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Old 11-25-2019, 10:22 PM   #1
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Fifth Brakes insufficient

It may just be me, but I feel trailer manufacturers are using undersized brakes. If you have read my many post you know I have had my own brake problems partly self caused, but I had all 4 replaced around last August. I picked up my 2019 KZ 380FLF in August of 2018. From the beginning and including now the brakes barely slow truck as I activate manually pulling out of an rv site. I know they size the axles based on a portion of weight setting on truck. Does this cause the brakes to be undersized for the full trailer weight. I know everyone just says upgrade to disc, but why wonít the trailer properly slow itself with its brakes. I think mine is 16K gross with 7K dexter axles. Brakes are 12Ēx2Ē I believe. Drums should work they stop semiís( I know they are air) I guess just thinking of trying to convince wife of disk upgrade and wonder why we all just accept that from rv manufacturers.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:51 PM   #2
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Have you 'adjusted' the brakes?
Have you checked the Voltage to the brakes?
Have you checked the AMPS each magnet is drawing when brakes are activated?
Have you checked the wiring connections for each brake?
Have you pulled a drum and checked that seals are passing grease onto shoes?



Drum brakes DO work.........but owners NEED to set them up properly and maintain them.
All 4 wheels/Brakes need to work in order to properly stop a trailer
May not be able to lock the tires up......but correctly working 12X2 shoes can definitely STOP that trailer


Here is a good read with useful information
http://trailerparts.com/pdfs/Dexter122.pdf
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Old 11-25-2019, 11:02 PM   #3
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What brake controller are you using?

Every trailer I owned I could adjust the controller to lock up the brakes if so desired.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:55 AM   #4
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It uses the integrated controller you have. The problem with turning your controller up, is that it still does not give you the brakes needed for that emergency situation.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0arp View Post
Easily one of the best mods I've done.
Glafe to hear. Those that don't have them, just don't know that they actually can have better brakes.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:04 AM   #6
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I have a double axle trailer I pull with my Jeep, I've been hauling heavy loads of wood to a kiln. Last time I did this the it didn't seem to braking like it should so before I loaded the last load of wood I removed each brake drum and checked all the connections and adjusted the brakes. What a difference, I could feel the trailer pulling back on the Jeep when I was braking. I do have a Tekonsa P3 controller which I can adjust the voltage going to the brakes along with 3 levels of boost.

I'd suggest you adjust your brakes.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:13 AM   #7
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Yes, adjusting the brakes does work in the short term. But you have to keep doing this over and over. Doc Brakes are almost maintenance free. Replace the pads that are available at most auto parts stores. No need to adjust over and over. And eventually replace them over and over as they have 7 or 8 moving parts that can go bad.

There really is no comparison with the disc brakes.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:26 AM   #8
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Provided the trailer wiring, controller and tow vehicle are proper operating condition, it seem the most common cause of poor performance from drum brakes is due to grease on the brakes.
From a stop your RV should hold your truck and even stop it at a slow speed. If it doesn't then I'd say you have some type of issue. Since you have replaced them, I assume you know they do not have grease on them. Using the E Z Lube feature is a huge risk to contaminating brakes.
We had a brand new Cameo (13k empty) with grease covered brakes upon delivery. We replaced all 4 brakes. While performance somewhat increased, I still was not satisfied with the braking. We installed disc and I was amazed.
When we ordered our current 2014 heavy fiver, we ordered it with Dexter disc. Braking performance is strong and consistent.
Sounds to me you are not happy and find braking performance as important as I do. Sweet talk the wife and get disc. You will LOVE them as much as you do her. Safe travels.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:59 AM   #9
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All 4 hubs were pulled mid August 2019 with bearings packed, new pads and new magnets. I have Dexter never adjust brakes even if not working I wouldnít think they would need adjusted with 2000 or less miles. We donít move frequently so I would guess we put at most 2000 miles since then. I have not checked electrical and/or amperage as I hoped the shop did that. Iím using my integrated controller on 2018 Ford F-350 set to 9.
Part of my general complaint is seeing all the post on here over the last 2 years as I researched before buying. Iíve seen countless people complain about brakes along with doing disk conversions. I guess just generally frustrated with industry using minimum of everything. Iím generally happy with the KZ Durango Gold build, but it seems that across brands they use the minimum including brakes.
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Old 11-26-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
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I keep reading posts saying that if drum brakes are good enough for semi's then they are good enough for 5th wheels. That is an apples to oranges comparison. The air brakes on a semi can exert much more force on the shoes then the electric system's magnets allow. The shoes are up to the task, but the magnets are not. I feel that while electric brakes are fine for lighter trailers, they are just overwhelmed by the weight of today's large 5th wheels. I pulled the same brand new trailer (apx 14,000lbs loaded) with two different trucks with no difference in braking between them. I adjusted the brakes with no improvement. I am just finishing up an installation of disc brakes on Dexter 7,000lb axles from "stopyourtrailer.com" and found it to be a fairly easy conversion if you posses basic mechanical and 12 volt electrical skills. Cost is a little under $2,000. I am expecting impressive results from everything I have read. It's got to be better then the electric's, which feel like Fred Flintstone brakes!
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:50 PM   #11
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Theunz, I got my conversion from Bill at Stopyourtrailer for the Cameo back in 2012. We did it ourselves. The hardest part was flaring the brakes lines. Otherwise, if you can pack bearing you can change to disc.
You will LOVE the disc brakes and ask yourself why you didn't do it sooner.
Good luck and safe travels!
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:38 PM   #12
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Our 2015 Redwood came from the factory with 7000 lb drum brakes. The gross weight of the trailer is 16500 and the factory shipping weight was 14300 empty . I have scaled it several times and it was right around 16200 ready to travel with food, water , etc. With the factory drums it would take over 300' to get it stopped from 65 MPH , in my eyes that not safe or even close to safe. In a panic stop I abused the truck brakes and damaged the front rotors on the truck. That was the final time that was going to happen , I talked to my wife and we decided to upgrade. I looked at doing a disk kit myself and found that $2000 and about 15~20 hrs of my time fixes the stopping issues. So now I am thinking what about Morryde IS at the same time and have them do everything. again talked it over and it took a little convincing but she gave me the go do it..... Looking back I upgraded to 8000lb running gear with disk brakes but WOW this 42' trailer feels a lot more stable and it will stop as fast as any car or passenger truck in a panic stop every time . I don't run on the highways faster then 70 but its good to know that 26,000 lbs combine will stop in about the same distance as unloaded. As for the Morryde independent suspension I will never own a trailer over 10,000lbs gross weight with out it. cost wise your at $7K out the door for both inc tax and labor. maybe a little less for 7000lb running gear. it rides so much better we can leave the coffee maker and the pot on the counter and lot think about it falling . I think the coach will last longer because the road shock is greatly reduced. I have molding and cabinet doors falling off every trip. Since replacing the buggy springs I have had zero repairs related to rough roads. We had rubber center trunnions before going to Morryde so I feel its just that much better and worth letting everyone else know. I don't work for Morryde , I drove 1850 miles round trip to get this done by myself and my wife and I both agree it was big money but the ride in the truck is better and the trailer doesn't need the cabinets restocked when we stop for the night.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:00 PM   #13
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Disk upgrade was the best upgrade I did to my 5'er. The cost of the upgrade is small compared to the cost of an accident because the drum brakes wouldn't stop you.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:58 PM   #14
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I'm having the same problem, and have found out that the 2018 Ram brake controller only sends 6 volts to the brakes under 30 mph, which is ridiculous.
I have been on other diesel forums, and people are experiencing the same thing.
I don't know if Ford is the same, but I will be replacing my factory controller soon with an after market brand.
I am also going to re wire the brakes with 10 gauge, instead of the factory 16 gauge.
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