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Old 05-21-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 27
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

2014 Ram 1500, Quad Cab, Hemi, 3.92, 4x4
2013 Forrest River Flagstaff, V Lite 30', 7300#
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:59 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.

2015 F350 Lariat Diesel Dually, White, Hitch Kit.
2013 Dutchman Voltage 3200 Epic II 5th wheel.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:54 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.

38ft Snowvilla. Triple Glides. 2010 Ram 3500 CC Dually. to tow anywhere, anytime.
!!!!!! "RETIRED" !!!!!!.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Zogg View Post
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.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:10 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.

38ft Snowvilla. Triple Glides. 2010 Ram 3500 CC Dually. to tow anywhere, anytime.
!!!!!! "RETIRED" !!!!!!.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:03 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.

2013 F450 towing 2013 Lifestyle 37RESL
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