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Old 06-11-2021, 10:50 AM   #1
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Forest River Sandstorm Weak Trailer Brakes

I have a 2019 24' dual axle Sandstorm with Lipert 5100lb axles. I have been trying to diagnose some braking issues I have been having. Brakes are very weak even when empty and trailer brake controller is set to Heavy Electric and 10. Tow Vehicle is a 2020 Ram 3500. I have checked the voltage from the truck (blue wire) and it shows 11.8 volts when brakes are depressed. This is being checked at the J box behind the tongue. When I disconnect the brake away and connect the Blue wire directly to the trailer brake power wire I only read 6 volts when braking. Take the Blue wire off and check its 11.8 Volts. When the brake away system is connected and actuated I have 11.2 volts at the brake wire going to the magnets. What I'm trying to figure out is why I read 11.8 volts off the truck (blue wire) and once I connect to the brake wire for the trailer brakes it goes down to 6 volts. I was thinking it could be a short or grounding out but the brake away system would be having the same problem would think. Any input would be very helpful.

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Old 06-11-2021, 11:19 AM   #2
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That's about the same weight as mine - 2021 Wanderer 24 (GVWR 9999). Towing with a 2017 Ram 3500 DRW. I'm set to light electric, gain at 5 and I can feel it grab when braking.
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:26 AM   #3
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Have you checked the wiring connectors at the brakes, inspected the brake wiring to each position (does the wiring go thru the axles0?

When was last time to pulled hubs and check the wiring to magnets, the magnets for excessive wear and inspected the brake shoe linings?

When was last time you Adjusted the Brakes?
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:44 AM   #4
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From a testing point, many of the brake controllers incorporate an acceleration sensor that senses how hard you are braking and adjust the braking output accordingly.

Is a static voltage test representative of the actual output when in motion?

I would tend to lean more to the mechanical issues as suggested by the Old-Biscuit.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions, I haven't pulled it all apart yet. I don't have many miles on the trailer. That was my next thing to do. The connectors all look good. There wired through the axles. If it was a bad connector or wire I do not think the the brake away system would indicate 11.2 volts at each hub. The test I did was static. Brakes depressed full with gain on 10 and read 11.8 volts. so the truck is sending power.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:42 PM   #6
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Manually adjust the brakes and take that out of the equation
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:54 PM   #7
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Thanks but brakes have already been adjusted. Did them on the tighter side with slightly more drag than normal. No change in breaking.
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Old 06-12-2021, 05:10 AM   #8
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Before I went to my 5th wheel, I was pulling a 10K lb TT around with my '19 RAM 3500. I found the trailer braking system was more effective when it was set to light trailer brakes. I put it on heavy trailer brakes to see how it did, and just didn't feel like I was getting a good response. If I remember right, the book says to set to light for anything less than 10K lbs. I was running the trailer at about 9K lbs, and 6 on the setting.
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:27 AM   #9
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your factory brake controller is speed sensitive. find a manual on how to test your controller then work your way back. the way your post reads, your dropping voltage at the breakaway box??
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:05 AM   #10
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I have tried all settings . There was a slight increase going from light electric to heavy electrical.
I have checked voltage at the truck 7 pin, the hubs and at the Junction box behind the tongue. This is where there the chord from the truck ties into the trailer braking system. I checked it with and without the brake away wire connected. Brake away system works well. Only showing slight voltage loss at the hubs. Everyone keeps saying itís speed sensitive but when you push the manual lever all the way to full braking you should get full braking at any speed. I only show 6 volts when this is done. When the manual lever on the controller is all the way to full it will not even prevent the truck from rolling at idle.
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrod View Post
I have tried all settings . There was a slight increase going from light electric to heavy electrical.
I have checked voltage at the truck 7 pin, the hubs and at the Junction box behind the tongue. This is where there the chord from the truck ties into the trailer braking system. I checked it with and without the brake away wire connected. Brake away system works well. Only showing slight voltage loss at the hubs. Everyone keeps saying itís speed sensitive but when you push the manual lever all the way to full braking you should get full braking at any speed. I only show 6 volts when this is done. When the manual lever on the controller is all the way to full it will not even prevent the truck from rolling at idle.



well that sounds like there is a real issue in the brake controller. if it is a factory controller then you need to get a some info on how to test that controller. i do not what controller you have but all that i have ever had all applied full power when that lever is pulled.
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