Any idea what could be causing my tow problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2016, 03:20 PM   #1
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Name: Jane
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Any idea what could be causing my tow problem

Bought 2016 Dodge Durango R/T ( V8 hemi engine) to tow my new-to-me 21ft Bigfoot trailer. Only towed once to and from my local RV guy about 20 minutes away. Everything seemed fine. Towed again yesterday to same place and barely made it. Inclines were a struggle and it felt like I was driving with the brake on. I wasn't. The SUV brakes were super hot when I arrived but the trailer brakes were fine. RV guy disconnected trailer battery and unplugged trailer but left trailer hitched. Said he could still feel the problem. He further checked all the wiring in the trailer and promised me it was not a trailer problem. My auto repair guy put a meter in the car plug and had me push my brakes on and off. He said the meter lit only when the brakes were pressed verifying the brake controller is working properly ( Tekonsha P3). Dodge service had no suggestions. Very little info in Dodge manual. No error lights appearing on dash. Anybody have any idea what might be my problem?.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:08 PM   #2
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Parking brake is stuck 'on', would be my guess. Or possibly a wiring short in the trailer wiring/harness/plug area that engages the vehicle brake continuously. Disconnect the trailer and see whether the Durango will move easily with transmission in neutral, on a slight downhill pavement. Then try the same thing again with the trailer hooked up. If in either situation the Durango won't roll freely, the brakes are staying engaged. Trying it both ways would suggest where to look for the source of the problem.

The clue I picked up on was, the suv brakes were super hot.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:40 PM   #3
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On some Dodges , if you don't have the factory tow package and add an aftermarket brake controller it screws up the vehicle's ABS brake system . This info came from a Dodge forum so I am not sure if it is accurate.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:45 PM   #4
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Jane, I'm wondering if the traction control/anti-skid is falsely "sensing" a situation where it thinks it needs to apply the brakes to keep you safe. My lifted Jeep Rubicon does this on some of the slightest curves, (especially in the San Juan Mountains) to the point I went to a JK forum to find a way to defeat this function so I could drive it the old fashion way before computers starting driving for us.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
On some Dodges , if you don't have the factory tow package and add an aftermarket brake controller it screws up the vehicle's ABS brake system . This info came from a Dodge forum so I am not sure if it is accurate.
Steve, I believe you have the answer. One could pull the ABS fuse and try it to see if that solves the problem, and if it does, maybe Dodge dealer has a fix.
Dave & Paula
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:21 PM   #6
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Name: Jane
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. I forgot to say that the car seems to run fine when not towing.
Mike, I put my car in neutral and it moved downhill with no problem. Haven't tried it with the trailer attached yet.
Steve, the tow package was factory installed but that's not to say it couldn't cause the same problem.
David, you may have hit on the problem. The anti-skid icon did display when I took the trailer home yesterday. I was just driving down a regular road and was surprised that it appeared. I've never seen it before. I do have a button to turn it off but didn't because I wasn't sure what it did. It didn't display when the problem first occurred. My last car was 14 yrs old with no technology and this one has all the bells and whistles. Should I try towing with the anti-skid turned off?
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:46 PM   #7
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Jane, by all means turn the anti-skid off to see if that solves the problem.
Dave & Paula
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:44 PM   #8
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Can't try until tomorrow. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know so I can try everything on one tow. I'm still new at this so hitching up my trailer is still an ordeal for me. Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:06 PM   #9
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I wonder if the car is sensing the front is lighter than the rear and is triggering the traction control/anti skid?

Do you have a weight distribution hitch?

Jeremy
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:39 PM   #10
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Yes, I have a weight distribution hitch. I have the model with the rear bed which I read has good weight distribution.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:57 PM   #11
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2016.. so it is under warranty? I would find a dealer who know what the heck they were doing to get it sorted out, esp since you may have damaged the brakes by overheating them.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:28 PM   #12
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Gordon, it is under warranty. But my experience tells me Dodge will want to blame the problem on the trailer or brake controller. Just trying to gain some knowledge before I take it in. They wouldn't look at it this weekend anyway. Planned to leave for my first campout and rally Monday morning so this really has been a disappointment.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:10 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Jane H.;585055]Gordon, it is under warranty. But my experience tells me Dodge will want to blame the problem on the trailer or brake controller. .../QUOTE]

You might be right.. I know Toyota just left me out hanging when I asked their tech people for some help and info to get the tug set up for towing. Lawyers..

Still, now that you have ruled out the trailer and brake controller with an examine by experts, I would put some pressure on Dodge.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:33 PM   #14
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You might still be able to take that trip. Hook up on Sunday and do a little trial-and-error experimentation. Maybe just pushing that button will be enough.
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