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Old 06-23-2015, 07:52 AM   #1
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F250 Power Stroke Brake Controller Gain Question

So I try to adjust my integrated brake controller per the Ford instructions pulling a Wildwood Heritage Glen 38' fifth wheel. Level road, 25 mph, apply trailer brakes only etc. Instructions say to basically increase the gain until the trailer wheels lock up, then back off from there until they stop locking up...Then that's the gain setting to operate by.

But, I run it all the way to 10 on the gain and still no lock-up. I'm not surprised as I figure this is alot to expect out of this entire system on a dry hot Summer road. Should I really be expecting these four big electrically braked tires to actually lock up on hot asphalt?

So how do I know what gain to leave my IBC on then?? To me the braking seems the same at 5-6 as it does up to 10 gain. It does slow and stop the entire rig at 25mph within a relatively short distance but again, I'm not sure what gain to leave it set at unless they should lock up of course and I got another issue I'm unaware of.

Brand new camper and brakes, I'm new at all this so the learning curve is plenty steep. I have heard this controller won't allow you to lock-up but others with the same tow vehicle do see their brakes lock and that info is also contrary to the gain setting instructions. Just wondering before I hit the hills, it is camping season and I hate to have my camper back at the dealer for service unnecessarily this time of year.

Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:27 AM   #2
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I was able to lock my 30' Salem at 7.5 with my F150. I had it set for 6.5 after that and worked well. I just got a 27' trailer and the dealer turned it down to 5. While descending a long hill on wet pavement I started into a curve and applied the brakes. The trailer tried to push the back of the truck around. Why knuckle moment to say the least. It's now set back to 6.5. I like to feel a slight tug from the trailer when braking. Some may disagree with that but I really don't want to wind up jackknifed in a ditch.


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Old 06-23-2015, 08:42 AM   #3
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My experience with my brake control on my f250 is the same as you. Whether it's on 5 or 10 it feels the same.


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Old 06-23-2015, 10:25 AM   #4
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I have a F350 with the same results as you. I can get to lock up on gravel but not on dry payment. I had a 28 foot trailer that I could get the tire to lock up but it was 3,500 lbs lighter than my current one. I can also get it to lock up and wet roads so I set mine on wet road and seems to work fine but I haven't had slam on the brakes yet.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:28 AM   #5
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I had the same experience as you with my f350. I never could get the wheels to lock so I left the controller set at 10. Each time I pulled the TT I question whether or not the trailer brakes were working at all. Recently while going through the menus while the trailer was connected I found a submenu labeled trailer brake effort. It was set to low. I changed it to medium and when I applied the brake it felt like the trailer was doing all the braking. I backed it off to 7.5 and it "feels" good. Next outing I will find a parking lot to do the recommended procedure.

Edit,
I just checked and the trailer does not need to be connected.
Settings
Driver assist
Trailer brake
Trailer brake effort
Choose "low", "med", or "high"

My 350 is a 2015 so it may differ from your 250.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:35 AM   #6
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Hank

I run my controller at 7.5- 8 pulling my 38' CC silverback 5th wheel with no problems. Stops perfectly. The ford brake controllers work on the amount of pressure applied on the truck brake as to limit the tire lock up on the trailer you normally have on the basic controllers. I always test mine by sliding the controller over manually before I leave anywhere and that is the only way I can get the tires to lock up.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:59 AM   #7
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I have a 34' 5Th wheel and an F250 Diesel.
Mine is set at 7.5 normally and possibly 8.0 when running heavier tow.
I have never been able to lock up brakes but these setting work.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesptr View Post
I had the same experience as you with my f350. I never could get the wheels to lock so I left the controller set at 10. Each time I pulled the TT I question whether or not the trailer brakes were working at all. Recently while going through the menus while the trailer was connected I found a submenu labeled trailer brake effort. It was set to low. I changed it to medium and when I applied the brake it felt like the trailer was doing all the braking. I backed it off to 7.5 and it "feels" good. Next outing I will find a parking lot to do the recommended procedure.

Edit,
I just checked and the trailer does not need to be connected.
Settings
Driver assist
Trailer brake
Trailer brake effort
Choose "low", "med", or "high"

My 350 is a 2015 so it may differ from your 250.
I also have a 2015 F350 and just checked mine and it was set to low also. I set my for medium and we see next week when hookup again to the Passport America Rally we see it that makes difference. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:04 PM   #9
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I had similar on 2011 f250 and have been running it at 4-5 as braking seems good when I apply trailer by itself. I had never locked them up until a month ago when my breakaway lanyard got hung up on the hitch. They locked up good at 10 mph but then released as I slowly pulled to the curb to remedy the situation.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:49 PM   #10
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You guys that state it feels the same at 5 as it does at 10, what year model truck are we talking about? I have a 2015 f250 and 5 does not feel the same as 10. I run at 7.0. I can not lock up the trailer brakes either but by just using the trailer brakes only I can adjust the gain so the trailer does not push the truck. I stop on a small hill and release the truck brakes and use the manual control on the trailer brakes when I can feel the trailer brakes start slowing me down I add about .5 gain and try that. Adjust from there as needed.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:32 PM   #11
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I usually run 7.5 on my 2012 F250 powerstroke, seems to handle the 7500lb trailer with no pushing while stopping. I mostly towed flat land with a few high bridges. I just adjust the trailer tow depending on conditions. I just checked my driver assist readout of my truck, it only shows what I have my controller set on. I have not towed in the mountains yet, I am looking foward to the power of the diesel, I love the engine brake, its super.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:14 PM   #12
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One problem I noticed on my F250 is that you have to quickly squeeze the manual brake controller when setting it. I was engaging it too slow and the tires on trailer would not lock up.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:55 PM   #13
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2010 ford 350 towing a heritage Glen 356qb. I set my gain by letting the truck roll and using the manual slider to hold the trailer in place. I am running close to 10 now as anything less with not lock the truck and trailer in place and I continue to roll. Not sure if this is the correct way to set it or not but seems a lot easier to stop the trailer


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Old 06-24-2015, 07:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesptr View Post
I had the same experience as you with my f350. I never could get the wheels to lock so I left the controller set at 10. Each time I pulled the TT I question whether or not the trailer brakes were working at all. Recently while going through the menus while the trailer was connected I found a submenu labeled trailer brake effort. It was set to low. I changed it to medium and when I applied the brake it felt like the trailer was doing all the braking. I backed it off to 7.5 and it "feels" good. Next outing I will find a parking lot to do the recommended procedure.

Edit,
I just checked and the trailer does not need to be connected.
Settings
Driver assist
Trailer brake
Trailer brake effort
Choose "low", "med", or "high"

My 350 is a 2015 so it may differ from your 250.
I concur, same settings for my Rockwood and F 250
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:23 AM   #15
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I leave my gain at 6.0. Seems to work
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:33 PM   #16
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Thanks everybody seems my situation is not unique.

Several things I learned:

I have a 2012 F250 PS and the Driver Assist Menu does not lead me to a Trailer Brake Effort with a low, med and high selection. There is also no reference to this in my Ford manual regarding the IBC so apparently my 2012 dinosaur does not have that option.

Also, according to the truck owners manual (who wants to read directions first) it
says: "If towing a heavier trailer, trailer wheel lock-up may not be attainable even with the maximum GAIN setting of 10." The dry weight of my camper is 9854lbs. is that "heavy"? I'm guessing it is.

Additionally when I read the electronic truck menu instructions in the truck for adjusting the gain it does say: "repeat steps 2-5 until gain is just below the point which the trailer tires lock-up or the max value of 10 is reached." I missed that part.

So I guess I'll be running around on 10 for now, I'll give it another try when I take it all out on the next trip. Many thanks all, what a great resource this forum is.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:57 PM   #17
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Hello.
The 2013 F 150 had no controls. My 2015 F250 has the controls.

I set mine up today at 40 kph. Medium effort and gain of 8 stops but does not look up the trailer.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesptr View Post
I had the same experience as you with my f350. I never could get the wheels to lock so I left the controller set at 10. Each time I pulled the TT I question whether or not the trailer brakes were working at all. Recently while going through the menus while the trailer was connected I found a submenu labeled trailer brake effort. It was set to low. I changed it to medium and when I applied the brake it felt like the trailer was doing all the braking. I backed it off to 7.5 and it "feels" good. Next outing I will find a parking lot to do the recommended procedure.

Edit,
I just checked and the trailer does not need to be connected.
Settings
Driver assist
Trailer brake
Trailer brake effort
Choose "low", "med", or "high"

My 350 is a 2015 so it may differ from your 250.
Will have to try this out when I head back to TN this week with my 33 ft Wildcat. had it set at 6.5 on the trip down, no issues even coming down Mount Eagle, TN which is a 4-5% slope for about 5 miles with truck runoff ramps the whole way down. Used the tow-haul and turbo assist and held back on it's own, very little brake needed.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:25 PM   #19
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Mine is a 2103 f250 and it doesn't give me the option of low, medium or high either in settings.


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