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Old 07-01-2015, 09:36 PM   #1
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How hard should Braking be

So after towing a few times on my new trailer, I have noticed that if I crank my brake controller to the max gain and manually put on the brakes full, the trailer doesn't lock up. It definitely is braking, it will stop the truck without the truck brakes from a roll, but i cant make it lock and the stop isnt super quick, probobly 10-20 yards from a very slow roll before it stops.

I know normally you don't want it to do this, but other electric brake trailers I have towed do lock up if the controller is set to the max gain (so normally I keep it in the mid range). Should I be concerned that the brakes perhaps need to be increased on the trailer and report back to the dealer? Is this normal due to the weight of a travel trailer vs lighter electric brake trailers? I really am more concerned about an emergency stop or (ugh don't think about it) a break away if it ever happened having the stopping power.

Appreciate hearing other peoples experiences with this.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:51 PM   #2
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(I don't have my owner's manual here so I can't verify this, but...) I recall reading that the trailer brakes are self adjusting and do need a break in (wear in) period before full braking will occur. I'd learn what it says in the owner's manual before talking with the dealer.

BTW, I delivered trailers for Jayco a number of years ago. Back then, under hard braking sometimes ONE wheel would lock up. I don't recall ever having more than one lock up. Then I'd back off the brake controller, probably reducing the overall trailer braking.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:51 PM   #3
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IMHO, Typical controller setup instructions say to dial up the gain to the point of when, when you apply the controller brakes ( not foot on brake peddle , just pressing manual brake lever ) the trailer brakes actually lock the wheels, then back the gain off xx percent .

This would suggest to me that from your example, the trailer brakes should have locked up the trailer wheels.

Either, you have a very poor connection, preventing voltage to the brakes, or the brakes are way out of adjustment.

My.02
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:00 PM   #4
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I've done similar tests with my new 23B and had the same questions. While doing a slow roll I've moved the manual lever on the brake controller and felt that it took too long to stop the vehicle. However, on our third trip out when the need for a quick slowdown on the freeway occurred for the first time I felt one or more of the tires lock up. I'm completely new to electric brakes and am curious what the more experienced members will say in response to OP's question.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmanAZ View Post
(I don't have my owner's manual here so I can't verify this, but...) I recall reading that the trailer brakes are self adjusting and do need a break in (wear in) period before full braking will occur. I'd learn what it says in the owner's manual before talking with the dealer.

BTW, I delivered trailers for Jayco a number of years ago. Back then, under hard braking sometimes ONE wheel would lock up. I don't recall ever having more than one lock up. Then I'd back off the brake controller, probably reducing the overall trailer braking.
Happened to have the manual handy, you're right.

"When your RV is new, it is impossible to adjust the brake shoes precisely. It takes approximately 1,000 miles and/or 50 medium to heavy stops to "burnish" fit or "seat" the shoes to the brake drum. After the initial break-in period your brake shoes must be adjusted accurately for best performance and increased durability."

Guess I will give it a bit longer, I only got about 190 Miles on the thing so far. I suppose you could safely add another 270 for the tow from the factory.

I did have a bit of a white knuckle moment on the tow home, interstate came to a VERY quick stop in front of me, I was able to safely get the rig stopped without leaving any black on the road, and I have been testing the brakes each time I start, I was just thinking that at Max gain they should be braking harder. I am towing with the factory controller, at 9.5 or 10(max) I would say its probably about where it needs to be which I would expect down around 6 or 7.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:00 AM   #6
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If I were concerned, I would go ahead and adjust the brakes to spec. You may need to readjust again in a few hundred miles, but you will at least know that they are up to spec. If this doesn't satisfy you, then back to the dealer.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:39 AM   #7
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I know this is an older thread but is exactly on topic for my question. Have a little over 1,000 miles on the trailer and test the TT brakes before each trip out. I know the manual says to adjust to where the TT brakes will lock up using just the control from the TV but mine do not, even with the gain set to max. They stop it quickly so not a lot of continued forward roll after I push the lever in the TV. Perhaps I'm not hitting them quick and hard enough so will test a bit more. Is adjusting the brakes pads on the TT difficult?
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:56 AM   #8
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I had the same issue with both my hybrid trailers. Both needed to have the brakes adjusted. For some reason they don't set these at the factory. With my current X20E, one would lock up, the other 3 wouldn't do much of anything. It took me 2 trips to get it right. Now they are fine.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:58 AM   #9
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I had exactly the same problem on my 28BHBE - I did notice them getting better on about my third trip out (Maybe 200 miles total) but they were not where they needed to be to make me comfortable.

I DID adjust each set of brakes prior to the complete break in period being over. I now have about 1100 miles total and I just readjusted them all. I still don't get a full lock up but my braking has increased substantially.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:48 AM   #10
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With my new trailer, my rule of thumb has been to crank it up until you sense that the trailer is braking more than the TV (i.e. you feel it tugging on the TV) and then backing it off until they feel "in sync". I don't know if this is good advice, but it seems reasonable to me.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:05 AM   #11
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When my TT brakes are cold, I set the gain to 1 and they grab just enough to feel right. After they warm up, they grab a lot harder and I have to drop the gain setting down to 0. Don't know if this is common, but it's the way my brakes have always worked. Maybe before setting the brake controller adjustment, a prior trip to warm up the brakes should be done.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:18 AM   #12
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I don't use lockup as my guide, I set the gain so that it feels normal when the truck stops, not like I'm getting pushed. Still ends up at 9.0 out of 10 on the OEM Ford brake controller.
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Old 08-05-2016, 11:15 AM   #13
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I saw someone mention the factory brake control. I had the same issues with mine when I picked it up until I discovered there are settings in the dodge factory brake control to set the controller up for light or heavy trailers. It comes from the factory set for a light trailer and at max it would barely engage the brakes on the trailer. Set the controls to heavy trailer and it works normally now with me being able to set the gain around 4.5 and can feel the trailer helping me stop.
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Old 08-07-2016, 04:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I don't use lockup as my guide, I set the gain so that it feels normal when the truck stops, not like I'm getting pushed. Still ends up at 9.0 out of 10 on the OEM Ford brake controller.
Same here. The amount of effort I have to put into the brake pedal is the same whether I have the trailer connected or not. This tells me that both the truck and trailer brakes are stopping their share of the combined weight. My gain with the Ford integrated brake controller is set at 10.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:19 PM   #15
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I have a 31QBDS (approx 9,000 lbs) behind a 2016 Silverado 2500. The gain is set to 10 and the manual lever will slow and stop the truck but it isn't even close to locking up the trailer wheels. The Dexter manual that came with it is a general manual for electronic brakes (both adjustable and self adjusting) and hydraulic brakes. Obviously, I have electronic brakes but how do you know if they are self adjusting or not?
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