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Old 05-27-2018, 03:06 PM   #1
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Trailer brakes not working?

This is my first post, so here goes: We purchased a 2017 FR Heritage Glen Lite last spring. The older 2007 F-150 seemed to brake just fine because the dealer had set the gain on the manual controller. I ended up having to get a 2017 F-150 5.0 and had the Ford dealer install the controller. When I checked the trailer brakes in a parking lot even at a gain setting of 10 there wasn't any tugging from the trailer. Here's my question: I did increase the default setting in the truck from low to medium to increase the electrical impulse to the trailer. I'm hoping this takes care of the issue. If not, I'll have to have the trailer brakes adjusted, correct? We only have about 700 miles on the trailer and I thought the brakes were supposed to be self adjusting. Thanks!
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:12 PM   #2
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Confused, are you using an add on controller or factory. If factory, does it say trailer is hooked up? First time pulling camper with new truck? First time camper been out this year? If so, may have rust on drums that needs to be burn off. Check you grease seals and bearings on camper this year?
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:15 PM   #3
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First off, do you know for sure the trailer wiring is correct for your new truck?

I'd get out my multi-meter or test light and see if you have any power going to the trailer brakes when the manual lever is activated. If not, then check to see if there is power at the proper pin in the truck connector (socket). It's not unusual for vehicles to have mis-wired connectors especially if the wiring was done as an aftermarket install.

If you don't have power to the brakes, fix that issue first. Chances are you won't have to tear down the brakes.

As for trailer brakes being self adjusting, some are, some aren't. Even those that are auto adjust don't always adjust properly.

Once you are sure you have power when brakes are applied, and you still have no stopping power, then check to see if you need to replace brake linings themselves.

So many possibilities but start by checking the wiring.
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:23 PM   #4
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When you say you checked the trailer brakes did you activate them with the controller without using the truck brakes? If you felt no "pull" using just the controller you definitely have a problem. I noticed with my new truck the factory controller does not operate the brakes the same way as an after market unit. It does do the job so I believe the factory units are more sophisticated. If your trailer brakes are working you could find a isolated road to try a fast stop.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:33 PM   #5
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If you don't have a test light or meter you can have someone push brakes and you touch brake drum with wrench or screwdriver (sitting still). It should stick to drum (magnet activates the brakes) if its working. If it is working bump it to medium. If not, at this point you are going to need testing equipment.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:31 PM   #6
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if i understand properly you had the ford dealer install the controller and ever since you have not had any trailer brakes. how about going right back to the dealer and having him resolve it. how did he know the install was proper and working. did he hook up a trailer and do a test. or did the tech just say he's done and they should work. i'd start with a serious conversation with the dealer. my guess is it has nothing to do with the trailer or the brakes themselves.
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:51 PM   #7
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If it’s a Ford controller it would have to have been programmed to work. I would assume the dealer would know this but people make mistakes. Like someone else asked, does your truck show that the trailer is connected?
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:45 AM   #8
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Trailer brakes not working

The truck does show that a trailer has been hooked up. I'll go back to the Ford dealer and see if they can test the wiring to make sure it's hooked up properly. Hopefully they can eliminate that question without having my camper. I've read a lot of information on this forum and I just want to say thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:51 AM   #9
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call and see if you can take it in with the trailer. give them everything to diagnose the problem. without the trailer they can say the truck is fine but until it works with the trailer you really don't know if that is true.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by udflyer View Post
The truck does show that a trailer has been hooked up. I'll go back to the Ford dealer and see if they can test the wiring to make sure it's hooked up properly. Hopefully they can eliminate that question without having my camper. I've read a lot of information on this forum and I just want to say thanks for all the suggestions!
I believe you should call the dealer to see if you should bring it. The 2017s need to see current on the trailer wiring to work properly. I am sure they know how to test this but worst case they hook your trailer to another truck to prove it works.
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