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Old 08-03-2016, 09:36 PM   #1
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Inconsistent braking power...

Hello all! Last year, I posted about an issue I was having with my trailer brakes.
Quick recap... I have a 2016 Roo 183, with a Prodigy P2 brake controller (new last year). I have never been able to get the trailer brakes to lock up while calibrating the controller, but I can feel the trailer brakes work when I apply the brakes. I have checked the trailer brakes for proper adjustment. Here's my initial post for your reading pleasure: Prodigy P2 braking question...

Since then, I have been using the controller on it's highest setting (13). I have had consistent braking.

Today, as I was slowly driving through a campground, I pressed the brakes and to my surprise the trailer brakes locked up and stopped the tow vehicle. It was the first time in over two dozen trips that they did that.

Since then, the brakes are again acting the way they had for the past year...no lockup even on the highest setting.

Any ideas on what could cause this intermittent behavior? Sounds to me like a bad connection. It is very curious that they would suddenly have much more braking power...and then revert back to the way they were.

I know I am wordy with my posts, so I appreciate anyone who reads all of this and takes the time to respond. Thank you!
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:09 AM   #2
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You kinda left that last thread hanging in the air. So you've been using the controller set to max since then?

It certainly sounds like a connection issue.

Have you reworked all the connections in the braking circuit (even in the junction box), Including the negative connections?

Have you replaced the 7-way plug on the RV?
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:22 AM   #3
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I have not reworked any connections yet, but will get out there with a voltage meter later today to check for proper voltage coming out of the brake controller. If it looks to be an issue with the trailer, I'll try to get it serviced, but it's a busy time of year. Last year, I did have the brakes looked at, but all they did (I believe) is check for proper adjustment.
After I called Prodigy last year, they convinced me that the brakes seemed to be working normally and that some setups are never able to lock up the brakes. I'm thinking that's not the case now.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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I reworked all the umbilical connections immediately after we got our RV, and you wouldn't believe some of the connections I found (or maybe you would). I still have more to do, but I have all the safety ones done.

I assume that you still have the molded on plug on the umbilical cord. Those things are prone to bad connections themselves. I'd replace it with a better plug just to cover all the bases.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:36 AM   #5
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I hear you Bama. I had a few issues with my TT when I first brought it home that I fixed myself (trailer lights, speakers, solar panel...all incorrectly wired). I have a hard time doing a lot of work in TV trailer myself, because it's brand new. Mostly out of principle, I'd like the dealer or factory to take a look at it. BUT, that's a huge PITA as well.

I appreciate the response. I'll take a look at the trailer wiring.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:22 AM   #6
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I'm guessing that by the time you got to the campground, and were doing plenty of braking, you finally got the trailer brakes warmed up enough to be in their effective range. While they were able to lock up, you should have gone thru the adjustment procedure (manual applies at 25mph, reducing until it just barely no longer locks up), and left it at this setting.


Get back on the road, and drive around your subdivision, making gentle stops with only the trailer brake (manual applies), until you have them warmed up. You'll know they are warmed up when you can smell them a bit with the windows rolled down. Then, try a 25mph full manual apply. I'm sure you will lock the trailer tires, just like they did at the campground. Back off the voltage until they no longer lock up.




After this procedure, understand that the next time you tow, the trailer brakes will be cold, and won't lock. Resist the temptation to increase voltage. As soon as the brakes warm up, they will be in their optimum setting.
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply brakeman. The brake lockup that I experienced at the campground was when leaving the campground, after the trailer had sat for 4 days. So, warmup doesn't seem to be the issue.

Since my last post, I've checked the voltage out of the brake controller at the rear of the vehicle and found it to be good. I'm currently on a two week long camping trip (changing campgrounds every 2 days and driving over 500 miles). The brake controller has been set at max and I'm not getting lockup when manually engaging the controller. I think my next step is to check trailer wiring.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebcobra93 View Post
Thanks for the reply brakeman. The brake lockup that I experienced at the campground was when leaving the campground, after the trailer had sat for 4 days. So, warmup doesn't seem to be the issue.
had it been rainy while you were camping?
Was the campground road paved or gravel?

Sometimes cold, damp brakes are very grabby for the first couple applies. Especially if you have a fresh layer of rust on the drums.

And of course its easier to lock them on gravel...
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkosu04 View Post
had it been rainy while you were camping?
Was the campground road paved or gravel?

Sometimes cold, damp brakes are very grabby for the first couple applies. Especially if you have a fresh layer of rust on the drums.

And of course its easier to lock them on gravel...
That could very well be the reason for the lockup. If that's the case (seems likely to me), I'm back to the drawing board as to why I'm having to dial the brake controller all the way up to achieve proper braking. Maybe the guy from Prodigy was correct in that they are behaving normally.
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