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Old 06-22-2014, 09:46 PM   #1
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2015 Jay Feather brake problems

I have a new 2015 Jay Feather Ultra Lite model X23B. We are having trouble getting our rig to stop in a reasonable distance and the trailer brakes do very little when activated. IS ANYONE ELSE HAVING BRAKING PROBLEMS WITH THEIR 2015 MODEL? Let me state the situation. I have been towing trailers since 1974 and with my dad since 1967. The X23B is our third Jayco and it replaces an X19H. I tow with a 2004 Yukon XL Denali equipped with a Quest proportional controller. I have burnished the brake shoes as per the manual from Dexter Axles, the brakes are adjusted properly, the wiring checks OK and still the camper brakes have very little effect when applied with the test button on the controller, especially loaded with water, fuel, battery and camping gear. I contacted Jayco customer service and they suggested I call Dexter Axles. I gave the serial numbers of the axles to the engineer at Dexter and he explained that my camper uses a number 9 axle with 7" brakes rated at 2200 pounds per axle. Previous years used number 10 axles with 10" brakes rated at 3500 pounds per axle. I went to my local dealer and looked at the prior years 23' models and sure enough they have 10" brakes! My trailer's sticker states the trailer weighs 4300 pounds empty and over 5050 pounds loaded and Dexter tells me that the axles are only good for 4400 pounds total and prior years where good for 7000 pounds total. Dexter Axles recommended I change the axles to a number 10 with 4 10" brakes to improve braking, the cost is estimated at $1500. Has anyone else had to do this? Did it help? I am taking 6 people to the mountains in 2 weeks and I am scared to take this thing. Any suggestions?

PS I am new to the forum and couldn't figure out how to get this into the technical forum. Apologies!
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:27 AM   #2
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Looks to me like The axles are underrated for the trailer that sits on them. Since Jayco put them on, sounds like they should have put higher rated axles on there. Maybe you should try calling Jayco back and explaining they have the "wrong" axles on your unit and they should replace them. I know I would hate to have to put out $1500 extra on a unit I just purchased.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Joe
I have talked to Jayco and their answer is that they did this change for 2015 and that's the end of it. Lisa in customer service told me someone would have to get back to me. Ten days now and no one has returned my phone calls. I haven't been nasty, I just don't want to get into an accident and don't want any of my passengers to get hurt or god forbid, killed. I will pay the money to keep my family safe if I have to but Jayco is stonewalling this one.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:51 AM   #4
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If I were an attorney, I would just love this scenario. The axles are not rated for the load carrying capacity of the trailer placed on them. I would be looking for the names of all those who have purchased these units building myself a client base. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Make sure you keep all receipts and written records when you replace these axles. Hopefully, you are a Good Sam Member. If not, you might want to join. They have a section in their "Trailer Life" magazine entitled "Good Sam Action Line". You need to check it out. Might be worth your while to drop them a note such as you have written in your first post along with Jayco''s response. It would be interesting to see what happens then. I, like you would definitely want to ensure safety first and would probably go ahead and replace the axles and worry about the rest after that.
Good luck and keep us all posted.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:01 AM   #5
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Wish I had seen your post 3 weeks ago. I just traded in my 2011 X19H for a 2015 X23B and am experiencing the same brake issue. Did you get anywhere with Jayco?
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:10 AM   #6
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We have a 2014 X23B with a Quest brake controller also. We test the brakes every time we hook up like everyone says to. We have never been able to lock the brakes up on the trailer like some say will happen. Being new I thought I wasn't going fast enough or it was because we were on good pavement. It does slow us down, should I be expecting more?
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:10 PM   #7
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When I picked up my new jay flight 287BHSX TT last August the breaks didn't work well at all. I adjusted them on the spot but I still couldn't lock them up.

After the horrible winter we had here my trailer plug on my truck was missing it's cover. I installed the new outlet and now I can lock the breaks with ease.
The part was around $30 and the installation was easy. Ten minutes maybe.

Anyway I think my trailer was corroded just enough to cause enough resistance to restrict the power to the breaks no matter how high I had them set.

It may be worth while to change yours and see if that could be it.
Then again maybe the axels are overloaded and nothing would help.

Good luck, have a great camping season!
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:02 PM   #8
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Conclusions?

I apologize for bumping this old thread, but I'm wondering if there were any conclusions that I can benefit from. I just bought a used 2015 X23b and I'm having trouble getting much power from the brakes. I've manually adjusted them and I can now tell that they engage when I use the manual button on the controller, but their impact is minimal at 5-10mph. I'm not sure I would notice much at faster speeds. I am getting ~11.1V at the brake when the breakaway switch is pulled, still trying to verify if 11.1V is correct. I pulled one apart and the magnet shows some wear although I'm not sure if it is enough to be the source of the problem. I was considering my next step when I found this thread. Am I chasing my tail given the design of this trailer? Any recommendations?
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:00 PM   #9
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The 2014 and earlier X23B used larger axles with 10" brakes. They worked. The 7" brakes in current models are severely inadequate. The previous model I owned, EXP19H, had the 10" brakes and they really worked. Nothing the dealer did made the brakes work adequately. I called Dexter Axle and talked to their engineer and he concluded that the axles were inadequate for a full loaded trailer and at their full capacity with no room for safety when the camper is empty. Jayco outright refused to change the axles or even acknowledge that there is a problem. I had trouble with the brakes in the mountains, they overheated and smoked easily and I had to stop every couple miles to let them cool down. I have considered changing the axles on my own dime but have yet to do so.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:55 PM   #10
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Thanks for your insight railtycoon. It feels like I'm on my way to the same conclusion. I'm confident that my electrical system is working correctly and I've replaced the brake assembly (magnet, pads, actuator). The brakes are functioning now, but far from good. The drums don't appear to be in poor condition although they aren't perfectly round so I may be able squeeze a little more performance by machining/replacing the them, but I have very little confidence that the effect will be significant. I'm starting to question whether spending money on drums is worthy next step or just throwing good money after bad. Is it correct to conclude from your post that new axles are required in order to upgrade to 10" brakes (assuming I'm willing to overlook the undersized axles)? A similar question was asked on the etrailer website and the answer suggests that new wheels are also probably needed. https://www.etrailer.com/question-58321.html

If this is really a design problem, I'm a little puzzled why there aren't more people posting about it. I would have expected it to be a well known deficiency by now.
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