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Old 05-30-2014, 05:32 AM   #1
lwg
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Braking question

On my most recent trip with the Redwood I decided to select the driver info screen n the Ford that shows the trailer brake and the equivalent power you are getting with the rear brakes. I was somewhat shocked at how little the bar moved unless your braking heavily. When going down steep grades I tend to gear down and lightly touch or drag the brakes when needed. Sometimes at the bottom of the hill I'll push a little harder to keep the speed down. When doing this I noticed that I'd only get 2-3 bars (out of 10 I believe) with the trailer brakes. This shocked me a bit as I expected more.

A little about my setup, drum brakes and the Ford controller is set to 10 (max setting).

BTW, when I glanced down it was safe to do so, never was in any harm.

What are others with Fords seeing with both disc and drum brakes.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:34 AM   #2
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I set the controller at 7 and test it once hooked up and just before we depart.

For going down hills I rarely use the brakes. In tow/haul mode, I use the +/- to downshift and on a 6% hill drop down to 3 and find it holds nicely at 60 mph. On grades > 6% I have to tap the brakes occasionally to check the speed.

When using the brakes the number of bars illuminated depends on the pressure applied to the brake pedal. A light application gets a couple of bars, which increase with more pedal pressure. When stopped at a light I believe all the bars are illuminated.

We have drum brakes.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:50 AM   #3
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Basic rule of thumb for the Ford braking system.. 1 point of gain (on the controller setting) for every 1000 pounds of trailer weight. Refer to your Ford Owner`s Manual and ask the Ford servicing tech.. .. both state the same.. On the 2012 and up F 350`s and higher.. the latest software update for the truck`s PCM.. includes additional calibration updates for the brake controller. If you feel it is not functioning correctly HAVE IT CHECKED!!! Ford had past issues with it`s integrated braking systems.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:01 PM   #4
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Another factoid I was told on another forum (take it with a grain of salt) is that with the built in sway control and anti lock brakes, the rv's brakes perform 'differently'...

but, they do stop you !
was concerned about having to set ours @ 10 too, but squeezing the manual tabs together will SLAM you to a stop so the brakes WILL stop you...
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:10 PM   #5
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My RL has disk brakes and i run the brake controler set at 9
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:46 PM   #6
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With the drum brakes I used 7.5-8.5 and it stopped ok. I realized that the disks would be better.
Now, with the new Kodiak Disc setup, I'm using 6.5-7 and the whole rig stops like it's just the truck. One thing I've discovered though is that the 2013 f350 is different setup than my 12 was. There isn't a setting different for electric/hydraulic, the integrated controller knows which brake system the trailer has and sets the truck accordingly.
Scary - truck is smarter than I am ....

Btw, the disc and MorRyde IS upgrade is incredible.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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Hmmm,
my 13 350 has the setting for electric or electric/hydraulic...

maybe I don't have the latest software though - I did hear there's a tsb for the IBC ... so have to give up my nice truck for a day ---- just never had a reason to bring the truck in - been too reliable
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:49 PM   #8
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For the last two Ford trucks and a drum brake and a disk brake trailer, mine has pretty much been set to 6.5, and up to 7.5 on 5% or greater grades.

I always set mine to the lock up the trailer tires on gravel under 15 mph. Learned that somewhere, maybe even the Ford manual but I doubt it because I'm a male. Maybe Dory read it.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:36 PM   #9
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I have a '13 and it has electric or Hyd option. Also have the latest SW update so should be good to go.

I suspect its braking OK, but there was a 10% grade on the highway between Monument Valley, UT and Blanding, UT where I got really nervous. Had the truck in 2nd gear going about 35 MPH. 60 MPH is way to fast for that type of decent and the passes here in CO (Vail and Eisenhower). They are only about 6% but they go on for miles and have lots of turns; and runaway truck ramps, for good reason...
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:47 PM   #10
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I-70 actually gets to 7%. Compared to that little "bump" Raton pass on I-25 at 6%, I-70 into Denver can age me a couple of years for some reason. Between giant signs telling truckers it "aint over yet" to runaway truck ramps, crazy drivers, rain, fog, snow (even in July) its pretty intimidating. Came down one year pulling two trailers in nasty rain and hail and all the flashing lights and DW saw a "deer crossing" sign. With brakes smoking - engine revin - wipers slappin, she looked at me and said to Heck with the deer
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:53 PM   #11
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Went thru Raton a few years ago in a class B Winny LeSharo and that poor little 4 cyl turbo diesel worked it's little butt off going up AND down especially since we were towing a cj-5 that was probably as heavy as the rv!!!

This last trip with the 350 and RW I guess we only got to 4% on the ford display, but found tow haul and cruise set would do it's thing and actually stopped me from using the brakes 99% of the time ! I was very impressed with the little engine that could !
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnboytoo View Post
Went thru Raton a few years ago in a class B Winny LeSharo and that poor little 4 cyl turbo diesel worked it's little butt off going up AND down especially since we were towing a cj-5 that was probably as heavy as the rv!!!

This last trip with the 350 and RW I guess we only got to 4% on the ford display, but found tow haul and cruise set would do it's thing and actually stopped me from using the brakes 99% of the time ! I was very impressed with the little engine that could !
It works nicely for the lighter grades. Much past 5% though and I just slow it way down. It starts to feel like the trailer is pushing too much and makes me nervous.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:31 PM   #13
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It works nicely for the lighter grades. Much past 5% though and I just slow it way down. It starts to feel like the trailer is pushing too much and makes me nervous.
Concur, even in tow/haul mode, we had two apply the breaks going through some really step grades. To the point we actually scorched brake pads in South Dakota and Wyoming. Stayed at the highest KOA in the world in Central City, CO at 9600 feet. Had trouble breathing at that altitude. Numerous hills up and down with switch backs getting there. Also watch out for you can goods and sealed catsup bottles, they explode when opened because of the pressure. However when you get there it was absolutely magnicant.

If you ever get to Pikes Peak in CO stay in Manituo Springs and drive to the Garden of the Gods. Absolutely fantastic. However, if you go up to Pikes Peak at 14,000+ feet eat your donuts on the top and don't bring them back down - they'll be flat and not very appealing.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:14 AM   #14
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If you ever get to Pikes Peak in CO stay in Manituo Springs and drive to the Garden of the Gods. Absolutely fantastic. However, if you go up to Pikes Peak at 14,000+ feet eat your donuts on the top and don't bring them back down - they'll be flat and not very appealing.
Have a very good life long friend who lives in Colorado Springs and this trip is on my bucket list. I'll remember that about my donuts, I hate flat ones!
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:24 AM   #15
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Take the cog rail train up there, that's quite a ride!

Lived in Denver for 10 years, was big time into four wheeling then (still have my trusty Land Rover). The back country of Colorado has some of the most scenic and dangerous trails in the country. After leaving I started to realize just how neat a state is is.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:28 AM   #16
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Wife and I are both Natives. Spent every weekend in the back of Dads jeep pounding up some road, winter or summer didn't seem to make a difference except whether there were snow shoes tied to the roof or a tent.

Followed in his footsteps and always had a Jeep - but in the eighties it started to get about as unpopular as cigarettes. Folks on their mountain bikes would frown on your gas spewing terrain terrorizing mechanized vehicle as you tried to get by.

Then came ATVs......!
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:59 AM   #17
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Heading to Marysvale, UT for 10 days, exploring the Paiute Trail on rented ATV's.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:22 AM   #18
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Let us know how you like that! We are wanting to rent some to see if we still like it before we think about towing some behind the redwood.
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