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Weak Trailer Brakes on a Triple Axle Road Warrior 5th Wheel Trailer

Question:

I have a triple axle Road Warrior 5th wheel trailer. I have the brake controller turned all the way up and it doesnt provide enough stopping power in my opinion. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

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Expert Reply:

Do all three axles on the trailer have brakes? If not then adding brakes to the axle(s) without brakes would increase the braking power. That is assuming that the brake controller is rated for up to 6 brake assemblies. If an axle does not have brakes then the first thing to check is if it has brake mounting flanges. I have linked an article that will help identify the parts needed to add electric drum brakes.

You may also need to adjust the brakes using the adjustment spoon # W80630. When electric drum brakes are adjusted out to the right spot you will hear a slight but constant drag of the shoes on the drum when spun. I have linked a video of the adjustment spoon for you.

And you can test to make sure the proper amount of power is getting to the brakes. With the brake controller set to the maximum you should be seeing 12 volts (some voltage drop off could occur so it may not be exactly 12 volts) on a meter such as # PT89ZR. If you are getting 12 volts to each brake magnet then the issue could be the magnets themselves. I have linked a help article that explains how to test brake magnets.

It would also be a good idea to check the wiring from the trailer connector to the magnets and fix any pinched or damaged wires. Also make sure the magnets are grounded to clean, corrosion-free steel surfaces.

And if all else fails you could switch to an electric over hydraulic system which is arguably the best braking system that you can get. I'm not going to lie, it is expensive to switch over to this type of system because of all the parts that are involved. But if you are interested I have linked a help article on that as well.

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