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Old 01-22-2016, 08:12 PM   #1
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A hard jolt when letting up on the brake while towing

A new problem has cropped up. Slowing my 5th wheel, when I let up on the brake while moving to continue, there is a harsh jolt backwards. It happens even if I don't touch the accelerator.

The feeling is like either, it is not releasing the trailer brake when I let off of the brake pedal, or maybe that the trailer brake is braking hard for a second as I let off the brake pedal.

I have tried setting the trailer brake controller pressure from 1 to 10 and the problem still occurs.

The truck/trailer combination has about 9000 miles of towing this year with no previous issues.

The 5th wheel is a 2016 Forest River Vengeance touring probably about 18k.

I took the whole rig to service at Camping World, they just drove it around the lot a couple of times and said it had to be the brake controller.

The tow vehicle is a 2015 Ford F-350, with max tow package and integrated trailer brake controller.

I took it to Ford service department, they tell me they checked the controller for errors, and no error codes were showing. They ran the trailer brake through some sort of diagnostic and it showed perfectly normal.

The problem did start to occur after some of the recent heavy rains where I had to drive through some very wet conditions. Much of the electrical is in an open bottom compartment that ended up being quite wet with spray and splashes from the road.

I am uncertain which way to turn. Maybe try to have someone else look at the trailer braking system.

Does anyone else have some ideas or suggestions?

Thank you for any input,

James
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Old 01-22-2016, 08:33 PM   #2
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Pull the hubs, check the brakes.
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Old 01-22-2016, 09:18 PM   #3
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Hello lynnmor,
thanks for your response. A couple of questions. Can you describe what you think might be happening in the brakes? What to check for?
Thanks again,
James
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Old 01-22-2016, 09:47 PM   #4
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Could it be some play or something loose in the hitch? Just trying to think what else could cause the jerking.

Chad
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onechaddude View Post
Could it be some play or something loose in the hitch? Just trying to think what else could cause the jerking.

Chad
That's what comes to mind for the first thing to check ASAP.
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Old 01-22-2016, 11:06 PM   #6
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The hitch seems good

So this occurred to me as well. I removed the hitch and checked all the mounts and they seem flawless.

The hitch is a 20k B&W Companion mounted in the Ford factory chassis mount holes.

I don't see any issues there.
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:14 AM   #7
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Currently we don't know if the problem is in the truck or the trailer.

Is there any way you could pull another trailer or have another truck pull your trailer to isolate where the problem is located?
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:50 AM   #8
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What type of brakes does it have (drum or disc). If you have electric over hydraulic disc brakes it may be that the standard factory controller will not work correctly. My trailer is a 2010 DRV with disc brakes and I pull it with a 2015 Chevy 3500hd diesel dually. In my search before buying the truck Chevy's new integrated controller works with electric over hydraulic brakes but the forums warned to try before you tow to maie sure. In my case the combination works as it should.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:44 AM   #9
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We don't know what type of brakes are on the trailer, disk or drums.
The most common by far is drum brakes but you have a heavy trailer, so who knows? Report back.

Now if you have drum brakes you should have serviced the hubs the day you got the trailer. These things are slapped together often with very little grease on the bearings. Every year they need to have the drums pulled and everything inspected. That is the law in Pennsylvania.

Disk brakes are pretty reliable, but they need to be inspected as well.

Drum brakes may have springs that are broken or have come off. The brake lining can crack or peel off. The magnets can wear unevenly or just wear out. There is all manner of faults that can cause the issue that you have. So, once again, pull the drums and inspect the brakes. Chances that you will find a technician that does quality work at a RV dealership are slim. Do it yourself or find a garage that does heavy duty trucks and trailers.

I have the Ford controller and it works great. The jerking doesn't sound like a controller.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:04 AM   #10
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If possible have someone else pull your TT to see if it does it on their truck.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:28 PM   #11
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Had a mechanic come out to check the brakes. There was some sticking on one drum, and he adjusted that. He'll be back on Monday and we'll test it out on by towing to see if that was the problem or not.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:16 PM   #12
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You need to have the mech show you how to adjust your brakes. It is a simple procedure that everyone should know how to do.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:05 PM   #13
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Adjusting drum brakes on a trailer.
According to Alco and Dexter axle mfgrs. this should be performed every 3,000 miles or 3 months unless you have self-adjusting brakes.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:25 PM   #14
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Had a similar issue on my Ram. It was the brake lite switch on the brake pedal. The switch is part of the brake controller wiring. After letting go of the brake pedal I had to lift the pedal with the top of my foot to ensure it fully retracted then the brakes would release. $15 part easy to change
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