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Old 05-31-2020, 12:40 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
I guess I don't understand. Why would you want 'grabbing, skidding and whiplash'?
I don't. I am going by what is in the manual for the brake controller which gives clear expectations for the setup. I mentioned that in my first post.

Quote:
We had our emergency trailer brake cable come out as we turned a corner at a very slow speed. The brakes did indeed lock up and the trailer and truck came to a very abrupt stop. The thought of those trailer brakes locking up driving down the highway with the truck attached would terrify me. They are only supposed to lock up if the trailer becomes disconnected from the truck.
Correct. I would not want them to ever lock up. Lock up = loss of control. This is not about locking up under normal operation. Why do you think that?

Please tell me - when the emergency pin is pulled what causes the brakes to lock? Applying 12V direct from the battery? Something else?

Quote:
I'm wondering what made you question the brake setup in the first place if you've driven 2000 miles with no problem.
In that 2000 miles I never had to make an emergency stop. I want maximum performance in that situation. Why should I expect or want any less? Why would anyone?
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by AndyA View Post
The idea being to find the power level that locks the brakes then reduce it slightly to get the maximum braking effect without locking up.
and:

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Originally Posted by AndyA View Post
Some people get confused over the brake locking misunderstanding that it is part of the set up of the brake controller and not how it should be set for use.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:08 AM   #43
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When we bought our 5th wheel the dealer owner went with me for a ride - I'd never towed anything that was longer than 10', and certainly never anything as heavy as the 5er.

We did a little math - weight of the trailer as a percentage of overall towing capacity - the result was roughly 60%, so we started with the brake controller at 6.0

We went to a gravel road and he had me "ease on the break aggressively" while he watched the trailer wheels in the mirror. I felt like the trailer was sort of pushing the truck.

Turned it up to 6.5 and repeated, with the same basic result.

Turned it up to 7.0 and the trailer wheels/brakes locked. Went back down to 6.5 and he said I was good to go.

I don't know for sure because I've never had to do a panic/emergency stop, but I've never felt like the trailer was pushing the truck, even downhill, and I've never had the trailer brakes lock up.

Obviously he knows more than I do, as does nearly everyone on this forum (I'm a novice), but he's also the guy that rode with me to take the trailer home giving me tips along the way - how to avoid curbing the wheels, why it's important to watch tail swing and how to avoid it, why it's better to drive around the block so that I can back into the driver's side - all the little stuff I never gave a thought to, so I think I can trust him.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:14 AM   #44
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Patrick - I wish I had bought from your dealer! Sounds like you got a good one.

Andy
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:49 AM   #45
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Andy,

Small, mom-n-pop type operation. I've called a few times with questions and they always walk me through things on the phone - but always tell me to bring it in if I can't figure it out.

When we first got to the lot we noticed nobody had a tie (well, "Cowboy Dave" had a bolero tie, but that doesn't count) and everyone listened to what we were saying - nobody tried "pushing" us into buying anything - and in fact, they basically told us NOT to buy one unit that we were looking at because they didn't think it fit our needs.

When we came back the second time they almost "MADE" us go home to think about the unit we were going to purchase - they said they'd hold it until the next week - no money down.

We live in Mesa, AZ - there are probably 20 different dealers within a 10 mile stretch of Main Street, and then another 10+ that aren't on Main St.

We spent almost a month looking and we had dealt with every kind of salesperson you could imagine: the high pressure guy with the "lets go sign now" attitude, the cute young saleslady who didn't really know the difference between a bumper pull and a 5th wheel, the old guy who didn't even want to walk out to the lot with us and of course the big box stores (we have two CW's near us) and everything in between.

Don't get me wrong - we knew what we wanted as far as floor plan, and we knew what we were willing to pay, so if we could have found the right unit at another place we would have bought it - we just happened to get lucky and find the right one at this smaller business that happened to have very personal service.

We had been torn between two units - one on their lot and one in Tucson .. but their attitude and customer service won us over.

SO ... if anyone is looking to buy a RV of any kind in or around the Mesa area feel free to send me a message and I'll give you their name (I'm sure I'm not allowed to mention it here)
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:14 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
the last thing you want is the wheels to lock-up if the emergency pin is pulled . it should activate the brakes solidly to stop the trailer . If you come un-hooked and they lock-up it can be a real mess with what you have left over . proper adjustment is needed and do not come from factory adjusted only assembled

If the break-away pin gets pulled full battery voltage (12.6V) gets applied. Properly sized brakes, properly maintained and adjusted WILL lock the wheels. Only way to prevent it is undersized brakes, poor maintenance. A much different situation than the variable/adjustable voltage coming from a brake controller where you adjust it to not lock the wheels.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:24 AM   #47
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The break-way setup is not there to protect the trailer. It's there to stop a runaway trailer running all by itself on the road. Yep, it may wreck the trailer.

Break-away should only activate when the trailer is completely disconnected. This means the cable has to be longer than the safety chains and umbilical cord to the vehicle.

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Old 05-31-2020, 12:21 PM   #48
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Yep! Completely agree.
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If the break-away pin gets pulled full battery voltage (12.6V) gets applied. Properly sized brakes, properly maintained and adjusted WILL lock the wheels. Only way to prevent it is undersized brakes, poor maintenance. A much different situation than the variable/adjustable voltage coming from a brake controller where you adjust it to not lock the wheels.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:43 PM   #49
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If the break-away pin gets pulled full battery voltage (12.6V) gets applied. Properly sized brakes, properly maintained and adjusted WILL lock the wheels. Only way to prevent it is undersized brakes, poor maintenance. A much different situation than the variable/adjustable voltage coming from a brake controller where you adjust it to not lock the wheels.
OK, that is my understanding also.

So what is the difference for the brakes between these two situations:

1. break-away pin pulled, 12.6V direct from battery to brakes

2. Setting brake controller max to 12.6V and then moving manual lever fully and holding it

Andy
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:44 PM   #50
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A third possibility

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Originally Posted by Cost4133 View Post
Your brakes are either misadjusted like many have had a problem with, or they are grease saturated which many have also had a problem with.
Or a third possibility: the brakes are not adjusted properly. There was a report on this forum just the other day of a trailer that came from the factory with the brake shoes backed off so far that they would barely grab. Because they were so loose, the self-adjusting mechanism was not operational--stopping firmly while backing up (reversing to you, Andy), did not adjust the brakes.

Andy, watch a YouTube video on manually adjusting drum brakes. You can use a medium/large screwdriver or buy the proper tool at an auto parts store. Jack up one wheel and spin the tire. Adjust the brakes until the wheel won't turn. Then back off until there is only light scraping (drums are never perfectly round).
Then do the other side. Then drive and make some stops to "burnish" the newly-adjusted brakes. Then do your setup.

If this doesn't do it, you should pull the drums and check for grease on the shoes. Write back for instructions on this. While you have the drums off, you should check and make sure the self-adjusting mechanism is properly assembled.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:46 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by AndyA View Post
OK, that is my understanding also.

So what is the difference for the brakes between these two situations:

1. break-away pin pulled, 12.6V direct from battery to brakes

2. Setting brake controller max to 12.6V and then moving manual lever fully and holding it

Andy

Nothing
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:52 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Mike134 View Post
Nothing
That is my understanding also.

So when I do the second one my brakes do not lock. Therefore they will not lock in a break away situation. Therefore something is wrong that needs to be fixed. E.g. adjusting, burnishing, etc.

Either way for some reason I was sold a trailer that will not lock up during a break-away situation.

So I now know that the first step that anyone should do when picking up a brand new trailer is to set the brake controller max to 12.6V, hold the lever and see if the brakes lock up.

Andy
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:54 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Or a third possibility: the brakes are not adjusted properly. There was a report on this forum just the other day of a trailer that came from the factory with the brake shoes backed off so far that they would barely grab. Because they were so loose, the self-adjusting mechanism was not operational--stopping firmly while backing up (reversing to you, Andy), did not adjust the brakes.

Andy, watch a YouTube video on manually adjusting drum brakes. You can use a medium/large screwdriver or buy the proper tool at an auto parts store. Jack up one wheel and spin the tire. Adjust the brakes until the wheel won't turn. Then back off until there is only light scraping (drums are never perfectly round).
Then do the other side. Then drive and make some stops to "burnish" the newly-adjusted brakes. Then do your setup.

If this doesn't do it, you should pull the drums and check for grease on the shoes. Write back for instructions on this. While you have the drums off, you should check and make sure the self-adjusting mechanism is properly assembled.
Thanks Larry - good practical advice. Andy
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:21 PM   #54
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Update - I followed the Lippert burnishing instructions to the letter (tons of smoke as expected) and the electrics in the brakes appear to have now failed, so no brakes. I have written pre-authorization from Lippert for all new brakes and electrical check, and an appointment to take it in. I will update more when it is done.

Andy
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:28 PM   #55
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If you had tons of smoke, that's because you didn't let them cool enough between applications. I suggest you have someone help you next time.

Another thing that can cause smoke is if someone regressed the bearings using the zerk and the Laz-Lube method and blew out the grease seals.
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Originally Posted by AndyA View Post
Update - I followed the Lippert burnishing instructions to the letter (tons of smoke as expected) and the electrics in the brakes appear to have now failed, so no brakes. I have written pre-authorization from Lippert for all new brakes and electrical check, and an appointment to take it in. I will update more when it is done.

Andy
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:57 PM   #56
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If you had tons of smoke, that's because you didn't let them cool enough between applications. I suggest you have someone help you next time.

Another thing that can cause smoke is if someone regressed the bearings using the zerk and the Laz-Lube method and blew out the grease seals.
From the Lippert instructions: "If there is no smoke or the heat has not achieved the achieved the proper temperature ... perform the procedure again"

Andy
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:16 PM   #57
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You need to have somebody else do this next time. It does not say this in the instructions.
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From the Lippert instructions: "If there is no smoke or the heat has not achieved the achieved the proper temperature ... perform the procedure again"

Andy
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:16 PM   #58
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Read page 4ccd_0001730.pdf
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:53 PM   #59
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You need to have somebody else do this next time. It does not say this in the instructions.

That's a nice write-up on brakes. no mention of smoking the brakes.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:58 PM   #60
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this is what I read in the manual,
Quote:
Care must be taken to not overheat the lining material, therefore brake applications conducted at one mile intervals will suffice. T
and I find nothing about

From the Lippert instructions: "If there is no smoke or the heat has not achieved the achieved the proper temperature ... perform the procedure again"

Per your post #34
Quote:
I called LCI and spoke to a technician who has worked with axles for years. He confirmed:

I now have detailed instructions on how to re-do the burnishing to get the brakes up to 400F to burn off the assembly grease and I will try that, hopefully this weekend, and will report back.
I hope you got that tech's name you spoke to, because I believe you are in for a fairly expensive repair bill because you DESTROYED your new trailer brakes...
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