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Old 10-09-2015, 12:08 PM   #15
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My experience is that if your brakes are locking up under any conditions, the gain is set too high.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:12 PM   #16
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Very good advise TheDuke, Msmoto, m.hony! Nothing can be added.....well except this.

Friction can be your friend or your downfall.

Brakes are for stopping, but too much brake can cause too much friction and the contact point between tire surface and road surface goes away.

Then vehicle velocity and road surface friction are very important to keeping control of both TV and trailer.

Follow the advise of the previous posts. Adjust your trailer brakes on dry surface just enough to slow down trailer but not enough to cause the tires to skid.

In wet weather slow down. Also, I have been taught to very lightly drag the brakes occasionally on the entire rig to displace water from the braking surfaces to prevent fade and lockup.

Hopefully you will never have to pick a piece of your vehicle seat out of your rear and aluminum out of your vehicle window for as long as you travel!

I believe all that have commented are saying the same thing.

Happy trails
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:45 PM   #17
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One thing I would like to point out is that there is no "one size fits all" answer to this question. There are too many variables. There are so many that any single, always do, yes or no, answer may be no better than doing nothing. In fact in many cases it may be worse than doing nothing. These variables pop into my mine:
Type of brakes
Ratio of trailer weight to TV weight
Type of brake controller.
road surface
rain intensity
Speed
Going up hill or downhill.
Tread pattern of TV and TT tires
Driver skill, experience, and knowledge
Etc, etc, etc.

The solution in any given situation, if you are concerned, is to cautiously test the brakes and find a setting that works well. Do not assume that the next time it rains, the same solution will be the best.

This is my solution: I don't mess with the brake setting. instead I drive in a manner and at a speed appropriate for the road, weather conditions, and my abilities. I always do my best to not overestimate the latter.

My advice:
If you think you may want to mess with the brakes in the rain, drive at a slower speed instead.

Always remember that the safest way to slow down if you are concerned about traction is to first manually activate the trailer brakes.

Ken
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:13 PM   #18
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The Duke has it right. Keep the trailer brakes pulling back on the tow vehicle at all times. Jackknifing concerns can be addressed in two additional ways. Decrease the amount of lift on your torsion bars while towing in the rain and/or increase the amount of cargo weight over the rear axle of the tow vehicle. The worst thing you can do is tow with an empty pick-up bed, pull up tight on the torsion bars further reducing weight on the rear axle, then reduce your trailer braking. That's the perfect combination for "See you all over the road" rather then "See you down the road".
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:23 PM   #19
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One other thought on this subject. In consideration of those occasions when applying only the trailer brakes is mandatory, you should sit in the drivers seat and repeatedly make emergency type grabs for your brake controller. Do it over and over again until it becomes automatic without having to look or feel around for your slide bar (or whatever). Kind of like drawing a six shooter from a holster.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:47 PM   #20
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Yes. I set the gain lower for rainy days. And I set the gain up a little for city driving on dry roads. And maybe set it down a little for a 20 mile downgrade. Not worried about the trailer pushing the truck. Am worried about locking the trailer brakes on a curve and having it sliding sideways.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:51 PM   #21
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Re Trailer braking

I agree with The Duke, I too have pulled trailers and tanks for over 30 years, and my AS for about 5 ALWAYS have the trailer brakes coming on slightly before the TV, never let the trailer push the TV, it only takes 4/10 of a second to jack knife, or so I've read I was lucky never experienced one .
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:34 PM   #22
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Well I don't have to adjust the gain on my brakes. They only lock up on snow! Had it back to the dealer, no improvement. Dexter was contacted but didn't seem to give a darn, just put different shoes on. It been like this from new.

Why doesn't the SAE towing test have some sort of brake performance test. It only test the go and not the stopping ability. Should have x stops at max towing weight with the trailer brakes inoperative.

Cheers, John
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:03 PM   #23
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Ive only made an adjustment once in all my years of towing. I did that because the road I was on had just gotten wet and was extremely slick. I have no idea what was on that road surface or how long it had been since it had previously rained. I tried to apply the brake more gently but short of becoming a hazard to other traffic, I had do something to minimize the lock up that was occurring on that stretch of road in a city area. Bottom line, locked up wheels increase stopping distance so cutting back some gain might be necessary under unusual conditions. I made sure to readjust once I got out of that weather situation.

Jack
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #24
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I set my Tekonsha to max gain, no boost and leave it there, rain or shine. Modulate the stopping power of the rig using my right foot on the TV brake pedal. Full braking power is available if required and usable.

Do you dial back the brakes on your TV when driving unhitched in rain? No. You handle it by pressing less hard on the brake pedal.

This was a tip from you-know-who at Can-Am. He sets up the vast majority of his AS this way. I was skeptical, but having run this way for a while, I'm sticking with it.

Disclaimer- If you use the ABS on your TV regularity this is probably not a good strategy for you but if you can't remember the last time you did, you know how to use your brakes in line with the prevailing conditions and this should work well for you.
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:07 PM   #25
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Remember when driving in the rain that the trailer tires are running in the driest pavement available. The TV's tires have wiped it twice front and back. You can see tire wipes when driving in traffic. The car ahead leaves a track of drier pavement in its wake. This track can be quite long before the water returns to erase it. Rain will mess up your TV long before it has much of an effect on the trailer.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:07 PM   #26
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Pretty good advice especially for Post #5. Two thoughts: One, the DirectLink brake controller Airstream recommends, receives its signals from the TV's OBD-II brake computer. If the ABS cycles the TT brake will cycle. There is a DirectLink kit to add individual TT wheels with ABS. With this kit, each wheel has its own ABS rather than all operating as one. Get one! Two: if you are using friction sway control the system should be loosened considerably in wet conditions. The reason, if not loosened, the whole rig will act as a single unit causing the the wheels with out traction to slide in the direction of tv/tt momentum. Not necessarily in the desired direction of travel. At the risk of stirring up latent hitch controversy. Trapezoid hitches, such as Hensley and ProPride do not have this problem. Because of "apparent" rigidity the TT/TV act as one vehicle and does not jack knife. I still do not want to test that premise, so i just slow down anyway, and allow more room to stop. Think bright red stop and tail lights, cycling anti-skid, then jack knife.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:37 PM   #27
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Slow in the wet is basically the best bet. If some DF* tries to be in a hurry, let them go by. Be ready to see them in a ball later... And slow down to enjoy the results...

* what we used to refer to in the navy as a "Delta Foxtrot" 😄 (you get to do the translation on that one...)


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Old 10-10-2015, 12:04 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Slow in the wet is basically the best bet. If some DF* tries to be in a hurry, let them go by. Be ready to see them in a ball later... And slow down to enjoy the results...

* what we used to refer to in the navy as a "Delta Foxtrot" �� (you get to do the translation on that one...)


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No Sweat:

It is obviously "Dear Friend". I was in the Navy, but apparently too long ago. The only comparable Acronymn I remember off hand is AFU. That could be a person or a situation. Of course way back then, no one in the USN had a potty mouth.

By the way, "does Pocket Internet", have any relationship to "pocket rocket"?

Ken

Oh yeah,
I forgot FUBAR
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