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Old 11-29-2016, 09:11 PM   #1
par
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Issues when trading up Chevy/GM truck

We are full-time Canadians that winter over in Texas and decided to trade in our 2013 Silverado truck for a 2016 about 3 weeks before our departure which was scheduled for Oct 21. This experience resulted in 2 unexpected issues and we did not leave till Nov 8. This is not about our delay but the reasons for the delay which were:
- Fifth-Wheel hitch
- Brakes

Fifth-Wheel Hitch
When we decided to trade our existing truck it had a Reese 25K hitch so we negotiated with the dealer that they would buy a new hitch since the new truck came with 'the puck system'. This option is now available on new trucks where the hitch rails are mounted under the truck bed and there are 5 holes in the bed to mount the hitch. The Reese I had was not compatible with this footprint so the truck dealer found a B&W hitch and assured me no less than 3 times that it was 25K hitch. We picked up the new truck with great anticipation and my wife opened the hitch manual and in fact it was a 20K hitch. We could not leave the dealership so I went back inside to report this situation. They assured me that they could NOT find a 25K hitch to fit their standard footprint but told me that if one came available they would replace it at no charge. While we were not happy with this I did not think I had any choice. I called Reese to see if they would ever come up with a 25K GM footprint hitch and he said 'not likely'. So I explained my situation and he was gracious enough to tell me that Curt had one. So I called Curt and sure enough they have a 25K compatible hitch and it even had a GM part number. I called the dealer and they agreed to order the hitch from Curt which took over a 1 week. First Delay.

Brakes
With the new 25K hitch installed we pinned our 5th wheel to leave for Texas and I always "manually brake" the trailer to verify the trailer brakes. To our amazement there were NO BRAKES on the trailer. I checked everything that I could and ended up calling the dealer because this all worked in my previous truck. The trucks are identical except one was 2013 and the new one a 2016. They asked me to take the truck and trailer to the dealership, with no brakes on the trailer.

We spent about 5 hours debugging this. We pulled a 2012 truck off the lot, and the trailer brakes worked so at that point I was convinced there was a problem with the new truck. So we pulled a 2016 truck off the lot, and it did NOT work, so now we were all confused. Clearly something changed in the new truck but GM would not admit to this. My trailer has disk brakes with an electric over hydraulic actuator. The dealership had never seen a trailer with this arrangement so we took my truck to a trailer with all electric brakes and my new truck worked. We called Redwood and they sent us to the actuator manufacturer and they suggested that I needed to replace the actuator and adapter module (CAM) for this new truck to work. We were fit to be tied, at that point I wanted my old truck back but it was already sold. I ordered these 2 parts from E-Trailer (extremely responsive company), I paid for expedited delivery. The parts were ordered Tue afternoon and I had them (remember we are still in Canada) Fri morning. With all this mess the truck dealership agreed to swap out those devices in my trailer since we had to bleed the brakes, but the tech was not available till Mon. When I received the parts (on Fri) I changed the CAM module myself with a glimmer of hope that might do it. The CAM was $85 and the actuator $600. Sadly just changing the CAM did not work so we had to wait till Mon to replace the actuator.

Monday morning we returned to the truck dealership with truck and trailer and the tech changed the actuator, but believe it or not, it still did NOT work. After an hour or so of head scratching we opened the junction box that joins the truck pigtail to the trailer and discovered that the emergency brake switch and the brake controller wires were inverted. When we swapped those wires, EVERYTHING worked!!!

I need to admit that the dealership was awesome in helping and even provided some financial relief since neither one of use could believe that trading up would end up like this.

The following day, Nov 8, we pinned the trailer and actually I am writing this from Donna, TX.

Lessons learned:
With respect to the hitch, don't always believe what other people tell you.

With respect to the brakes, to this day I don't know if I really needed to change the CAM and Actuator after we found the bad wiring. At that point everything was working and we had to get on our way.

Perhaps some of you who have upgraded their GM/Chevy trucks can share your experience.

Thanks,
Paul
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:08 PM   #2
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That sounds almost exactly like what happened to us!

New 2014 Redwood with disk brakes, 2006 Ford F350. Did the PDI, driving out the gate and I checked the brakes like you did - nothing - coasted nearly up to the gate. Mechanics spent a full day the next day on it - nothing. We bought in Tx and they also had not come across the disk brake system before.

Family and I jumped on a plane to Denver and left the truck at the airport. They replaced the CAM, the actuator, and BINGO - the wiring was backwards in the J-box. They claimed it fried the actuator, but I don't care as long as it worked with we came back, and it did! Loved those disk brakes, almost as good as I love our air brakes now
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atom ant View Post
That sounds almost exactly like what happened to us!

New 2014 Redwood with disk brakes, 2006 Ford F350. Did the PDI, driving out the gate and I checked the brakes like you did - nothing - coasted nearly up to the gate. Mechanics spent a full day the next day on it - nothing. We bought in Tx and they also had not come across the disk brake system before.

Family and I jumped on a plane to Denver and left the truck at the airport. They replaced the CAM, the actuator, and BINGO - the wiring was backwards in the J-box. They claimed it fried the actuator, but I don't care as long as it worked with we came back, and it did! Loved those disk brakes, almost as good as I love our air brakes now
The wires in my J-Box were not properly connected. Caused all sorts of problems including shocks when you touched the trailer.

The heading of this topic peaked my interest. "Trading up to..." If I am not mistaken, you can only trade up to a GMC from something else. It is not possible to trade a GMC up to a Ford, that phrase makes no sense.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
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After hearing all the issues with his new truck sounds like trading to a Ford would have been a great Trade up
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Old 12-04-2016, 02:22 PM   #5
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Sounds like the problems were with the trailer, not the truck. I have to agree with Bergman.
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Old 12-04-2016, 03:01 PM   #6
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The heading of this topic peaked my interest. "Trading up to..." If I am not mistaken, you can only trade up to a GMC from something else. It is not possible to trade a GMC up to a Ford, that phrase makes no sense. [/QUOTE]


You guys are gonna be in trouble!!
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:11 PM   #7
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It's always a challenge to get a truck & Trailer to work well together. It's such a hassle when you trade trucks or trailers. Frustrations start at the dealerships negotiation a good deal and they aren't over until you get everything working well together.

The same thing happens with MHs and the vehicle you tow.
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by par View Post
We are full-time Canadians that winter over in Texas and decided to trade in our 2013 Silverado truck for a 2016 about 3 weeks before our departure which was scheduled for Oct 21. This experience resulted in 2 unexpected issues and we did not leave till Nov 8. This is not about our delay but the reasons for the delay which were:
- Fifth-Wheel hitch
- Brakes

Fifth-Wheel Hitch
When we decided to trade our existing truck it had a Reese 25K hitch so we negotiated with the dealer that they would buy a new hitch since the new truck came with 'the puck system'. This option is now available on new trucks where the hitch rails are mounted under the truck bed and there are 5 holes in the bed to mount the hitch. The Reese I had was not compatible with this footprint so the truck dealer found a B&W hitch and assured me no less than 3 times that it was 25K hitch. We picked up the new truck with great anticipation and my wife opened the hitch manual and in fact it was a 20K hitch. We could not leave the dealership so I went back inside to report this situation. They assured me that they could NOT find a 25K hitch to fit their standard footprint but told me that if one came available they would replace it at no charge. While we were not happy with this I did not think I had any choice. I called Reese to see if they would ever come up with a 25K GM footprint hitch and he said 'not likely'. So I explained my situation and he was gracious enough to tell me that Curt had one. So I called Curt and sure enough they have a 25K compatible hitch and it even had a GM part number. I called the dealer and they agreed to order the hitch from Curt which took over a 1 week. First Delay.

Brakes
With the new 25K hitch installed we pinned our 5th wheel to leave for Texas and I always "manually brake" the trailer to verify the trailer brakes. To our amazement there were NO BRAKES on the trailer. I checked everything that I could and ended up calling the dealer because this all worked in my previous truck. The trucks are identical except one was 2013 and the new one a 2016. They asked me to take the truck and trailer to the dealership, with no brakes on the trailer.

We spent about 5 hours debugging this. We pulled a 2012 truck off the lot, and the trailer brakes worked so at that point I was convinced there was a problem with the new truck. So we pulled a 2016 truck off the lot, and it did NOT work, so now we were all confused. Clearly something changed in the new truck but GM would not admit to this. My trailer has disk brakes with an electric over hydraulic actuator. The dealership had never seen a trailer with this arrangement so we took my truck to a trailer with all electric brakes and my new truck worked. We called Redwood and they sent us to the actuator manufacturer and they suggested that I needed to replace the actuator and adapter module (CAM) for this new truck to work. We were fit to be tied, at that point I wanted my old truck back but it was already sold. I ordered these 2 parts from E-Trailer (extremely responsive company), I paid for expedited delivery. The parts were ordered Tue afternoon and I had them (remember we are still in Canada) Fri morning. With all this mess the truck dealership agreed to swap out those devices in my trailer since we had to bleed the brakes, but the tech was not available till Mon. When I received the parts (on Fri) I changed the CAM module myself with a glimmer of hope that might do it. The CAM was $85 and the actuator $600. Sadly just changing the CAM did not work so we had to wait till Mon to replace the actuator.

Monday morning we returned to the truck dealership with truck and trailer and the tech changed the actuator, but believe it or not, it still did NOT work. After an hour or so of head scratching we opened the junction box that joins the truck pigtail to the trailer and discovered that the emergency brake switch and the brake controller wires were inverted. When we swapped those wires, EVERYTHING worked!!!

I need to admit that the dealership was awesome in helping and even provided some financial relief since neither one of use could believe that trading up would end up like this.

The following day, Nov 8, we pinned the trailer and actually I am writing this from Donna, TX.

Lessons learned:
With respect to the hitch, don't always believe what other people tell you.

With respect to the brakes, to this day I don't know if I really needed to change the CAM and Actuator after we found the bad wiring. At that point everything was working and we had to get on our way.

Perhaps some of you who have upgraded their GM/Chevy trucks can share your experience.

Thanks,
Paul
My 2016 3500 HD Silverado DWD High Country long bed crew cab did not come with the puck system even though it had the towing package (and all options except for the PTO). I wanted the Reese Elite removable 25K hitch so the underlying bed rails and pucks were ordered and installed.

The Titan EOH disc brakes have not performed properly however Titan Guy is setting up a repair visit. The RV J-box connections are correct and voltages to the EOH unit are spot on however when troubleshooting I found missing and loose wire nuts within the J-box. I am hopeful that I will be able to lock up the wheels and smoke the tires as some Redwood owners report. Not that I want to lock up the brakes however would like that capability as I had on our previous RV's. Soft braking in rush hour traffic is really scary.
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:49 PM   #9
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For anyone that gets in this kind of bind with a hitch, Comfort Ride Hitch factory adapter plates will fit all three brands. GM, Ford or Dodge. You just move the puck mounts to the appropriate holes. The plates will accept any standard rail mount hitch or of course the Comfort Ride. Never have to buy a hitch again no matter what truck it goes into.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:04 PM   #10
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Good to know that Vaughan. I don't plan on changing trucks soon, but good to know.

Chris
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