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Troubleshooting Travel Trailer Jerking Issue on 2018 Ford F150 with Hensley Arrow System & New Axle

Question:

So I’ve been on here before. I’ve gone through 3 wd hitches thinking it was a sway issue. It’s been back to the dealer 5 times for multiple issues including what I thought was sway until my 4th hitch which is now a Hensley arrow. Shortly after I bought the unit brand new on the way home the brakes went out and back on also when on they were very light very low gain even though I was up to 10 on my factory controller. Along with other issues when the dealer took wheeled off the hubs fell apart. Dexter Torino axle. Rockwood and dexter sent out a new set said my old was on recall. Ever since then I felt like I had random sway at 45 plus even with no wind or trucks around. Now with the Hensley it feels and looks like jerking one side or the other. Like a brake is randomly engaging and letting go. The dash does not show brake is engaged and it doesn’t lock up. Just feels like that type of pulling motion. Didn’t have this issues prior to axle swap. Any idea what it could be. A better description is I’m going straight and camper randomly jerks right or left.

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Expert Reply:

With your travel trailer jerking right or left at random, I can only tell you what to look for but can't diagnose your issue. I am not at all physically familiar with the Hensley system but from what research I have done it seems like the system could be the issue. The description of the unit in their videos show that the impact on the trailer for wind is directly transferred to the tow vehicle to help absorb the sway. The theory for this is good, but if you have a shorter wheel base or a lighter tow vehicle that transfer would absolutely be felt like a jerking motion.

The other possibility is that you have a power jump from another pin on your trailer connection to your brake controller output wire or your factory controller isn't working properly. With a surge of power, your trailer brakes would activate, but they wouldn't be isolated to one side versus the other unless the power jump is further downline. I recommend cleaning your trailer connection with some sand paper on each side an then adding dielectric grease # 11755. Then trace your wiring inspecting for any breaks or cracks. Finally, test your brakes using a multimeter like # PT89ZR. You can run through each function of your 7-way when disconnected and then again with your trailer connected to test your trailer functions. If you are getting a reading on your brakes when the manual override is not activated on a proportional brake controller, then you know you have a power surge. If you are getting a reading on your brake magnets when you don't have the manual override or the brake pedal activated on a time delayed brake controller, then you know you have a surge. If a surge is found, I recommend running new wires for the brakes using # 10-1-1 and new wires for the connected function using # 16-1-1.

You may also want to check your breakaway battery to make sure you aren't getting any power from it while the pin is still in place.

I've attached a couple articles to assist.

Finally, I recommend replacing your factory brake controller as they are notorious for issues. I recommend instead using the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Trailer Brake Controller # RED44FR along with the custom harness # 331-TPH-007. This will eliminate any braking issues that could be brake controller related and will give you a better than factory option with a factory appearance. This is the best brake controller on the market and will give you adjustability that isn't available in your factory controller. I've attached a video to assist. Some models of F-150 don't have the power run to the brake controller port. If this is the case, then use the Power Wire Kit for Electric Trailer Brake Controllers - 12 Gauge # BRK-ELECKIT. I've attached a video to assist with this as well.

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