Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-25-2022, 04:07 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
BogeyPro's Avatar
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 159
Trailer Brake Controller Setting Preferences

I'm curious to know what is the ideal Trailer Brake Controller setting, based on conditions. I'm a newbie learning quickly, always appreciate advice from the experience veterans out there.

In my case, I have a 27' FBQ GT and F-150 XLT. From the factory, it seems the default setting is set to +5 on a scale of 1-10. I have it set on +6 right now, only because at that setting, I can actually "feel" the trailer brakes engage just before the truck's brakes. I'm also traveling very light (by myself).

So, is there a recommended setting, i.e., based on conditions changing? Or is it truly "set it and forget it"?

Thank so much!!
__________________
BogeyPro
Seattle, Wa
2022 Globetrotter 27' FBQ
2021 Ford F-150 XLT 4x2 Powerboost
BogeyPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2022, 04:50 PM   #2
"Cloudsplitter"

 
2003 25' Classic
Houstatlantavegas , Malebolgia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 19,290
Images: 1
I just start by setting the TruControl Gold to lock up from 15-20mph on a loose surface...we be lucky the vacant lot is right around the corner.
Once the TC adjusted & tweaked for the load it will take care of the rest...once & done.

Bob
🇺🇸
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	6B1055FD-791A-4FC5-A0A3-1C127DDE2D3E.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	141.0 KB
ID:	425737  
__________________
“Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf” Native American proverb.
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2022, 08:27 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
StuartsDad's Avatar

 
2018 28' Flying Cloud
Chapin , South Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 267
The method I was taught and has worked for me:
All hitched up and on level surface, put TV in gear, proceed forward at idle. Apply full trailer brakes only. Rig should come to a soft but complete stop. Adjust controller accordingly.
StuartsDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2022, 08:36 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
2017 23' Flying Cloud
Bartlett , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartsDad View Post
The method I was taught and has worked for me:
All hitched up and on level surface, put TV in gear, proceed forward at idle. Apply full trailer brakes only. Rig should come to a soft but complete stop. Adjust controller accordingly.
This is the first UNDERSTANDABLE instruction that I have ever seen.
__________________
Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Flying Cloud 23FB "BobLin Along"
Bobbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2022, 09:26 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
aftermath's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,675
Bobbo, these instructions came with my Prodigy controller. Mine said something like, on a flat road get up to 20mph and engage the trailer brakes......It didn't take long to figure out if you needed to increase the gain or not. I think I first did this in 2006 with my White Box.
aftermath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2022, 10:15 AM   #6
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 14,938
Hi

A lot depends on just which controller you have. There are a lot of makes and models. Some work very differently than others.

First datapoint is: Set the thing up high and the trailer brakes will really to their thing. They just might last 500 to 1000 miles at a high setting.... maybe.

Next datapoint: If your TV brakes are big enough for the load, you may not really *need* the trailer brakes to stop when going in a straight line.

Next: If you are doing some maneuvering while braking, you do need some trailer braking to keep everything orderly ( = so the trailer doesn't come around the TV ....). Just how much is needed depends a lot on how violently you are doing stuff. Go crazy enough and no amount of braking on the trailer will help.

Next: How much does the trailer weigh when loaded and how much does the TV weigh? This overlaps a bit. If the trailer weights 2X what the loaded TV does, you may not have much choice in terms of putting on a bit of trailer braking ( and paying to have the brakes rebuilt fairly often).

While this all sounds hypothetical and theoretical, it's based on fiddling around. Starting off at 6 on my controller cost a lot of money. The costs have gone way down since I dropped back to 4 .....

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2022, 10:17 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
Thiss's Avatar
 
1971 27' Overlander
2023 28' Flying Cloud
Monmouth , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartsDad View Post
The method I was taught and has worked for me:
All hitched up and on level surface, put TV in gear, proceed forward at idle. Apply full trailer brakes only. Rig should come to a soft but complete stop. Adjust controller accordingly.
A good method for many controllers.

I just want to add for anyone reading that has a new Ram with integrated controller, she don’t work like that because there ain’t enough momentum at 20mph to engage the brake enough for a complete stop.

For my Airstream I set the controller at “Heavy Electric” (because she had tandems) and fine tune from there.
__________________
“Let’s be careful out there.”
Thiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2022, 02:11 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
2019 27' Globetrotter
2023 30' Classic
Denver , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 241
Images: 1
What Bob said in post #2

Dave S
link2dks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2022, 06:26 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
2007 16' International CCD
Vintage Kin Owner
Somewhere , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,090
There can’t be a magic number answer here — there is such a wide variation in trailer weights and tow vehicle capabilities. For example, the OP’s trailer likely outweighs his tow vehicle by 2,000 pounds, and my trailer weighs 3,000 pounds less than my tow vehicle.

This requires some experimentation and development of a feel for what is right for your rig. Not difficult, just find a good place like an empty parking lot.
field & stream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2022, 06:50 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
mikeinca's Avatar

 
2020 25' Globetrotter
Santa Rosa , California
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,505
As already mentioned there is likely to be a lot of variation in the setting based on the vehicle brand, trailer size, loading, brake sensitivity etc. etc. What I've found to be a fairly reliable way to set the brake controller doesn't require a lot of fiddling.

I gently apply the service brakes for the truck at around 15 MPH and adjust the controller so that I can feel the lurch as the trailer brakes lock and stop the rig. Then I back off the controller until I'm able to stop the rig smoothly with no lurch.

When I was towing a 30' Classic with my F250 I had the controller set for 4. With my current 25' Globetrotter it's set at 3.
__________________
Mike

2020 25' Globetrotter Twin | 2017 F250 4x4 6.7 max tow Platinum
400Ah Battle Born lithium battery string | 580W solar (400W roof 180W portable)
mikeinca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 09:11 AM   #11
DG
 
2021 23' Flying Cloud
oakville , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 113
I found out the hard way on our first long trip - FC 23 behind Ford expedition max. Cape Breton highland in Nova Scotia has two 5km down hills at 14% or so grade. Took them very slow but stopping after the first I noticed the trailer brakes were hot and the TV were cool. Dropped the brake setting down by one. Next hill - trailer brakes were cool and the TV were hot - so I added half a point to the brake setting - seemed to be a good compromise setting. Emergency stop a year later and I noticed the trailer brakes locked while ABS on the TV applied - which seemed to be about right. I will try the approaches suggested above as well.
Waterbeach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 09:18 AM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
MMCMRET's Avatar

 
2021 25' Flying Cloud
Fredericktown , Ohio
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 241
Excellent Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartsDad View Post
The method I was taught and has worked for me:
All hitched up and on level surface, put TV in gear, proceed forward at idle. Apply full trailer brakes only. Rig should come to a soft but complete stop. Adjust controller accordingly.
These directions really make sense. Thanks.
__________________
Todd Mizer
2021 25' FBT Flying Cloud
Ford F-250 6.7L
WBCCI #6826
We have Year-Round Courtesy Parking.
MMCMRET is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 09:46 AM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
Bethlehem , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 172
GMC and Ford say to drive 20 to 25 mph on level road with trailer loaded. Fully squeeze brake controller. Repeat and Keep increasing gain until wheels lock, then back off the gain so they don’t. I did this and backed down 1.0 on the gain. Simple pimple. Stops great.
:-)
Merlintiaga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 12:26 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member
 
BogeyPro's Avatar
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlintiaga View Post
GMC and Ford say to drive 20 to 25 mph on level road with trailer loaded. Fully squeeze brake controller. Repeat and Keep increasing gain until wheels lock, then back off the gain so they don’t. I did this and backed down 1.0 on the gain. Simple pimple. Stops great.
:-)
Thanks, Merlintiaga...did you find those instructions from Ford online somewhere? If so, could you send drop a link? I guess I could google it myself...thank you.
__________________
BogeyPro
Seattle, Wa
2022 Globetrotter 27' FBQ
2021 Ford F-150 XLT 4x2 Powerboost
BogeyPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 12:34 PM   #15
3 Rivet Member
 
BogeyPro's Avatar
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartsDad View Post
The method I was taught and has worked for me:
All hitched up and on level surface, put TV in gear, proceed forward at idle. Apply full trailer brakes only. Rig should come to a soft but complete stop. Adjust controller accordingly.
Thanks, StuartsDad.

Seems like it is clear to everyone but me..as I said, a newbie learning fast.

So when you say "apply full trailer brakes only" you mean to apply the trailer brake controller lever (on my 2021 Ford, it is a horizontal slider adjustment) ONLY. And when it comes to a "soft but complete stop", you look at where that is on the dial, and set it there.

Did I get that right?
__________________
BogeyPro
Seattle, Wa
2022 Globetrotter 27' FBQ
2021 Ford F-150 XLT 4x2 Powerboost
BogeyPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 12:37 PM   #16
3 Rivet Member
 
BogeyPro's Avatar
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterbeach View Post
I found out the hard way on our first long trip - FC 23 behind Ford expedition max. Cape Breton highland in Nova Scotia has two 5km down hills at 14% or so grade. Took them very slow but stopping after the first I noticed the trailer brakes were hot and the TV were cool. Dropped the brake setting down by one. Next hill - trailer brakes were cool and the TV were hot - so I added half a point to the brake setting - seemed to be a good compromise setting. Emergency stop a year later and I noticed the trailer brakes locked while ABS on the TV applied - which seemed to be about right. I will try the approaches suggested above as well.
Holy Crap 14% grade!! That's like dropping off a cliff!! Wow.
__________________
BogeyPro
Seattle, Wa
2022 Globetrotter 27' FBQ
2021 Ford F-150 XLT 4x2 Powerboost
BogeyPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 12:44 PM   #17
3 Rivet Member
 
BogeyPro's Avatar
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
There can’t be a magic number answer here — there is such a wide variation in trailer weights and tow vehicle capabilities. For example, the OP’s trailer likely outweighs his tow vehicle by 2,000 pounds, and my trailer weighs 3,000 pounds less than my tow vehicle.

This requires some experimentation and development of a feel for what is right for your rig. Not difficult, just find a good place like an empty parking lot.
Thanks, Field and Stream. FYI, my TV GVWR is 7350 the AS GVWR is 7600, so not that much different. But I also travel very light (i.e. alone). Yes, I have just the place nearby where I can experiment.
__________________
BogeyPro
Seattle, Wa
2022 Globetrotter 27' FBQ
2021 Ford F-150 XLT 4x2 Powerboost
BogeyPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 12:53 PM   #18
3 Rivet Member
 
BogeyPro's Avatar
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

A lot depends on just which controller you have. There are a lot of makes and models. Some work very differently than others.

First datapoint is: Set the thing up high and the trailer brakes will really to their thing. They just might last 500 to 1000 miles at a high setting.... maybe.

Next datapoint: If your TV brakes are big enough for the load, you may not really *need* the trailer brakes to stop when going in a straight line.

Next: If you are doing some maneuvering while braking, you do need some trailer braking to keep everything orderly ( = so the trailer doesn't come around the TV ....). Just how much is needed depends a lot on how violently you are doing stuff. Go crazy enough and no amount of braking on the trailer will help.

Next: How much does the trailer weigh when loaded and how much does the TV weigh? This overlaps a bit. If the trailer weights 2X what the loaded TV does, you may not have much choice in terms of putting on a bit of trailer braking ( and paying to have the brakes rebuilt fairly often).

While this all sounds hypothetical and theoretical, it's based on fiddling around. Starting off at 6 on my controller cost a lot of money. The costs have gone way down since I dropped back to 4 .....

Bob
Thanks again, Uncle Bob. I can always expect a thorough case analysis from you.

FYI, no, I won't be doing any violent maneuvering anytime soon LOL. As I mentioned earlier, the GVWR for TV is 7350 and the AS is 7600, but I travel light.

After reading through all this great feedback, I now understand what I need to do. As you advised, my setting might be too high (at 6), I can definitely feel "the lurch", so I want to make those AS brakes last longer....after experimenting on an open lot like everyone suggested, that setting probably to be adjusted down...like you had set yours to 6 and backed it off to 4.

Thanks again...
__________________
BogeyPro
Seattle, Wa
2022 Globetrotter 27' FBQ
2021 Ford F-150 XLT 4x2 Powerboost
BogeyPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 06:37 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
2017 23' Flying Cloud
Bartlett , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by BogeyPro View Post
Thanks, StuartsDad.

Seems like it is clear to everyone but me..as I said, a newbie learning fast.

So when you say "apply full trailer brakes only" you mean to apply the trailer brake controller lever (on my 2021 Ford, it is a horizontal slider adjustment) ONLY. And when it comes to a "soft but complete stop", you look at where that is on the dial, and set it there.

Did I get that right?
Not quite.

You are right that you use the brake control slider, only, for this test.

Do the test with your current brake setting. If it doesn't stop the vehicle, up the setting by 1 and repeat the test. Do that over and over until it finally stops the vehicle, THEN back the setting off by 1 and you are done.

If the first test stops the vehicle, back the setting off 1 and repeat the test. When it BARELY doesn't stop the vehicle, you are done.
__________________
Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Flying Cloud 23FB "BobLin Along"
Bobbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 07:27 PM   #20
4 Rivet Member
 
StuartsDad's Avatar

 
2018 28' Flying Cloud
Chapin , South Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 267
BogeyPro,
Yes, apply full trailer brakes only, means squeeze the horizontal slide together on the Ford bake controller. If you didn't fully stop, or jerked to a quick stop, adjust up or down in .5 increments from what the controller setting shows. Mine has arrow buttons to increase or decrease. Once you find that soft but complete stop sweet spot, you can still adjust up or down in .5 increments to get the feel you want for your rig and still be in that sweet spot range. I pull with an F250 diesel, so I am comfortable with the middle to light side of that sweet spot. With an F150, I would probably want the trailer brakes to provide a little more help and tend toward the upper end of that sweet spot.
StuartsDad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Setting brake controller Roxy59 Brakes & Brake Controllers 8 05-09-2017 04:48 AM
Initial brake controller gain setting Will_Brule Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 20 08-09-2013 08:58 AM
New F150 '09 brake controller vs. Prodigy brake controller dukester Brakes & Brake Controllers 17 01-20-2009 11:46 PM
Bed Preferences Caboose General Interior Topics 17 04-30-2007 05:40 PM
corian color preferences and vinyl floor choices? 2airishuman General Interior Topics 9 02-28-2005 07:57 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.