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Old 08-19-2017, 03:54 PM   #1
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GM integrated brake controller not finding trailer

I'm about to take delivery of a 2013 Mobile Suites 5er. I drive a 2017 GMC 3500. I've read on a facebook blog that the GM integrated brake controller doesn't recognize a Mobile Suites trailer brake and it takes $120 gadget to make it work.

1) I've never had a brake controller not recognize that brakes are attached.
2) I don't want to hook up only to find out I don't have trailer brakes.

Any input?

Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
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Don't believe everything you read. Contact your dealer and if necessary GM or Mobile Suites to resolve the issue. There may not be an issue.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:34 PM   #3
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I don't believe everything I read. That's why I posted up the question here. Since it's 7:30 on a Saturday night, I can't call either my DRV dealer or my GM dealer. Therefore, I was looking to see if anyone had any personal experience with this.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:36 PM   #4
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Can't comment on the brand of trailer. But my Chev didn't recognize my trailer the first time and it's somewhat common after asking on a GM forum. So I used a small screwdriver to push the female ends of the TT plug closer together to make a better connection. Worked well since then.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:13 PM   #5
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Does the trailer have disk brakes?
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:56 AM   #6
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Does the trailer have disk brakes?
Yes. Maybe that has something to do with it but I would have thought the mfg would have already accounted for it.

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Originally Posted by SouthpawHD View Post
Can't comment on the brand of trailer. But my Chev didn't recognize my trailer the first time and it's somewhat common after asking on a GM forum. So I used a small screwdriver to push the female ends of the TT plug closer together to make a better connection. Worked well since then.
Not the issue. The truck picks up other trailer brakes. The issue is that it's possible that the truck won't pick up the MOBILE SUITES brakes.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:40 AM   #7
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Do you have a menu for different types of trailers? On my ram I can select electric or electric over hydraulic both heavy and light.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:53 AM   #8
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GM made changes to their integrated trailer brake controller in 2015 that eliminated earlier problems with hydraulic trailer brake incompatibility. I researched this before we bought our 2015 Tradition 5th wheel (manufactured by DRV) and our 2015 Chevy 3500 dually tow vehicle.

Our Tradition has Kodiak disc brakes (don't know who manufactured the hydraulic actuator), and they work fine with the integrated brake controller in our 2015 Chevy.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:23 AM   #9
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You should post the manufacturer of the hydraulic actuator. The problems that GM had with some models were to be fixed, but maybe there still is a problem. Of course read the owners manual for setup information, it may have changed in recent years. Other than that, I would suggest contacting the hydraulic actuator manufacturer. If there is no fix, I would not install an aftermarket brake controller, instead tell the trailer manufacturer to replace the hydraulic actuator with a brand that will work.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:14 AM   #10
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GM made changes to their integrated trailer brake controller in 2015 that eliminated earlier problems with hydraulic trailer brake incompatibility. I researched this before we bought our 2015 Tradition 5th wheel (manufactured by DRV) and our 2015 Chevy 3500 dually tow vehicle.

Our Tradition has Kodiak disc brakes (don't know who manufactured the hydraulic actuator), and they work fine with the integrated brake controller in our 2015 Chevy.
Thanks. Hopefully I won't have a problem.

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You should post the manufacturer of the hydraulic actuator. The problems that GM had with some models were to be fixed, but maybe there still is a problem. Of course read the owners manual for setup information, it may have changed in recent years. Other than that, I would suggest contacting the hydraulic actuator manufacturer. If there is no fix, I would not install an aftermarket brake controller, instead tell the trailer manufacturer to replace the hydraulic actuator with a brand that will work.
Dunno. This is Sunday and the trailer is locked behind the dealer's gate.

Talking to the RV dealer, the truck dealer and reading the manuals are all things I cannot do today. My question was posed as to who "KNOWS" about this problem or has experienced it.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:23 AM   #11
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Thanks. Hopefully I won't have a problem...
I finally got around to going out to the storage bay and moving stuff around so I could get to the access panel for the brake actuator. Our brake actuator is a HydraStar HBA-16 (1600psi). Maybe DRV used the same unit on your fiver and you won't have a problem.

BTW, when I was researching 5th wheels, I contacted Dexter and they said their units would work with 2015 and later GM integrated brake controllers.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:14 PM   #12
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Thanks Paz. I'll be following up tomorrow.
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:48 PM   #13
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I am the unfortunate owner of a 2011 and when I got it it had the same problem.

DO THIS - look up on top of the spare tire beside that computer box that's there. . You'll see a 1 1/2" x 4" electronic replay mounted beside that computer that some genius at GM put there!!! Go to Oreilly's or Autozone and get a new one. It's about $45.

Problem is the same genius who put it on your truck also saw fit to put the screws on TOP of it, so the torx head screws (another hair brained idea!) get filled up with road dirt and it's a bear to clean it out!

Ya' see..... GM couldn't leave that Tekonsha controller alone (yep - it WAS a Tekonsha!) They had to tie it in to one of the SEVEN stinking computers on our trucks so we have to look at their stupid messages on the dash, when all this stuff goes to pot!!!!

Remember - some bonehead actually had to go to college for 4 years to think up all this crap!!!! AND HE ACTUALLY GETS PAID TO DO IT!!!!
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:54 PM   #14
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NOTICE: I HAVE A BRAND NEW "CAM" ADAPTER FOR A HYDRASTAR THAT I'M NOT GOING TO USE ON MY TRUCK! IF YOU WANT IT I'LL LET IT GO FOR $75. PLUS POSTAGE. SEND A PHONE NUMBER TO ME AT: pbbm@comcast.net

Phil in Illinois
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