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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Question on 5th wheel brakes

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mrad

Prineton, MN

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Posted: 09/19/21 02:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm wondering if I have an issue with the brakes on my 2015 cyclone toy hauler.

When I arrive at my campsite, and back in, I manually turn on my trailer brakes for the last couple of feet to take the pressure off of the king pin so I can easily unhook my pull rite auto slide. However, the trailer does not seem to offer any resistance. I am finding that I have to put a block under one of the tires on the cyclone to relieve the pressure. Is there something wrong with my braking system?

i have a 2013 Chevy 3500 with a built-in brake controller

jdc1

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Posted: 09/19/21 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should be able to stop the the trailer manually going forward or backwards.

12th Man Fan

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Posted: 09/19/21 03:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think it will take more than a couple of feet for the brakes to activate. Trailer brakes are slower to activate than an automobile.


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RAS43

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Posted: 09/19/21 03:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do not believe that drum brakes have much stopping action in reverse do to the design. And as mentioned, traveling a few feet wouldn't engage them much.Disc brakes could be stronger.

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 09/19/21 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ALWAYS block the wheels before unhooking no matter anything else. ALWAYS use blocks. I've seen an uhhook without blocking.. Thankfully it did not make it all the way to the lake before something stopped it.


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Cummins12V98

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Posted: 09/19/21 05:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you recently Adjusted your brakes?


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Posted: 09/19/21 05:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They work by way of a magnet. As you apply the brakes, the magnet try’s to attach to the drum, as the drum rotates, the magnet levers the shoes against the drum. It may take more movement to apply enough force to slide the hitch or even reduce king pin pressure.





Gdetrailer

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Posted: 09/19/21 06:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RAS43 wrote:

I do not believe that drum brakes have much stopping action in reverse do to the design. And as mentioned, traveling a few feet wouldn't engage them much.Disc brakes could be stronger.


That may have been the case back in the 1960s and you have a dirt cheap inertial controller but drum brakes from the ones I have used from the 1980s up certainly work equally well in reverse.

If OP has not recently checked and adjusted their drum brakes a good chance that they need adjusted. They do wear down and/or wear out and most are not "self adjusting" so in reality one should physically pull each drum, adjust/inspect once a yr (12 months) or every 12,000 miles whichever comes first per most axle manufacturers recommendations.

Very few RV'rs ever bother with this maintenance.

Terryallan

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Posted: 09/19/21 06:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Truthfully. the trailer brakes should engage as soon as you pull the lever.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 09/19/21 07:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

Truthfully. the trailer brakes should engage as soon as you pull the lever.


Operative word here is "should".

Often with IBC controllers, the manufacturers actually reduce the braking output at slow speed even with the "manual" control lever.

This may result in much less braking power than normal when using the manual lever.

However, the OP is using the trailer brakes to help assist disconnecting without wheel chocks and as pointed out by someone else, one should always chock the wheels before ever attempting to disconnect trailer from vehicle.

Granted the OP is dealing with a 5th wheel which means at least 20%-25% of the weight is on the front legs which would present a bit less potential of the trailer moving.. But that is a very risky and sketchy move regardless.

Not sure why folks do this, chock the wheels first, then disconnect, much safer and the life you save may be you or your family..

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