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Old 04-29-2014, 09:01 AM   #11
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Try applying trailer brake manually then put truck in neutral and let off truck brake should show up then. Might just be drawbar in receiver your hearing making the bump, pull drawbar out and apply grease to inside of receiver and outside of drawbar and put back together may take care of it. There is always some slop there considering there is one pin holding it in place. I'm betting that's what your feeling.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:27 AM   #12
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Keith, everything that you are 'feeling' is 'normal'. There is no 'adjustment' to tighten the 'ball' into the hitch.... the tongue hitch needs to move around on the 'ball'...forward/backward/up/down/side ways..... just a little bit so that it does not 'bind up'.

Let's get back to the brake actuator.... I believe that you need to 'set it' and leave it alone...... to 'set' it..... get on a flat street with no traffic and slowly move down the street (coast). gently and slowly push on your brakes a little. You should 'feel' the camper very gently tug on the tow vehicle. Back the brake off at the actuator and try again.... do you still 'feel' the camper tug on the tow vehicle.... do this until you do not 'feel' any tug..... at that point the camper and tow vehicle are almost 'neutral' in the braking. You want to now put just a little braking back on the camper and then Leave The Brake Controller alone....

The idea on this is that the camper does not 'stop' or slow down the vehicle/tow unit 'train'.... the braking of the camper 'first' is to barely slow the camper first to keep it in a straight line behind the towing unit. The more 'brake' pressure that you apply to the tow unit the more 'brake' pressure will be applied to the camper brakes by electric impulses. This is why you Do Not 'adjust' your brake actuator 'on the fly' going up and down hills as it will get out of wack on your fine tune adjustment when you went down the no traffic street. The 'actuator' should have a 'hand brake' on it so that when you do go down a long Grade, you can by hand manually (after taken foot off the gas pedal) 'slow' the camper down a little and keep the camper going in a straight line. If you need to slow the tow unit and camper down then use on the tow vehicle brake pedal. The camper brake will 'engage' first, but only slightly more and going down a Grade will seem as if it is not engaged at all, but know that it is if 'set' correctly. Leave the controller adjustments alone while out driving because if you 'tighten' the brakes up too much on your camper, very bad things could happen if your camper brakes 'lock up' on you and send you into a skid or toss you in the ditch or in front of someone. Your tow vehicle should be 'stout' enough to pull and stop your camper with no camper brakes at all.....

If I have written to much or it sounds like I am talking over your head or down to you I apologize, as I mean only good things. I have said it many times here before. Safety first and always....

Adjust your controller once and leave it alone. For long down hill grades, slight pressure on your tow vehicle brake pad.... (do not worry if the camper 'hits' you a little), if you want more braking on the camper going down hill, use the hand brake on the controller only.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indybp57 View Post
What you describe sounds to me like slack in the hitch being taken up, either by a little slop in the hitch pin or at the coupler. A little slop in the hitch pin is normal but I would double check the tightness of the ball and the coupler on the ball.

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Old 04-29-2014, 09:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
There is a nut under the hitch on most couplers that can be tightened also. You might check that.
X2. The nut under the coupler is what determines how tightly the coupler is clamped to the ball. You want that fairly snug.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:54 AM   #15
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...Your tow vehicle should be 'stout' enough to pull and stop your camper with no camper brakes at all...
Agree up to here. No way, that's why there's state laws requiring trailer brakes. Heck, even semi's can't do it!
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by keith_h View Post
I have adjusted it to the specifications. It is made by Tekonsha and adjusts just like their other controllers (Prodigy, P2, P3). On flat roads it seems to function just fine. It was with the hills that I started feeling a bump or jerk when letting off of the brake. Depending upon whether it is pushing or pulling I would need to make opposite adjustments to the gain control.
If you are using a brake controller that has a boost feature built in you may experience some jolting from this feature depending how you have it set.

I tow a 37' bumper pull trailer at 9,000 pounds so I have my boost set at the max. As soon as I touch my brake pedal the brake controller sends a quick shot to the trailer brakes to get it slowing down first to avoid the trailer pushing the truck...

May be another thing to look at.


But OC is correct with the adjustment on the keeper nut on the coupler. Many folk have no idea it is there...
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:36 AM   #17
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When you feel the "jolt" does it tend to move you back in your seat or towards the steering wheel, and is it with any "force". When you apply your truck brakes, you shouldn't have any inertia that sends you back in your seat. When letting your brakes out on a downhill, your trailer may release a little quicker and may give you a "push", but this is somewhat normal. Maybe I missed it, but I also didn't see what model of brake controller you are using. A proportional brake controller will help in most all instances of "grabbing & release".
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:43 AM   #18
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Brother Les said, Your tow vehicle should be 'stout' enough to pull and stop your camper with no camper brakes at all.....
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
Agree up to here. No way, that's why there's state laws requiring trailer brakes. Heck, even semi's can't do it!


Even I disagree with this up to a point...... (and we are not talking about Semi brakes, which are air brakes, which must have to have air to keep the brakes from coming on... ) we are talking about electric brakes. Electric impulses that can very up and down the voltage scale and like wise the stopping power of the camper brakes rely on the electrical voltage. Not enough and they are useless... working fine, one has that 'feel' that they are working fine and acting as if they are mimicking your vehicles hydrolic brakes. Too much of a voltage pulse and your camper brakes can lock up and many bad things can happen. I don't trust my life and my families life on camper brakes. Reading the suggestions of the usage of camper brakes, it is heavily suggested that when it is raining to Not even have your camper brakes activated. The wet pavement could throw you into a skid. Hense, my statement of having a tow vehicle that is stout enough to Pull and Stop your camper with no camper brakes at all. I don't like stating that as some may think that it is fine to not have camper brakes and that is not the case at all. Set yours correctly and use them correctly, but also don't get in a situation of where your life and the lives of others fully depend on them to stop you safely.

(clear as mud???)


Also, about the tongue/ball adjustment. Been pulling campers for way to many years that I want think about sometimes. I just plain forgot about that adjustent. Be very careful about adjust that too tight. I have never had to adjust one in my life and would really wonder about having to much 'slack' in that area? You do have the right ball size, correct?
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:52 AM   #19
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Too much of a voltage pulse and your camper brakes can lock up and many bad things can happen. I don't trust my life and my families life on camper brakes.
(clear as mud???)
Locking the brakes on the trailer will actually not cause any substantial issues other than flat spotting trailer tires if done for too long/far.

I personally set my trailer too high braking wise for the fact that when I need to hit the brakes in a hurry I want to make sure the trailer stays straight. Maximum braking force to the trailer will ensure that. Even if the trailer tires lock up the trailer will stay in line behind my truck. (I dont have it set to where my tires lock up at all but just saying)

I compare it to a bicycle. Most of us when we were younger would ride around and lock the rear tire and make it slide, I never lost control of it from what I recall. Same thing with a motorcycle. I will jam the rear brake MUCH harder than the front in a situation of rapid braking.

Just my thought.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:11 AM   #20
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Tractor/trailer combos are NEVER allowed to go down the road without brakes "activated" on any trailer. It is true that it takes air to "Activate" the brakes. Same goes for the trailer, it needs air to release the brakes before the trailer will move.

With that said, My truck will stop my entire rig but the brakes will suffer a very short life span if I don't use the trailer brakes. Electric, Air or Hydraulic brakes are meant to stop a vehicle in a safe distance for the amount of weight it can carry.

Be safe out there!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Les View Post
Even I disagree with this up to a point...... (and we are not talking about Semi brakes, which are air brakes, which must have to have air to keep the brakes from coming on... ) we are talking about electric brakes. Electric impulses that can very up and down the voltage scale and like wise the stopping power of the camper brakes rely on the electrical voltage. Not enough and they are useless... working fine, one has that 'feel' that they are working fine and acting as if they are mimicking your vehicles hydrolic brakes. Too much of a voltage pulse and your camper brakes can lock up and many bad things can happen. I don't trust my life and my families life on camper brakes. Reading the suggestions of the usage of camper brakes, it is heavily suggested that when it is raining to Not even have your camper brakes activated. The wet pavement could throw you into a skid. Hense, my statement of having a tow vehicle that is stout enough to Pull and Stop your camper with no camper brakes at all. I don't like stating that as some may think that it is fine to not have camper brakes and that is not the case at all. Set your correctly and use them correctly, but also don't get in a situation of where your life and the lives of others fully depend on them to stop you safely.

(clear as mud???)


Also, about the tongue/ball adjustment. Been pulling campers for way to many years that I want think about sometimes. I just plain forgot about that adjustent. Be very careful about adjust that too tight. I have never had to adjust one in my life and would really wonder about having to much 'slack' in that area? You do have the right ball size, correct?
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