How strong should brakes be? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-17-2012, 10:34 AM   #15
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I probably have experience that not many may have. I have a 13' Boler that had 10" brakes and a Podidgy P3 controler. I have changed out the axle to a Dexter #9 which comes with 7" brakes. When I first got the axle changed the brakes were terrible. But after using them for a 1000km and adjusting them twice I find that now they are quite acceptable to stop the trailer. I can manually lock the brakes and have the trailer jump around. I now drive with the setting at 6 and boost 1. I found that I needed the boost to give a bit more on normal stopping. I think that you need to get some miles on your brakes before they give you full braking power and play with your controler settings to give you the best feel for normal stopping.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:29 AM   #16
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Rick, thanks for sharing your experiences. I would like more braking power and the guy I did it with said it would get better with time. Maybe I need to be patient. Just for reference, how tight do you adjust the brakes? What is your adjustment procedure?
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:30 PM   #17
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Yep, glad to hear that Rick. I just ordered a new Dexter 2200lb axle this morning with 8" brakes for my 13' Scamp. I was a little worried hearing that 7" brakes might not be very strong.

Has anyone heard of an ABS sensor and signal modulator for electric brakes? Seems like it would be dramatically easier to design and build something like that compared to traditional hydrolic ABS systems. An accurate sensor for a 2 wheeled trailer would be the harder part.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #18
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Yep, glad to hear that Rick. I just ordered a new Dexter 2200lb axle this morning with 8" brakes for my 13' Scamp. I was a little worried hearing that 7" brakes might not be very strong.

Has anyone heard of an ABS sensor and signal modulator for electric brakes? Seems like it would be dramatically easier to design and build something like that compared to traditional hydrolic ABS systems. An accurate sensor for a 2 wheeled trailer would be the harder part.
I have not heard of any ABS options for this type of brake. This is just a guess, but I think part of the problem is that the magnets are relatively "slow to apply and release". Even the rather basic early Bosch ABS like is fitted to my 1993 BMW motorcycle cycles at 7 hertz. I am not sure, but I don't think you could get the magnets to react that quickly.
Modern ABS cycles far faster than that even.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:35 PM   #19
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As someone said, its possible but are you willing to pay for it. What we have presently is good for the $ we pay, but ABS would add significantly to the cost. The architecture of the brakes would have to change significantly to get the inputs, speed of reaction, electronics to control it....
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:05 PM   #20
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The way I adjusted these - is jack up the trailer so the wheel is off the ground, the adjuster plug is on the bottom in the backing plate. Pull the plug. You will see the adjuster. Turn the adjuster to lengthen it. I adust until I feel it rub. I can still easily turn the wheel. The brakes are just touching. I drive with this and check to make sure that it is not heating up the brakes.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:07 AM   #21
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Good. We adjusted them very similarly. We first did exactly what you said, but with them barely rubbing. Then we drove and tested. Then we tried another way. We adjusted them more until it stopped turning freely and then backed off. Then we drove, tested, and checked for heat. We got a little better braking force the second way. I don't think we had "enough" rubbing the first time.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:18 AM   #22
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We adjusted them more until it stopped turning freely and then backed off. Then we drove, tested, and checked for heat. We got a little better braking force the second way. I don't think we had "enough" rubbing the first time.
Good to hear.... it just didnt sound right the first time. You may find that after you have put a few thousand miles on the trailer & they have had a chance to wear in that you need to adjust them again, I needed to on mine.

Now get out and have fun with it!
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #23
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We did both adjustments the first day trying to get them as good as possible. Thanks for the suggestion to adjust the brakes again after using them for a while. I will do that.

After buying our first FGRV last winter, we head out in 2 weeks for the first time. After that we are going to CA for 2 weeks (which is the real reason we bought the trailer!). We can't wait.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:27 PM   #24
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My experience with 16' scamp with the 10" brakes, I could get that thing to lock up the tires very easily. I now have a 13' with the 7" brakes and get a pathetic tug when I put the full boost, full power from the tekonsha prodigy controller. I am a little disappointed, though glad to hear you have had the same experience.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:28 PM   #25
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My experience with 16' scamp with the 10" brakes, I could get that thing to lock up the tires very easily.
Me too! GAD here I was thinking there was something wrong when I actually caused the trailer to 'lay rubber' and totally stop the truck when I cranked on the lever. I've backed the boost off and the trailer is capable of stopping both... but still, hearing about everyone's experiences on this thread, I was concerned. Not anymore... cool!
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #26
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I don't really understand the comments about the 7" brakes not being able to lock up the wheels. That's not my experience.

I just retro-fit my Scamp 13 with 7" brakes from R&P and fitted a Hopkins controller. My first slow speed brake test I locked up the trailer brakes solid. I dialed the controller down and I had my wife stand on the curb and observe the wheel. Still locked up solid. Dialed it down a bit more and repeated the test. No lock up and noticable braking from trailer.

I just made a quick trip from Vancouver to Calgary and back. Lots of chance to use the brakes going over the Rockies. They work well, I'm happy that I installed them even if they weren't legally required.

So I wonder about those with 7" brakes that aren't able to lock them up. Is it the brakes or the controller?

Ron
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:45 PM   #27
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I don't really understand the comments about the 7" brakes not being able to lock up the wheels. That's not my experience.

I just retro-fit my Scamp 13 with 7" brakes from R&P and fitted a Hopkins controller. My first slow speed brake test I locked up the trailer brakes solid. I dialed the controller down and I had my wife stand on the curb and observe the wheel. Still locked up solid. Dialed it down a bit more and repeated the test. No lock up and noticable braking from trailer.

I just made a quick trip from Vancouver to Calgary and back. Lots of chance to use the brakes going over the Rockies. They work well, I'm happy that I installed them even if they weren't legally required.

So I wonder about those with 7" brakes that aren't able to lock them up. Is it the brakes or the controller?

Ron
Have you weighed your trailer. My guess you don't have a lot of the heavy options and it's quite a bit lighter than mine some of the others.
Just a guess.

For the record mine has about 1500 lbs on the axle. Add about 200lb tongue weight for a grand total of about 1700 lbs.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:24 PM   #28
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My 13' Boler weighs about 1250 on the axle. I can lock up the wheels so that it jumps around like crazy if I manually use the controler. My controler goes up to 12 with 10 decimals between each. If I crank it to 12 it locks up manually. If I put the controler to 6 (what the manufacturer recommends to start) it does not lock up using the brake pedal. The problem is picking the correct setting for your trailer. I finally had to use the boost to get the setting I like. (I have 3 boost settings that seem to give a bit more brake) I think there is more than enough stopping power in the 7" brakes. I think you just have to set them up correctly.
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