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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Question on 5th wheel brakes

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BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 09/20/21 11:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

.............
Jack one of the tires up and pull your breakaway pin and then try to rotate the tire by hand. When the brakes are correctly adjusted the brakes will grab and stop the wheel from turning within less than one inch of wheel turn. Once brakes have engaged, there is almost no movement either direction until you put the switch pin back in.

I always test my breakaway system each time I hitch, just makes good sense to know your system is working before moving. If not working, then it is time to troubleshoot and repair before moving trailer.

I do the same at the start of each season to make sure each individual brake is working. And my wheels barely turn before locking up.

Measuring current does not prove the brake is actually engaging.

time2roll

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Posted: 09/20/21 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BB_TX wrote:

Measuring current does not prove the brake is actually engaging.
Just a diagnostic tool to help determine if the issue is electrical or mechanical.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 09/20/21 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BB_TX wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

.............
Jack one of the tires up and pull your breakaway pin and then try to rotate the tire by hand. When the brakes are correctly adjusted the brakes will grab and stop the wheel from turning within less than one inch of wheel turn. Once brakes have engaged, there is almost no movement either direction until you put the switch pin back in.

I always test my breakaway system each time I hitch, just makes good sense to know your system is working before moving. If not working, then it is time to troubleshoot and repair before moving trailer.

I do the same at the start of each season to make sure each individual brake is working. And my wheels barely turn before locking up.

Measuring current does not prove the brake is actually engaging.


I should note, to be clear, I don't jack up the tires and test that way each time I hook up, that is once a season.

Jacking up the tires one at a time is what I do at the beginning of camping season. My state has a required annual safety inspection, I would rather have things not work at my home so I can fix it before driving a half hr each way to the inspection station.

I do however, pull the breakaway then pull forward slightly to make sure the breakaway is functioning as part of my hookup for each time I tow. This ensures the brakes and breakaway system on the trailer are functioning. Then once ready to leave, I will use the manual control to verify that the entire trailer brake system chain is working before I pull on to the road.

Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 10/20/21 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Terryallan wrote:

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


That's actually not how they work.
- For trailer drum brakes, once the magnet is energized, the tire needs to roll a bit before the brakes actually engage. Going down the road at 60mph, it's a tiny fraction of a second. It's beyond the ability of the average human to detect the lag. Backing at 1mph, it's not instantaneous and as the driver, you can recognize it.
- Brake controllers are designed primarily around road driving conditions. They don't want to lock up the trailer brakes at the first light tap of the brake pedal during high speed maneuvers. But at 5mph, the truck brakes are typically sufficient to stop even fairly large trailers, so it's not critical to design them for maneuvering in a campground.

But as others have said, if you chock the wheels, it's a non-issue for the OP's question.


Actually it is how they work. When you pull the manual lever all the way. the controler instantly sends full braking power to the trailer brakes. Thats how you set the power.
true for them to work with the pedal, they have to be turning. But NOT with the manual lever. It fully charges them as soon as you pull the lever.

Now I'm late i know. But I been sick.


Terry & Shay
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Cummins12V98

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Posted: 10/20/21 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One month later and the OP has not responded ONCE.


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