Dang, that was
a short little segment about that! Thank you for finding that. I always forget about etrailer and all of their great videos. I went out and adjusted them but I still need to test them out. Wife is out of town and kids are sleeping so it will have to wait until the morning.
I also want to include an message that I got from another member. I just want to paste it here so that others that perform a search for this topic in the future can benefit from it as well. I'm OK with the brakes not "locking up" when I apply full voltage but they're not even really slowing me down. I would think that I should feel some pretty good braking action with just the trailer brakes, correct? Anyway, here's the other message: (and yes, I guess I do have towing on the brain as the message points out!)
Just a couple of quick notes about specific points in your topic about adjustment challenges.
Some trailers will not lock the brakes
at any setting level. I found this was true for my Boler
, and some brake and brake controller manufacturers acknowledge this their documentation; it is not necessarily a problem. It is important that the brakes not lock up, and the lock-up setting is just a maximum, not necessarily a target. My setting is around 7 volts for full effort, but when manually applied at that setting the trailer's brakes certainly do not lock up the wheels.
Braking the whole rig
with just the trailer brakes should not be enough to reasonably stop the whole rig, unless the trailer is very heavy compared to the tug. The Scamp's brakes should be doing their share of the work, so with just those brakes (set to stop a ton at hard-stop rate when the brakes are fully applied) the whole rig (maybe three tons, depending on your tug) will be only gently slowing down. The idea is that when you stop normally, the Scamp's brakes will do their part, the tug's brakes will do their part, and the whole rig will stop almost as effectively as the tug would by itself.
The slack adjustment
of trailer drum brakes is just like that of a car (presumably including your old VW)... except that even those cars which still have drum brakes also have self-adjusters, so they only need to be adjusted when new brake shoes are installed, and adjustment is thus no longer a routine service item. Just like with the cars, a screwdriver or similar tool is inserted in a slot and the wheel is turned until the shoes touch the drum, then backed off until the drum just turns freely with no brake drag. If they are not adjusted correctly, they may have too much slack to take up when applied, and thus may not be as effective as they should be.
I don't know what brand of axle
and brakes you have, but they are all about the same, and Dexter Axle
has some great service information
on their website (which is also linked in FiberglassRV's Helpful-Links section). There, now you "know what you are doing"....
I hope that's helpful,
P.S. You have towing on the brain... you're topic subtitle says you are leaving in "tow" days...