Camper brakes

Submitted: Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 20:13
ThreadID: 108883 Views:1651 Replies:6 FollowUps:13
This Thread has been Archived
Hi all ,am a new member have been looking at the threads and I am looking for some advice , I have recently purchased a camper trailer ,with electric brakes ,but I am not satisfied they are working ok ,I have a Prodigy P2 controller ,which I use with my 2000kg caravan ,and it works fine ,but when I try using the manual override to see how the brakes are working ,I can have maximum brake force ,but not able to lock up the wheels ,the camper weighs 1000kg empty ,I was sure that at 6 volts the wheels should lock up .I was told they would be ok once bedded in ,can anyone shed some light on this for me ,I have used another vehicle and the same results ,some braking but no lock up at max volts ??
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 20:34

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 20:34
Bigred

I don't know if it is correct, but I had the same experience (I don't know enough to say it was a problem).
I had a electric brakes installed on a previous camper trailer & vehicle using a Tekoshona Voyager controller. I can assure you the manual override only applied mild to moderate braking to the trailer. The controller worked perfectly once set up (Power and Fine Tine knobs adjusted), but the manual override never locked the trailer brakes up.
Like you I thought it should have locked the relatively light trailer drum brakes up, but I accepted it and found that they worked still satisfactorily when applying the manual controller when descending steep gravel tracks.

Mark
AnswerID: 536603

Follow Up By: Member - Bigred13 - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 10:07

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 10:07
Thanks Mark ,When I picked up the trailer ,and hooked up I wanted to be sure the brakes were adjusted ok ,so I used the setting I have on the 2000kg van ,and the vehicle idled away (Auto ),so I set it to and used max manual setting and still idled away. They replaced the magnets and did a test run and said it was working fine and it would get better as the linings bedded in .When I tried after picking it up, it was better , so I guess I will wait to see how it goes
Bigred
0
FollowupID: 820788

Reply By: olcoolone - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 21:45

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 21:45
6 volts will not lock the wheels, try increasing it up to 9 and see what happens.

The manual adjustment will only apply the voltage the controller is set at.

Setting it up to a point of locking brakes is pointless and dangerous, you want to set the controller only to a point where you can feel retardation.

A locked wheel has no stability or grip.
AnswerID: 536609

Follow Up By: Member - Bigred13 - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 10:14

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 10:14
Thanks olcoolone ,as I stated in the original post ,I tried it set at max and it still did not lock up the wheels, or even feel like it was working . I was merely trying to see what braking retardation I was having ,if any .I know that setting it too high is not desirable ,but if you read my answer to another member ,set at 12 Volts the vehicle idled away with the trailer (Auto Transmission ),that is what I was trying to prove .
Thanks
Bigred
0
FollowupID: 820789

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:31

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:31
QUOTE ",but if you read my answer to another member ,set at 12 Volts the vehicle idled away with the trailer (Auto Transmission ),that is what I was trying to prove "

BIGRED 13...... Sorry for the life of me I can not see where you have said this in this thread?

Can you show me where in this thread have you said this?

Sorry if I have missed something that is not there!
0
FollowupID: 820798

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:33

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:33
Oh I see it...... and no need to get cranky.... only trying to help.
0
FollowupID: 820799

Reply By: blown4by - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 23:05

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 23:05
If you jack up the trailer and apply the foot brake (with the ignition on) and try to turn the trailer wheels they should lock up almost immediately. That will determine if they are working or not.
AnswerID: 536611

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:41

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:41
if you apply the foot brake with the vehicle stationery with most enertia activated controllers you will get little or no braking action on the trailer.

The crude single setting controllers and the time activated controlers you should get braking action with no motion.

cheers
0
FollowupID: 820801

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:58

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:58
I do not know the controller well , but surly with maximum retardtaion set on the controller and the manual override activated you should get significant braking action..I would expect to lock up the wheels.

There may be some effect with bedding in the shoes because of the twin leading shoe arrangement and the mechanical braking advantage that supplies.....that advantage being dependent on friction in the shoes....but I would have thaught you should get pretty decent retardation right from the get go.

There are some articles and threads on adjustment and centering of the backing plates on electric drums that might be worth reading.

It might also be worth looking at the size of the wire used to wire the brakes...more frequently than not it is lighter than specified in the brake controller documentation.

it might be worth checking that the brake system in the trailer has been properly earthed to the earth pin on the trailer plug.....with adequate size wire.
I have seen brake systems dependent on the chassis earth.

OH and trailer assemblers are notorious for poor connection methods....check that any crimp lugs are the correct size for the wire a crimped with a decent crimper.....the lug should not pull off the wire under any circumstance.



As for why you would want to lock up the wheels......well that was the prerscribed adjustment procedure when setting up voyager controllesr that I am accustomed to.

the procedure was to..at low speed and on a flat road adjust the maximum braking effort using the override till the trailer brakes locked up then back off till they did not.....then adjust the leveling controll
tweak till sweet.

cheers
AnswerID: 536623

Follow Up By: Ross M - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:11

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:11
Are they twin leading shoe?
Servo action but there is n twin actuators for a twin leading shoe setup.

Twin leading doesn't supply brake advantage, it has to be applied by the two (usually) slave cylinders.
0
FollowupID: 820802

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:36

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:36
have a look at most electric brake systems, there is one actuator and both shoes are leading.

Most electric trailer brakes wook pretty poorly backward.

AHH...here is another thaught for the OP.

ARE the brakes fitted on the right side of the trailer.

The backing plates should be marked.

Definitely not the first time the brakes have been fitted wrong way round.


As far as I know ALL electric drum brakes the shoes should be leading.

cheers
0
FollowupID: 820804

Follow Up By: Member - Bigred13 - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:53

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 12:53
Thanks Bantam for your thoughts ,yes backing plates are on correct sides and when I removed one drum I noticed both shoes were coming on from the bottom. The only reason I mentioned about locking up the wheels ,was to prove if in fact the brakes were working ,on another site I read that the P2 will lock brakes set on 6 ,but I cannot find that view again .Does anyone know where to get in touch with the Prodigy makers ,rather than talk to a distributor ??
Thanks for all suggestions

Bigred
0
FollowupID: 820805

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:35

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:35
Bigred,

The manufacturer is Tekonsha in the US. Website and contact details here.

Cheers
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

1
FollowupID: 820808

Follow Up By: Peter T9 - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:59

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:59
The bedding in makes a huge difference and may take over 1000km of driving.

I recently had new brakes installed on my CT (about 1.5t loaded) and was concerned how weak they felt at first.

Coming home from a recent trip they really came good to the point that I needed to turn the controller right down as they would easily lockup at intersections.
1
FollowupID: 820812

Follow Up By: blown4by - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 16:01

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 16:01
Thanks Bantam. The reason I said to try to turn the wheels with the foot brake applied when the trailer is jacked up is so the inertia from the rotating drum will activate the brakes and I can assure you if they are working they will lock up almost immediately. I do not know how much braking force is applied but this is a simple test to check if they are working or not. I agree with others comments about many factory new trailers brakes not working for various reasons and have seen many such cases myself.
1
FollowupID: 820820

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 23:06

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 23:06
if it is an enertia controlled brake controller and the vehicle is stationary...( the wheels rotation makes no difference) ...there will be little or no braking force applied from the foot brake.

I can asure you of that.

The foot brake triggers the brake controller thu the brake light circuit.

The enertia is sensed by some form of enertia sensor in the brake controller....pendulum, ball in race or elecronic g sensor.
There is no...none....no connection between the brake controller and the wheels that can provide an enertia trigger.

It does not take much effort to stop a wheel from hand rotation...particularly if you are not trying hard .....locking the wheels with the full weight of the trailer is a whole other story

cheers
1
FollowupID: 820839

Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:58

Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 at 13:58
Bigred,

I have an original Prodigy, the model before the P2. They look identical, I don't know what the technical differences are.

FWIW, I have had exactly the same experience as Mark form Tamworth. With full voltage dialled up and full braking applied manually to my previous lighter van (1200kg), the van wheels would not lock up. But in a hard stop I heard my van tyres screech.

I now have a different van (2200kg) with electric over hydraulic brakes, same controller. with full voltage dialled up and full manual braking on just the trailer I get firm braking but no lock-up. I've had two emergency stops due to idiots - one a driver the other a pedestrian - and both times I think the van brakes came on harder than I could apply manually; I heard the van tyres screech a bit. On this van I always use 1 stage of Boost on tar and none on unsealed.

You mentioned in your Follow-up 820805 to Bantam that both shoes come on from the bottom. That to me would indicate one leading (self-servo) and one trailing, which might be appropriate for a light trailer, but not being as "aggressive" as twin leading, might not lock up with your controller. Your heavier caravan may have twin leading shoes and thus more self-servo action and able to lock up with your controller. This in addition to other factors others have mentioned, eg on your smaller trailer possible poor wiring size, possible bad earth, etc.

Cheers
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 536632

Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 18:11

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 18:11
I use a Voyager with the CT and the manual slide switch has never locked up the brakes yet they work fine on the auto setting.

Just one thing: don't do tests or make adjustments till the shoes have warmed up a bit.
AnswerID: 536685

Follow Up By: Member - Bigred13 - Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 20:11

Sunday, Jul 27, 2014 at 20:11
Hi Sigmund ,many thanks to you and all others who have replied to my problem re the brakes ,I have used it some more since and the brakes are working better now ,so I guess it is just a matter of them bedding in .I did get onto the prodigy website ( USA) and looked at the boost setting that you can use ,#1 # 2 or # 3 which they recommend using, #1 with campers #2 with heavier trailers and #3 for use only with 5th wheelers . I tried it set on #3 and it certainly makes a difference to the braking ,so until the shoes wear in I may try using #2 for a time .
Many thanks to all who had offered advice
Thank You
Bigred
0
FollowupID: 820900

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)