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Trailer Brakes on Airstream Trailer are Weak Even After Adjusting Them

Question:

I've had a 2004 Ram 2500 towing a dual axle Airstream for the past 10 years without any braking/wiring problems. Recently however, I've had trailer braking problems. After initially hooking up the trailer and testing the trailer brakes at gentle idle speed, there is no trailer braking even with the manual brake control lever fully engaged. However, after towing the trailer for 20-30 minutes, the trailer brakes work satisfactorily although I have to adjust the controller gain setting to 3/4 toward max. I've recently had the wheel bearings serviced and brakes adjusted but still have the same problem. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Expert Reply:

Usually when the brakes start to get weak it is because they need to be adjusted. If you had them adjusted and the problem persists it could be a problem with the brake magnets. First, you can visually inspect the magnets and if you can see the windings coming through they will need to be replaced. To further test the magnets you can follow the help article I have linked.

Inspect the wiring to the trailer brakes, the magnet ground wires, and the trailer connectors on truck and trailer. The connectors should be clean and free of corrosion and moisture inside, where the wires attach, and outside on the pins. Using dielectric grease # LT37534 between electrical connections repels moisture and inhibits corrosion.

The magnet ground wires should be attached to clean and corrosion free bare metal surfaces. Inspect the wiring and fix any damaged or pinched wires as needed.

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