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Old 01-12-2024, 10:29 PM   #1
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Question Ford Back-up Assist Checkerboard Stickers Won't Calibrate

Hello,

I have a brand new F250 with Ford Trailer Back up assist. Placed the sticker as the instructions suggested and it won't calibrate. I start the calibration where I will go straight for a while, turn a few times, but then I get a "trailer not detected" error and I have to start all over again. I am at day two at the local shopping mall parking lot with absolutely no success. Ford hotline was no help and the dealer said they would look into it, but they didn't know. I have scanned some of the previous posts and don't see any consistently working solutions, with the exception of one member using a yaw sensor instead of a sticker. My new truck didn't come with one of those, only the stickers. Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2024, 11:06 PM   #2
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Where is the sticker on your trailer's tongue? My trailer didn't have enough surface area between the propane cover and coupler to place the sticker. I made a flat plate out of aluminum and used VHB tape to put the sticker on the top of the tongue. I had no problem setting the system up. That was 5 years ago. I guess it still works. Never used it.
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Old 01-13-2024, 06:51 AM   #3
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Is it "trailer not detected" or "sticker not detected"? If it is trailer not detected, it sounds like the truck is losing contact with the trailer through the 7 pin connector. If the truck thinks no trailer is there, then the process would stop.

Last summer, I got occasional "trailer not detected" messages on my 7 year old truck and 7 year old trailer. I got some carburetor cleaner spray and thoroughly cleaned out the 7 pin connectors, then sprayed them down with WD40 to protect them from rust. That stopped my problem.
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Old 01-13-2024, 06:55 AM   #4
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I have had the exact same experience with the ford pro trailer backup assist. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I seems to especially loose the sticker if the sticker passes from sunny to shaded. I never found a way to make it work more reliably. I have reverted to not using it.
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Old 01-13-2024, 08:18 AM   #5
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Here is where the sticker is (photo attachment). The 2023 manual states 4" to 19" from the hitch ball. I am around 5-6 inches so well within that range.

Here is the "trailer not detected" error while calibrating. I was assuming it meant the trailers sticker could not be found, not the trailer itself had somehow been disconnected from the vehicle. Bobbo, is there a "sticker not found" error message? I thought, perhaps incorrectly, that the error only had to do with calibration, not the entire trailer had disconnected.

Any light people can share on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2024, 09:44 AM   #6
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Gave up

While I still love my Ford, I gave up on that back up assist. Never could get it to where I trusted it. Just easier to get in habit of thinking “trailer, go opposite”.
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Old 01-13-2024, 10:35 AM   #7
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While I still love my Ford, I gave up on that back up assist. Never could get it to where I trusted it. Just easier to get in habit of thinking “trailer, go opposite”.
Agree; never could get it to work with my F150 Platinum and my 25' AS, and same with my F250 and my 28' AS. I just use the old fashioned method...wife outside, standing in right rear where I can see her in the camera or my right side mirror. I did install the automatic leveling system last year finally, and when parking for camping, it has helps a lot in getting set up.
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Old 01-13-2024, 11:02 AM   #8
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I thinks it’s just easier to do it the old fashioned. I’ve had 2 F250’s and 4 F150s that have the pro trailer backup assist and never got it to work as well as me doing it manually.
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Old 01-13-2024, 01:47 PM   #9
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+1 for not using the Ford backup assist. Spent way too much time trying to get it to work on a 2020 F-150. Dips, bumps, and turns caused it to lose the sticker.

When I bought the F-250, I didn't bother. I'd already learned how to back without it.

It might be useful for long straights.
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Old 01-13-2024, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F250 View Post
Here is where the sticker is (photo attachment). The 2023 manual states 4" to 19" from the hitch ball. I am around 5-6 inches so well within that range.

Here is the "trailer not detected" error while calibrating. I was assuming it meant the trailers sticker could not be found, not the trailer itself had somehow been disconnected from the vehicle. Bobbo, is there a "sticker not found" error message? I thought, perhaps incorrectly, that the error only had to do with calibration, not the entire trailer had disconnected.

Any light people can share on this would be greatly appreciated.
I have a 2023 27FBT and a 2022 F150, did this setup last spring and had no issues. Based on your picture, I believe your sticker is in a good spot. I agree with Bobbo, this appears to be a 7 pin connection issue. Since your 250 is brand new, I would consider cleaning the connections on your 2016 FC
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Old 01-13-2024, 05:28 PM   #11
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The sticker works much better if you don’t put it on the tongue. We use ours every time we backup only having issues with it if the sun is shining directly into the camera.

Since this photo was taken we’ve put a piece of vinyl adhesive sheet from a vinaly cutter in the portion of the tank where the camera would see the checkered sticker reflected. That helps as well.

The 7pin connector only comes into play if the truck decides there’s suddenly no trailer connected. You may have to clean and push together each of the contacts in there. I finally gave up and installed a new plug but that’s a last resort.
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Old 01-13-2024, 07:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Bobbo, is there a "sticker not found" error message?
Sorry, but I have no idea. I just know that when my truck lost contact with the trailer, that was the message that I got.

I don't use the backup assist with my Airstream, but I use it all the time with my 6' utility trailer (that I can't even SEE behind me). It works like a champ with that trailer.
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Old 01-13-2024, 08:39 PM   #13
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Ford

I gave up on our Ford system. Airstream frame is not long enough. I went back to my farmer backup skills and my wife on her phone spotting.

Some have made special brackets to make it work.
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Old 01-13-2024, 08:42 PM   #14
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Nice

Nice job!



Quote:
Originally Posted by daleyocum View Post
The sticker works much better if you don’t put it on the tongue. We use ours every time we backup only having issues with it if the sun is shining directly into the camera.

Since this photo was taken we’ve put a piece of vinyl adhesive sheet from a vinaly cutter in the portion of the tank where the camera would see the checkered sticker reflected. That helps as well.

The 7pin connector only comes into play if the truck decides there’s suddenly no trailer connected. You may have to clean and push together each of the contacts in there. I finally gave up and installed a new plug but that’s a last resort.
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Old 01-13-2024, 11:50 PM   #15
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Follow up question. Thanks in advance for replying.

Do folks think that "trailer not connected" during Backup Assist Calibration means:

A: The trailer itself is no longer connected to the truck; i.e. problem with 7 pin connector.

B: The calibration setup program has somehow lost a clear view of the back up assist sticker.

A or B?

Thanks again! Mike
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Old 01-14-2024, 12:16 AM   #16
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That would be A. The truck has decided the trailer has gotten disconnected. Likely the 7pin connector but might be a bad connection or bad umbical cord.
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Old 01-14-2024, 06:45 AM   #17
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Having wrestled with the same error message you are receiving while using backup assist, I always thought it meant the backup assist can no longer see the sticker. I once had the error message for a poor umbilical connection and it is a different message. Unfortunately it was a a while back and I don’t remember the verbiage. But, if you had a copilot unplug the umbilical while in gear, you could reproduce the warning and confirm this.
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Old 01-14-2024, 08:19 AM   #18
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Thinking more about it, the error message for a disconnected umbilical appears on the display above the steering wheel, not on the head unit display.
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Old 01-14-2024, 01:13 PM   #19
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Ah-HA! I wondered what that checkerboard sticker was all about on our 'new-to-us' 2015 FC! Now I know and can peel it off...Thanks!

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Old 01-15-2024, 12:38 AM   #20
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Ah-HA! I wondered what that checkerboard sticker was all about on our 'new-to-us' 2015 FC! Now I know and can peel it off...Thanks!

Shari
2015 was the first year Ford had backup assist. It’s evolved and gotten more reliable over the years. Don’t be surprised if it looses the sticker frequently on you. It’s not your fault!
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