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Electric brakes weak on New Imagine 2600RB?

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  • #16
    My brakes were awful on my 2021 2600RB when I picked it up. These trailers do not have self adjusters. I had asked my dealer to check and adjust the brakes the first time I brought it in for warranty work, and of course they didn't do it, they just told me that the brakes were fine. I was an old time brake mechanic in a prior life when drum brakes were the norm, so I simply bought a brake spoon and adjust them myself every 3000 to 5000 miles or so, and they work adequately (I do want to upgrade to disc brakes soon). I have a Prodigy P2 controller.
    Mike and Karen
    2021 2600RB
    2011 Tundra 5.7 DC

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    • #17
      Originally posted by AZMike View Post
      My brakes were awful on my 2021 2600RB when I picked it up. These trailers do not have self adjusters. I had asked my dealer to check and adjust the brakes the first time I brought it in for warranty work, and of course they didn't do it, they just told me that the brakes were fine. I was an old time brake mechanic in a prior life when drum brakes were the norm, so I simply bought a brake spoon and adjust them myself every 3000 to 5000 miles or so, and they work adequately (I do want to upgrade to disc brakes soon). I have a Prodigy P2 controller.
      Thanks for that info Mike. If I change the settings on my truck to the "Heavy" setting as some have suggested and the brakes do not work any better, I will likely take it in to the dealer since it is so new. I also have changed out many a brake shoe and pads as a do it yourselfer, so I know what you are saying.
      2022 Imagine 2600RB
      F150 Lariat 5.0L, 3.55, HD Tow Package
      Dallas, Texas area

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      • #18
        I like the new front cap design. Very nice.

        Jim
        2017 Imagine 2600RB
        2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

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        • #19
          Bob Davis2 Bob, have you tried jacking up the trailer and with the brakes manually applied tried to turn the wheel? This might give a feel for if the brakes are mis adjusted vs some other issue.

          Second test (you will need to limit the time as the wiring is a bit small), with the 7 way disconnected, try pulling the break away switch out and then try to move the trailer with the truck. If this has full brakes, then the issue could be in the tow vehicle wiring. I'd start with the ground wires on both the trailer and the truck at that point.

          And just because it's been towed 1000 miles by a delivery driver, the brakes may have never been used. Some of the delivery drivers I have seen are questionable on their level of maintenance and not likely concerned if the brakes on the truck are hooked to the trailer and working.
          Joseph
          Tow
          Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
          Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
          South of Houston Texas

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Jlawles2 View Post
            Bob Davis2 Bob, have you tried jacking up the trailer and with the brakes manually applied tried to turn the wheel? This might give a feel for if the brakes are mis adjusted vs some other issue.

            Second test (you will need to limit the time as the wiring is a bit small), with the 7 way disconnected, try pulling the break away switch out and then try to move the trailer with the truck. If this has full brakes, then the issue could be in the tow vehicle wiring. I'd start with the ground wires on both the trailer and the truck at that point.

            And just because it's been towed 1000 miles by a delivery driver, the brakes may have never been used. Some of the delivery drivers I have seen are questionable on their level of maintenance and not likely concerned if the brakes on the truck are hooked to the trailer and working.
            Great ideas Jlawles2. Thank you.
            2022 Imagine 2600RB
            F150 Lariat 5.0L, 3.55, HD Tow Package
            Dallas, Texas area

            Comment


            • #21
              Bob Davis2 You are getting lots of good advice here. I will say that our 2021 2600RB had lousy brakes to start with for no apparent reason. Ran around trying to figure it out to no avail. I finally looked at Dexters site and decided to "burn in" the brakes as they suggest. That made a world of difference. Their procedure seemed extreme but did the job well and takes about 50 miles to get done. Once cool you might see an improvement. If there is grease on the shoes you will know from the oder and smoke when they get hot. I will say that trying to get the electric bakes to work at a stop with your Ford may not work to well as the controller reduces trailer braking effort to near zero below about 10mph. I run our brakes on a similar truck at 5.5 to 6 on the low effort setting and have good braking even at 7,600 lbs. I have found over the years that good planning while towing is better than good brakes. Good luck

              Dave
              flyfshrockies, 2021 imagine 2600RB, Ford F-150, XLT supper crew 3.5 eco boost with max tow. Dave and Toni (and the awesome Aussie Bayley, he's the social one)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by flyfshrockies View Post
                Bob Davis2 You are getting lots of good advice here. I will say that our 2021 2600RB had lousy brakes to start with for no apparent reason. Ran around trying to figure it out to no avail. I finally looked at Dexters site and decided to "burn in" the brakes as they suggest. That made a world of difference. Their procedure seemed extreme but did the job well and takes about 50 miles to get done. Once cool you might see an improvement. If there is grease on the shoes you will know from the oder and smoke when they get hot. I will say that trying to get the electric bakes to work at a stop with your Ford may not work to well as the controller reduces trailer braking effort to near zero below about 10mph. I run our brakes on a similar truck at 5.5 to 6 on the low effort setting and have good braking even at 7,600 lbs. I have found over the years that good planning while towing is better than good brakes. Good luck

                Dave
                Thanks much. What is the "burn in" method? On my brake controller (Stock Factory Ford control, 2017 Lariat), it has the manual press together switch on the lower dash with the + and - buttons for Gain 0-10. On the dash settings for Trailers, there is also a selection for "Effort Setting" Light, Medium, and Heavy. Currently mine is set to Medium. I plan to try the Heavy setting next time I hook up to the Trailer. If you have a Ford, do you have these 3 Effort settings and if So, what is yours set on?
                2022 Imagine 2600RB
                F150 Lariat 5.0L, 3.55, HD Tow Package
                Dallas, Texas area

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                • #23
                  Bob Davis2 Bob https://www.dexteraxle.com/user_area...ice_manual.pdf about page 11.

                  I think the effort setting is for the initial boost that's applied to start the braking. I know on the older pendulum brake controllers, it was referred to as BOOST SETTING, which essentially magnified the initial brake voltage then tapered it off as the vehicle slowed.
                  Joseph
                  Tow
                  Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                  Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                  South of Houston Texas

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Hi,

                    My suggestion would be to Burnish your brakes as per the Dexter Service manual for 600 - 8,000 lbs Axle Capacity. Go to dexteraxle.com then click Resources, you'll get a drop down menu then click Manuals.Then click Light Duty 600 - 8K Complete Service Manual. The Instructions start on page 6. Additionally, Lippert has a video about this on YouTube. Search Travel Trailer Burnishing Brakes. It should be the 1st video. When you begin the Burnishing, set your Brake Controller to its Highest Setting as per the video and then adjust downwards from there for your specific set-up. Hope this helps.
                    Last edited by TucsonJack; 12-12-2021, 02:14 PM.

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                    • #25
                      I have never heard of a driver pulling someone elses trailer that did not use the trailers brakes. Drivers are known for trying to save their equipment. I think its illogical to expect that the delivery company got that trailer to the dealer without using the brakes. Whatever was done is done and the time to burnish brakes is when they are new, not after they have been used for hundreds of miles. I think that anything short of an inspection of the system is just wasting time.

                      Curious if the O.P. has any new information to add ?
                      2021 Reflection 337RLS, 2021 Silverado 3500HD 6.6 gas. Nellie the wonder boxer

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                      • #26
                        Can the OP set his braking effort to "High" on his TV and his gain to 6 and get back with us on the result? Burnishing is done right after new shoes are installed where I doubt the transport person would not use the trailer brakes at the expense of his TV brakes.
                        For what its worth my Imagine brakes are mediocre at the first pull of each season shorty after leaving. Brakes will improve greatly after a few brake applies. This is due to moisture on the brake shoes that needs to burn off and corrosion on the drum surfaces that need to be cleaned up after the first few brake applies.

                        Jim
                        2017 Imagine 2600RB
                        2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          After being at the dealership seeing the TV of delivery drivers, it would not surprise me if a larger percentage of the TV are not equipped with brake controllers or if the controllers are not maintained. The several drivers I have seen are pressed to have working trailer lights much less brakes.

                          This may be the exception to the general group of delivery drivers, but the ones I witnessed appeared that way. There are most likely delivery drivers who genuinely care about their TV and all of it's systems working properly with trailer brakes.
                          Joseph
                          Tow
                          Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                          Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                          South of Houston Texas

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Jlawles2 View Post
                            After being at the dealership seeing the TV of delivery drivers, it would not surprise me if a larger percentage of the TV are not equipped with brake controllers or if the controllers are not maintained. The several drivers I have seen are pressed to have working trailer lights much less brakes.

                            This may be the exception to the general group of delivery drivers, but the ones I witnessed appeared that way. There are most likely delivery drivers who genuinely care about their TV and all of it's systems working properly with trailer brakes.
                            Joseph,

                            We still need to know how the trailer brakes operate with the brake effort set to high and a gain set just above the midpoint where most folks are set. Then all the great advice could be pursued or just take the rig to the dealer. Someone suggested a tug (not towing) with the emergency switch pulled which would also check the brakes at full apply which is a great idea.

                            I personally would not sacrifice my expensive brakes or risk losing my license while making a living towing trailers. Trailers brakes are required by law.

                            Jim
                            Last edited by MidwestCamper; 12-13-2021, 07:33 PM.
                            2017 Imagine 2600RB
                            2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by MidwestCamper View Post
                              Can the OP set his braking effort to "High" on his TV and his gain to 6 and get back with us on the result? Burnishing is done right after new shoes are installed where I doubt the transport person would not use the trailer brakes at the expense of his TV brakes.
                              For what its worth my Imagine brakes are mediocre at the first pull of each season shorty after leaving. Brakes will improve greatly after a few brake applies. This is due to moisture on the brake shoes that needs to burn off and corrosion on the drum surfaces that need to be cleaned up after the first few brake applies.

                              Jim
                              I will do this as soon as I get a chance to pull it again. So far, I have only pulled it from the RV Dealership to the house here for a day then on to the Storage unit.. It is in the storage unit and I am in the process of installing the Halovision RD7 camera. It has been kinda cold here this last week. Tomorrow supposed to be in the 70s so I will go continue the camera install. Thanks for this info!
                              2022 Imagine 2600RB
                              F150 Lariat 5.0L, 3.55, HD Tow Package
                              Dallas, Texas area

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Some thoughts on trailer brakes . . .

                                I have been following this thread and have some experience with towing a 10,000 lb trailer with a 6,000 lb F150. (2014 HDPP GCWR of 17,000)

                                All delivery drivers hook up the 7 pin electrical connector but have little concern or even knowledge of how effective the trailer brakes are. Every truck must have the ability to stop its rated GCWR and is purposely tested to this with trailer brakes disabled (SAE J2807). Thus, a delivery driver with a dually one ton truck towing a relatively light TT is going to have no way to know whether the trailer brakes are even working. Trailers above a certain weight are required to "have brakes" . . . but there is no performance criteria or testing for the effectiveness of these brakes. After our first year with the Reflection, I came to learn that I had been towing with 3 of the 4 trailer brakes completely slathered in bearing grease. The F150 still stopped this rig in a reasonable distance and even brought us down Monteagle Mountain (Google it) without incident.

                                Electric drum brakes are notoriously ineffective. The technology was developed in the 1950s and remains unchanged today. Properly adjusted and cool drum brakes will have one good apply. Subsequent applies become less and less effective because of poor heat dissipation and overheating. Even after I installed new clean brake assemblies and properly adjusted them, I could feel the trailer pushing the truck during braking. Installation of EoH disc brakes fixed that. The trailer now pulls back on the truck during heavy braking.

                                Electric drum brakes require rotation of the drum to apply the brakes (mentioned earlier in this thread). The faster the drum is turning, the more braking force will be applied to the shoes. Diagnosing braking problems when sitting still or moving slowly comes down to determining only whether the electro-magnets are being energized or not. This can be accomplished with a magnetic compass held close to the wheel below the centre of the hub (where the electro magnet is located).

                                Auto adjust trailer brakes adjust when moving in the forward direction (unlike auto/truck drum brakes that adjust when backing up). If the brakes were installed with a lot of shoe to drum clearance, it will take a lot of firm braking to bring the shoes to the proper clearance to the drum. Over-adjusting creating a brake that is too tight is a relatively common problem for heavily used trailer brakes.

                                To have the best chance of getting the most out of your electric trailer brakes, manually adjust them, burnish them following manufacturer recommendations and then check that none of the brakes has over adjusted. In my opinion . . . upgrading to EoH disc brakes is the best $2K that you can spend on towing safety.

                                Rob
                                Cate & Rob
                                (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
                                2015 Reflection 303RLS
                                2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
                                Bayham, Ontario, Canada

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