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there is an ava adapter it's from hoppy, since i had a 4 pin already and will be using trailers with breaks, i poped for it, the back of the hoppy adapter plugs into your 4 pin harness, on the trailer side it has a 4 pin and a 7pin very nice unit. still looking for a descent brake controller atm.
 

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i tow a 6klb camper around all summer as well as a couple boats under 2k and a snowmachine trailer around 2k loaded. The camper is the only one that i definitly need the brake controller for. Although slowing down from 95 on the highway while towing the brakeless trailers is why i go through rotors and pads faster than a fat kid on a twinkie
 

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Discussion Starter #11
faster than a fat kid on a twinkie :D

That's one of the funnier lines I have read in a while. I did find a place on here that had great instructions on how to hardwire the brake controller. It had a supply list as well as pictures and very explicit instructions.

Thanks for everyone's input.
 

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Simple rule: if the total weight of the trailer and truck (with all your stuff) exceeds the GVWR of your truck, use the trailer brakes.

For those that tow over 65 mph, read the side of the trailer tires. Hate to see what happens when they blow out at 95 mph.

Tom
 

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As an aside, you may want to plan (as in $) on servicing the trailer brakes, depending on when (if ever) the brakes were used last. If the previous owner didn't use them, he probably didn't keep them serviced.
 
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