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Old 07-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
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Hayes Genesis Brake Controller Question

Our Hayes Genesis controller, Active Technologies (ActiBrake) actuator and Kodiak disc brakes have worked fine until recently. I've tracked the problem down to the Hayes Genesis controller. Now I need your experience/thoughts on how to proceed.

The contoller is pulsing the actuator every 5 seconds or so for just a moment. It only creates a slight drag on the brakes - not enough to stop the trailer or even slow it down for that matter. I realized the "pulse" was coming from the controller and found the controller had reset itself to the P setting that is commonly used for other brake systems.

So I changed the controller setting to PH for electric over hydraulic brakes. Great! Everything works fine. Don't know why the controller lost its memory but I fixed it! Or so I thought.

Every time the tow vehicle engine is turned off and re-started the controller resets itself the factory P setting. I manually change it to PH folowing all the instructions in the Hayes manual. I even called Airstream in Ohio (they installed the system) to make sure I'm doing everything correctly.

Unfortunately, Hayes has not responded my voice mail or email.

Is my brake controller broken? I don't mind spending the money for a replacement but I don't want to do that if the problem is really caused by something else.

Any ideas?

Thanks, Lucius
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1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:39 PM   #2
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This is a semi-educated guess, since I have no idea how JC wired it up, but I would guess an intermittent ground (white wire), or more likely an intermittent 12V connection. An interruption in the black (always hot) will cause a reset to factory settings. But why only on shutdown and not while driving, I don't know.

Of course, in internal electronic open in these circuits could be the cause also.

BTW, I was told by a trusted AS dealer, that EH works better than PH. Mine has worked flawlessly, but it's only been a year. I get no pulsing, nor any other anomalies.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:58 PM   #3
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I had a similar problem with my Genesis brake controller. It would pulsate the trailer brakes and disengage the cruise control on the tow vehicle. I called customer service, explained the problem, new brake controller was in the mail that day. The brake controller has a life time warranty. I was very satisfied with Genesis customer service. Keep calling till you get a person to talk with.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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Hayes Genesis Brake Controller Question

Greetings Lucius!

This is a guess on my part, but I suspect that the power supply for your controller may be connected to a 12-volt feed that is switched by the ignition switch on your tow vehicle. According to the instructions with my Hayes controller, it is critical for maintenance of settings that the 12-volt supply always be hot and connected to an automatic resetting circuit breaker of the correct rating.

Good luck with your investigation.

Kevin

P.S.: The factory installation instructions can be found at this link.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Lucius!

This is a guess on my part, but I suspect that the power supply for your controller may be connected to a 12-volt feed that is switched by the ignition switch on your tow vehicle. According to the instructions with my Hayes controller, it is critical for maintenance of settings that the 12-volt supply always be hot and connected to an automatic resetting circuit breaker of the correct rating.

Good luck with your investigation.

Kevin

P.S.: The factory installation instructions can be found at this link.
True, but he said it used to work correctly. Unless someone has been messing with the wiring after JC.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:30 AM   #6
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Has Something Changed?

The controller worked fine for about four years. So I keep asking myself what has changed?

The last time I know the controller worked was early January 2011. That's when we returned from a trip to New Orleans. We parked the trailer and tow vehicle with the umbilical cord disconnected. Shore power was attached to the trailer to keep the batteries charged and the fridge cold. We thought we would be taking the rig out in February.

Well.... several months passed and we had not gone camping. We store the trailer and tow vehicle off-site. I checked the rig in May. The AC power must have had some spikes during that time so the fridge is not on even though the AC was on at the time. I guess the fidge turned itself off and didn't know to turn itself back on. That's okay. Fortunately, there was no food involved so it was only a minor clean up.

However, the Intellisense battery charger had managed to boil much of the water out of the batteries. I refilled the batteries. I later found the batteries would not hold much of a charge so I replaced them.

Finally in July 2011 (a few weeks ago) we took a trip. We plugged in the umbilical cord, checked the lights, turn signals, brakes, etc. and drove about five miles to a campground. At that point I did not pay particular attention to the controller. I did not notice if the periodic pulsing was occuring. I have a vague recollection that the brakes seemed a little off but I checked they were working with the manual override. Only at the end of that camping outing, when we hooked up to return the five miles to the storage facility did I notice the pulsing.

So I suspect that some time between January and July something happened. The wiring to the controller under the dash seems fine. Nothing looks loose or damaged. Nobody has worked on the vehicle to change anything.

I'm going to check my service records. There is a slight chance I had the car serviced during that 6 month window. Maybe something happened that I don't remember.

Regardless, it seems to be the controller rather than the ActiBrake. I hope Hayes will contact me soon. I'll leave another message with them today.

Lucius
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1992 29' Excella Classic
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2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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Hayes Genesis Brake Controller Question

Greetings Lucius!

If I am reading you correctly, your tow vehicle was stored with your trailer for several months. Guessing that you probably have a battery maintainer on your tow vehicle to keep its battery from discharging, the battery maintainer may have been tripped and shut down in a manner similar to your coach's refrigerator. Should this have been the case, it may have presented an issue for the automatic resetting circuit breaker in the controller's wiring causing the breaker to weaken and possibly malfunction that could contribute to the problem of memory maintenance.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:45 PM   #8
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Replacement Unit on the Way

I was able to contact Hayes technical support by phone today. Apparently one of the techs is on vacation this week so they've been swamped.

After discussing the problem with support they've decided to send a replacement (new) unit. They did question the installation (done by Airstream in Jackson Center) but still agreed to send a replacement. The tech indicated the wiring was not done in the recommended fashion.

I seems my unit is wired to literally turn off and on with the engine. It's supposed to be connected to an always hot line and the controller simply goes into sleep mode. Regardless, mine is turning on and off with the engine/ignition. That in itself should not cause a problem but it means the power is cycled repeatedly and maybe that caused the flash memory to fail.

When the new unit arrives next week I'll do some more checking and see if all this adds up.

By the way, the tow vehicle was not on a trickle charger. I guess I've been lucky with that and the battery held a charge for several months.

Lucius
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #9
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Installation Complete...

...but I don't have access to the trailer right now so I don't know for certain that everything is working.

I read the installation instructions and that combined with the comments from the Hayes tech I decided to connect the hot wire of the controller directly to the battery.

The controller goes into sleep mode several minutes after the ignition is turned off so I hope it doesn't drain the battery. It occured to me that having the unit connected to the positive side of the terminal that I can activate the brakes even with the ignition off. I think that's a good thing in the event of emergency. Time will tell.

Anyway, I think I'm up a running again. The controller installation made sense, all I had to do was install an in-line circuit breaker. The controller maintains the PH setting at all times. After I connect the trailer I'll post again.

Lucius
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1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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