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Towing

thatclapped3.0

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Whats everyone running as a towing set up? I'm not gonna be towing alot of weight, the trailer is a single axle. The trucks a 2000 3.0 4x4, I had a idea of maybe installing a brake controller box, but not 100% on how I'd go about that. Any suggestions/inputs help.
 


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If the trailer has electrically operated brakes then you need a control box.
Iirc, the control box will have 4 wires; red, black, blue, and white.
Red is accessory power
White is ground
Blue is brakes
Black is 12+
You need to mount the box in the cab and connect the wires appropriately. Best to research that probably on a trailer or 12 volt forum. I think the blue, black, and white get fed to the back of the truck to join the four wire plug.
Then the normal 4 plug is yellow, green, brown, and white.
Yellow is right turn/brake
Green is left turn/brake
Brown is running/park lights
White is ground.
This assumes that you're putting in a seven pin plug.
 

thatclapped3.0

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If the trailer has electrically operated brakes then you need a control box.
Iirc, the control box will have 4 wires; red, black, blue, and white.
Red is accessory power
White is ground
Blue is brakes
Black is 12+
You need to mount the box in the cab and connect the wires appropriately. Best to research that probably on a trailer or 12 volt forum. I think the blue, black, and white get fed to the back of the truck to join the four wire plug.
Then the normal 4 plug is yellow, green, brown, and white.
Yellow is right turn/brake
Green is left turn/brake
Brown is running/park lights
White is ground.
This assumes that you're putting in a seven pin plug.
Thats the road block I am hitting, the trailer doesn't currently have a electric brake system on it. I do plan on converting them to electric brakes. For reference the trailers used to haul lawn care equipment. I believe the trailer is a 5x8, my concern is having enough stopping power due to the area I live in is very hilly.
 

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In addition, if you have an automatic transmission your towing capacity is 4,300lbs (manual transmission towing capacity is significantly less). Do not exceed this. State laws very on what weight the trailer requires brakes (usually anything over 1,500 - 2,000lbs), but with a ranger it would be wise to have brakes on ANY trailer. They were not designed to tow much so the brakes are small so stopping power is limited.

You can use hydraulic surge brakes which does not require a controller on the truck but it's not as good of a system as electric brakes. The trailer will tend to bounce you around a little bit as the surge brakes activate and release while slowing down. You also need to disconnect the surge brakes every time you back up which is annoying. I would go to etrailers.com and see if you can find an electric kit for your trailer.
 
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thatclapped3.0

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In addition, if you have an automatic transmission your towing capacity is 4,300lbs (manual transmission towing capacity is significantly less). Do not exceed this. State laws very on what weight the trailer requires brakes (usually anything over 1,500 - 2,000lbs), but with a ranger it would be wise to have brakes on ANY trailer. They were not designed to tow much so the brakes are small so stopping power is limited.

You can use hydraulic surge brakes which does not require a controller on the truck but it's not as good of a system as electric brakes. The trailer will tend to bounce you around a little bit as the surge brakes activate and release while slowing down. You also need to disconnect the surge brakes every time you back up which is annoying. I would go to etrailers.com and see if you can find an electric kit for your trailer.
It is a auto trans. And I will most definitely check that website out. Is there anything else I should look into that will help it tow smoother? Like a weight distributing hitch?
 

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depending on how often you tow upgrading to the larger 12" front brakes/knuckles would help.
how much is "not a lot" of weight?
for towing stay away from large tires for both power and braking considerations.
 

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In addition, if you have an automatic transmission your towing capacity is 4,300lbs (manual transmission towing capacity is significantly less). Do not exceed this. State laws very on what weight the trailer requires brakes (usually anything over 1,500 - 2,000lbs), but with a ranger it would be wise to have brakes on ANY trailer. They were not designed to tow much so the brakes are small so stopping power is limited.

You can use hydraulic surge brakes which does not require a controller on the truck but it's not as good of a system as electric brakes. The trailer will tend to bounce you around a little bit as the surge brakes activate and release while slowing down. You also need to disconnect the surge brakes every time you back up which is annoying. I would go to etrailers.com and see if you can find an electric kit for your trailer.
There is also free backing surge brakes that don’t require the coupler actuator to be disengaged.

To the OP, if you go the surge brake route, pay attention to what brakes you are getting so you order the correct actuator. If the brakes are free backing, you don’t need an actuator with a lock out.

There are also two types of lock outs. Manual and electrical. I think you can wire the electric lockout to the reverse lights to work the electric lock out but I would research that further to make sure.

EDIT: Also, there is specific actuators for disc and drum brakes. Make sure you get the right one for the type of brakes you are getting in that regard as well.
 

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Dont get surge brakes... go electric.
Fixed it for you.


Electric brakes are easier to install, maintain, service, and adjust for the weight. They’re the better choice for a small trailer.
 

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I agree, i have surge brakes on my boat trailer and they are nothing but a headache. Although the damn thing is pushing 10,000 pounds, even towing with a F-350 dually the surge brakes are far from smooth. As the trailer pushes forward the brakes engage, then as the trailer slows more than the truck the brakes release, then engage again, then release again etc etc. Gives you a rather jerky stop. Plus they constantly need to be adjusted, the lines always corrode and leak. Mine need to be manually pinned when backing up or the brakes lock so if your manuevering back and forth it's extremely annoying. Total crapshow. Electric is flat out simpler in every way and way easier to adjust via the controller.
 

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Fixed it for you.


Electric brakes are easier to install, maintain, service, and adjust for the weight. They’re the better choice for a small trailer.
Not disagreeing.

The only reason I’m even considering it is because of Search and Rescue. One never knows if the available tow vehicle will be equipped for electric brakes and it could hamper the mission. Surge brakes eliminate that concern and minimize the concern of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing hurting themselves or others because they over committed beyond their or their vehicle’s ability.

A 4X8 utility trailer shouldn’t be that big of a deal but it it is a beefed up and heavy 4X8 utility trailer and people are stupid.
 

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Not disagreeing.

The only reason I’m even considering it is because of Search and Rescue. One never knows if the available tow vehicle will be equipped for electric brakes and it could hamper the mission. Surge brakes eliminate that concern and minimize the concern of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing hurting themselves or others because they over committed beyond their or their vehicle’s ability.

A 4X8 utility trailer shouldn’t be that big of a deal but it it is a beefed up and heavy 4X8 utility trailer and people are stupid.
This is sorta the reason I use to love pintle hitches. No fumbling around trying to find the right size ball, or the right drop hitch, no looking up weight ratings. Just put a 20,000lb lunette ring on everything....

That and the whole thing about the trailer not falling off the truck if you get a little sideways on a trail.
 

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I'm looking to do similar for the same reason but with less banging and bumping that the Pintle hook and Lunette ring and gives you and better articulation.

 

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Just a FYI. I know they are very common, but technically surge brakes do not meet the federal requirements for towing. The requirements state the trailer brakes must be able to be activated manually, separate from the towing vehicle brakes. Surge brakes fail in this area.

This came in handy for me once, when I was going down a hill towing way more than I should have been. It started doing the fish tail thing and I reached down and applied the trailer brakes manually and that brought it under control. All those videos you see on youtube with trailers going out of control, if they could have just reached down and applied the trailer brakes before it got too bad, they probably could have recovered from a lot of those situations.
 

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I'm looking to do similar for the same reason but with less banging and bumping that the Pintle hook and Lunette ring and gives you and better articulation.

Looks like a pretty good setup, especially for an off-road trailer. Way to expensive for my blood.

I’m also not an expert on trailers, so I could be missing a blatantly obvious issue.
 

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Looks like a pretty good setup, especially for an off-road trailer. Way to expensive for my blood.

I’m also not an expert on trailers, so I could be missing a blatantly obvious issue.
Strength and articulation are the main things. Off road, the standard ball and hitch just don't have the articulation needed and the hitch can be ripped off the ball or the trailer/tow vehicle could be damaged. The pintle hook and lunette ring combo is tried and true but noisy and can bind in certain situations. The Aussies have fixes for that but at the prices they want, you might as well look at the Lock N Roll. The pintle hook and lunette ring setup isn't much cheaper from what I remember.
 

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