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Thread: Electric Over Hydraulic brakes and the Ford Brake Controller

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Smile Electric Over Hydraulic brakes and the Ford Brake Controller

    Has anyone heard if there is a remedy in the air for the incompatbility issues with the Mobile Suite electric over hydraulic brakes and the built-in brake controller on the Ford Super Duty trucks. I was on another website and was reading an RVer's review of his new F450 pulling a Teton with Dexter electric over hydraulic brakes and they were working fine. I don't look for Ford to come up with the fix on this one but perhaps there are different options available to Doubletree. With as many RVer's who are going to the new F450 one might think that another brake option would be in Doubletree's best interest. By the way this wannabe would rather have a Mobile Suite than a Teton (too much weight).

    Soon to Retire to the RV Lifestyle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Cotter, Arkansas


    I had read a service bulletin few months ago saying that they were changing brake system vendors to incorporate most of the brake controls out there. A week or so ago I read another bulletin that said otherwise.

    The issue is (if I remember what I read correctly) that any sort of signal from the controller (i.e.~sensing signal) will cause the system to apply the brakes. In most cases, it causes the circuit board (non-replacable, wouldn't you know it) for the brake system to go permanently nutso and apply them whenever it has 12v, whether you are giving it a signal or not.

    I would call DT directly and get their advice to be absolutely clear on this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Huntington, IN



    The following is a post I made on this subject. The post is in the Tow Vehicle and Diesel Digest section.

    If you have already or are thinking of buying a Ford with the integrated brake control read the owners manual. My 2007 F-350 states it will not work with electric over hydraulic brakes. My Ford dealer was very proactive on this subject (summer 2007) at that time Ford advised they had NO PLANS to make their integrated brake control so it works with electric over hydraulic brakes.

    My Post:

    I can imagine what you are thinking, another story about the Ford integrated brake control. Please take a look; if you have electric over hydraulic brakes (MS disk brakes) you may have the same issue as I have, even if you drive one of those vehicles without a factory integrated brake control!

    I have a 2007 Ford F-350 with DRW, Tow Boss, Tow Command (Integrated brake control) options and a 2007 Mobile Suites 36 RS3. My Mobile Suites has electric over hydraulic disk brakes. I was assured by Double Tree, before finalizing my order in January 2007, that my Ford brake control would be compatible with the trailer.

    Since taking delivery in April 2007 I continually get a trailer disconnect warning. Ford says the vehicle is fine, my MS dealer says the trailer is fine. I asked my Ford dealer to check further, they did. Ford HQ folks said "read your owners manual". The manual essentially states the Ford brake control will not work with electric over hydraulic brakes, only electric brakes. My dealer related that Ford can't make a brake control that works with both electric over hydraulic and electric brakes??

    Never mind that you don't get to read the owners manual until you pay for the truck. No where does Ford mention any of this in their advertising or brochures.

    I discovered that other brake controls likely have the same issue, electric brakes only !! Electric over hydraulic, yes the brakes will activate but you may get trailer disconnect warnings (if your control device has this warning feature) and is brake performance sufficient?

    This is because the electrical resistance is different between electric brakes and the electric motor pump / actuator that activates to make the hydraulic brakes work.

    My search has lead me to the new Tekonsha P3 . This brake control allows you to choose electric or electric over hydraulic during set up. My Ford dealer had to re-program the vehicle computer to ignore the factory control.

    My experience thus far with my new Tekonsha P3, I am currently on my first trip with the P3, no disconnect messages. I swear the brakes seem to be more sure in their performance. For comparison, I put over 3,000 miles on the MS with the Ford brake control. Comparing the brake performance I have now I am convinced I have better brake performance.

    Also check the pin box area of you MS. Mine has a warning statement sticker listing several items reference electric over hydraulic brakes. For this discussion, mine states the tow vehicle must have 13.5 volts or greater on the charge line to the brake actuator. The Tekonsha P3 has a feature that checks voltage, mine is showing 14.08 volts. I had no clue what was going on with Ford, an electric brake only controller.

    I want to say my MS dealer; Walnut Ridge and Kent at Double Tree have been great. My Ford dealer has been great; they re-programmed the Ford computer and installed the Tekonsha P3 at no charge. Ford, on the other hand, needs to stick to making a truck and leave towing equipment to the trailer folks.

    I apologize for this being so lengthy. I feel that this issue is worthy of discussion. I hope my experience encourages you to research more closely and ensure that your brake control is completely compatible with your electric over hydraulic brakes, if your MS is so equipped.
    Paul and Margie McClellan
    Huntington, IN
    2011 Ford F-350 6.7 Diesel, DRW, CC King Ranch, Pressure Pro, Firestone Ride Rite
    2015 Mobile Suites 38 RESB3 #7390

  4. #4

    Default Brakes

    I have an 08 F450 and an 08 Elite Suites. I got wind of the brake controller issue just before I purchased the truck. After the short period of time I had to research, I decided to go with a P3 also. I had the hitch installer install a P3 and a separate plug receptacle inside the bed to bypass all the original ford wiring. I have towed my unit approx 2000 miles and have not experienced a problem at all. At this point I don't see a reason for me to pursue a fix for my set up as it seems to be working well. From what I found the ford unit will work with the Dexter setup but not the brakes that are used on our MS. It would be nice if Ford could come up with a fix so that the unit could be used for all aspects of towing.
    2008 38rl3 Elite Suites
    2008 Ford F450 4x4 King Ranch
    Holly & Emily (2 Spoiled dogs live here)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Cotter, Arkansas


    The Ford system will work perfectly fine if you are hooked up to the magnetic drum system thats been used forever. It will not work with the MS hydraulic systems. Ford has a fix, but won't pursue it. They were origianally going to have Tekonsha build their controllers, but Ford wouldn't let them put their name on it, so the deal was off. If they had allowed it, they wouldn't have the issues they have now.

    I guess they had a better idea.

  6. #6

    Default And the answer???????

    bottom line
    Does the FIBC work at all?

    I have a 2008 F450 and 2007 36MSTK3
    have driven 26,000 KM - sorry - I'm Canadian

    I get the "disconnect" message if I am vey gentle on braking - i.e. towards a red light.

    Long post, but my question is: "Am I using the trailer brakes at all, or just the truck?"

    Maureen and Percy too!
    2007 MS36TK3
    2008 F450
    Fulltiming at last!
    Newest endeavour: A Proud Sponsor of SOITC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Canadian On the road


    I am Canadian too. I drove about 15,000km before getting the controller changed. In my opinion most of those km were without trailer brakes. In my case when I touched the brakes the first time (when the disconnect message was displayed) I only had truck brakes. If I released the pedal momentarily and reapplied I had trailer brakes too. It was Ok unless you had to panic stop. I know others had different experiences but I'm really glad to have a different controller now.
    2008 F-450
    2007 ES 36RE3 (3702) Traded for SOB May 11

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    in our fifth wheel

    Default 2008 Ford Brake controler

    We just ordered a new 08 Elite 38. Doubletree is changing the hydraulic actuator to a Dexter that is compatible with the Ford integrated system. Naturally this will cost an extra $200.
    Jim Baird

  9. #9


    DT is doing the right thing by changing to a Dexter. My 2006 MS TK3 came with a Dexter acuator. When I purchased my 2006 F350 with the IBC I was concerned that it would not work. I emailed Dexter and received the following response from their engineer:

    On 3/20/06, Belisle, Duane < > wrote:
    J. Charles Thompson,
    The DEXTER AXLE Electric over Hydraulic actuation (units made after March 2005) is compatible with the Ford Integrated Brake Controller. There are some units made by other manufactures (and some earlier Dexter Units) that are not compatible. For this reason Ford chose to not to endorse some units and not others so they published what they did in their manual. They most likely also did this for liability reasons.

    Duane Belisle
    Dexter Axle Product Engineer
    574-296-7320 Fax

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Houston, Tx


    FYI, I just spoke to Barry Hansel with Carlisle regarding compatibility of the integrated brake controller in our 2006 Ford truck with the Carlisle Hydrastar brake actuator in our '09 ES. Barry indicated that if the serial# on the actuator was 506100 or higher then the actuator is compatible with Ford IBC.

    One other item he mentioned was to check the pin marked with a "+" in the electrical trailer receptacle at the rear of the truck with a voltmeter to ensure it has 12V live power. For some reason Ford may or may not have this pin wired in (not sure why they didn't in some cases). I have not checked this yet on my truck.
    Bill & Ann Anderson
    Houston, TX
    2011 ES38RS3 w/Vanity Slide #5854
    2007 Freightliner M2-106 Chariot
    w/Trailer Saver

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