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In process of ordering - 2021 Crew Van AWD, EcoBoost, Long, High Roof
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

We're getting the Towing package 53B on the 2021 crew van, High, Long, Ecoboost.

How much can I reasonably/safely tow WITHOUT the Trailer Brake Controller (67D).

Thoughts? Perspectives?

Thanks,

Tom
 

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You are much better off having a TBC unless you only will be pulling something very light.
The ability to stop and control a trailer is more important than simply having the power to pull it..
States have regulations on trailer weights that require the use of brakes, most are 3,000 lbs.
143563
 

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At work we often tow a 12,000 pound trailer Without trailer brakes with a Dodge one ton truck, The drivers are well experienced and the Office does not mind replacing the truck brake shoes twice a year.
We are a dirt excavating company and it is all local driving, Interstate Hwy and City.
 

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At work we often tow a 12,000 pound trailer Without trailer brakes with a Dodge one ton truck, The drivers are well experienced and the Office does not mind replacing the truck brake shoes twice a year. We are a dirt excavating company and it is all local driving, Interstate Hwy and City.
Thanks for sharing that great example.
I've been there and done that in that similar situations safely and agree that such things can be done without disaster.

You included some key caveats which I'd like to emphasize:
1. HD tow vehicle
2. Experienced drivers, which is a HUGE necessity for scenarios like that.
3. Recognizing extra wear and tear on brakes.
4. Local driving vs. lengthy trips.
 

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In process of ordering - 2021 Crew Van AWD, EcoBoost, Long, High Roof
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Discussion Starter #5
You are much better off having a TBC unless you only will be pulling something very light.
The ability to stop and control a trailer is more important than simply having the power to pull it..
States have regulations on trailer weights that require the use of brakes, most are 3,000 lbs.
View attachment 143563
Hi Asdrew,

Thanks for the list. That's a heck of a range. I guess indicative of varying opinions, even at the state level!
 

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In process of ordering - 2021 Crew Van AWD, EcoBoost, Long, High Roof
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Discussion Starter #6
At work we often tow a 12,000 pound trailer Without trailer brakes with a Dodge one ton truck, The drivers are well experienced and the Office does not mind replacing the truck brake shoes twice a year.
We are a dirt excavating company and it is all local driving, Interstate Hwy and City.
Hi Michael,

Great perspective, thanks. Like Asdrew pointed out, the conditions paired with experienced drivers like you mentioned can make all the difference. In my case, I'm an average bubba, with infrequent trailer towing and when I do it will be on the highway. In a full-on panic stop, I'd like to have the trailer helping me stop. But I'm going to opp for the aftermarket TBC because of my infrequency of trailer towing.

Tom
 

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How much are you really saving going aftermarket?
The interface and convenience of the Ford brake controller much outweighs going through the headache of adding aftermarket.
 

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In process of ordering - 2021 Crew Van AWD, EcoBoost, Long, High Roof
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Discussion Starter #9
How much are you really saving going aftermarket?
The interface and convenience of the Ford brake controller much outweighs going through the headache of adding aftermarket.
Hi Going4speed,
Yes, this is a valid argument! I struggled with it. A brief search turned up a number of (according to reviews) good aftermarket alternatives. SInce I have the trailer connectors in the option 53B it's a relatively simple matter to hook up the aftermarket device. Hopefully, I won't regret it, in being "penny wise and dollar foolish". :)
 

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Yea I just cant stand having things hanging off the dash near my knees. Plus my time is not free and messing with a trailer brake controller and wiring is not time I'm willing to forego.
 

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I believe, but someone should confirm that when using the factory brake controller the brakes are actually tied into the vehicle stability control and would be an improvement over aftermarket. It would be a "smarter" brake controller. Plus it ties into the dashboard and stuff depending on which dashboard you opt for.
 

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I believe the ABS system has a trailer sway control that will monitor sway and try to reduce sway anytime a trailer is connected to the 4 pin connector as long as the trailer module is installed, so as long as you have a factory hitch you will have a trailer module independent of the trailer brake.
On a pre 2020 van if you ordered a trailer brake or lane assist you got an upgraded cluster with a nicer display so you could adjust gain control and such.
I wouldn’t tow a trailer over 5k without brakes some states have laws requiring them with lower loads. But unless you have a trailer with electric brakes most trailers that you will rent from uhaul and others will have surge brakes so nothing is needed other than the 4 pin lights hookup
 

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It has been my experience driving for a couple of different companies that once the trailer brakes wear out they are not replaced.
I once drove a 35 foot Yellowstone camper trailer from Naples Fla to Jackson Ms with no trailer brakes and no sway bars, Trailer sway was a little extreme once or twice. Company owned, You do what you are told.

Surge Brakes only work when the trailer comes unhitched while driving, To stop the trailer from rolling into oncoming traffic.
 

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Surge Brakes only work when the trailer comes unhitched while driving, To stop the trailer from rolling into oncoming traffic.
I think you are confusing surge brakes with the emergency breakaway cable or the breakaway system. Surge brakes have a two piece hitch that slides and has a master cylinder in the tongue that applies hydraulic pressure to the brakes when you brake the vehicle.
Surge brakes video demo
 

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I think you are confusing surge brakes with the emergency breakaway cable or the breakaway system. Surge brakes have a two piece hitch that slides and has a master cylinder in the tongue that applies hydraulic pressure to the brakes when you brake the vehicle.
Surge brakes video demo
These are the only kind I have seen.

 

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Exactly, so you see how the brakes apply in normal operation then the breakaway cable also locks them up if it comes disconnected while driving.
Sometimes if the load is heavy enough you can feel the brakes lockup when reversing up a hill or such. The sliding hitch will usually have a lockout bypass to disable the brake only to be used during reversing, but you could use the lockout to test how much the brakes are applying before and after.
 

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Oh well, Those things are obsolete, I have not saw one in 25 years. Everything is electric now.
 

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Oh well, Those things are obsolete, I have not saw one in 25 years. Everything is electric now.
Except for nearly every rental trailer with brakes will have surge brakes. Pretty common on boat trailers too since they last longer than electric brakes when submerged, and a lot of medium sized travel trailers since nothing extra is needed on the tow vehicle. They do the job

I think we are pretty far off topic though
 

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You are much better off having a TBC unless you only will be pulling something very light.
The ability to stop and control a trailer is more important than simply having the power to pull it..
States have regulations on trailer weights that require the use of brakes, most are 3,000 lbs.
View attachment 143563
Requiring trailer brakes is not the same as having an electronic brake controller. For mid-weight trailers, you should be able to tow safely (and legally) with surge brakes.
A big downside of the OEM brake controller is that it includes the large center console which is a PIA, especially if you want swivel seats.
 
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We opted not to get the TBC specifically because of the large console. We got all the other tow package stuff so we're hoping it's easy to find the wires (and that they're all in there) for us to do an OEM retrofit.
 
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