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Old 04-03-2014, 09:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Trailer: 2014 5TA/ *2012 17B
Posts: 279
Chev brake controller

Been having problems with the brakes on the 17b and the chev silverado, looking for some ideas....had the brakes on the trailer checked out by an RV place, had the plug and power connection checked out by a trailer place as well.
The issue- brakes are fine on the trailer, they work some but not enough to squeal the tires on the trailer, when the truck is moving at 20-30mph and I try the controller manually it really doesn't stop the truck and trailer it just slows down a bit. It doesn't seem to matter if it is on 7 pr so or 10. The RV guy says that it must be the integrated brake controller - chev says the computer on the truck would detect if there was a problem- must be the brakes on the trailer.
Everything worked fine up until now.

Any thoughts?

Chapi II
2014 5.0TA
2012 17B Chapi
2011 Silverado
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2001 Bigfoot 21RB/ 73Boler/Trillium 5500
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Antilock brakes might not let you squeal the brakes.

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Old 04-03-2014, 11:29 PM   #3
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
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Trailer brakes are often unable to lock up the wheels (and thus squeal the tires). My Boler's brakes provide the trailer's share of braking with a moderate controller setting (about 7) so they clearly work properly... but they can't lock the tires even at the maximum setting.

If the trailer brakes are strong enough to do their share of braking, then with the manual lever fully applied they should be able to provide braking force equal to a large fraction of the trailer's weight. If the trailer weighs (for instance) half of the loaded truck weight, then the trailer brakes (fully manually applied) would slow down the truck plus trailer at one-third of the deceleration of a normal hard stop... that's significant braking, but not slam-you-into-the-seatbelt stuff.

Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Antilock brakes might not let you squeal the brakes.
The anti-lock brake control system in the truck has no way to know the speed of the trailer wheels, so it can't control lockup of the trailer wheels. I have no idea why GM would program the integrated trailer brake controller to limit the power to the trailer brakes when the manual control is applied, and certainly not when there is lockup or control issue with the truck's brakes.

The way to objectively assess the controller's behaviour is to check the voltage supplied to the trailer brakes when the lever is applied. I would try this while safely parked, at least to start.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:55 AM   #4
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Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
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FWIW... I get the same results with my stick trailer, neither my old Prodigy P3 controller or the new Fords built in controller will lockup the trailers brakes, and yes I've had the brakes checked and adjusted. While they won't lock up, I can certainly feel the drag when I put them on manually. It's never proven to be an issue, so far.
Happy Motoring
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:00 AM   #5
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Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
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The Prodigy instructions for set up tell you to back off lock-up. I don't think I ever observed lock-up when trying to adjust the controller.
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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Old 04-04-2014, 06:26 AM   #6
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
Trailer: 21' Escape (June 2014)
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Yup, same here. The directions that came with the controller said to back off the lock-up but I never could make it happen. It seemed to stop well, so I didn't worry about it.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:27 AM   #7
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Location: Beaumont, Alberta
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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My controller (Tekonsha Prodigy RF) will allow the brakes to lock up. I have inadvertently done so a few times when the controller was not adjusted quite right. Last summer I startled the girls at the entrance gate to Greenpoint Campground in Pacific Rim National Park as I came squealing to a stop in front of them at checkout time.
Dave W - 2013 Escape 19' and 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Old 04-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Carlsbad, California, California
Trailer: 2003 Scamp 16'
Posts: 81
My Prodigy RF will lock the brakes on the Scamp if adjusted too high.
I would do a voltage check like Brian suggested. If you have a break away switch you could pull out the cable and see if the trailer could skid the wheels when pulled. That would give you full voltage. Do that test quickly, as you don't want to leave full voltage on the brakes for more than a half minute or so. The wires could get warm.

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