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Old 09-20-2015, 06:38 PM   #1
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Dexter Hydraulic Brake & GMC truck...

I'm in the process of buying a 2008 Classic Limited 34' with Dexter electric hydraulic brakes. When we hooked it up to my 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD (factory equipped brake controller), the Dexter unit kept powering up. Did the same thing on Denali and on a Ford (both with add-on controllers).

Question, is this a compatibility issue with the GMC, et al or a wiring problem with the Dexter unit? The hydraulic reservoir is filled with fluid and there are no apparent leaks. Anyone else experienced this problem?
TIA
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:23 PM   #2
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Don't know... Do you have a battery in the AS? Does
The "breakaway" Switch cause them to activate?
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwf View Post
Don't know... Do you have a battery in the AS? Does
The "breakaway" Switch cause them to activate?
Yes, 2 lifeline batteries and yes, the breakaway switch does cause it to activate. It's as if once hooked up, current is constantly running activating the brakes. It's specific only to this trailer as we hooked my truck to another 34' with the same Dexter unit and did not have the problem...
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:11 PM   #4
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Sounds like the umbilical needs to be checked. I'd wager there is a 'short' somewhere inside where the 12v feed is going to the Dexter device. another possibility is a faulty Dexter control board. It could be that the 'sample' voltage sent by the TV to 'sense' the trailer brakes are connected is causing the Dexter to energize.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Sounds like the umbilical needs to be checked. I'd wager there is a 'short' somewhere inside where the 12v feed is going to the Dexter device. another possibility is a faulty Dexter control board. It could be that the 'sample' voltage sent by the TV to 'sense' the trailer brakes are connected is causing the Dexter to energize.
This sounds the most reasonable as we have tried three different vehicles thathave the same problem as mine. My truck works fine with another 34' with the same Dexter actuator. When I tested the voltage on the "problem" trailer, I got no voltage from any of the pins. In the other 34', I got 13.7 volts from the battery pin. Seems to narrow it down to the cord or board. Hopefully not defective units...

Thanks, CWF!
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:50 PM   #6
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Just curious.. is the battery switch in 'store' mode?

The umbilical connection box is behind the Gaucho in our 34... I would not overlook possibility something got chewed up..
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:12 PM   #7
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OK dumb question and minor hijack - I have an 2012 Eddie Bauer and just got a new to me 2013 GMC Sierra with a built in brake controller. I went with "plug and play" on my first short tow last weekend. Didn't get any infamous Hensley "bump" and brakes appeared to be fine. And the EB doesn't have hydraulic brakes. Do I need to do anything more than check that the brake lights on the trailer DO come on when I'm hooked up, and that I can adjust them to be a bit grabby, then back off one click?

Thanks in advance, Paula
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:27 PM   #8
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OK dumb question and minor hijack - I have an 2012 Eddie Bauer and just got a new to me 2013 GMC Sierra with a built in brake controller. I went with "plug and play" on my first short tow last weekend. Didn't get any infamous Hensley "bump" and brakes appeared to be fine. And the EB doesn't have hydraulic brakes. Do I need to do anything more than check that the brake lights on the trailer DO come on when I'm hooked up, and that I can adjust them to be a bit grabby, then back off one click?

Thanks in advance, Paula
Miss Paula,
On our 2012 truck, when I plug in the umbilical, then power on the truck, I look at the Driver Information Center (instrument panel) and I will see, "Trailer connected".

Next I press the + or - on the controller and on our 34' I set it to 5.5. At that point the brakes seem best balanced and neither 'push' or 'pull' the Truck when trying to stop.

Next, when ready to shove off, I will let the rig roll a couple of feet then push slowly on the 'slider' to ensure the TRAILER brakes engage and will stop the truck. If it won't stop the truck, then I increase the number above 5.5.. when towing, as I apply the brakes, I will lower the number and do some 'test' stops and adjust as above where the trailer braking keeps the truck from being 'pushed' or 'pulled' when stopping. Once I have this working, I try from higher speed... to a full stop.... a couple times...

Does this make sense?
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Just curious.. is the battery switch in 'store' mode?

The umbilical connection box is behind the Gaucho in our 34... I would not overlook possibility something got chewed up..
We tried both use & store... And no chewed up wiring either. Finally fixed the problem - actually two fixes. We found the the black lead from the umbilical ended at the Dexter distribution box so we moved it to the bus bar- got lights and voltage. Also wired a brake magnet type device to the blue lead on the actuator and we now have brakes. Have no idea why it was wired the othe way. Time for a drink...

Paula, ditto Channing's advice. So simple it's delightful!
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Old 09-23-2015, 03:09 AM   #10
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Stop by Round Rock sometime!

Wiring in a "load" like the magnet probably in the Dexter install docs. This load provides resistance to tell the truck trailer brake system "hey, I am here"!
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:43 AM   #11
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Stop by Round Rock sometime!

Wiring in a "load" like the magnet probably in the Dexter install docs. This load provides resistance to tell the truck trailer brake system "hey, I am here"!
You bet, Channing! And thanks for your input.
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