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Old 06-27-2016, 12:16 PM   #1
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Braking Expectations?

I used to own a 20 ft. TT with dual axles. I had a prodigy brake controller and the manual said to adjust the brakes:
1) Crank up the power setting, manually apply the brakes to full at about 20mph. The brakes should lock up the trailer wheels.
2) Turn down the max power setting until you can manually apply the brakes at maximum and the wheels don't lock up.
That's the correct setting.

Now I have a Ford F150 with integrated controller and a 30ft Eagle HT 5er.

The dealer set the controller on the Ford to 2 out of 10 and said if I felt I needed more breaking to "up it a little".

Over the last few weekend trips I've got it up to 8 and I still don't feel the brakes are strong enough.

Today a traffic light changed quickly on me and I really stomped on the brakes - wound up in the middle of the intersection before I could get the rig stopped.

So I pushed it to 10 (the max setting) and started testing by manually applying just the 5th wheel brakes. I can't lock up the wheels no matter what. And frankly - even at 10 , just using the 5th wheel brakes barely feels like its slowing the rig.

I've never had a 30 ft 5th wheel before but I sure expected the brakes to be stronger. On my previous TT, I could almost do a panic stop with just the trailer brakes.

Is it time for a trip to the dealer? Or are my expectations too high?
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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I was wondering the same thing. Kept increasing brakes to get a lockup, but couldn't even at 10. Have them set to 8 right now, but not sure if I need it higher or if I need a brake adjustment.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
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Has this trailer ever been towed with a vehicle with an aftermarket brake controller? Just to verify that the trailer brakes actually work? It may not be the trailer.

My cousin has a Silverado with the factory controller and the manual says it need 250 miles of towing to completely adjust to the trailer being towed. He said it was quite scary in the beginning, but once he hit the 250 mile mark, things got better with the factory system.

I personally am not sold on the factory units. The aftermarket ones seem to have more features and options. And, in my opinion, seem to work better.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:26 PM   #4
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At 'only' 6 years and about 2,000 of trailering experience, I'd say your expectations are spot on.


The trailer's brakes should be capable of stopping the trailer as well as the tow vehicle's can stop it.


My 1st trailer had ineffective brakes when I got it from the original owner. The factory had pinched/shorted both sides of the brake's wiring to ground. When I changed the axle (oops, my bad). I discovered what a properly braking trailer was all about.


Because of the nature of add-on brake controllers, I can utilize some of the trailer's braking ability to slow the whole rig when conditions call for it.


Definitely have someone knowledgeable and trustworthy check out your rig.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:28 PM   #5
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Wonder if the brakes on the 5ver are even working. When hooked up somewhere safe, your driveway, large parking lot, etc, engaging the ebrake cable, that should lock the 5ver's brakes, and see if you can pull forwards. The 5ver's tires will not turn, no matter how much you pull, you will drag the 5ver, before the wheels will turn.

A freind has an integrated brake controller on his f150 ecoboost. He is on his 4 computer board. When it fails it flashes a warning fairly quickly on his dash, then disappears.

Good luck, get those brakes working.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:30 PM   #6
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My .02 is you are pulling a 30 ft trailer with a half ton truck, I think your expectations are to high and you were also driving to fast when you ended up in the untersection. Use that as a learning experience and move on from there, I.E. slow down. Next time you might not have the intersection to go into, it might be another vehicle on the road.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:31 PM   #7
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^^^^ X2!


Yank the breakaway and see if you can still pull the trailer. That'll tell you very quickly which side of the hitch has a problem.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:09 PM   #8
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Good thought on the breakaway. Never tried that trick. I did have a short in the brake wiring on a previous unit - that shows up in all kinds of ways (like a fault on the controller). I'm more worried that I have misadjusted brakes, one side not hooked up, grease on the shoes (although it's a new unit and I have not worked on or greased the hubs).

Levinehikeski - I was probably doing 30 on a 4 lane avenue. The light changes fast and I should have "run the yellow" but decided to try the brakes. If I can't stop from 30 mph in a couple of hundred feet, it ain't my drivin'.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:21 AM   #9
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Many Ram owners have the same problem. Im considering switching to an aftermarket brake controller.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levinehikeski View Post
My .02 is you are pulling a 30 ft trailer with a half ton truck, I think your expectations are to high and you were also driving to fast when you ended up in the untersection. Use that as a learning experience and move on from there, I.E. slow down. Next time you might not have the intersection to go into, it might be another vehicle on the road.
My God , what an answer ..... that really help ! Like if the f150 brake controler is too small for a fiver..... and you could see from your keyboard that he was driving too fast.... wow !!! Now we all know what when wrong...thanks for your input
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