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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased a new small travel trailer, under 3K lbs, and it has electric brakes. My 2011 2500 HD has the trailer package with a factory trailer brake controller. But for some reason it seems as if the trailer brakes are not being applied. On a paved road, going about 20 MPH with the trailer, the gain set to 5, I apply the trailer brakes but nothing happens. I moved the gain up to 7.5 and maybe I can sense the trailer slowing. I asked the trailer dealer and he said don't worry, the brakes are new.

Does all this sound normal? Do I just need to increase the gain up to 9 or 10? Do new trailer brakes make a difference? Thanks!
 

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I'd make sure to spray electrical connector cleaner on it, some times grime can get in there and cause interference. Hope this solves the problem.
I bought a used Wildwood 27RLSS at a setting of 5 gain at a crawl, foot off the fuel peddle when I hit the trailer brakes it stops my truck. I alway test it when I start hauling after a hook up
 

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Is it showing that the brakes are being applied in the DIC?
 

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What size of wheels/brakes/drums are on the trailer? Sometimes manufacturers of trailers that are right at the legal requirement weight for needing trailer brakes (such as the trailer you have purchased) may install extremely small brakes. In that case the brakes may simply be marginally adequate at best, sometimes not even being able to lock the wheels – crank the controller right to the top, get rolling at about 15 miles an hour and hammer the trailer brakes manually to full (without stepping on the brake pedal) and see what happens. The trailer wheels may skid , they may not. Given as how the trailer is brand-new the brakes should be in perfect adjustment, so if they fail to lock up with a maximum power application it's usually indicative of the fact that they may be small/undersized.

Remember when you are applying the brakes manually not only are you trying to stop the trailer but the truck as well using only the 2 trailer brakes which in the case only marginally adequate size brakes is asking a lot.

Towing such a light trailer with a Duramax truck wouldn't require a whole lot of trailer braking regardless. Set them so that there's some braking, but not so much that the trailer is being forced to try to stop the whole truck and trailer. When properly set up trailer brakes should feel almost seamless and the truck and trailer combination should stop similar to it the way it would if it wasn't towing. Too many people set up trailer brakes too aggressively, resulting in premature wear on the trailer braking system and overly jard pulling from the trailer while stopping. A seamless feel is the key - if the trailer is noticeably pushing under braking more power to the trailer brakes is required, if it feels like it's almost not there... it's perfectly setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great advice, thanks! The trailer is an R-POD with the Hood River Edition. I just noticed in the literature it said "self-adjusting brakes" so it really could be since the trailer is new the brakes need to self-adjust. But it stops fine so I'm not going to worry about it. Thanks again.
 

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I wasn't able to find any specific information online about the size of the brake drums on those models, however I know they are built extremely light and it wouldn't surprise me that the brakes are small as well.

Although it's unlikely it shipped from the factory or left the dealership with brakes that were out of adjustment, anything is possible – adjusting the brakes automatically involves driving backwards while applying and releasing them independenly of the truck (using the controllers manual control) several times. Try this and report back.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
adjusting the brakes automatically involves driving backwards while applying and releasing them independenly of the truck (using the controllers manual control) several times. Try this and report back.
Will do, but it might be a week or so from now. Thanks again.
 

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I would think a meter or test light will tell you what you want to know
 

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Some of the never adjust brakes available on many trailers adjust in both forward and backward stops. Get the axle manufacturer name and model for your axles and then check with the axle mfgr about the brakes. My trailer was upgraded to the never adjust brakes and they included a direction to burnish the brakes, by stopping many times (30-40 IIFC) over a relatively short time period and differing speeds. Seems to have worked just fine.
 
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