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Recommended Surge Brake Actuator For Drum Brakes To Replace Older Atwood 61101 Actuator


I have a 1999 Shorelandr trailer model R2028/31W with drum brakes. I need to replace the Atwood 61101 actuator on it. I understand Demco 8605001 is a direct bolt on replacement and that Demco DM72VR will also work. Is the only difference between the two Demcos is that the DM72VR has the EZ latch system and 7000 GTW? I cant get to the trailer today so Im not sure if its brakes have free-backing plates. If it doesnt what reverse lockout solenoid do you recommend? What brake line kit do you recommend and will those lines match up to either Demco actuators? Tow vehicle is 2004 GMC Sierra pickup with GM 7 way plug. Thanks.


Expert Reply:

I would be happy to help!

You are correct that the Demco 8605001 is a direct replacement for your Atwood 61101 Surge Brake Actuator, but the 8605001 has been discontinued by the manufacturer and replaced with the # DM72VR you mentioned.

The key differences between the 8605001 and # DM72VR are that the # DM72VR has a slightly higher weight capacity at 7000lbs and uses an EZ latch coupler mechanism as you mentioned, but will still be a direct replacement for your current actuator.

If your trailer does not have free backing brakes you will need to add a reverse lockout solenoid # T4748800 which will thread into the actuator, and the your existing brake line will thread into the solenoid. If your existing brake lines are in good shape there is no need to replace them.

Now I recommend replacing your 4-way connector with a 7-way connector using # since that is what is on your 2004 GMC Sierra and will be able to be used to power the reverse lockout solenoid. You will match the functions of your 4-way connector to the functions of the 7-way connector shown in the included diagram. In addition you will need to use # 12-1-1 to connect one wire from the solenoid to the center pin of the 7-way connector which will tie into the reverse lights on your vehicle and activate the solenoid as needed.

I included videos of the products mentioned for you to take a look at.

7-Way Connector Wiring Diagram
7-Way Connector Wiring Diagram
(click to enlarge)
expert reply by:
Samuel C

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