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Old 06-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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Dodge Ram OEM trailer braking controller problems

I have searched many hours regarding brake controller problems for 2012 Dodge Ram. I have found several of the same complaints and questions I have on this site & elsewhere:
Why does my factory trailer braking system fail to work 'properly' especially in a quick/panic/emergency situation?
Evidently, the factory controller is a Time Delay type. The other type available (only aftermarket?) is Proportional.
A proportional brake controller senses how quickly the tow vehicle is stopping and applies the same amount of braking power to the trailer. With a Time Delayed (or solid state) brake controller when you step on the vehicle brakes a predetermined amount of braking power is sent to the trailer and then there is a delay as the unit ramps up to full braking power.
Link to entire page:
Trailer Brake Controller Information | etrailer.com
Most threads & posts were older, yet after extensive searching this is the only answer to the question I can find.
Comments please.........
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:11 AM   #2
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No, the factory controller isn't a time delay. For a given gain setting, its output rate is proportional to the braking effort your right foot commands, as is the downshift schedule of the automatic transmission if you're in the tow/haul mode and the corresponding exhaust brake function. All are tied into the truck's CANbus system. The harder you brake, the greater the output to the trailer brakes and the more aggressively the transmission downshifts with the exhaust brake engaged.

Have you gone through the setup of your controller through the System Setup function of the EVIC (Electronic Vehicle Information Center)? This gives you four (4) options for the types of trailer brakes and weight of the trailer - Electric Light, Electric Heavy, Electric over Hydraulic Light, Electric over Hydraulic Heavy.

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Old 06-20-2012, 11:17 AM   #3
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No I have not. I thought the only way to program the controller is thru the dealer, and they haven't provided this info. They tell me it is operating properly. If so, why do I have to have my hand on the controller in case a quick stop is needed?
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Because you haven't set the controller up. There's every chance your dealer doesn't even know how (a lot of dealers know little or nothing about trailer towing, unfortunately. That's why we have to order trucks to get 4.10 axle ratios.)

It's a 2 minute job to do using the EVIC system buttons on your steering wheel. You just scroll down to System Setup, scroll right to select it, scroll down to Trailer Brake Controller (or something similar), scroll right to select it, scroll through the options and select the appropriate one.

If you haven't used this before, the System Setup is also where you enable or disable features such as rain-sensing wipers, whether or not the headlights turn on automatically with the wipers, the time the lights remain on when you leave and lock the vehicle, etc. Check the owner's manual - there are many pages of instructions regarding the EVIC.

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Old 06-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #5
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I have a Dodge Cummins diesel 3500 2008 6.9 engine but it didn't come with a brake controller. It was pre wired but no controller. I had to install one I bought. I used to have a time based controller by Reese and it sucked big time. I hated that controller because in an emergency situation it wouldn't do anything at all until you knew it would be bad at which point it would apply braking power. I threw it away and bought a prodigy controller that has an accelerometer inside to apply braking dependent on what the accelerometer sees. It works way better.
If the OEM controller is time based toss it. Dodge customer service should know or at least a dealership in horse country will install lots of controllers. Try calling Carson Dodge in Carson Nevada. They were the supporting dealership for May Madness for years before it moved to Parhump and they sell lots of trucks set up for hauling. Mine included.Their number is:
888-883-2028 toll free.
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Paul, I don't know of anyone on the Turbodiesel Register forum who's complaining about the 2012 factory controller. I really believe the OP needs to set it up correctly and give it a chance before he decides to junk it (which requires a trip to the dealer to "uninstall" it on the CANbus system) and go with an aftermarket controller.

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Old 06-20-2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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Thank you RustyJC. Will look into it.
Paul, I have experienced the exact problems you describe, evidently the OEM controller is not the problem.
Will know shortly..........Thanks again
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #8
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Once you get it set up for the correct type of brakes and weight of the trailer, then you can fine tune it with the gain settings on the controller itself. I'd suggest starting with a gain of 5.0 to 6.0 and go up or down from there as required to optimize the trailer braking performance you want.

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Old 06-20-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Check the owner's manual - there are many pages of instructions regarding the EVIC.
By the way, get a PAPER copy of the owner's manuals. There's much more information in them than with the DVD that comes with the truck.

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Old 06-20-2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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I set my 2012 brake controller up as Heavy electric and on my 15.5 klbs class 5th wheel I am set on an 8 when towing with verry good response and tracks verry well with the exhaust brake set on in Tow/Haul mode. I had a Prodigy on my 07.5 3500 truck, but the factory controller works just as well on my new 2012 3500 DRW truck.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:14 AM   #11
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Yes, the DVD is lacking technical data, and the dealer tech's I dealt with........Set brakes to heavy, attached the largest and heaviest 5th wheel I have and works fine. The test will be a very heavy load up the coast hwy to Fort Bragg next week.
Spent allot of time looking this problem up and there is quite a few that have the same problem mainly on other sites.
Thanks again
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Set brakes to heavy, attached the largest and heaviest 5th wheel I have and works fine.
That's great. You did get the type of brakes set as well, right (i.e., straight electric or electric over hydraulic)? Good luck on your test run next week.

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:34 PM   #13
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Talking

Yes, thanks, all my trailers have straight electric brakes.
No offence intended to dealer tech's, noboby knows everything.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Burns View Post
No offence intended to dealer tech's, noboby knows everything.
Now you have an opportunity to enlighten them so they can help the next guy.

Rusty
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