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Old 08-23-2022, 10:22 AM   #1
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New brakes not working!?

Installed 4 new brakes and adjusted to slight drag. Plugged trailer into tow vehicle and commenced to test them out. Jacked up each wheel and did a spin test. Applying brake pedal I had very little brake action, but using the manual lever they locked up where couldn't turn them. BTW, I can hear the magnet buzzing. Does the brake controller need the vehicle moving to make pedal work to apply brakes?
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Old 08-23-2022, 10:37 AM   #2
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Most new brake controllers are "proportional" meaning that they apply brake force based off the rate of deceleration of the tow vehicle. Therefore, they will apply very little force when standing still. The manual lever usually bypasses that function and just applies full voltage to your brakes.

One other note about new brakes, they need to be "seated in" for them to work fully. This may take up to a couple of hundred miles. Do a Google search on breaking in new trailer brakes and you should come up with a number of searches on how to do it properly.
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Old 08-23-2022, 11:00 AM   #3
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I like the drag test. I go to a gravel road that is smooth, accelerate to 10 or 15 MPH and apply the brakes. I have also tried it with partial brakes, etc. until I know brakes are working. This shows all brakes are working by skid marks, and feel of drag on car.

Lockup test with brake controler is to try to pull locked brakes forward from a standing stop also gives me confidence the brakes are working.
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Old 08-23-2022, 05:01 PM   #4
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Installed 4 new brakes and adjusted to slight drag. Plugged trailer into tow vehicle and commenced to test them out. Jacked up each wheel and did a spin test. Applying brake pedal I had very little brake action, but using the manual lever they locked up where couldn't turn them. BTW, I can hear the magnet buzzing. Does the brake controller need the vehicle moving to make pedal work to apply brakes?
Then they are working. the controller sends a voltage and the higher the volts the more power it applies. the lever is 100% voltage.
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Old 08-24-2022, 04:44 AM   #5
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Thanks all for your replies. I will hookup the trailer and go out for a test drive.
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Old 08-24-2022, 07:05 AM   #6
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Look up "how to burnish new brakes."
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:24 PM   #7
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Look up "how to burnish new brakes."
I went by trailer store where I bought my parts and they gave me a Dexter booklet that has a little info on burnishing brakes.
Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2022, 12:29 AM   #8
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The manual says that after 50 brake applications they should be at near 100% contact. My new camper took a LOT more than that to start working like they should. As long as they are installed and adjusted correctly just be patient. Mine started working correctly about 1500 miles of travel or so.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:10 AM   #9
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Heck that's a lot to break them in. I saw online somewhere a "skilled" alternate break-in procedure where you bring trailer up to 65 and apply manual braking for a 1/4 miles and that completes it.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:17 AM   #10
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It is my understanding the trailers are towed out from Indiana. I just saw one in California with an Indiana transport plate. Do you think the transport driver burnished the brakes for us?
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:17 AM   #11
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Heck that's a lot to break them in. I saw online somewhere a "skilled" alternate break-in procedure where you bring trailer up to 65 and apply manual braking for a 1/4 miles and that completes it.

We converted ours to Hydraulic Brakes last fall, and after they were finished, we hooked up and went for a 3-4 mile ride in the country. he would have me drive at 45 mph and he would apply the manual brakes. The darn things would actually try to stop the camper with my foot on the gas pedal.
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:29 AM   #12
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It is my understanding the trailers are towed out from Indiana. I just saw one in California with an Indiana transport plate. Do you think the transport driver burnished the brakes for us?
Mine was built in ID. In addition to many other problems my trailer was delivered to me with non-operative brakes. They had a bad ground from the factory. The dealer told me to take it out and burnish per the manual, which I did. It still took a long time for them to start working well. I'm just really lucky that way with this camper.

The hot shot guys care as much about our gear as the dealers do. They are paid to get them to the lot, so that's all they do. The dealer cares about selling the unit and picking your pocket as best they can, so that's all they do. There have to be exceptions, but I think you also have to believe in unicorns.

I should have also mentioned that you should get your brake controller checked out just to rule out any problems there unless you are pulling other gear with brakes that work fine.
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