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Old 07-24-2021, 05:09 PM   #1
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Question Setting up a Brake Controller, ended up at 10v empty/unloaded

I futzed around today with the unloaded cargo trailer (24' all aluminum tandem axle, 10k GVWR, about 2.7k empty) and the brake controller. I went driving up and down the highway to get the initial miles in after changing out all the tires and stopped periodically to re-torque the lug nuts.



The directions for the controller say to set the initial voltage, starting at 6v, and then cruise along at 25mph or so and use the manual lever. Repeat, increasing the voltage until you lock up the trailer tires when using the manual lever at 25mph or so. Then back off the voltage a little until the wheels don't lock up.



Well at first, they wouldn't lock up, then trying again on a slight decline, they finally locked up at 13v. Backed off to 12v and then 11v where they locked up and finally they didn't lock up at 10v. I definitely feel them engaging and slowing the truck down at 10v. So initial setting for unloaded trailer is now 10v.



I have no experience with trailer brakes. Is 10v normal for unloaded at about 2700lbs? I'd run the setup process again when fully loaded and there isn't a whole lot of room to go up.


thanks for your help and thoughts,
Joe
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Old 07-24-2021, 06:31 PM   #2
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It is for your cargo trailer brakes empty/unloaded
*Will need to 'fine tune' when loaded

Could be lower for other trailers or higher

Depends on size of brakes, gauge of wiring to brakes, weight of trailer

Did you manually adjust your brakes?

See Pg 11 about breaking brakes in
See Pg 12 about synchronizing brakes
See Pg 13 about adjusting brakes
http://www.dexterpartsonline.com/fil...e%20Manual.pdf
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:34 AM   #3
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Can you tell us which brake controller?

I don't remember my brake controller actually giving me a voltage, usually just a percentage, or a scale of 1 to 10.
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:59 AM   #4
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If this is new, did you try burnishing the brakes first?

https://youtu.be/d9HDloz9fq8
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the link to the axle PDF. There is a wealth of good information in that. I have it saved and printed out. I learned a lot there.



The brake controller is a Tekonsha Prodigy. I don't see any P2 nor P3 on it, and the readout is red LED which according to my research lends me to think it is an original Prodigy. It came already installed on the new to me 2009 Dodge RAM 3500. Now that I see there are P2 and P3 versions, I'm off to research to see if I 'ought' to upgrade. I like my new electronics. Any thoughts?



Yes, the trailer is new new. It's a 24 footer, so I was thinking it was towed to the dealer, but I'll call and ask. Once I learned of this burnishing process (here) I was sort of thinking perhaps the limited use the trailer has had so far (towed to dealer, towed home) would have maybe done that, sort of? I know that I haven't specifically run it through the burnishing process of 40mph to 20mph multiple times with cool down periods in between. So, I will give that a try too.



Any hey, I can always call Tekonsha too and see what they say.



Thanks,
Joe
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Tow Vehicle - 2009 Dodge RAM 3500, Cummins 6.7L, 4x4, Quad Cab, Long Bed, DRW, 4.10 rear
5th Wheel - 2016 Keystone Alpine 3900RE, 39'6" length, 15,500 GVWR
Cargo Trailer - 2021 Express 8x24 Aluminum cargo trailer, 9990 GVWR
Motorcycle Trailer - 2014 Aluma MC10, 2000 GVWR
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:53 AM   #6
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I liked my P3 on my Canyon. Seemed to work well with the popup, of course that wasn't a major braking issue.

It is a bit pricey, but if I was upgrading to an aftermarket unit, I would look real hard at Tekonsha's RF model. It was pretty new in 2015 when I was looking for a controller, I opted for the P3 over the RF and the P2.
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by immortl View Post
Thanks for the link to the axle PDF. There is a wealth of good information in that. I have it saved and printed out. I learned a lot there.



The brake controller is a Tekonsha Prodigy. I don't see any P2 nor P3 on it, and the readout is red LED which according to my research lends me to think it is an original Prodigy. It came already installed on the new to me 2009 Dodge RAM 3500. Now that I see there are P2 and P3 versions, I'm off to research to see if I 'ought' to upgrade. I like my new electronics. Any thoughts?



Yes, the trailer is new new. It's a 24 footer, so I was thinking it was towed to the dealer, but I'll call and ask. Once I learned of this burnishing process (here) I was sort of thinking perhaps the limited use the trailer has had so far (towed to dealer, towed home) would have maybe done that, sort of? I know that I haven't specifically run it through the burnishing process of 40mph to 20mph multiple times with cool down periods in between. So, I will give that a try too.



Any hey, I can always call Tekonsha too and see what they say.



Thanks,
Joe
You have to think too the axles under your trailer may have set out on a rack for a period of time before they were installed.
Rust can be a bugger in these electro magnetic brakes. My enclosed snowmobile trailer sits for quite a while sometimes between useages. It's normal for me to have to fumble with the Gain control a bit before the brakes settle down. I always end up with the same setting on my controller but sometimes it takes a bit longer than other times. The only time it varies is when we take less than four sleds to the races. Then it's not much.
I highly recommend any of these types of brakes come apart and be cleaned on at least a yearly basis.
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