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Old 01-16-2014, 07:01 AM   #1
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Question about brakes on 2001 Sunline 250 SR

Brakes on camper are ticking when stopped and hooked to Dodge Ram 2500 with integral brake controller. Have checked voltage and it is .75 volts & .25 amps (amps fluctuate).

Is this sensing signal to the truck's controller/monitor? Is this normal? Dodge cannot answer the question.
Brakes work fine, all is normal except for this issue.

If not a normal occurance what should I check?

Thanks !

Tom
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:37 AM   #2
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I guess what I would do is jack up the camper and pull the emergency trailer brake pin and see if all the brakes are working. Pulling the pin should lock all of the wheels up if one does not work or does not lock up it may well have a bad magnet. The controller reads the resistance of the brake magnets and if the figures are off it probably will confuse the controller the factory controllers are pretty fussy.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:46 PM   #3
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Hi Tom,

I have Fords 1st generation of the intergrated brake controller. I do not hear the any clicking when stopped, but then again with the window up and it being way back there I cannot tell the click.

That said I have a bar graph which shows signal strength. When I stop the controller modulates output and when standing still at a red light, it may flicker output real fast. It does taper off to almost nothing when standing still. Since this is integrated into the truck the system knows a lot. It has the ability to sense to no truck movement even though the master cylinder sensor has pressure on it with my foot on the brake. So it some how knows to back off the power to the brakes. It may be tied to the truck speed. Once stopped, you do not need a lot of power to hold the camper.

That flicker that mine does I'm "assuming" is pulsing the brake magnets. If so this pulse can engage and drop out the magnet and you might hear a click from that.

Since you are only getting .75 volts and .25 amps, your Dodge reduced power too standing still. If your pulses like mine, well that may be the clicking.

Heads up, if you pull the emergency break away cord, make sure the 7 wire is unplugged from the truck. Some controllers have back flow protection and some do not. Unless you know for sure, yank the 7 wire. Pulling the break away cord powers up the brake wire and it will go were ever it is allowed to, backing into the trucks controller and the TT.

If you want to try and see this pulse action, here is a test, it should work as it did on my old Jordan controller. Hook up a test 12 volt light bulb to the back of the truck on the right pins. Have Debbie start the truck and tap the pedal and watch the bulb. You should see the bulb glow week to bright. Try the manual button too. Then if she holds the brake pedal it might start pulsing like you are at a red light. If the bulb flicks well the same thing is happening when hitched to the camper just you have magnets to go on and off and make a click. Hopefully the bulb resistance is large enough to have the controller recognize the bulb is there and turns on the controller. Find a good size amp draw bulb.

I cannot think of anything wrong with the camper to cause this. We are assuming the brakes work good when your moving right?

Hope this helps and let us know if you find anything.

John
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:34 PM   #4
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Many thanks.Good info and appreciate both posts!
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:37 AM   #5
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Most of the newer stuff has inertia sensors as long as it is sitting still nothing happens even if your foot is on the brake because it has to sense deceleration operating the hand control will activate them. They do sense resistance of the braking system otherwise it would have no clue if the trailer was attached to the TV. This lack of resistance with the new camper disk braking system drives the integrated factory TV brake systems nuts and they will not work with these systems. I have had to trick a couple of these systems into thinking they were connected to a trailer with brake magnets in order to make them work. If you connect an ohm meter to the trailer brake blue wire and ground you should read something around 3-4 ohm ohms with 4 wheel brakes. If you measure total brake magnets (4) at full 12 volts they should draw about 12 amps. Do not test current draw connected to your TV best way is to pull the e brake pin and test current at the camper battery.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Do not test current draw connected to your TV best way is to pull the e brake pin and test current at the camper battery.
Hi main,

Just inquiring, what issue can come from having an amp meter inline with the brake coils from the truck? Have not heard that before and cannot connect the dots on what it would affect.

The breakaway system has the ability to limit full current flow partly do to the 6 foot no 14 awg wire it uses and corrosion in the switch on a 4 wheel trailer. The breakaway system amps is however a good way to trouble shoot with using current just it may not be accurate for what the truck can supply pending what one is testing for.

I have also heard some of the newer brake controllers ping the trailer to know if it is there in place of the prior generation of resistance sensing. Do not know yet what the ping is all about and trying to figure out what principle is used behind it. Heard some single axle trailers have a hard time with the truck sensing the trailer is connected. A trick been reported has been is to hang an extra coil on the trailer to up the load. Do not know the details on that but it is a scary thought if the controller does not recognize the camper.

Thanks

John
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:19 PM   #7
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As FYI, the Ford intergrated controller of my 2005 generation uses a master brake cylinder pressure transducer to generate the proportional signal for how much brake to apply.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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Hi main,

Just inquiring, what issue can come from having an amp meter inline with the brake coils from the truck? Have not heard that before and cannot connect the dots on what it would affect.

The breakaway system has the ability to limit full current flow partly do to the 6 foot no 14 awg wire it uses and corrosion in the switch on a 4 wheel trailer. The breakaway system amps is however a good way to trouble shoot with using current just it may not be accurate for what the truck can supply pending what one is testing for.

I have also heard some of the newer brake controllers ping the trailer to know if it is there in place of the prior generation of resistance sensing. Do not know yet what the ping is all about and trying to figure out what principle is used behind it. Heard some single axle trailers have a hard time with the truck sensing the trailer is connected. A trick been reported has been is to hang an extra coil on the trailer to up the load. Do not know the details on that but it is a scary thought if the controller does not recognize the camper.

Thanks

John
If you screw up you can take out the controller but if you screw up with the camper battery you just get sparks! I have a friend with a huge 5th wheel it has hyd disk brakes they have there own pump in the camper he called me from some where with hills with non working brakes. He had it to the Chevy dealer and then to the camper shop they all said look it works fine. Chevy hooked up to a camper with magnetic brakes worked fine see ya. Still no brakes. Camper dealer pulled the e brake pin on the 5th wheel, see they work see ya. At this point he had spent a lot of money to have them tell him it worked never mind 17K# of trailer with no brakes do not stop fine even with a huge Chevy diesel dully. The integrated factory brake controllers do not work with hyd electric disk brakes. I told him to take it to a trailer dealer (non camper) and have them hang a brake magnet in line with the brake wiring. That worked but it was a pretty poor install brake magnets are not attractive. He ordered a "fix" from a camper outfit that was a nicer install but it still did not work 100%. Bottom line when he got to NH I installed a resistor inside his 7 pin camper connector,problem solved back off to FL. for the winter. This seems to be an issue Ford and Chevy chose to ignore I have not heard of any issues with the Dodges but that does not mean they are working fine. I guess the "ping" is a resistance check the controllers are not smart enough to register an IP address. When a brake magnet went bad on my T1700 I would get any thing from not connected to short circuit on my Prodigy controller.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:06 PM   #9
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As FYI, the Ford intergrated controller of my 2005 generation uses a master brake cylinder pressure transducer to generate the proportional signal for how much brake to apply.
Though Ford gave that up after the fires or maybe that was cruze control cut off.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #10
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If you screw up you can take out the controller but if you screw up with the camper battery you just get sparks!

The integrated factory brake controllers do not work with hyd electric disk brakes. I told him to take it to a trailer dealer (non camper) and have them hang a brake magnet in line with the brake wiring. That worked but it was a pretty poor install brake magnets are not attractive. He ordered a "fix" from a camper outfit that was a nicer install but it still did not work 100%. Bottom line when he got to NH I installed a resistor inside his 7 pin camper connector,problem solved back off to FL. for the winter.

This seems to be an issue Ford and Chevy chose to ignore I have not heard of any issues with the Dodges but that does not mean they are working fine.

I guess the "ping" is a resistance check the controllers are not smart enough to register an IP address. When a brake magnet went bad on my T1700 I would get any thing from not connected to short circuit on my Prodigy controller.
On the amp meter, OK understand the caution. Anyone who has used an amp meter on a multi meter long enough sooner or later opps'es. In my testing the fuse in the meter has blown and have not smoked anything "yet". At least with and amp meter.... Has not happened in a long time, more so in the early days.

I now have a DC clamp on, not as dead on perfect as the meter, but pretty close and for sure quick for trouble shooting. When you first said not to do an amp check my thoughts where going to the meter itself was going cause an interference. It's not the meter, but the operator.

The electric to hydraulic brake module, SunlineFan's Dad had this on his new F450 and their new 5th wheel a few years ago. I do not recall the exact outcome. Maybe Jon will jump in and fill us in on the outcome.

Your T1700 and one coil going out, well that helps confrim what I have been hearing on single axle units. That is not good. The brake controller companies should be sending a bulletin to warn or better a resistor heavy enough to do the job. Then again, if the bad coil shorts hard, wonder if the controllers have electronic current limiting so they do not toast controller. DC power supplies have circuits to handle the over current and still come back to life. The brake controller has the ability to at least, don't know if they do.

With 2, 3.2 ohm coils in parallel the total resistance is 1.6 ohms. With 4 coils, the total resistance 0.8 ohms. And on a tripple axle, 6 coils is 0.53 ohms. So it seems it is working on approx 1 to 1.6 ohm in a perfect system. But with bad connections etc, the resistance is going to go up so I'm not sure how they overcome checking for that and sort out 2 coils verses 4 coils. Any idea?

Good fix on your buddies 5er. Did you use like a 3.5 ohm 40 watt resistor or a higher resistance small wattage something? This is a good trick just have to find a resistor high enough watts to not burn out. Curious how did you over came the burn out problem? Want to store this idea away for when it may rear it's ugly head. I have some spare old brake coils, may want to hang on them.

Thanks

John
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:41 PM   #11
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Though Ford gave that up after the fires or maybe that was cruze control cut off.
On my 2005 it is for sure off the master cylinder. I also have the shop manual for it and it shows the transducer on the master cylinder and I can see it. I must say it works good, well expect I have one of the early ones that does not lock up the brakes with the manual button unless over 15 MPH. They changed that in approx May 2006 after a boat load of complaints.

If this write is accurate, the up to 2013 Ford still used the master cylinder but GM and Dodge uses inertia. I was trying to find this printed direct by Ford but have not found it yet

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:14 AM   #12
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The control system is part of the braking system in the 5th wheel so the current draw is low I had a 5 watt 50 ohm resistor all it does present a 50 ohm reference to ground. The box from the trailer co. was about 10 ohms and did not do it. They would apply and release it would show up on the Chevy’s control panel, apply once and then the display went away. The system was not the same as the box that was sent it was another manufacturer that maybe be why it did not work and again it was meant to be a ground reference. No real reason for the 50 ohm it was what I had handy and it obviously was what the controller wanted to see. He has put thousands of miles on it and its still working fine. The GM system to me leaves a lot to be desired it is overly complex with way to many parts most of them exposed to the weather. Checking the web has enlightened me to the problems the integrated controllers are having with nonmagnetic brakes many people are just giving up and installing aftermarket controllers that seem to work fine with all of the breaking systems. As a test I backed my Tacoma under the 5th wheel and my Prodigy controller operated the 5th wheel brakes just fine. That must have been a sight for someone wondering by to see a Toyota connected to a 36’ 5th wheel! There is someone else running around with a 50 ohm resistor because my friend gave the spare one to them and it works for his too.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:45 PM   #13
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My Ford integrated brake controller can be set for electric or electric over hydraulic and is compatible with 1 to 4 axles.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:41 PM   #14
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The control system is part of the braking system in the 5th wheel so the current draw is low I had a 5 watt 50 ohm resistor all it does present a 50 ohm reference to ground. The box from the trailer co. was about 10 ohms and did not do it.

That must have been a sight for someone wondering by to see a Toyota connected to a 36’ 5th wheel! There is someone else running around with a 50 ohm resistor because my friend gave the spare one to them and it works for his too.
50 ohms at 5 watt is a whole lot more manageable then I was thinking. Have to remember that one.

So your gonna tow the 5er now? Better air up those tires.... LOL Maybe Toyota can use yours in the next promo. After the space shuttle deal, they need something closer to the average end user....
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