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Old 06-19-2015, 10:48 PM   #1
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Brake Controller Not Working on RAM Pickup

I am having trouble with my factory Integrated Brake Controller on my 2015 RAM 1500. The truck is new, less than two months, and today was the first time using it with a trailer. I went to go pick up my 2016 25FC and after all the check outs etc. it was time to test out the new hitch and adjust the brake controller to the new AS (as a reference I am an experienced tower and have been pulling AS for 20 years).

We used the standard method of initial dial in of the brake controller: drive approx. 20mph, let off the gas, apply manual gain to lock up trailer tires, then back off gain, repeat till the skidding stops. The problem of not enough trailer brake is even with a gain setting maxed at 10, it barely slows the rig and I mean barely. The issue is bad enough it is not safe to tow. The AS brakes are ‘definitely engaging’ but about as much braking as if any other controller was operating and you had the gain set at 2.

To test and make sure it was not the new AS brakes, we hooked another new 25 AS to my RAM and the same issue existed with an identical AS. We took my AS and hooked it up to another pickup and we could easily lockup the trailer tires. So, we have proven, with out any doubt, it is my new truck integrated brake controller, not the AS.

Here is the RAM brake controller settings I used:

- with gain set at max 10 the issue persisted no matter if the trailer brake controller was set at ‘light electric’ or ‘heavy electric’. Light is for up to 8,000lbs, heavy for over 8,000lbs. There was very little discernable difference felt between the two settings, even at 10 gain.
- I am definitely on 'electric' and not on 'electric over hydraulic' on the settings.

Has anyone experienced or heard of this issue with the RAM integrated brake controller? This is my first RAM truck so am I missing something? Unfortunately, tomorrow is Saturday and no dealerships open. Bummer!!!
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:15 PM   #2
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On our 2012 Ram 1500 (factory controller) and 25' FC Airstream we use the "Heavy Electric" setting with gain at 2.5, works very well over thousands of miles. I check it at each hookup by letting the rig roll ahead at idle and can stop the rig squeezing the manual trigger on the controller at 2.5 gain without locking up the brakes.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
On our 2012 Ram 1500 (factory controller) and 25' FC Airstream we use the "Heavy Electric" setting with gain at 2.5, works very well over thousands of miles. I check it at each hookup by letting the rig roll ahead at idle and can stop the rig squeezing the manual trigger on the controller at 2.5 gain without locking up the brakes.
On my 2015 and Heavy Electric on setting 2.5 you couldn't even feel it. I can barley stop a 10mph roll with Heavy Electric, not pushing on the gas, in 20 feet. Something seriously wrong.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:47 PM   #4
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Could it be the brand new trailer brakes are not adjusted. Not sure about this, but do they self-adjust by backing up the trailer and braking a few times? Try it.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:51 PM   #5
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His brakes locked up with another TV hooked to his trailer, so the trailer brakes do work OK.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:08 AM   #6
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The factory integrated brake controllers on all brands have their problems. I've not yet read of one that is as sophisticated as the TUSON DIRECLINK, and would do the work to install it.

And add their electronic trailer antisway unit at the same time.

Some OEMs claim to have something similar to this, so do your reading. I'd rather have the TUSON at present.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:31 AM   #7
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A career of working with electrical systems (aircraft) taught me to never rule out anything. Most electrical faults are at the connections, so good to take a look at the obvious connections. The bumper connector may be defective physically or a poor crimp on the wire lead on the back of it. If there is a wire leading to a ground connector, it may be loose or poor contact. Look things over. You could check resistance through the connector and to ground, and voltage if you have a meter.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:06 AM   #8
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Dr Obvious is absolutely right.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:37 AM   #9
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I had the same problem with our 2014 Ram and 2012 FC. I tried all of the settings and nothing worked, took both to the Ram dealer 3 miles from home. At the third stop sign the brakes started working and have worked ever since. Never figured out why they work now but like the " never look a gift horse...."

Good luck

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Old 06-20-2015, 06:43 AM   #10
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Maybe it just takes awhile for all that newfangled electronic computer actuated do dad stuff a little time to get to know each other and cooperate! Computer has to reset? Hope you figure this out!
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:59 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the input from everyone. It is so frustrating when something sort of works, but really doesn't especially when it's on a brand new rig, head to toe, literally.

I understand electricity a lot when it comes in the form of an on-off switch. But I am getting better at it, I think I have mastered the dimmer switch for the AS overhead lights:-)

I have an electrician friend coming over today to do the stuff electrical people know how to do: wiggle pins, look for bad grounds, resistance , ohms. After that, hopefully, if nothing found the dealer will see me Monday. I am already a week behind heading out to MT, ID and WY. Need brakes for the region for sure.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:04 AM   #12
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Frustrating. My only suggestion would be to start from scratch using the owners manual and slowly and deliberately set the controller and anything else to do with towing up again. Might be something simple. I wonder if there isn't enough amps to power the brakes properly. A setting or adjustment somewhere? Good luck hope it works out well for you!
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:50 AM   #13
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Ram Dealer?

I've also got a new Ram and tow a 25Int'l. Got the gain set on 4.5 when all loaded up and it's perfect. Given your "history" I'd head back to the Ram dealer and lay the problem at their doorstep. It's Saturday...they might still be able to solve it. Good luck.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:00 PM   #14
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I sympathize with the OP!

My '09 25' Int. brakes do not work at all with my 2013 RAM 1500. I've tried everything I know to try, including having the RAM at the dealership for an entire day after which they could find nothing wrong, and now have the trailer at the local Camping World shop waiting for resolution. They plan on looking at the AS and my TV on June 30th. I am anxiously awaiting a resolution as I've been unable to use my new (to us) AS.

Frustrating!
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