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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Fifth wheel brakes

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Rwake901

Central, Illinois

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Posted: 06/10/19 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is my first 5th wheel and I have a question about the brakes. The brakes on the 5th wheel do work but should I be able to lock up the brakes with the gain on the brake unit adjusted up all the way or is it normal not to be able to? Thanks

PNW_Steve

Pacific Northwet & cold

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Posted: 06/10/19 12:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am no guru.

I can tell you that I have owned half a dozen trailer brake controllers and about as many trailers. On the every one of them I could lock up the trailer brakes if I turned the gain up to high.


2004.5 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummins, NV5400, 5" turbo back stainless exhaust, Edger programmer & 22.5 Alcoa's
2002 Forest River 36 5th Wheel (staying home)
1992 Jayco 29 5th Wheel (Mexico veteran & headed back)
2002 "faux" Wanderlodge 40' My new toy....


twodownzero

NM

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Posted: 06/10/19 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can lock up my empty car trailer but not my 5er. Maybe mine need adjustment.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 06/10/19 12:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At low speed, yes but not at high speed.

You do feel a strong pull even at highway speed if you pull the lever.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 06/10/19 12:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends on 5th wheel weight
Depends on condition of brakes/shoes/magnets/DC connections
Depends on whether brakes are properly adjusted or not
Depends..........


Is it time for your medication or mine?


2007 DODGE 3500 QC SRW 5.9L CTD In-Bed 'quiet gen'
2007 HitchHiker II 32.5 UKTG 2000W Xantex Inverter
On the Road Debt Free April '07
Off the road still Debt Free Jan. '14

PNW_Steve

Pacific Northwet & cold

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Posted: 06/10/19 12:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Towing my 36' - 5er I run the gain below 50%. If I turn it way up I can lock the trailer with a firm step on the brakes.

I did buy one trailer that I couldn't lock up the brakes. Then I figured out that the previous owner had disconnected them under the trailer.

As long as your trailer brakes are providing agressive engagement I wouldn't worry about not being able to lock them up. Just make certain that they are in fact providing the braking that you need.

stickdog

Somewhere, USA

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Posted: 06/10/19 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was told if your brakes are adjusted properly you should set the gain at 50% in a safe area drive to 20mph and stomp on the pedal. If your trailer brakes lock reduce gain, if not increase gain and repeat and continue to increase the gain till they lock at 20mph. You then want to back off to the previous gain where they didn't lock at 20mph. As the brakes wear you will need to either adjust the gain or the brakes.


9-11 WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
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lenr

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 06/10/19 01:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With the same truck and built in controller, I could lock a bumper pull with 3500 axles and a flat bed with 7000 axles=--both ALKO axles. A small fifth wheel with Lippert 4400 axles and a larger fifth wheel with Dexter 5100 axles could not be locked up and did not engage well enough to carry their share of braking with the controller on full. In fairness, the Dexters were not set in because I took the trailer straight to an axle shop and had disc brakes put on. They lock up now and the controller is set on 6.5. I don't want to make this about brands--there is another thread doing that. I did replace the 4400 axles with 5200 axles to get 12" drums. When that didn't help enough I had the backing plates changed to Dexter 7000 lb brakes. All that helped, but the trailer still didn't brake its share. With several different trailers, I dramatically increased the wire size going to the brakes with improvements in every case. I am beginning to wonder if the axle manufacturers are doing this on purpose to prevent folks from being able to lock up their wheels in a panic stop (which defeats braking.) Personally I would rather be able to adjust the controller to do its share.

the bear II

Torrance CA.

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Posted: 06/10/19 02:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our 14000LB 5th wheel brakes will not lock up no matter how hard I step on the peddle or use the lever even with the gain all the way up. I did find that the electronic controller on my new truck engages the brakes significantly stronger than the old hydraulic actuated controller I had on my old truck.

With the old truck I was very unhappy with the trailer brake performance. I had checked the amps at the trailer plug, re did the brake connections, adjusted the brakes and nothing made much difference.

With the new truck and the electronic controller the very first time I engaged the brakes they came on much stronger. I am happy with the trailer brake performance using the electronic controller.

fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 06/10/19 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I cannot lock up the brakes on our 15,000 lb. triple axle toyhauler, never have been able to. It seems to stop well enough so I don't worry about it.


Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

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