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Old 12-03-2020, 05:55 PM   #1
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Weak Brakes on NoBo

I have a NoBo 16.8 with Dexter brakes that I picked up in Elkhart in the winter. I tried the brakes on snow packed streets and couldn't get them to skid even with my Prodigy P2 on maximum power. I went to a trailer brake shop and after checking it out they told me that electric brakes just provide a small assist and need some break-in time to be more effective. So I went home to Colorado.

That was two years ago and, while I haven't put lots of miles on my trailer, I still don't see any difference. If I apply full brake manually while going down the road I sometimes can't even feel the trailer brakes come on and, if I do, it is almost unnoticeable. Is that normal?

I have a 16" utility trailer that works a lot better even with heavy loads.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:07 PM   #2
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Your prodigy p2 likely has a setting for light medium or heavy trailer. I would look at the manual to find this setting.
You should be able to stop your rig with just the trailer brakes without to much input from the manual slider.
If settings are ok, you could be looking at the brakes are not working properly and would need further diagnostics.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk on the Wing View Post
I have a 16" utility trailer that works a lot better even with heavy loads.
I've never heard of a 16 inch trailer, but something that small wouldn't need much braking to stop.

As for the Nobo, the brakes might need adjustment, grease could have got on the brakes or the wiring could be insufficient. Don't worry about them not locking up, but you should feel them help you slow down at speed.

Edit: and the trailer shouldn't just help you slow down, the trailer brakes should allow you to slow down at the same rate as not having the trailer attached.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:08 PM   #4
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True, that is a pretty small trailer. Thanks for the thoughts, folks.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:21 PM   #5
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Something is wrong with your brake adjustment, or wiring, or your controller, i would guess. like others have said, you should be able to at least slow down the whole rig with just the trailer brakes. Not saying it would be anywhere near as fast as the tow vehicle brakes but you shouldn't have to guess if they're working.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:35 PM   #6
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Mr Towed,
Thanks. That is actually helpful to know. I have the Prodigy in the FJ that I use to tow the NoBo. I have a different brake controller in my truck that I use for the utility trailer and those electric brakes seem to do the job. When I power up the controller with the trailer empty I can definitely skid the tires but even though they don't skid when the trailer is heavily loaded they definitely help stop.

I'm a do-it-yourselfer and hate to just take it in. I'll try to switch up the vehicles and try different combinations. Then I'll at least know if it is a problem on the tow side or the trailer side.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk on the Wing View Post
Mr Towed,
Thanks. That is actually helpful to know. I have the Prodigy in the FJ that I use to tow the NoBo. I have a different brake controller in my truck that I use for the utility trailer and those electric brakes seem to do the job. When I power up the controller with the trailer empty I can definitely skid the tires but even though they don't skid when the trailer is heavily loaded they definitely help stop.

I'm a do-it-yourselfer and hate to just take it in. I'll try to switch up the vehicles and try different combinations. Then I'll at least know if it is a problem on the tow side or the trailer side.
Great! The fact that you have another vehicle AND another trailer available really gives you some good tools to troubleshoot and rule things out as the issue.
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lins View Post
I've never heard of a 16 inch trailer, but something that small wouldn't need much braking to stop.

As for the Nobo, the brakes might need adjustment, grease could have got on the brakes or the wiring could be insufficient. Don't worry about them not locking up, but you should feel them help you slow down at speed.

Edit: and the trailer shouldn't just help you slow down, the trailer brakes should allow you to slow down at the same rate as not having the trailer attached.
The OP hit the shift button
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:35 AM   #9
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I wouldn't assume the brakes have been adjusted properly. I would first make sure of the adjustment before assuming it's your brake controller. You also should be able to hear the magnets energize with the brakes activated through the controller. Have somebody hold the manual switch on the controller and go listen. They will make a faint hum.
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