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Old 04-04-2012, 01:36 AM   #1
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any tips on brake adjustment

I picked up our camper about two weeks ago and brought her home for some driveway camping and to get her ready for real camping. When I left the dealership and got onto the open road, she towed just fine, but I was startled when I would apply the brakes, more specifically, when I would ease off of the brakes. I have towed heavy loads before but never had the issues I had with the camper. When I would slowly release the brake to "ease" into my stop, the brakes on the trailer would release, making everything jump real hard, almost like someone kicking me in the back. First time this happened, I thought it was my truck dropping a gear or something. Anyways, I lowered the setting to a point where when I would let off the brake it didn't "jerk" the truck or trailer. Just curious of any tips anyone has to set the electric brake controller to where it doesn't give me whiplash but also gives me the stopping power I need to safely maintain control.

Now I must say, the guy at the dealership DID take it out for a test ride before I took it, and he said that was where I needed it (the original "jerking" setting). I don't know if he rolls into a hard stop and just never noticed it or what. I would love to take it back to them to let them see what I am talking about, but that's about a 2.5 hour drive, one way. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:26 AM   #2
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What you described could be a couple of things, but adjusting the brake controller would be the first thing to check. If that doesn't resolve the problem, it could be an issue with the actual brake system on the TT.

Before making the 2.5 hour drive back to the dealer, I would "load" your TV/TT like you were going camping. Confirm that your WDH adjustments are correct under the "loaded" conditions because it was originally adjusted under "unloaded" conditions. Sometimes a poorly adjusted WDH can create issues between the TV/TT when the TV brake is applied/released (nose high TT tongue or improper tongue weight for example).

Take your "loaded" TV/TT combination to a large empty parking and re-adjust the brake controller per the instructions. I know with my brake controller the TT brakes should lock up on a hard TV stop.

If you are still experiencing problems then I would contact your RV dealer.

Just food for thought.

Bob
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:57 AM   #3
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What brand and model brake controller are you using?
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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Sounds to me like the lower end brake controllers that pulse the brakes through voltage regulation rather than actual stopping momentum. What you are decribing would be the reaction based on a high setting. I had an old Reese model with my first TT and it would pulse the brakes rather than gently like the perpetual models do. It would really pulse if I was coasting to a stop with a light pedal applied. I hated that thing with all the adjusting it seemed to require based on road conditions. If it was above 6.5 it would lock up the TT tires under a normal stop with my setup.

The Prodigy controllers are perpetual which makes the braking smooter, applying only the required amount based on motion. Some models and manufacturers need to be mounted parallel to the road if they have a mercury switch that is activated by stopping motion of the TV. If it is not it will not operate correctly.

As noted above without knowing the model of the controller first we don't know where to tell you to start problem solving.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:14 AM   #5
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All I know is that the brand is an "escort". It was one of the things that was added with the purchase of the trailer. From looking at other postings, I guess I came out alright with the things my dealer gave me. I got the brake controller, installed. I got the propane tanks filled, the battery cover, and a weight distribution hitch. I did actually upgrade to the Equal-i-zer hitch, and they gave me a $400 credit for it from the one that they were originally going to give me. Also got a nice bag with some hats and a few small trinkets. Sales and service guys were amazing and the only thing I was not used to is where I am now with the brake controller.
So I guess that I have one of the old school ones, not one of the perpetual models. Is that something that I should really be looking into getting upgraded, and if so, how much am I looking to spend on such an upgrade. I am all about safety first, and don't mind spending money where I need to, I just would like to know what I am about to get myself into.
Thanks for all of your help, and I look forward to your responses.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaynard View Post
All I know is that the brand is an "escort". It was one of the things that was added with the purchase of the trailer. ...
So I guess that I have one of the old school ones, not one of the perpetual models. Is that something that I should really be looking into getting upgraded, and if so, how much am I looking to spend on such an upgrade....
Yes, replace the Husky Escort brake controller. It is a cheap, time ramp type.

Get a Prodigy P2 or P3 controller. Those are proportional and much smoother and safer. You can get a P2 for around $100. Installation is easy. Do it yourself.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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drfife,
will be ordering one tomorrow!! thanks for your help!!
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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I 100% agree with drfife. We had a timed controller on our Tahoe for the random times I would tow something and needed it. The first 2 times I towed our new camper my wife thought I was breaking and taking off like a mad man. Breaking would be harder than needed when easing into a stop and when I would let off the breaks to take off the whole unit would lunge forward. In stop and go traffic it was especially bad. I just switched to the Prodigy P2 and it is a night and day difference. Our last tow was off a mountain that is around 10 miles at around a 10% grade and it felt 100% better.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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Brake Adjustment

Also don't overlook actual brake shoe adjustment. It's been my experience over the last 30 years that the greater the distance the brake shoe has to travel to contact the drum when applied, the "jerkier" it tends to be. Brake shoes that have a minimal travel are much smoother. When adjusting the actual brake shoes, don't be misled by the dragging sound the magnet makes. The correct way to adjust them is to tighten the adjustment up until you can't turn the tire (easier to do with tire on), and then back them off until there is a slight drag.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:59 PM   #10
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I always tighten them up as tight as it will go and back it off about 8 or 10 clicks. I do them all the same.
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