Trailer brake question

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by Sonshine, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Sonshine

    Sonshine Member

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    I have an 05 Ford Explorer with factory tow package and 7 way plug and an 06 FW Element Graphite w/ electric brakes.
    This may be a stupid question, but if I don't have a brake controller, do the brakes on the pup still work when the brakes are applied in the TV???
    I now have the Prodigy 2 in the TV but haven't had a chance to do the initial adjustments yet. I must say it was the easiest to hook up ( once I found the hidden and I mean HIDDEN connector). It took all of 10 min. Thank you to e-trailer and the custom connector.
    Just wondering what I have been missing the last 4 yrs. I will see what the difference is this Sunday when we leave on our 4 hr ride to Acadia Nat Park.
     
  2. raspivey

    raspivey New Member

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    Without the controller to send a signal to them, they won't work. As to how much you'll notice a difference...the bigger the trailer is in relation to the vehicle, the more difference you'll see in general. If you've never adjusted your trailer brakes, I would. Also, don't forget to adjust the controller accordingly when road conditions change. What works on dry roads can get interesting in the rain if the gain is set too high.
     
  3. Wakita46

    Wakita46 Active Member

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    How much should you notice the difference with a brake controller? I've got a Prodigy P2 and I've only driven the camper about 30 miles. I don't notice any difference between the controller turned all the way up or down. It's brand new so I don't know if the electric brakes are even connected. I've got a Subaru Outback - about 3,540 lbs empty and the trailer is 1340 lbs plus a tongue weight of 155 lbs. Stopping is smooth (I've only been up to about 45) but I'm afraid I'm wearing out my car brakes or worse, that I might need to make an emergency stop and get in trouble.
     
  4. kimlovescamping

    kimlovescamping Member

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    You should feel/hear a big difference. Ours is very sensitive. The trailer brakes will lock up and jerk if ours is set too high. We actually are having some trouble finding the right setting. Sometimes too high...sometimes too low. The too high scares me with the screeching tires and then the too low makes the manvan brakes run hot.
     
  5. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Here is what I do...go to a flat area devoid of traffic and allow your Tow vehicle to go forward under it's own power(ie: don't give it gas) you should be doing around 5-8 mph now use the brake controller camper brakes to stop both the trailer and the Tow vehicle. This is the starting point and you may have to set it to more brakes or less dependent upon road conditions.
     
  6. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    Are you sure the trailer brakes are adjusted properly. Sounds as if they are not adjusted up enough.
     
  7. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    If it has been a long time since the trailer brakes were used, you need to remove the rust from the inside of the drums. The lazy/ easy way is to manually activate the brakes using the controller lever/slide and drag the trailer brakes at max power for 5-10 second intervals until you feel them engaging.

    Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  8. Wakita46

    Wakita46 Active Member

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    I don't know if the trailer brakes are adjusted properly. The brake controller was put on at the RV place. I don't know if they even road tested it.
    Sounds like I need to take it back and have them check it.

    I have no idea if the brakes are rusty. As far as I know, I was the first to use them as the camper is brand new. I wouldn't think they would be too rusty but I don't know if it possible that they were left out before the camper was assembled.
     
  9. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    If the trailer is an 06, then the drums will be rusty. The same thing happens to cars that have not been used for a while.
     

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