Trailer Brakes Rattle Trailer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2007, 09:57 PM   #1
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Ok some of you know I have been working on my newly purchased 79 Burro electric brakes. I FINALY got EVERYTHING wired and wired the trailer brakes to a used Voyager brake controler. The brake instruction card says drive 25mph and hit the manual slide switch. Doing this I get what seems to be a smooth brake from the trailer. But when I use the brake pedal on the jeep the trailer starts to rattle everything. Brake with manual slide and no pedal brakes seem smooth. Brake with pedal and its a pretty bad rattling of the trailer.
I think to start I will need to manualy adjust the trailer brakes by accessing the in the drum brake adjustment dohicky thingy and rotate it to get a standard brake adjustment to start. But what can you guys tell me about what I am experiancing? Again this is my first time out of the driveway with trailer brakes. I have never towed anything with brakes before.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:23 PM   #2
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Have you made ajustments to controller itself.On the right side of controller is a wheel.This can be moved to give more or less braking power, also is controller level.It must be level to operate properly.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:37 PM   #3
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Yes I used the "Quick Card" setup info that I got online and made the adjustments prior to driving. Using the manual slide per instructions the brakes did not lock up so I made more adjustments for stronger braking. But I could not make the brakes lock up with the manual slide switch even with the brake adjustment all the way to the strong side of the adjustment wheel. I'm pretty sure I was doing everything correctly. Also the manual say the controler can be from 20degree nose down to 70 degree up. Mine is slightly up.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:40 PM   #4
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Have you made ajustments to controller itself.On the right side of controller is a wheel.This can be moved to give more or less braking power, also is controller level.It must be level to operate properly.
By the way on the other side of this controler there is a knob to adjust for setting the level. Move knob until light turns orange. I did all this with tow and trailer on level surface.
Dave
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:46 PM   #5
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Well i guess you have done all the things i would have tried.I know if i have brakes set too aggressivly they make a heck of a squeel.

Maybe one of the other members will jump in here with some advice.
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:01 AM   #6
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Any chance that your trailer has a surge brake controller on it?

Although mine didn't have the typical tongue type actuator thingy, it did have a small box attached to the tongue. I had the exact same symptons you are having until I removed the Weathertronic box from the trailer's tongue.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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I have not seen anything that looks like a surge brake control but I will take another look just to be sure.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:26 AM   #8
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Maybe the word "shudder" would be a better discription of what is happening.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:36 AM   #9
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I don't know if this applies, but if you mean that when you apply the brakes it jerks/jolts the trailer and the tow vehicle once, hard, then brakes normally from there on then you have a situation similar to the one I experienced. If it keeps rattling then it is something else.
Two things seems to have added up to this condition in mine:
1) The brakes on the trailer needed adjustment. Star wheel not unlike on many drum brakes on cars. This can even be adjusted with a screwdriver. Check Dexter online manual. This may even apply even if your brakes are not Dexter.
2) When I switched to the Prodigy controller this problem disappeared immediately. Maybe it has a soft-apply of voltage instead of abrupt off-on, I don't know.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:32 AM   #10
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No it's not a sudden hard pull. It's the trailer shuddering a lot when pedal applied. I will be doing the brake star adjustment this morning and run another test. Also the light on the brake controler seems to be changing colors and dong everything correctly. I am not getting any message from the single LED that changes color that anything is wrong wiring wise.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:24 PM   #11
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I have ordered a new brake controler the Tekonsha P3 Prodigy Series. I might even have it tomorrow. Ordered it from PPL.
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-hitc...ake-control.htm
$130 bucks
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:21 AM   #12
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Dave, have you had the wheels of of your trailer to check the brakes?
I just sold my 13" Scamp with brakes last month. My controller for it was one that I bought at Pep Boys about 8 or 9 years ago. It has kicked around my garage until last year when I installed it in my new P.U..
I just did a complete brake job on the Trillium 4500 that I just bought and the $45.00, 8 year old Pep Boys controller work just as well on the Trillium as it did on the Scamp.
It sounds to me like you have a problem other than your controller.
When I picked up the Trillium the brakes were not working. I checked and the wires at the wheels were disconected. So I drove home with no brakes thinking I would have an easy job. The wiring was incorrect, one magnet was missing and there was at least 3 pounds of grease in each brake drum. The moral of the story is if you have not had the wheels off, do it and save yourself some possibe future problems and pack the wheel bearings while you have them off.

John
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Old 07-21-2007, 09:47 AM   #13
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Dave, have you had the wheels of of your trailer to check the brakes?
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=24974
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:11 AM   #14
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I have ordered a new brake controler the Tekonsha P3 Prodigy Series. Ordered it from PPL.
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-hitc...ake-control.htm
$130 bucks
Got my new P3 brake controler from Tekonsha today. Uninstalled the Voyager I had in the Jeep and installed the P3 in about 30 minutes. I admit I don't know much about these controlers as this is my first time having to use one. But this P3 is REALY nice. Came with everything I needed to install and wire. Comes with a universal wire harnes (or purchase specific harness). The harness clips into the controler and you can remove it easily. The controler has 2 diferent mounts one for permanent mount and one for taking the unit in and out of the vehical. I installed the one that alows me to remove the unit when not in use. You clip the harnes on and slide it into a mounting braket and that's it. When out it comes with a soft case to store it in. The digital read out is realy nice. As you brake it reads out the voltage being sent to the brakes on the digital display. As you brake harder the readout changes due to the vehical inertia.

Extremly easy to set up the first time you use it. No finding a level spot needed. First time power setting is all digital no turning any wheels on the side of the unit or any of that. Increase and decrease power output by pressing up/down arrows that then show you a digital reading. Then do the drive 25mph thing and hit the manual slide. Adjust with the up/down arrows and your all set. Took about 5 minutes and 4 or 5 passes up and down the street. Tomorrow (it got dark on me) I will be looking at the boost function. Again no wheels to turn it has 3 boost settings you achive with the press of a button and a digital readout of B1, B2, B3 or No boost. Pluss the display shows you which bost setting you are set on.
Anyway I am realy impressed with this unit compared to the Voyager I started with. This is their newest product line and it shows.

I also have NONE of the problems I started this thread about. What ever was causing the shudder problem was gone when this unit was installed.
It gets my inexperienced vote of approval.
http://www.tekonsha.com/p3.html
Dave
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