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Old 07-23-2016, 09:44 AM   #1
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Brakes: Reality or dealer BS?

I just bought a 2017 MicroLite 21FBRS. The brakes seem very "loose", dealer adjusted them but they still will not lock the trailer wheels when just idling and creeping forward. Until they were adjusted they wouldn't stop movement at all. Retard slightly, but not stop. You feel the trailer slightly retarding forward movement of the vehicle (creep speed) and it will now come to stop but only after some distance. I also have a 2013 Cedar Creek fiver and if I'm crawling with it and apply brake controller it locks the wheels for sure. Have the brakes changed since the 2013. Both sets are "never-adjust" types...just kind of scary with no locking. Tested by pulling safety wire out and had same results. Dealer says that is how they are supposed to work. Never experienced this in any other units I've had. Any advise or explanations are welcomed and appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:15 PM   #2
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I installed the never-adjust brakes on my trailer last year. I allowed them to self-adjust like they recommend and it took maybe 20 attempts to get them to lock up with the controller set pretty high. For stopping an idling vehicle, that took a few tries over a distance; but I just believe that was to burnish the new shoes to the new drum.

Since then I always test them after pulling out, not to get them to lock up, just to make sure they will stop the vehicle if just basically idling down the road. They appear to work ok; so not sure if dealer is correct.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:31 PM   #3
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Usual adjustment is to have them lock up when going about 20mph, not "idling and creeping forward." At least that's what my Prodigy P3 required.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:40 PM   #4
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Always Adjust

I pulled our new VLite 16 miles home from the dealer and found two hot drums. Further checking after spending several hours driving and in parking lots trying to allow brakes to find themselves, the other two hubs were getting warm also. Dealer shop said take it to a wheel and axle shop I dealt with over the years whom I trust.

It was decided to remove the self adjusting parts and place standard manual adjusting parts as water had gotten in the hubs while on the dealers lot before we picked up the trailer. Past experience at the local shop was that the self adjusters wear shoes earlier and cause more trouble than sensible checking and manual adjusting like I've done for years.

Dealers shop did tell me to go there and I'm glad I did get a better opinion than "just make it work" at the dealer. First inspection coming up and they can holler then. My awning never has extended like it should anyway.

DW diagnosed with multiple myeloma just after we picked up trailer and her T12 vertebra collapsed shortly thereafter so we never went anywhere. Dealer will no doubt be of no help even though we never used it.

Should'a kept my Open Range that was paid for.

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Old 07-23-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsupchuck View Post
I pulled our new VLite 16 miles home from the dealer and found two hot drums. Further checking after spending several hours driving and in parking lots trying to allow brakes to find themselves, the other two hubs were getting warm also. Dealer shop said take it to a wheel and axle shop I dealt with over the years whom I trust.

It was decided to remove the self adjusting parts and place standard manual adjusting parts as water had gotten in the hubs while on the dealers lot before we picked up the trailer. Past experience at the local shop was that the self adjusters wear shoes earlier and cause more trouble than sensible checking and manual adjusting like I've done for years.

Dealers shop did tell me to go there and I'm glad I did get a better opinion than "just make it work" at the dealer. First inspection coming up and they can holler then. My awning never has extended like it should anyway.

DW diagnosed with multiple myeloma just after we picked up trailer and her T12 vertebra collapsed shortly thereafter so we never went anywhere. Dealer will no doubt be of no help even though we never used it.

Should'a kept my Open Range that was paid for.


I feel your pain, my first wife and mother of my 3 girls passed recently after multiple bone failures chemo an radiation treatments etc, it was a long road to ho. Wouldn't wish it on anyone. She survived longer than expected there's always hope for a cure.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:47 PM   #6
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Thanks all so far. Trouble is mine NEVER lock up. That's the basic problem. I have always had brakes lock (or nearly so anyway) when checking them before a trip (with the lights, etc) and these brakes don't come close to locking...much less halting the vehicle (crawl speed -idle) in less than 20 or 30 feet with full setting on OEM (Ford F-350) controller). That's what's bothering me. Dealer says that's how they're supposed to perform...my gut says no...but am I wrong in thinking? The Cedar Creek "locks up" under same circumstances. I even tested the connector (at hitch rather than in bed) and it worked fine (locked wheels) on another used trailer that the dealer had in his lot...I still am concerned whether they are working correctly or am I getting a pass off?
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:11 PM   #7
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CRS strikes

I forgot to mention that the brakes on the trailer did the same thing you describe until they were used quite a bit. This was why I drove around for several miles and then moved to a Lowes parking lot where I could start and stop for about 30 minutes. Shoes got better toward the end, but, the adjuster kept tightening them up also. New shoes on new hubs will not be happy with each other until worn in.

Find a safe large space off the roadways and spend some time just slowly starting up and applying the trailer brakes manually for a while.

Get out and enjoy it. Mine is parked until whatever. May need it for living quarters for back surgery in Houston at a later date.
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:29 PM   #8
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The brakes on our 2013 3220BH Passport were horrible, the only way that I could get any braking affect out of them was if I has my Prodigy P3 on boost level 3 and gain turned up to 8. Then at 15-20 mph I could feel them grab a bit but that was with the controller almost maxed out. I took the camper into a trailer dealer, equipment and livestock, that I have bought from before, I also personally know the owner and trust him and his mechanics. It turns out that the brakes were really, really far out of adjustment. So they adjusted all the brakes and checked or tightened the bearings on all the wheels, total price was $100. Now running the P3 at boost level 2 and gain at 6, and rolling along at 20 mph the brakes don't lock up but they grab very aggressively. Now with the camper in tow I use boost level 2 and have the gain set at 4.5, it is a night and day difference from before. I am very happy now!!
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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My 5th-wheel trailer's brakes were very poor when I first received the trailer. I had my dealer, Coates RV, check them out for me. They reported that they had to burnish the brakes (using the axle manufacturer's recommended procedure) to get them to operate properly.

Dexter has the following procedure in their manual for burnishing the brakes:
[Y]our trailer brakes should be burnished-in by applying the brakes 20-30 times with approximately a 20 m.p.h. decrease in speed, e.g. 40 m.p.h. Allow ample time for brakes to cool between applications. This allows the brake shoes and magnets to slightly "wear-in" to the drum surfaces.
This was a common procedure after a "brake job" when cars had drum brakes. It might work for you too.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:04 PM   #10
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I see you are using the OEM.Ford controller. Read up on the ford brake controller and you will find that at slow speeds the controller does note apply full power to the trailer brakes. We had quite the time when the Ford controller came out, with customers with the same complaint. We were advised by Ford tech center that at slower city speeds the controller reduced the amps to give smoother application.
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