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Old 08-23-2017, 12:14 PM   #1
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2011 22' Sport
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Should the brakes be able to lockup?

I tried to look for any threads on this subject but didn't have any luck, so apologies if there is a thread that I missed. I have a 2011 Sport 22FB, being that this is a 4500# trailer with a single axle there is a lot more weight on the 2 brand new tires than most trailers...so perhaps that is contributing to the fact that I cannot get the brakes to lockup as a reference point for adjusting braking force on the controller.

I had the bearings serviced and they stated the brakes looked "fine", when they could have tried to sell me new brakes instead. I don't know how many miles are on the trailer for sure since purchased used, but it wasn't ever used by full timers...just summer weekend getaways primarily within the states of WA and OR, so I wouldn't expect there to be significant brake wear.

TIA!
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
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Depends on what road surface you are attempting to lock the brakes.

Generally most controllers suggest a hard packed gravel or dirt road and while driving at 25 MPH manually applying the brakes until they just do not lock. That is the adjustment point that will insure the max. braking force without the potential of the trailer braking free in a skid on a wet road.
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:27 PM   #3
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They should lock with healthy controller and wiring. I'd start with a good adjustment check on the shoes, then look for amperage at each wheel. Electrical deficiency could be anywhere, most commonly at the connection to tv, followed by broken or chafed wiring to the hubs.
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:30 PM   #4
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We also have a single axle [FC20] and have wondered about this. Even had the Ford dealer check out the tow vehicle's brake controller recently -- normal electrical readings on their computer.

In our old 25' AS, with 4 wheels, we could not get the tires to lock up on pavement, but could do so if there was a little sand on the pavement. Also on gravel roads, no prob in locking up.

Ditto for the new FC20 -- will not lock up on dry pavement, but will do so if the pavement has some sand on it.

We have a service appt. for the AS coming up, with an experienced AS mechanic, so we will get further feedback.

Looking forward to other replies from more experienced AS owners.

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- Thanks Rich for the electrical draw feedback, and HowieE.
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:31 PM   #5
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For what it's worth, mine don't seem to lock up either - they did on a previous non-AS trailer I owned, but it was about half the weight of my AS so perhaps that is why.

Not too long ago, I completely renewed the brakes - new backing plates, magnets, etc. I even renewed the trailer ground connections which looked a little corroded, just in case that might have some relevance.

I measured the current flowing in the blue brake wire when under full brake application from the truck, and it was right up where it should be I believe - 12+ amps.

With all this done, I figured for sure the brakes would now lock up. Well, they seem much more effective than they were before , but still, on slow speed full braking tests on asphalt still do not lock the wheels, so perhaps it is nt to be expected.

I did this test right after installing the new brakes. I did not change the drums as they appeared ok.

Perhaps after about a years use, the new shoes have bedded in more now (they do seem quite effective) and if I repeat the test, they will now lock - I'll try it again next tme we are out.

Incidentally, I do find I need to drive the truck with the gain control on the built in brake controller cranked pretty much right the way up. Had I done that with our previous trcuk and SOB trailer, I would have been constantly locking up the wheels on slow arund town driving!
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:47 PM   #6
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I'm perplexed. I have never had a trailer that didn't lock up. In fact, with drums, I always felt they were too susceptible to locking when set to a good normal stop feel. As a side note my AS discs are very predictable and will lock up solid, smoke the tires, when set too high. That's another story....
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:02 PM   #7
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My will lock up and stop the truck when I apply the manual control
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:37 PM   #8
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I can smoke all 6 on mine with disc brakes. Once I got my prodigy 3 controller set, I haven't adjusted it in years.
I have it biased slightly hotter on the trailer side to help avoid a jack knife situation.
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:21 PM   #9
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Xipper,

Lots of good advice have been offered, my turn to stir the pot.

As you examine and troubleshoot get an IR temp gun and add it to your kit.

Use the temp gun, read temps in same location on drum, hub and even tires.

No clue what drum temps should be but braking makes heat, no heat means no brakes. Uneven readings, one brake is lazy.

Great toolbox addition helps all kinds of thermal troubleshooting and even checking a griddle temp for pancakes.

Get to know your brakes.

Gary
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:30 PM   #10
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Hi

In general brakes that lock up are not a good thing. You loose directional control when this happens. Modern trailer brake controllers have all sorts of weird stuff in them to reduce the chances of this happening. How you get this or that controller to apply "full brakes" can be a bit hard to work out ....

Bob
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:37 PM   #11
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Bob do you know if modern brake controllers interact with the brake circuits they are controlling, in the sense that the controllers "know" whether the brakes are locking up? If so, the brake controller could reduce the electrical signal being sent to the brakes to prevent lock-up?

If not the above, to what "weird stuff" do you refer?

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Bob do you know if modern brake controllers interact with the brake circuits they are controlling, in the sense that the controllers "know" whether the brakes are locking up? If so, the brake controller could reduce the electrical signal being sent to the brakes to prevent lock-up?

If not the above, to what "weird stuff" do you refer?

Thanks,

Peter
Hi

I doubt there is much they can do to sense lockup with normal brakes. Most of what they seem to be doing is varying brake force with several factors:

1) Some sort of "gain" setting to modify the whole process
2) Varying the force depending on how fast the vehicle is going
3) Limiting the maximum force applied (either deliberately or through poor design)
4) Non-linearly mapping the foot pedal to the trailer brakes

They may be doing other things. You would have to dig a bit into each controller to see what it does or does not do.

Bob
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:30 PM   #13
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I've been attempting to calibrate the brakes on my Prodigy RF, it states to set the gain to the point they lockup on dry pavement at 25mph. I'll try to find an area that has reduced friction to see if they lockup, just not as easy to do until I am at a camping destination. The brakes do work, I just wasn't sure if I should leave the gain at "12" or just adjust them to the point they seem to be in balance with the TV and not that the TT brakes are working too hard to slow the TV. I'm sure those drums would overheat if they are being used to over brake the TV.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:34 PM   #14
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I'll try to check the current that is being drawn.

I cleaned the 7-pin connector on the AS (using the kit from AS Life), as if was pretty dirty. I then applied dielectric grease and connected it back to the Prodigy RF box.
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