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Old 10-22-2012, 08:07 AM   #1
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Brake controller or trailer brake problem? (newbie alert)

Last week, we bought our '95 Sovereign (21ft) and our tow vehicle is a 2006 Jeep Commander 4x4 Hemi 5.7L (with the tow package).

The Jeep didn't come with a brake controller so we had that installed on Friday (brand Draw-Tite).
Saturday morning we hooked up the AS for our first trip.

The guy who installed the brake controller recommended us to follow the instructions to test it, once the AS was attached.
The "output" goes from 1 -> 10. The test instructions are to set it at 2, drive forward and then apply the manual control on the brake controller to stop by using only the trailer brakes. We did this, nothing happened.
Eventually, we ended up having to set the output on the brake controller to 9 before we felt that the trailer brakes were stopping us when we applied the manual control.
The driving to the campsite (about 15 miles) went smooth with the exception of 2 instances: both times we were stopped at an intersection -> when we started driving again and had to make a 90 degree turn, one of the trailer wheels locked up for a few seconds, dragging the wheel (and burning some tire rubber).

We are total newbies when it comes to towing.
Is this normal? Good/bad?
If there might be a problem: can it be due to old brakes on the AS or bad wiring/some problem with the brake controller?

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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Sounds like a trailer problem to me, two problems actually.

First you're set at 9 - almost max, because thetrailer brakes need adjustment, brakes wear over time and periodically need adjustment or replacement, I adjust my brakes annually when I pack the bearings, you need to adjust more frequently if you tow alot of miles. This could also be due to some rust on the brakes if your trailer has been sitting for along time.

Second your brakes are sticking. This could also be due to some rust as above, or adjustment or lubricaiton. When you take your foot off the brake pedal, there should be no current to the trailer brakes, and the brakes should totally release. If they don't release its more likely a trailer problem than a truck problem.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help! We had the brakes checked and they needed adjusting. We're taking the Airstream out again this weekend (Inks Lake state park, here in the TX Hill Country) so I'm hoping to see an improvement.
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