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Old 05-21-2013, 08:51 AM   #1
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Factory integrated brake controller question

We did our first short pull with a new truck and new trailer. All was well except the braking.

I set up the factory brake controller as per the owners manual...drive 20 mph and slide the lever and adjust the gain until the wheels lock, and back off the gain.

Went thru the process twice and never got the trailer tires to lock....have gain maxed out at 10. The trailer slows down but does not lock up. The whole rig seem to do ok stopping, but I did not have to do any panic stopping.

Anyone else have these issues or am I ok? Tahnks
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:59 AM   #2
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My Forest River has only locked the brakes on the max setting. Backing it down I run almost maxed out. I have to pull the brakes on the trailer to see if it is there as I have spoken to another with a integrated (Ford) controller and he is around half or a little less on a non Forest.
So I do not know if it is the controller or trailer....yet.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:54 PM   #3
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First, Adjust brakes on trailer or make sure they are adjusted. If you have "Self Adjusting Brakes" on the trailer, check the adjustment anyway. They only "Self Adjust" when you are backing up. & while you are under there check the ground system on the trailer from your pigtail. Make sure the ground wire ends are touching bare metal & not just screwed to the frame over paint. Factory controllers like to have a GOOD ground to enable them to work as designed.

Reg
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
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Anyone else have these issues or am I ok? Tahnks
You are NOT okay. Either your trailer brakes are not properly adjusted, or else your trailer is way too heavy for your tow vehicle. Or maybe you have a defective ITBC (integrated trailer brake controller). Or maybe a wiring problem such a loose ground wire in the trailer wiring plug.

When my TT is empty and nearly dry, my trailer brakes will lock up and slide the tires at a gain setting of around 5 on my 2012 Ford ITBC. When loaded for a long RV trip, I keep them set on 6, and they won't lock up on dry roads. At any setting over 7, the trailer brakes will lock up on dry roads even when the TT is wet and loaded for the road.

Most TTs with electric brakes do NOT have self-adjusting brakes. You have to manually adjust the brake shoes to the brake drums. When you pack the wheel bearings before the beginning of each towing season is an excellent time to adjust the trailer brakes. To adjust the brakes, tighten the brake shoes against the brake drums until the wheel will not turn with hand pressure. Then back off the adjustment until you can turn the wheel by hand with almost no effort. You want those brake shoes very close to the drums without actually touching the drums. Like many other shade-tree mechanic skills, you have to have the right "touch" or "feel" to know when the brakes have just the right resistance to turning the wheel by hand.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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Well Smokey, you are not wrong very often but you are this time. There are many newer trailers that do have "Self Adjusting Electric Brakes' in this day & age. The last time I purchased Dexter brake assemblies for my trailer they were "Self Adjusting". But like all self adjusting drum brakes, they only adjust when you are backing up & brake hard. Since I do not back up & brake hard, I still manually adjust, or check the adjustment before each trip if the last trip was a long one.
Good to talk to you again.

Reg
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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I'm pretty sure Dexter's Nev-R-Adjust brakes adjust when brakes are applied while going forward.

So says Dexter Axle as they have developed a solution to this problem in their new line-up of trademarked Nev-R-Adjust electric drum brake assemblies. They have used technology already available in heavy-duty truck and trailer brakes and adapted it to the smaller 10 inch and 12 inch electric brakes found on most RVs, utility, horse trailers etc.
Dexter accomplished this self-adjusting feature by adding a 9 piece “Adjuster Kit” to the standard brake assembly backing plate. This allows the brake assembly to constantly adjust the lining position as the brake drum turns during trailer operation. In speaking to Dexter’s Engineering team, the adjustment feature works as the trailer moves in both forward and reverse directions but the increments of adjustment are much higher in reverse. Since there are specific brake assemblies designed for the driver-side and curbside of the trailer, problems will occur if the brake assemblies were installed on the wrong side of the trailer. Brake assemblies mounted on the wrong side will act like they are traveling in reverse. This would cause “over-adjustment” and can cause the brakes to overheat and lock. Therefore, for self-adjusting brakes, it is imperative that the proper brake assemblies are installed on their specified side of the trailer.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:02 PM   #7
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I know this is an old thread, but I am having this exact same problem, and am hoping others see this and can chime in. I have read multiple other threads regarding this issue with Ram 1500s. Many of the ones affected ended up getting new brake controller modules and that fixed their issues. Some were still fighting with Chrysler over it. I am picking up my 2016 Ram this afternoon and will be testing my Forest River Evo brakes again when I get off work. The dealer is saying they performed the testing per their diagnostics and it is working properly. The trailer is brand new off the RV dealer lot. I checked the wiring on the trailer and it is good with no loose connections nor broken wires. If my truck doesn't work the brakes properly tonight, a buddy is going to bring his truck over so we can test with his truck. If the trailer brakes work, the Ram is going right back to the dealer in the morning. I'll keep this thread posted along the way the next couple of days.
Anyone with the same issue and has a definitive fix for it, please chime in.
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:07 PM   #8
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Well Smokey, you are not wrong very often but you are this time. There are many newer trailers that do have "Self Adjusting Electric Brakes' in this day & age.
I didn't argue the point back in May, but I was not wrong. I said "Most TTs with electric brakes do NOT have self-adjusting brakes."

That was true back in May, and it's true today. There are some newer TTs that have self-adjusting brakes, but a very small percent.

Just like some trailers have torsion axles, but most have the less expensive springs and shackles. My Cargo trailer has Dexter TorFlex axles, but I'm not aware of any other trailers near here that have torsion axles.
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:51 PM   #9
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The IBC in the newer rams will only give you approximately 66 percent of full braking current when set at 10. Chrysler isn't willing to admit it's a problem, but do say you get more braking at higher speeds. When I went through the hassles of talking to their so called engineering he tried to tell me I couldn't check the output because they use pulse width modulation and a meter can't measure that. I told him modern meters will measure pulse width, frequency, amplitude etc. he acted shocked, then told me they consider it to be working properly. Why more folks aren't complaining I'll never know. I can't lock my brakes with the RAM IBC but they Work fine if I tow with a ford or chevy. You don't want to be towing slow down a steep downhill as the truck has to do way to much of the braking
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:13 PM   #10
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My new Ford has about the same response as Smokey says his does. I can lock the trailer wheels with hard braking.
The new Ford ITBC is great, it solves the chucking problem at low speeds by decreasing the signal to the trailer brakes at speeds below 5 or 10 mph I believe. It never chucks like my Ford van used to. Just one reason they are so good.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:09 AM   #11
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The Ram forums have lots of threads about this issue. My trailer brakes are the newer forward/reverse self adjusting style and work great. I can't get them to lock with my Ram truck but when set at 6.5 they have a very smooth braking action. When I turn them off it is a noticeable difference. I wouldn't worry if you can't get them to lock up, they are working. From what I have read it has something to do with the Truck's antilock braking feature.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:45 PM   #12
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I have a 2017 GMC Sierra with the trailer towing/braking. My Micro Minnie trailer has torsion axles. How do I determine if my brakes are working properly?
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:40 AM   #13
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Well, for one test----pull the e-brake pin and see if you can move the trailer. Don't leave it this way very long, just test it to see if you can move the unit. When you pull the pin, full battery power is applied to the brakes and should lock them up. If not: brakes need adjustment or something is wrong with the electric lines to the brakes themselves.
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