3895 Trailer brakes don't feel strong enough - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 12-10-2015, 08:32 PM   #1
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3895 Trailer brakes don't feel strong enough

I purchased a 2015 3895 a few weeks back and have had it out 3 times. My truck is a 2015 GMC 3500 dually. I feel like the brakes are nowhere near strong enough on the trailer to safely bring 20K lbs to a quick stop. I have the brake control set to 10 on the truck and even at 20mph can't lock up the triple axles on the trailer. Does anyone have any insight on if the trailer brakes can be adjusted or do I need a different brake controller on the truck. The trucks brake controller worked great on my 2007 weekend warrior I had before this trailer. Thanks
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:44 PM   #2
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I purchased a 2015 3895 a few weeks back and have had it out 3 times. My truck is a 2015 GMC 3500 dually. I feel like the brakes are nowhere near strong enough on the trailer to safely bring 20K lbs to a quick stop. I have the brake control set to 10 on the truck and even at 20mph can't lock up the triple axles on the trailer. Does anyone have any insight on if the trailer brakes can be adjusted or do I need a different brake controller on the truck. The trucks brake controller worked great on my 2007 weekend warrior I had before this trailer. Thanks
You should be able to adjust them but I'd crawl under there and check those crappy wiring connectors to make sure they are 1, connected and 2, tight.
Then you might want to check from the 7 plug all the way back.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:52 PM   #3
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First thing to check would be the adjustment of the drums brakes on the trailer. I have to adjust mine again as they only slow me down truck is doing most of the work.

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Old 12-10-2015, 09:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. In theory I should be able to lift all the wheels off the ground with the jacks and then pull the safety cable which should lock up all the brakes. I think that would be a quick way to tell if all the drums are working to start with.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:40 PM   #5
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I would connect the truck first. Then pull the safety cable & see if all wheels drag. With no load on the wheels like you want to do, you wouldn't be able to turn them by hand. They still could be out of adjustment. Might not be adjusted tight enough. You need to have the weight of the trailer on them because that's what you want to stop.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:58 PM   #6
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I would check the adjustment, or have someone adjust the brakes if needed. The factory doesn't do a very good setup usually. Well at least mine were poorly adjusted from the factory. You shouldn't need more than 6 or 6.5 on the brake controller.
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Old 12-11-2015, 03:24 AM   #7
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And another reson why I hate electric drum brakes.

I don't have that problem any more, I upgraded to electric over hydraulic disk brakes.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:10 PM   #8
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OK. I tried pulling the emergency brake pin and the trailer would not move. So it seems like the brakes are locking up with the pin pulled. Not sure if all the brakes are locked up but I could not move. After we pulled the pin and reinstalled it my truck said service trailer brakes and brake controller did not work at all. I believe the fuse is blown again. So my question is does anyone else have the same issue with either a GMC or Chevy brake controller not having enough power to the trailer. I still believe if the controller is set to 10 that it should lock up the brakes on the trailer at any speed and it's nowhere close to doing that. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:33 PM   #9
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I don't have any braking problems using my 2012 Chevy 3500. I think the controller is set at 7.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:38 PM   #10
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I still believe if the controller is set to 10 that it should lock up the brakes on the trailer at any speed and it's nowhere close to doing that.
I have a 3895 that I tow with an F350.

Part of my checklist / walk-around is to manually apply the trailer brakes. My storage yard has a gravel road and when I test the brakes there it will leave skid marks in the dirt, however, if I manually apply the trailer brakes on asphalt it will come to a slow stop, but does not brake hard enough to leave any skid marks. If I pull the pin on the emergency brake it will lock up and leave skid marks on the asphalt. This all seems normal to me compared to the other travel / fifth wheel trailers I've owned.

By comparison, my wife has me use my 4WD to take her construction dump trailer to the landfill when it rains and the other day I tweaked the brake controller @ about 40 MPH and it smoked the tires. I've never had a recreational trailer that would do that???
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:00 PM   #11
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OK. I tried pulling the emergency brake pin and the trailer would not move. So it seems like the brakes are locking up with the pin pulled. Not sure if all the brakes are locked up but I could not move. After we pulled the pin and reinstalled it my truck said service trailer brakes and brake controller did not work at all. I believe the fuse is blown again. So my question is does anyone else have the same issue with either a GMC or Chevy brake controller not having enough power to the trailer. I still believe if the controller is set to 10 that it should lock up the brakes on the trailer at any speed and it's nowhere close to doing that. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
In my humble opinion electric drum brakes are woofully inadequate for the size and weight of the rigs on the roads today.

I found that I was having to adjust the drum brakes on our camper every 2500-3000 miles, in order for it to stop without trying to push to truck down the road.

One trip through Chicago was enough for me to do something about the brakes, I upgraded to disk brakes and couldn't be happier with how the trailer stops now. I don't have to screw around with the boost to get the trailer brakes to grab.

I don't think your controller is at fault, you could have one or more brakes needing adjustment or are not even applying. The only way to verify that would be to get the wheels of the ground and check the adjustment.

Before that you should check to make sure that you don't have any broken wires.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:04 PM   #12
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Mine came from the factory barely working at all, and of course the dealer didn't touch them either. After adjusting according to factory specs, they work great. They will need adjusted periodically though. It took many many clicks to get them in. Here's a good video explaining how to do it...

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