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Old 09-20-2015, 06:34 PM   #1
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Brake performance

I have read in several articles the best way to set your brake output level was to drive on a level surface at 20 mph and apply progressively more braking power to your brake controller until the wheels on your trailer lock up. Then back off the power setting by one number. I have used this method on other trailers and it seems to work well. That said my present trailer around 13K lbs won't lock up. I have talked with other folks with heavy trailers and have had a variety of answers. I would appreciate some input on this. I am taking my unit in for service work in a few weeks and will talk with the service folks to get their input also.
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:44 PM   #2
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My current rig will not lock the wheels but are effective at stopping. I test it on a gravel driveway. I am told that a heavy fifth wheel will not lock the brakes.

I am satisfied with mine. It came new with contaminated brakes shoes from over greasing the EZ lube axles so I know what no brakes feel like.

I would not want mine locking up under any condition as it can be unsafe.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:05 AM   #3
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We also had an overgreased ezlube from the factory. Just had all my wheels inspected recently. My 5th wheel will not lock up the brakes but it stops very effectively. How do I know this, I pulled the emergency brake pin accidentally making a turn. Im' pulling with a New Ram 2500 diesel and I finally found the light/heavy electrical setting on the controls. I'm set to light and 6 on the gain if I'm not mistaken. Using just the trailer brake controller, the unit stops very nicely. So I know the trailer brakes are working, just do not lock up.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:24 AM   #4
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Being a do-it-first then read the manual kinda guy....


I set the gain in the middle and felt how things worked.


Too much gain and the trailer's brakes pull the truck to a stop. Too little and the truck's brakes are carrying too much of the braking load.


With that, I have found a setting that works great on the Interstates. I've found that bringing the trailer's brakes in sooner helps on local streets. But, since so little of our trip is on local streets, I don't re-adjust for those short pieces.


Then, once we get to the private dirt road, I remove the brake controller. The idiosyncrasies of electric brakes left some nasty gouges a few years back. At very low speeds the truck's brakes are more than adequate.


So, my advice is "Get a feel for your rig" and then "Adjust for what is comfortable".


I know I can feel when the trailer's brakes have ramped up and are doing more braking than needed.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namusmc65 View Post
We also had an overgreased ezlube from the factory. Just had all my wheels inspected recently. My 5th wheel will not lock up the brakes but it stops very effectively.
My rig was also over greased from the factory. No one knows who did it but Dexter and Jayco fixed it under warranty by replacing all 4 brake assemblies.
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