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Old 09-24-2018, 10:11 AM   #1
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Brake controller setting

Hi All,

I just completed my first camping trip with the JayFlight 32BHDS. I was having issues with the brake controller setting. When I first got the trailer with the P3 brake controller I set the controller to a boost level of 2 and could not get the trailer wheels to lock up as per the Tekonsha instructions. I left it set to 10 as this felt comfortable driving it.

On Friday as we travelled to Watsonville, I was in heavy traffic from Morgan Hill to 129. First it felt like the brakes were getting more effective the more they got used, they had maybe 20 miles on them before the start of this drive. This led to me feeling like they were catching quicker then I liked and the trailer pulling the truck to slow down. I lowered the voltage and got this to be comfortable somewhere around 8.5 although I am still struggling to get it perfect. When in the stop start traffic I found the brakes would apply very quickly and could even suddenly stop the whole rig even when I was only pressing the brakes for a gradual slow down. I ended up lowering the boost to level 1 and this made it better, but sometimes still the voltage output would go up quickly and jerk the vehicle. Moving at higher speed (55-60 mph) I found boost level 1 to be too little.

What I would like to know is, 1) is it normal to need to adjust the boost and voltage setting for the traffic conditions like that. 2) What does everyone else have their controllers set to, especially other 32BHDS owners. I realize that the setting is individual to the combination and driver but this will give me some ideas.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:19 AM   #2
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I am new to the towing as well and this is a great question I'd like to learn from. On the trip this last weekend I had mine set at a 3 which is comfortable when on the expressway and traffic comes to a slow down or stop. However, same thing, when I am in stop and go this is too much. So, what I have been doing instead of adjusting the gain is to slow it down manually with my hand by squeezing the manual gain on the equalizer. I'm not sure if this is correct, and it takes some getting used to slowing down with your hand, but it seems to be working for me so far. When you push your truck brake the equalizer climbs to the max you have it set at. The manual way, if say I have it at the 3 setting, I can hold it at 1.5 if I wanted and also slowly release it as well.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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For both of our TT's (2) and TV's (also 2, so 2 different controllers), I have found that heat affects this more than anything. As the brakes heat up they start to get more aggressive. Worst scenario for us was when caught crawling stop/go through a highway construction zone the brakes just kept grabbing harder and harder to the point that I turned the controller down to zero until we were back underway. Note that the effect seems to be both from air temperature and increasing brake temperature.

In general I find that I set mine at about 4.5 for stop and go freeway until we are free of the city, and around 6.5 for normal highway driving. It's a bit less when towing in the high heat of summer, a bit higher when heading out for October camping.

It takes a bit of practice to find the control under the dash when underway, but fingers now know where it is, and about how much to turn the dial for the desired level without taking my eyes from the road.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:38 AM   #4
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The P3 has two different settings, Boost and power that you have to play with to get them set correct. If I set the boost to high braking gets real jerky, lower it down and its real smooth then adjust the power for more braking. Here is how etrailer explained it,

When you set up the brake controller for the first time, you set the power to 6 with no boost, drive the vehicle and trailer on a flat surface at 25 mph, then fully apply the manual override. Adjust the power as needed to reach a point just before wheel lock up.

When you go up to a heavier load, you will want to adjust the power/boost settings accordingly. Once you have the initial set up complete, you can adjust the boost. To turn the boost on, just press the boost button, B1 will appear at the top of the display along with a little icon of a truck towing a trailer. Push it again to go to boost level 2, and press it again to go to boost level 3.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:27 PM   #5
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Start with adjusting the brakes themselves. I've purchased two hybrids new and both units needed to have the brakes adjusted before I got the controller working reliably. I other words they are not adjusted at the factory or the dealership. On our current X20E one wheel would lock up and the other 3 weren't even hardly engaged. Once I adjusted them I was able to lock them up with controller and adjust the controller from there.

has a pretty good tutorial on how to adjust the brakes.
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:21 PM   #6
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My truck has the brake controller built in so I don't have a separate one.

With the P3 the boost changes the initial braking amount when you apply the brakes and the power controls how much braking action you get. If you haven't done so already then you should read the manual and follow the directions which covers how to setup the power & boost.

http://www.tekonsha.com/support/installation/N90195.pdf
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:43 PM   #7
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I used the p3 pulling the32bhds, thouhgt it did a good job. With my setup it alwas seemed very linear and smooth, i did not experience any jerking. Temp did have some impact and i would usually land between 6.5 to 8.5 on the gain to get the right feel. This was on a 97f350 dwcc 460 gasser, using e2 for sway and weight distribution.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:29 PM   #8
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Thanks to all who have responded. I am going to start by adjusting the brakes before the next trip. I was expecting to do them once I got back after that trip as that is what the tekonsha manual recommends for new brakes. I will also re read the manual and run the set up procedure again. I am expecting less traffic for the next trip which is over thanksgiving leaving the Tuesday before that, but will inform all of the updates then.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:10 AM   #9
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I had my gain set to 10 (I followed the instructions to set up) and used boost 1 in traffic or town and boost 2 at speed. I wasn't constantly toggling, just when driving a spell of prolonged stop and go and I notice the jerkiness. It's normal for brake effectiveness to vary with heat so do your set up set up with warm brakes.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnR View Post
I had my gain set to 10 (I followed the instructions to set up) and used boost 1 in traffic or town and boost 2 at speed. I wasn't constantly toggling, just when driving a spell of prolonged stop and go and I notice the jerkiness. It's normal for brake effectiveness to vary with heat so do your set up set up with warm brakes.
Thanks for the info, I will make the brake adjustment soon, then I will warm the brakes up before attempting to setup again.
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