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Old 12-03-2019, 09:16 AM   #1
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weak trailer brakes while towing

Here's what I reported to RV service mgr:"One more concern. Before ya'll pack my wheel bearings, the trailer brakes were working one way. Before a trip I would go 25 mph and squeeze the Ford internal brake controller. The trailer tires would lock up, smoke, squeal and a little smoke sometimes.

After (Dealer)repacking the hubs, when I did my pretrip routine, the trailer wheels would not lock up when I squeezed the Ford internal brake controller. The trailer brakes gradually slowed the truck and trailer down. I brought the truck back and your tech adjusted the brakes. Nothing changed after adjustment. I called the tech and he said the F150 might not be outputting the right amount of electrical current. Suggested I take the truck in to Ford. Ford tested the trailer output and says everything is working according to specs.

Lippert Components tech support suggested RV service facility test each magnet. Each magnet should be getting 2.8 amps-3.5. As well as other tests, voltage, amperage, shorted magnet coils, bare wires contacting
a grounded object, etc...

Waiting for response from Dealer. Trailer is at RV Dealer service dept for other repairs.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:20 AM   #2
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also, Adjusting the gain from 4 to 10 has little effect on trailer brake operation. Brake remains an open issue? Comments
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:04 AM   #3
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Sounds like they may have gotten happy with the pneumatic grease gun and blown one or more seals.

Have they pulled the hubs back off to see what's going on?
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:00 AM   #4
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May not have adjusted the brakes up tight after putting the drums on.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:29 AM   #5
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X2. Definitely what I would check first.
Also, properly adjusted and controlled trailer brakes will NOT lock up. You do not want that to happen in an emergency braking situation.
Due to many problems with the OEM brake controllers in newer pickups on the farm, we bypass them and use our own add-on controllers.
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Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
Sounds like they may have gotten happy with the pneumatic grease gun and blown one or more seals.

Have they pulled the hubs back off to see what's going on?
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:03 PM   #6
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Grease

My guess is they have grease on the inside of the hubs or on the magnets. I would say pull the drums and clean everything and my bet is they will work again.
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:04 PM   #7
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BMac

I may be off base here but the first few stops with my popup will lock up the brakes due to rust on the drums from sitting. After that they feel like they are not working properly because I can barely feel them. I know they are working because using just the brake controller, I can feel a drag. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:09 PM   #8
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Are the brakes self adjusting or manual adjusting? If they are self adjusting brakes you need to readjust them by applying the trailer brakes several times from around 40 MPH. It could take up to 30 times applying the brakes to get them adjusted where they need to be. Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:00 PM   #9
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You may be on 10 but are you on high, medium or low?
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spydunks View Post
May not have adjusted the brakes up tight after putting the drums on.
That is likely the problem. This is also why I do this type of maintenance myself.
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptnJohn View Post
You may be on 10 but are you on high, medium or low?
Not every controller has the Hi/Med/Low options.

My 1st OEM controller had 1-10 only.
Subsequent, later models have had the three different levels and they certainly do make a difference!
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptnJohn View Post
You may be on 10 but are you on high, medium or low?
Not every controller has the Hi/Med/Low options.

My 1st OEM controller had 1-10 only.
Subsequent, later models have had the three different levels and they certainly do make a difference!

I don't see the OP has a signature nor could I find what kind of tow vehicle they have so I'm not going to guess.

Whoa.... sorry for the double post when editing!
Not sure how that happened!
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Not every controller has the Hi/Med/Low options.

My 1st OEM controller had 1-10 only.
Subsequent, later models have had the three different levels and they certainly do make a difference!

I don't see the OP has a signature nor could I find what kind of tow vehicle they have so I'm not going to guess.

Whoa.... sorry for the double post when editing!
Not sure how that happened!
From previous posts he has said he has the 2018 F-150.
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:33 PM   #14
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2018 Ford F150 SCrew, I have the low, medium, and high, all they do is bring the power on earlier and faster, tried 'em all. Also, has normal/drum/default and electric over hydraulic setting brake settings. There is no difference in setting the internal brake controller from 4 gain to 10 gain.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckeeling View Post
Are the brakes self adjusting or manual adjusting? If they are self adjusting brakes you need to readjust them by applying the trailer brakes several times from around 40 MPH. It could take up to 30 times applying the brakes to get them adjusted where they need to be. Good luck!
Common misconception. Self adjusting brakes will maintain proper adjustment but they must be adjusted manually when new to get the initial setting correct.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:29 PM   #16
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Weak trailer brakes

I had a 2017 F-150 with the built in brake controller that had 1-10 gain settings. Even on 10 I couldn't get much of a response while braking. However, if you go into the trailer settings on your dash board you will find the Low, Medium and High settings. It does not make your brakes come on sooner, it sends a more powerful electrical charge to the brakes which in turn cause them to brake harder.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:35 PM   #17
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If it was strongly braking before service and the tow vehicle is the same with no changes to the settings, logic shows something changed in the brakes in the trailer. I would bet they blew out at least one grease seal. I doubt they will ever admit what the real reason is and will continue to deflect blame (like it's the truck, contact Ford), etc...

In the end it's best to know how to do that job yourself, but I understand that's not for everyone. The trick is to find a decent service center though.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:35 PM   #18
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Late model F150s also do not send full power to the trailer below 20mph, designed to make for smoother braking at slow speeds.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:03 AM   #19
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update

talked to RV Dealers' tech. Tech reported he verified magnets getting 2.5-3.0 amps, and no grease on pads. Tech pulled the safety pin on the trailer and brakes worked. Tech hooked up my 2017 Surveyor with Lippert Components brakes to his truck and they worked. Tech says brakes are working as designed.

The old school method of pre tripping/hooking up trailer to truck rolling at 25 mph and squeezing the internal brake control paddles to get the trailer brakes to skid and then backing off the gain to set the gain on the int brake controller is no longer in favor. The only reason we could explain as to why the trailer brakes would skid when pre tripping before they repacked the hub was a change in tires. I replace the OEM Constance tires with Goodyear Endurance. Tech says the OEM tires are throw away tires and Goodyear tires grip a lot more than the OEM.

Also, the Ford F150 2018 trailer control in set up menu should be in the first option "default". (apparently "default" makes a big difference)The other option is to use "electric over hydraulic", which is for a car like braking system with a master cylinder function???. Also, use medium or high setting.
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