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Old 09-20-2021, 05:47 PM   #1
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2022 25' International
Eagle , Colorado
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Trailer brakes

I realize this may be (or certainly is) a dumb question, but that hasnít been a bar of entry for me in the past. I do not have the tow package on my 2018 Lincoln Navigator and thus I do not have a brake controller on my vehicle (at least no control knob on my dash). I bought a Curt Echo, which was a bit jumpy/grabby the last time I drove. If I cannot reinstall or adjust the settings in a way that works, my question is whether the trailer brakes will be engaged at all if I remove the Curt Echo? Meaning, I know I wonít be able to control the sensitivity or strength of the brakes, but will the AS brakes engage at all when I apply my TVs brakes?
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:57 PM   #2
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Hi

If you pull the brake controller, you have no brakes on the trailer. That's not a good idea with a 25' on a Navigator. There are a lot of different controllers, shop around and get a good one.

https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-9019...dDbGljaz10cnVl

Then make sure it's installed correctly and take the time to adjust it for your trailer.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:01 PM   #3
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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Welcome Aboard 👍

No...You will need a quality brake controller wired into the TV.

I've used a TruControl Gold for 17yrs. Like it a lot, set and forget.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:09 PM   #4
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On this note, consider the thread closed! I think my official story is that I was just testing you all.
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:12 PM   #5
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Donít bother with the brake controller until you weigh your entire rig at the CAT scale. Three passes and you know if your tow vehicle is up to the task. If it is, invest in a brake controller. If it is isnít, start shopping for a more suitable tow vehicle but make sure it has a brake controller.
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:19 PM   #6
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
Donít bother with the brake controller until you weigh your entire rig at the CAT scale. Three passes and you know if your tow vehicle is up to the task. If it is, invest in a brake controller. If it is isnít, start shopping for a more suitable tow vehicle but make sure it has a brake controller.
No, not this now....Really?
Big truck...'it tows like it's not even there!"
It starts to sway you don't notice and have no trailer brakes to straighten it out.

No advice is better than bad advice.😵*💫

Bob
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Love for the Adirondacks

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Old 09-20-2021, 06:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
No, not this now....Really?
Big truck...'it tows like it's not even there!"
It starts to sway you don't notice and have no trailer brakes to straighten it out.

No advice is better than bad advice.😵*💫

Bob
🇺🇸
I disagree. The LN is not a big truck. An F-350 is a big truck.

Carefully drive to the CAT scale. If the Lincoln is a bad match for the trailer then why buy the brake controller that may end up in the garbage? That Lincoln Navigator seems to be at the edge of GVWR for the trailer and other payload. Itís truck with a heavy cap pulling a 2022 25-er.

I would validate my choice of tow vehicle before investing any more money in it. But Iím open to change. Even changing the tow vehicle when evidence demands it.
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:13 PM   #8
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Whether you go ahead and invest in a hard wired brake controller or get another wireless style a trip to the CAT scales would be wise. Do a 3 pass weigh in and see where your at with your current TV. With no Factory Tow Package you are probably bumping your axle ratings and may be over your vehicle Payload/Cargo carrying capacity. Look at the stickers in your drivers door jamb for that info. LN is a really nice ride but may not be up to snuff with a loaded 25' AS behind it.

Just because it is advertised that the vehicle can tow 8k or 9k LBS does not mean you should put that much behind it. It may very well pull it but may be over axle weights and the GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating).

Check those things out and you will either be satisfied your combo works or you need to look for a more capable TV. Happy travels.
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:17 PM   #9
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One thing I neglected to point outÖ

The OPís LN is not designed for towing a trailer as heavy as his AS. There is no max tow package. There isnít even a brake controller. Itís the very definition of a tow vehicle whose capability for pulling a 25-foot 7000# trailer needs to be questioned. Sure, he could spend a few $100s on a brake controller installation to tow it to the scale, only to discover that 1) he bought the wrong trailer, or 2) he needs a different truck. Hopefully, thereís a third resultÖthe truck can do the job. I have doubts that this is the case. Only the stoic scale can be the judge.

Okay. If the nearest scale is 100 miles away maybe you install the brake controller. If 25, drive it there on a Sunday morning.

Also, if you plan to tow even when the scale says you shouldnít, you might as well install the brake controller.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:19 PM   #10
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Iíve had 4 separate dealers (the selling dealer and 3 others) confirm that the towing capacity for this Nav is 8300. Based on wheelbase and 4x4. I call Lincoln and they refer me to the dealers. So, despite the ambiguity in the literature, dealers who have pulled my VIN say 8300, which is 1K+ more than how I would load the trailer (which has swapped AGMs for Lithiums and moved towards axles). Nonetheless, the question was more basic about operation of the 7-pin connector and trailer brakes.

I will reinstall the Echo and hope to have results closer to the first drives.
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
The OPís LN is not designed for towing a trailer as heavy as his AS. There is no max tow package.
You are making an assumption that the OP didn't evaluate his truck for towing. After a bit of work, I know that he determined that the differences between a tow package and non-tow are a brake controller, an electronic limited slip diff (which isn't part of the tow package anymore), and a bigger radiator. So, bottom line compared with the current tow package option, after you add a brake controller, the only difference is the radiator.

I also tow a 25 with an 2018 Navigator. Been to the Cat Scales and am within all my numbers. I am very happy with how it tows.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:28 AM   #12
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Iím going to be dining on crow this morning.

Definitely install the brake controller before going anywhere. My earlier advice was wrong. Here in Texas, you canít legally tow a trailer without brakes if it weighs more than X about, which is 3500# IIRC. Then thereís the safety and insurance aspect, too. We did it all the time at the farm but it isnít good practice.

Sounds like youíve done all the research. Iíd still weigh it at the scales. I just changed tow vehicles because of payload limitations and will weigh the rig the first time I hitch up for camping.

Check out fifthwheelst.com for a template and a calculator. It includes all the weights you need to be concerned about. It isnít perfect because it doesnít account for large differences in what the trailer tongue weight is on the ball and what the TV considers tongue weight at the receiver, which is immaterial unless youíre using a ProPride or Hensley hitch.

Iíd really be interested in what you find out at the scale. My daughter has four kids. Six humans in the TV severely limit their tow-vehicle/trailer combos. Today that combo is Expedition Max pulling a pop-up camper.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:53 AM   #13
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I will be keeping the Curt for now. Will give it another try this weekend after reinstalling it. Hopefully that will help. If not, I may explore others.

And hopefully it’s not something that is going to require a trip to a dealer to adjust the AS brakes.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:56 AM   #14
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^
I've never found a good or a tasty way to roast a crow and Wally knows I've tried!!!!😂

All AS's have brakes and it's best to use them.👍

Bob
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Love for the Adirondacks

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Old 09-21-2021, 09:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmslade View Post
I will be keeping the Curt for now. Will give it another try this weekend after reinstalling it. Hopefully that will help. If not, I may explore others.

And hopefully itís not something that is going to require a trip to a dealer to adjust the AS brakes.
Hi

There should be no need to adjust the trailer brakes. There might be a need to *replace* them ....

The brakes on an AS are nothing special. Any local shop that works on trucks and farm trailers will be *very* familiar with them. They may need a little coaching on how to jack up an AS, but past that I'd bet they do at least as good a job as your AS dealer.

Really quick and dirty way to see how the brakes are doing:

Hook up on gravel Pull the breakaway cable. Drive forward a bit. Watch the trailer wheels. The one that isn't dragging has a brake that's broke. Not a definitive test, but something you can do pretty quickly, even without a brake controller.

Don't leave the breakaway "engaged" for more than a minute or two. It's going to run down the battery and eventually will heat up the magnets on the brakes.

Bob
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:28 AM   #16
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Uncle_bob—I assume from your message then that if there’s an issue with the airstream brakes it won’t be that they’re grabbing inconsistently? That would be a brake controller issue?

I can understand how the gravel test would show an issue with a brake not engaging, but not if they’re engaging in a “jerky” way.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmslade View Post
Uncle_bobóI assume from your message then that if thereís an issue with the airstream brakes it wonít be that theyíre grabbing inconsistently? That would be a brake controller issue?

I can understand how the gravel test would show an issue with a brake not engaging, but not if theyíre engaging in a ďjerkyĒ way.
Hi

The most likely issue with a Dexter brake assembly is that it has self destructed. They can die in a number of ways. Normally when they do it shows up as them locking up or not working at all. They are pretty simple gizmos .....

Bob
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

The most likely issue with a Dexter brake assembly is that it has self destructed. They can die in a number of ways. Normally when they do it shows up as them locking up or not working at all. They are pretty simple gizmos .....

Bob
Given that it's a new trailer, I would think his issue is more likely the wireless brake controller than the brakes themselves.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:57 AM   #19
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Anecdotally, I pull my lightweight Caravel with a BMW X5 and use a wireless brake controller. The trailer brakes work smoothly until they get used frequently or (my assumption) get a bit warm (then they get a bit grabby). I simply turn down the braking force and they smooth out. I should also note that sometimes I forget to plug the controller into the power outlet and go my merry way never noticing that I do not have working brakes on the trailer. But, I want those brakes working for the inevitable person that cuts me off and slams on their brakes.
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Old 09-21-2021, 11:13 AM   #20
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After you turn down the settings, are you able to turn it back up and they work as intended?
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