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Old 08-29-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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Tuson's direclink brake system

Did you see this brake system highlighted in the latest trailer life issue? They have two systems, one a digital controller for electric brakes and a more advanced system with actuators for anti lock braking on trailers with disc brakes. The brake controller uses your obd11 plug-in to communicate your tv with tt. The controller is the size and shape of the mic on a cb radio. it has a led screen with menu system settings. The controller is quite reasonable and one I think I will buy for next year. They also have a website DirectLink Brake System.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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I'm surprised this post hasn't gotten any discussion. I thought that the techie guys/gals would be all over this. I just received the free magazine that they send you just for the asking. It is very good and very informative. Today I showed my mechanic the system and asked his opinion. He was very impressed with the engineering and liked the idea of communicating with your on board computer. It gives you 17 system parameters including tranny temp.
In our area the new roundabouts are everywhere. Constantly adjusting your brake controller for these drives me nuts. With this system it's no problem, although I know other controllers do this. This company has over 200 employees and seems to be ahead of others in this field.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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Interesting concept. I can't tell yet if it is marketing hype or really performs better. The only obd-2 parameter that I can think of that would helpful is speed. I don't believe the obd2 standard set gives break pedal pressure. You have engine temp, rpm, and a few others but not sure how they would be useful. Things like transmission temp are in the extended set and not available on all vehicles.

It could use that data to assist, but I would think you would still want declaration sensors in the unit. I have an obd2 diagnostic system and occasionally the computer gets busy and can not respond fast enough. It is a "diagnostic" port, so I am not sure I would rely on it fully for breaking functions.

Time will tell - I would say I am cautious on it and will wait until I see some real world reviews.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:07 AM   #4
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Great comments Terry and I agree that you wouldn't want to rely on the obd2 to soley handle the braking functions. You do plug in your regular 4 wire trailer connection. From what I understand and that is just from what I have read on both their website and Trailer Life, that their system monitors the diagnostic port and takes into account the weight of your trailer which you imput then adjusts the aggressiveness of your trailer brakes.
Time will tell how they do against the big names, but they have patented their system. I'm thinking they must use a PLC to act on all the parameters the system uses but don't know for sure. Roger Tu is the president of the company. I guess that's how the company name came to be.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:00 PM   #5
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I was watching Marks RV Garage today and he was featuring the DirectLink. I wish he had gotten into more detail on it, but looked like a neat system. He had the hydraulic version.

http://www.youtube.com/user/rved101
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:19 PM   #6
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I was watching Marks RV Garage today and he was featuring the DirectLink. I wish he had gotten into more detail on it, but looked like a neat system. He had the hydraulic version.

http://www.youtube.com/user/rved101
I wasn't all that impressed with it. Disk brakes on a trailer that sized seems to be overkill. The electric over oil actuator seemed a bit laggy. From the sounds of it, it took a second or two to build up full pressure. If the tow vehicle driverr slammed on the brakes and the trailer was a second or two behind, the driver might be surprised to see the trailer whipping around and passing him up. I suspect the biggest reason he installed the system was he got free from the sponsor.

I've been following this series from square one and, frankly, Polk doesn't impress me too much. Granted, he has forgotten more about RVs than I will ever know but I saw himself doing things that even I know better to do. Things like using a piece of pipe, sideways even, to pound in the seal on the hub, finishing it off with just the hammer. Sure, it can be done that way but even using a block of wood and a hammer is much safer. The way he was doing it is a good way to distort the seal. It doesn't take much to cause those things to leak. Since he is supposed to be a pro, one would think he would have a press and a set of seal installers (even a press and a block of wood would be better than just pounding away at it with just a hammer). My Daddy and I would have ripped him a new one if he did that to any of our iron.

I wasn't even impressed with how he packed the bearings. Disposable gloves aren't that expensive and may be healthier to use instead of bare hands (certainly easier to clean up after). He was pushing the bearing too far into the glob of grease, getting much of it in the inside diameter of the inner race instead of inside the bearing area. My Daddy tought me how to pack a bearing and I can do a far neater job than Polk did. Probably just as fast, too. Grease packers are nice (I've used them) but unless one uses them frequently, they are messy to clean up and/or just take up space. They may or may not be faster than hand packing, depending on the type of packer.

I would have yanked the springs, taken them apart, cleaned them up completely, then painted them. That way, I would have known for sure they weren't cracked or the spring eye (or spring eye bushing, if it used one) wasn't worn. I also would have put in a wet bolt at the spring eye hanger (the other end was a slipper). All Polk did was wire brush it a bit and spray paint it.

I can't believe how he installed the hydraulic lines. First, why have custom flex lines made up? There is a huge selection of factory flex lines in use alresdy of which several dozen would have worked and would have been less expensive. If he had used one of those and kept track of what it was supposed to have been used in, if one should fail while on the road (even new ones can fail), scarfing up another one would be a lot easier, faster, and less expensive. The mounting clips he used were too large for the line which would allow a lot of vibration which will eventually fret at the lines, causing failure at some point down the road. He also connected the flex lkine directly to the steel tube without any kind of a bracket to support the connection. That will stress the steel line, eventually setting it up for failure.

I'm curious about the WD system he used. I like the way it clamps to the trailer frame instead of bolting to it. It appears it may be less prone to failure than the Reese DC. I downloaded the instuctions for it and it seems there is a bit more flexibility where one can mount the frame clamps to avoid the propane tanks, etc. than one can with the Reese DC. Still, I wonder if Polk actually knew if the Equalizer is better than the Reese or not since he was parroting the company literature pretty much word for word. I'll be looking into this a bit more later.

I noticed this in an earlier episode but since one can see it in this video, I'll bring it up anyway. Did anyone notice the water heater being right under an openable window? Nice way to let fumes into the TT. That should have been a fixed window.

I could come with a long list of questionable things the guy did, episode by episode, but I'll spare you. Besides, I have errands to run (drive, actually). Besides, I've bored you all long enough.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:23 PM   #7
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Oh - I think you are being a little hard on the guy! He readily admitted a couple of times he was not an expert on everything and was learning as he went. I saw it more as entertaining rather than a step by step guide on making a trailer. Overall I think he did a good job and I got to see a lot of products along the way.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:17 AM   #8
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Oh - I think you are being a little hard on the guy! He readily admitted a couple of times he was not an expert on everything and was learning as he went. I saw it more as entertaining rather than a step by step guide on making a trailer. Overall I think he did a good job and I got to see a lot of products along the way.
Seeing the new products, etc. is why I kept watching it. I found the installation of the RV 500 especially interesting (even if he installed it under an openable window) since I'm planning on putting in one myself.

I don't think I was being too hard on him. This guy sells "educational" RVing DVDs. What about people who watch the TT restoration and think everything he did is the proper thing to do? The brake lines alone could get someone killed. And as a cabinet maker, he would have made a good...um, can't say plumber.

Btw, did you notice the solder job he was doing when splicing in the connector for the brake actuator? The iron he was using was too wimpy for the job (my little 230w soldering gun would have done a far better job on the low setting; I've got an iron that makes his look like a toothpick). It was barely melting the solder and he was just piling it on. I doubt the solder penetrated the wire strands.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:16 AM   #9
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...I'm curious about the WD system he used. I like the way it clamps to the trailer frame instead of bolting to it. It appears it may be less prone to failure than the Reese DC. I downloaded the instuctions for it and it seems there is a bit more flexibility where one can mount the frame clamps to avoid the propane tanks, etc. than one can with the Reese DC. Still, I wonder if Polk actually knew if the Equalizer is better than the Reese or not since he was parroting the company literature pretty much word for word. I'll be looking into this a bit more later...
Again, the Equalizer system looked attractive because of the way the brackets clamp to the trailer tongue instead of being bolted on like the Reese DC. It also looked like a lot less work to set up and tear down.

One concern I had was if one could back a TT with the Equalizer hooked up. I fired an email off to Equalizer and they responded that one could back up without disconnecting the system. Encouraging. Being able to back up with without disconnecting anything was what I found attractive about the Reese DC system.

However, I still had concerns about the frame clamp setup Equalizer uses. The clamp bolts go into holes in the clamp bars so all that is holding clamp in place is friction from tightening the bolts. The directions say that there should be no space between the shoulders of the bolts and the frame but with fixed holes, that may or may not be possible to achieve, depending on frame size, since the holes for the bolts are at fixed intervals.

Sadly, I found some posts on another forum stating my concerns were valid. Several people commented that the clamps would shift when in use, even when all bolts in the system were retorqued frequently. The consensus was the shifting did not affect operation of the system but something that requires that much attention and still shifts about makes me nervous. The Reese DC system is still ahead by a nose in my estimation.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:02 AM   #10
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I sent the company two emails that never that they never replied to. However they did send me the advertised pamphlet which was interesting. Not hearing back from them a second time I purchased a Tekonsha P3 for my truck. Proportional braking seems like the right way to go or rather stop.
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