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Old 06-09-2014, 11:31 AM   #1
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Brake controller question

Hi all,

I hooked up my Roo 233s to drive around to get the feel of the trailer and also practiced reversing. On initial hookup, tested the brake controller and had to set the gain to 10 to make the TT/TV stop after putting it in drive. I set off to take it around and whenever I had to stop, I would use the brake controller to help slow down. I felt like I really had to slide the lever all the way over to even feel the trailer brakes engage. My trailer is new, only had it for about 3 wks, and this is only my 2nd time taking it out. I'm planning on taking it out for a maiden trip this weekend, and was just curious if this was normal for a new trailer/brake control setup. The trailer was completely empty btw. Also, I thought I read somewhere that my battery should be charged to make sure the controller was working. Is this correct?
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:53 AM   #2
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I bought a 2012 and a 2014 grey wolf. I have a p2 brake controller. Both trailers use a self adjusting brake system. With each of them I had to find a large vacant parking lot and back up about 20 times and apply the brake to get them adjusted. Still I would have to start out with my controller all the way up. After a few miles I would have to start turning it down. Eventually it reaches a point where you can set it and forget it, mine is around 6.4 now.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:14 PM   #3
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Some brakes are self adjusting some aren't, just because it's new don't mean they are set right, if they are not self adjusting they might need to be ajusted. Youtube is the answer!

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Old 06-09-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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Am I wrong in thinking that the service department should adj the brakes during their pre delivery ?

I bet the delivery driver used the trailer brakes way more than their tow rigs.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:25 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I'll just play with it more till I can get it fine tuned. If not, I'll start adjusting manually.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:47 PM   #6
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For some reasons in every department in every RV manufacturer everyone assumes things are done right, but for some reason we always hear horror stories.

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Old 06-09-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
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Have you tried to adjust the brakes on the trailer, the brakes on mine were out of adjustment and it improved 10 fold after I adjusted them. The brakes do bed themselves in so after towing for a short time you should recheck the adjustment, this is assuming you don't have self adjusting brakes. Also have you checked that all 4 brakes are working.
I'm confused by this statement "I would use the brake controller to help slow down", you should not have to touch the manual brake override during normal braking.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Vibe View Post
I'm confused by this statement "I would use the brake controller to help slow down", you should not have to touch the manual brake override during normal braking.
When rolling up to a stop sign or coming off the highway, i'd use the controller to try and "feel" the force of the brakes at different speeds. As opposed to trying them out when I first put the TV in D and letting the setup roll and use the controller.
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:25 PM   #9
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OK, here is some drum brakes 101:
All drum brakes (whether on a car, trailer, or other) will have new shoe & linings that are a certain radius. The drum will also be a certain radius:
a. If the shoe radius is larger than the drum, bad things happen. (It's called "brake sprag", or self-energizing, and can result in the brake locking up and not letting go!).
b. If the shoe radius is smaller than the drum, you won't get full contact. It contacts somewhere in the center 1/3 of the lining, resulting in poor output (which is what the OP has).
c. When the lining and drum radius are identical, you get full performance with no self-energizing effect, which is what we want.

Since no lining manufacturer can guarantee to make every lining to exactly match the radius of a drum from another supplier (or even if the same supplier, due to production variation), the only solution is to design so the largest lining radius is always smaller than the smallest drum radius.

This simply means that there must be a break-in or "burnish" period. As the brakes wear, from the center out, they will soon conform to the drum, and you will notice increased output. Turn down the gain on the controller. You will soon find that it settles in and further adjustments will not be necessary.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:27 AM   #10
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Great explanation Brakeman, thanks.
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