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Old 09-19-2016, 08:48 PM   #11
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I find that keeping the battery connections clean and tight helps the braking. Probably not your problem with a new trailer but worth checking.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:03 PM   #12
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I notice on ours that I change the setting to a large trailer when on the highway, it will start applying the brakes at a heavier rate, and will definitely help slow down. Around town I need to adjust it down to a light trailer setting, if I don't it grabs too hard. Not sure if this is the "approved" method, but it works for us.
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Crusadernoob View Post
I notice on ours that I change the setting to a large trailer when on the highway, it will start applying the brakes at a heavier rate, and will definitely help slow down. Around town I need to adjust it down to a light trailer setting, if I don't it grabs too hard. Not sure if this is the "approved" method, but it works for us.
X2, I do the same
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:22 PM   #14
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Stupid question

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Originally Posted by rmoore0852 View Post
X2, I do the same

What is a light trailer or heavy trailer setting? Is that something arrived at through experience or is there specific setting?

Marty
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:46 PM   #15
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Im not actually looking at mine right now so this is from memory. On the P3 its also called the boost setting. B1, B2, or B3. Press the top right button to toggle through the modes. It adjusts how quickly the brake voltage "ramps up" in proportion to how quickly you are stopping. The little icon on the top right changes also. It shows a really small trailer on B1, a larger trailer on B2, and a big trailer on B3. The larger (heavier) the trailer you tell it you are pulling, the more voltage it sends to the brakes for any given stop. I usually keep mine on B2 while on the highway, but need to turn it down at slow speeds or it gets too aggressive for stop and go traffic. Of course, this is all dependent on having the maximum gain properly set to begin with.

I think that the P3 is the absolute best stand alone controller on the market. Just like anything else though, it is not a set it once and forget it piece of equipment. It stops my 12k lb trailer great, it is smooth and comfortable. If it starts to rain or I go onto a gravel road, I need to turn it down or it will skid the trailer wheels. This can be done by turning down the boost or turning down the total gain (usually a combination of both). My normal, dry pavement gain setting is 10-11 and B1 or B2 depending on speeds. Keep in mind, every truck and trailer is different. My setup is substantially heavier than yours.

Steps to be done in order
1. Be sure trailer brakes are in good condition and properly adjusted. This means on maximum gain the manual lever on the P3 should skid or almost skid the trailer wheels on clean level pavement at about 20 mph.
2. Next set the total gain to allow the wheels to just barely skid, using only the trailer brakes by FULLY applying the manual lever. Keep turning it down until the wheels no longer lock up. If I remember right, the manual says to turn it back up so that the wheels will skid under maximum braking. (Personally I don't ever want the wheels to skid so I leave it at this setting. For my trailer that is about 10-11)
3. After getting the maximum setting, play with the boost levels to get a comfortable ride. I try not to ever adjust the max gain setting, since I am always worried that I will forget to turn it back up. There have been times on slippery roads that I did have to turn the gain down though (slippery crushed granite road in colorado). 90% of the time if stuck in stop and go I just turn the boost down until back on the highway. That means that even if I forget and leave it on a low boost setting I will still have maximum braking in a panic stop. If you turn down the maximum voltage and forget about it, then that's all ya got, no matter how hard you hit the brakes.

I did this by memory, so if anyone needs to correct anything I said feel free.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:50 PM   #16
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I believe the P3 boost settings are B1, B2,and B3 for light, medium, and heavy trailers. I would set mine on B2 with a gain of 8/9. If I was in the hills I would set it on B3 at about 7. But the boost settings will change the braking quite a bit. I had set gain on 5 and and went through the 3 boost settings, big difference. Find a quiet street or a big parking lot and make a few runs. Just try to get your speed consistent before braking.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:50 AM   #17
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Folks,

I have a question about my Tekonsha P3 brake controller. I thought I had it set up right and haven't really checked it since I set it up. We were heading home up RT 50 from Delaware last night. We were driving at about 55 in heavy traffic. I was leaving a nice distance in front and a van cut in front of me and then hit his brakes. I had to hit my brakes HARD and my anti-locks on my truck kicked in and it felt like the trailer didn't help much at all. When I got into my neighborhood I was going 25mph and did the manual brake engage on the P3 and the trailer tires didn't come close to locking up. I had it set to about 7 but they didn't really grab hard until I had it close to 14.

Is it normal for these settings to require adjustments or did I have it wrong in the first place?

Just looking for opinions as to why the settings may have changed.

Thanks!

Marty
I am not new to towing, but I am new to travel trailer towing with distribution bars and had my first emergency braking situation coming down a mountain over Labor Day. Had my foot nearly through the floor and came to a nice smooth stop just shy of the bumper at the end of the line of brake lights ahead of me. I did glance down at my controller and while set on 50, it was only putting out 10%. I've decided the load levelers keep the nose of my truck from diving as much therefore not putting enough brake to the trailer. Gonna raise my setting before our next trip and see what happens. I have a Hopkins Agility controller.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:57 AM   #18
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Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. Obviously, this is important. As soon as the Boost settings were mentioned I had my small "a ha" moment. I didn't think about the Boost settings in that way so I need to experiment with that.

THANK YOU AGAIN.

Marty
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:59 AM   #19
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I had my first panic stop last month when towing a 3,000 atv trailer loaded. Although I was towing very light, I was not impressed by my F350's brakes. I'm dumping the OEM pads and getting EBC Redstuff pads all around. I was able to stop inches away from the stupid deer who decided to stop in the middle of the road to stare at my headlights.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:05 AM   #20
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I had a P3 on my Tundra and now a factory controller on my 2500 Silverado. I have NEVER been able to lock up my brakes on my 2012 Coachman Catelina. I have serviced them, a buddy mechanic, and a local shop, ALL the same results. I recall seeing/reading somewhere that some trailers won't lock up. I don't know if that is my imagination, or true. Ether way, I've always been able to stop, but never been able to lock up my trailer brakes.
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