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Old 05-12-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
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Trailer Brakes

Hi all,

I had my first shakedown trip on my new 2015 ST28BH this weekend. All went well, with one exception that has my spidey-senses going.

I have a 2011 Ford F250 with the factory built-in brake controller. For this trailer, I have to crank the brake gain up to 10 (max) to get what I feel is the minimal amount of braking power I want out of the trailer. When I do the 30kph braking test, the trailer will slowly bring everything to a stop, when I fully depress the slider control in the truck.

In general, it feels ok when I am doing regular stopping, but I'm concerned that if I need to do some emergency braking, I don't have enough braking power in the trailer.

With my previous ST26BH, I had the gain set at 6.5, and had plenty of braking power behind me.

Thoughts? Can trailer brakes be adjusted to give more braking power? I'm not sure what my options are - is this a truck or trailer issue?

Thanks
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:56 PM   #2
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Does your trailer have self adjusting brakes or are they manual?
If they are manual, I would jack it up and start adjusting. You should be able to slide the wheels in the gravel by just using the brake control lever. I have the Ford brake controller, and if I remember right, I'm set at 6 or 6.5
I don't know how the auto ones adjust. Like a car?? Backup and set the brakes hard??
You should ask your dealer if they check them before you took delivery.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:13 PM   #3
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I also have the factory break controler. I have mine set on 8
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:45 PM   #4
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I have mine about 7. Works great. I think Lloyd hit it right with brake adjustment. I would check them out to be sure.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DirtEngineer View Post
Hi all,

I had my first shakedown trip on my new 2015 ST28BH this weekend. All went well, with one exception that has my spidey-senses going.

I have a 2011 Ford F250 with the factory built-in brake controller. For this trailer, I have to crank the brake gain up to 10 (max) to get what I feel is the minimal amount of braking power I want out of the trailer. When I do the 30kph braking test, the trailer will slowly bring everything to a stop, when I fully depress the slider control in the truck.

In general, it feels ok when I am doing regular stopping, but I'm concerned that if I need to do some emergency braking, I don't have enough braking power in the trailer.

With my previous ST26BH, I had the gain set at 6.5, and had plenty of braking power behind me.

Thoughts? Can trailer brakes be adjusted to give more braking power? I'm not sure what my options are - is this a truck or trailer issue?

Thanks
Have you given the brake shoes a chance to seat in to the drums? They don't work great until they seat.

Do the gravel test. That's 8000 lbs of truck plus the trailer you are asking the trailer brakes to stop.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:06 PM   #6
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12,700 lbs of trailer behind my 2011 F350 and I have the factory brake controller set at 7.5 and I can feel it slowing the trailer proportionately behind me when braking. The brake controller is proportionate to the degree of brake you are applying - best to do the gravel test with the slider to make sure your brakes are locking up first. You also have to be above 15 mph to feel it start to grab when you are testing it or setting it up initially. Should have lots of grab at 20 mph with the gain set lower than 10 if you come down on the brakes hard. If it doesn't have any response, you may need to get your factory controller checked out after confirming your trailer brakes are functioning correctly. Pull your safety pin on the trailer and see if it locks up the trailer brakes solid first.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:19 PM   #7
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I had my old ford integrated brake controller set right around 6-6.5. You should be able to lock the tt wheels up with a lower setting than 10 so minimal brake power at 10 something is not right. You can check to see if you have power at your 7 pin connector. That is often helpful info, I found a busted prodigy P3 that way once (prodigy replaced it under warranty). Checking the tt brakes is a very good idea as well.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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Agree with all the posts hear and as an addition, once you've done what you can with adjusting the trailer brakes, you can also put heavy duty pads on the truck. With you being up north, I'd make that a last option since I found the high performance pads handle heat well, but feel mushy in the winter.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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Look at EBC brake pads, no mushy and great heat dissipation. http://ebcbrakes.com/products/brake-pads/
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:34 PM   #10
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Mark..which pads, orange stuff, green stuff, extra duty?

I had green stuff on my last car and they were too hard for the ohio winters. Not enough heat for them to grab during cold weather driving.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:01 PM   #11
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Extra duty
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Agree with all the posts hear and as an addition, once you've done what you can with adjusting the trailer brakes, you can also put heavy duty pads on the truck. With you being up north, I'd make that a last option since I found the high performance pads handle heat well, but feel mushy in the winter.
Not necessary with the 2011 up F250/F350. The factory pads are premium and low dusting. 105,000 miles on my first set from factory for the rears and replaced with OEM. Different breed of brakes on the new Super Duty.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:37 AM   #13
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I had a similar problem with my trailer when I first bought it. They would never lock up even on gravel. Inexperience made me think it was just the fact that I had moved up to a larger trailer. After several camping trips, my truck diagnostics came on saying check trailer brakes. Took it to the nearest dealer, and they found a problem with the wiring running to the brakes. After replacing connectors at each axle and running some new wire, they have been working great ever since.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:51 AM   #14
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Not necessary with the 2011 up F250/F350. The factory pads are premium and low dusting. 105,000 miles on my first set from factory for the rears and replaced with OEM. Different breed of brakes on the new Super Duty.

Good point, I'm living my own little 1/2 ton world here! I guess I should stay on point since the OP has a 250.

With that said, there are more than a few debates on the Ford forums I subscribe regarding OEM vs aftermarket pads for performance/towing.

I can tell you this, at 47K on my f150 and my front pads make a real mess of the wheel. I hopefully will get a lot more miles out of these pads and can learn from others what pads are best for towing.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:45 PM   #15
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So, as a bit of a follow up.

I've now put about 1,500kms on my trailer, and am still having the same issue (trailer gain up to 10 on my truck, 'just barely enough' braking power out of the trailer). I've had both the trailer and truck checked independently (by trailer and truck dealerships respectively), and both are apparently performing as intended. In addition the trailer dealership cleaned and adjusted the brakes on my trailer.

While I haven't done the gravel test, it still doesn't seem right to me. Any thoughts on how I should proceed?
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:01 AM   #16
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So, as a bit of a follow up.

I've now put about 1,500kms on my trailer, and am still having the same issue (trailer gain up to 10 on my truck, 'just barely enough' braking power out of the trailer). I've had both the trailer and truck checked independently (by trailer and truck dealerships respectively), and both are apparently performing as intended. In addition the trailer dealership cleaned and adjusted the brakes on my trailer.

While I haven't done the gravel test, it still doesn't seem right to me. Any thoughts on how I should proceed?

Did you have the trailer brakes check at the RV dealership?
If so, I wonder just how "up" on trailer brakes the guy was that did the work. They should be able be set up so they slide the the tires, and still not be dragging when the brakes aren't being applied.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:38 AM   #17
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Yep, RV brakes checked at the RV dealer (brake wiring, voltage, etc. apparently all checked out fine). Truck brake controller was checked at the Ford dealership using a trailer emulator, again all voltage was fine.

I'm a bit annoyed, as my RV dealer has told me they're booking service appointments currently for the end of July...
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:49 AM   #18
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Maybe you should check them out yourself. Here is a couple links that will help.

http://www.etrailer.com/question-8117.html

http://accessories.etrailer.com/sear...t%20Video&rk=1
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:54 AM   #19
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Thanks Lloyd. I will check out those links.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:50 AM   #20
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Brakes may be adjusted to loose thus not grabbing . with wheel off ground ,the brakes should be making a little rubbing sound when wheel turned. My rv dealer re adjusted mine after putting new seals inside and he had them looser than before and now they barely grab. They work but I cannot lock them on crushed stone where before I could lock on asphalt when set to '10' Will turn adjuster 1 click and should be better.
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