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Old 05-29-2019, 06:48 PM   #1
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Time to ask for help, tt brakes

Ok, it's time to ask for help. Our 2015 Rockwood 2604WS had been experiencing the lack of brakes. The first problem from day one was the total lack of trailer brakes that was traced to a broken ground stud in one of the frame junction boxes. That restored braking effort as indicated by pulling the break a way cable while the trailer was jacked. Although the drums have been pulled several times to confirm the brakes were infact put together correctly and the bearings were not leaking grease on the shoes, etc. There was still very poor braking while on the road. With the brake bias set at 9.5 on the integrated trailer brake controller and using "moderate" braking effort there was little if any trailer braking. The same result was attained using the manual brake application.

Today I took the TV to the dealer to have the controller checked for proper operation and any software up dates. The system was checked on their diagnostic computer and found to be within normal parameters. They then installed system updates and reflashed the controller. They are satisfied the TV is working as it should. The electrical connector was also verified as being I'm good shape and serviceable.

So. After all this will the brakes work? Before I hook up and head down the road is there anything else I can check. Any thoughts will be welcome.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:46 PM   #2
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I would check the voltage at the magnet wiring, and the amperage draw. Each magnet should draw around 3amps on full braking power, so a dual axle system should pull around 12amps total.

It is not unheard of for those connectors where the brake side of the wiring are joined to the trailer side to be poor connections. They can let in water over time and start to oxidize which would mean not as effective braking.

Another possibility is the ground wire at the brakes. Did they run it back to the front of the trailer or also ground it to the frame. That could be another poor connection point even if you fixed the one previously described (sounds like you fixed the main ground, but each circuit can have a individual ground to the frame also). Follow the wires to see what you have.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dward51 View Post
I would check the voltage at the magnet wiring, and the amperage draw. Each magnet should draw around 3amps on full braking power, so a dual axle system should pull around 12amps total.

It is not unheard of for those connectors where the brake side of the wiring are joined to the trailer side to be poor connections. They can let in water over time and start to oxidize which would mean not as effective braking.

Another possibility is the ground wire at the brakes. Did they run it back to the front of the trailer or also ground it to the frame. That could be another poor connection point even if you fixed the one previously described (sounds like you fixed the main ground, but each circuit can have a individual ground to the frame also). Follow the wires to see what you have.
Thanks for the reply. That was going to be my next go at this. Just hate to crawl around under the trailer on a creeper. Anyway, as I said when the break-away cable is pulled, the brakes stop dead quick as one would expect.

Now the wire loom from the brake units to the forward junction box on the frame is the same, whether using the brake controller or the break-away. The power sources are separate. The break-away is powered from the house battery and the 'service breaks" are powered through the integrated break controller. Assuming that is correct, then a current loss has to be from the connection from the truck to the junction box. There is no obvious damage to the cable.... but I might just replace it anyway as it is the only thing that hasn't been touched.

Thanks again for your thoughts, always good to have another set of eyes on a problem. Will post the results.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:55 AM   #4
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Had similar issue. Found VERY poor connection at the junction box at front of trailer. They tried to stuff too many conductors into too small a crimp connector and the wire that lead to the brakes got pushed out, only a few strands were making contact. I cut out that connection, soldered and shrink wrapped and all is good. Diagnosed via volt meter. With brakes on full measured about 10 volts at trailer connector but only 3.5 at a wheel magnet so started tracing between the two and found the bad splice.

Volt meters is an extremely useful diagnostic tool for 12v systems.

And check your grounds, very common to overlook the negative side of the system.


Doubt very much it's your two vehicle.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:59 AM   #5
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You said that the brakes were tested with the breakaway cable being pulled while the RV was jacked up. Keep in mind that it doesn't take much braking power to stop an unloaded wheel and tire to the point of you not being able to move it manually. You could have a pretty weak connection and still not be able to manually move the wheel.

I would do as DWard & Nayther eluded to and go through and remake all the connections in the brake circuit including the junction box connections.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:07 AM   #6
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I may have missed it but have you or anyone actually adjusted the brake shoes? in addition to checking the wiring.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:37 PM   #7
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As soon as the weather cooperates I'll get under the trailer and replace the wire splices, redo the junction box connection and replace the 7 pin cable. I agree, it doesn't take much to reduce the current flow through a connector. To bad the wiring isn't in conduit instead of open to the elements. Anyway, it'll be a nice afternoon of swatting bugs and pinching fingers.
Thanks to all for the help and yes the brakes are adjusted, clean and grease free.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:57 PM   #8
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Looks like all the bases are covered. SeaDog asked the question I was thinking of. Hope you have excellent braking from here on.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:45 PM   #9
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I bought an AC/DC clamp on meter to check the amps on each wheel which should be 3 amps each.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:16 PM   #10
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SeaDog hit it. Be sure to adjust the brakes where the shoes touch the drum. I would adjust them up to where you can't turn the wheel, then back them off to where you just hear them drag. That will set your shoes to where they should be. Sounds like you've checked the electrical, now you need to check the mechanical. You said you removed the drums and everything checks out so that leaves adjustment.
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