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Old 09-27-2015, 12:38 PM   #1
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Brake Performance - Superlite Fiver

I would like to get an idea of the braking performance for an Eagle Superlite 30 foot 5th wheel weighing 9800 lbs. I'm inquiring of the model years around 2010 to 2013 with 5200 lbs Dexter axles, with 12" x 2" shoes.

I'm attempting to compare other folk's experiences with mine. I have never been really thrilled of the braking on mine. On two occasions it was back to the dealer to have the brakes looked at. On both occasions I was told the brakes worked fine, also told they worked as designed. This last statement leads me to question whether or not the brakes are sufficient for the unit as designed.

As a check I hooked a fully charged 12v battery directly to the brake magnets at the junction box in the Pinbox and tried to pull the trailer. It moved with medium effort from the truck, at no point did the wheels lock up.

Have also measured voltage, amperage, and resistance at each magnet and they are all within acceptable limits.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:28 PM   #2
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I have a 2011 28.5 RLS Jayco Superlite Fifth Wheel. The weight on the sticker is 8200 lbs. I have not weighed it, but would not be surprised if the tow weight is around 9000 lbs. It has 5200 lb Dexter axles and 12x2 self-adjusting brakes.

Now, the trailer stops quite well.

When I first got it (we bought it new) the brakes were not so great. It had two major problems.
1) The factory (Dexter) had put left hand brakes on the right hand side. The brakes did not adjust, and mechanically some springs broke and gouged the drums and the shoes. Dexter supplied complete new backing plates for all four wheels and two new drums and my dealer did the install. The brakes were much better.
2) An additional problem was how the wiring from the trailer umbilical was connected the the brake wiring; Jayco had used a twist cap - like you'd use on a 120 volt ac circuit - to connect the several brake wires together. The wires were corroded and not making good contact. I soldered them together instead, and my brakes began to work very well.

What did you find the amperage draw of each brake magnet at each wheel to be? On full application, each should draw nearly 3 amps. What did you find the voltage at each brake magnet to be? On this site is the complete Dexter maintenance manual for axles, including braking systems if it would help you for reference.

Has anyone pulled the drums off to see if there is any mechanical issue?
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
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RVhiker, thanks for your reply.

The readings I took for the brake magnets were done with controller at maximum setting. Supply voltage to the brake controller was 14.8 v at the brake electrical supply with truck running. Voltage at the 4 magnets ; 11.54 v, 11.1 v, 10.8 v, 10.8 v. Current at each magnet; 3.04 A, 3.03 A, 3.1 A, 3.02 A. Resistance on each magnet; 3.06 Ohms, 3.8 Ohms, 3.8 Ohms, 3.6 Ohms.

All magnet wires and associated wires in the pinbox connectors were soldered some time ago but I noticed virtually no difference in braking. Brake drums have been removed twice during wheel bearing greasing and nothing unusual was present. It has self adjusting brakes that are working, and are properly spaced. Have done dozens of maximum breaking stops to try and 'work in" the shoes to the drum, but still no real improvement.

Think I'll try to contact Dexter to see what they may suggest.

thanks
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:16 AM   #4
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I replaced the plug on the truck end and my brakes work much better and more consistent too.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwaon View Post
RVhiker, thanks for your reply.

The readings I took for the brake magnets were done with controller at maximum setting. Supply voltage to the brake controller was 14.8 v at the brake electrical supply with truck running. Voltage at the 4 magnets ; 11.54 v, 11.1 v, 10.8 v, 10.8 v. Current at each magnet; 3.04 A, 3.03 A, 3.1 A, 3.02 A. Resistance on each magnet; 3.06 Ohms, 3.8 Ohms, 3.8 Ohms, 3.6 Ohms.
Those number look great to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwaon View Post
All magnet wires and associated wires in the pinbox connectors were soldered some time ago but I noticed virtually no difference in braking. Brake drums have been removed twice during wheel bearing greasing and nothing unusual was present. It has self adjusting brakes that are working, and are properly spaced. Have done dozens of maximum breaking stops to try and 'work in" the shoes to the drum, but still no real improvement.

Think I'll try to contact Dexter to see what they may suggest.

thanks
If there is nothing weird happening and those voltages and amps are making it to your brakes when you are applying them and notice poor braking effort, it seems to me that there is some mechanical issue. I think that Dexter offers shoes or brake magnets with a more aggressive friction surface; you might inquire about that.

Please let us know what happens.
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