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bluehorse68 02-19-2013 01:17 AM

First horse trailer! Any advice welcome.
I just bought a 1997 Ponderosa 4 horse bumper pull. Everything seems fine; floor, etc. but I was hoping for tips or opinions. How does the brake control work? Does it automatically work when I hook up the trailer wire to the back of my truck? Thanks in advance for any opinions or tips.

Phly 02-19-2013 01:31 AM

If you already have a brake controller in your truck, then yes, it will work when you plug in the trailer. If don't have a brake controller then obviously it will not. There two settings to most modern brake controllers. Gain and power. The only way to adjust either is to be there. I prefer my trailer to stop the truck. Not the truck stop the trailer. A trailer can push even a big truck off the road, where as if the trailer does the stopping, the truck can just steer and control direction of travel. You'll have to play with your controller to find where you want the brakes. I like mine where I can use the manual slide to engage enough to stop my 5500lbs truck like I would empty or no trailer. All that is assuming electric brakes and surge/ hyd brakes are another story
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bluehorse68 02-19-2013 04:49 PM

My truck has a tow package, so I'm assuming it has a brake controller. I guess I need to look at the factory specs or something to find out. Thanks.

PaintHorseMares 02-19-2013 05:07 PM

^^^ The factory tow package does not usually include the brake controller, but does include all the wiring to plug one in, usually under the dash around the pedal area.
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BigGirlsRideWarmbloods 02-19-2013 06:34 PM

Tow package usually just mean stronger axels and brakes, reinforced rear, factor mounted hitch and a *4* pin wiring setup.

The only truck of that I know that has a built in break controller is the 2012 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually And even then it was an option and not standard.

When you get the break controller installed they will also run the 7 pin wiring harness. Make sure to specify that you want all 7 pins working, as some times on older truck they can only run 6; which mean the interior trailer lights won't work. It's a misnomer b/c the 6 & 7 pin harness are actually the the same harness, but if they don't run the optional 7th, no inside lights.

ALSO make sure to have them verify your battery has enough capacity for the truck and the trailer. Nothing worse than driving to a show and then stopping for gas or a break and the truck goes dead because the battery was drained from overuse. It happened to me last summer 200 miles from home an hour before the nearest auto supply store closed. Just b/c the battery supports the truck fine DOES NOT mean it will run the truck and trailer.
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waresbear 02-19-2013 06:36 PM

384 Attachment(s)
Make sure your trailer's break away battery works & is charged as well.

bluehorse68 02-20-2013 09:45 AM

Wow, there is so much to think of. I'm 44 and this is my very first time owning a horse trailer. I have worked at stables and have pulled trailers for years, but never had to think about the initial set up, etc. Thanks for all the advice, and any more forthcoming tips will be greatly appreciated! I have attached a pic of my trailer if that helps with getting advice :)

bluehorse68 02-20-2013 09:46 AM

this pic is the day I got it before having a chance to clean it up.

Phly 02-20-2013 09:51 AM

Nice wagon!
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Speed Racer 02-20-2013 10:03 AM

Love stock trailers! My next one is going to be a modified stock. :D

If you don't have something like one of these under or on your truck's dash, you don't have a brake controller. I'd never haul without one.

Brake Controller |

Walmart sells a pretty decent one, and as has already been stated, if your truck is equipped with a tow package you'll have the wiring in place ready for installation.

I bought the Walmart one for my previous truck and it worked fine. When that truck got totaled last year, I bought a more heavy duty one for the new truck. More power never hurts! :wink:

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