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Author Topic: Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3  (Read 258 times)

mkowske

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Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3
« on: July 12, 2017, 11:54:56 AM »
We have this controller: http://www.tekonsha.com/products/brake-controllers/proportional-controllers/trailer-brake-control-proportional/TzaIxkVx1cI5XOy!osRB55TR19SXShj4

According to the manual, and youtube, I am to set the threshold high enough where when you engage the manual brake the trailer wheels lock up. When you find that, then you back it off a bit. Well, I've gone all the way to the max (13 or 14 if I remember) and  I still can't get the wheels to lock up in back. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to go up to the next "boost" level? It is a 22' camper trailer and mostly empty right now, probably weighs around 5000 lbs.

Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks --

lavarock1210

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Re: Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 04:15:02 PM »
How many miles on the trailer and when was last time the brakes were adjusted.

Controller set up is done with no boost.

Read the manual about what boost setting to use.  With a light trailer such as yours may not need any boost.  At most would be level 1.

On larger trailers it is not uncommon to not lock the brakes.  But with a light trailer such as yours I would expect to be able to lock the brakes.

"still can't get the wheels to lock up in back"  not sure what you mean.  Only one axle locking?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 05:09:30 PM »
You can make a simple test of the trailer system by pulling the breakaway switch wire to trigger the switch. That should lock the trailer brakes as well as they are able, which sometimes is "not very".  Note that the trailer battery powers the breakaway system, so you need a working battery onboard.

Are you sure you have power to the trailer brake line? The P3 needs steady power to and through its brake line. If it is not hooked up, or the wire you hooked to has no 12v source (e.g.fuse out or blown), there will be no braking even though the P3 panel; lights up.  Does the panel indicate that voltage is being applied when you use the manual lever?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 05:12:50 PM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gizmo

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Re: Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 05:24:37 PM »
When I had the same unit I had the same problem, or at least I could not detect the trailer brakes locking up, so what I did was to do the procedure on a dirt & gravel road where it was clear at what point the trailer brakes locked up.  Worked great and as mentioned it should not be done with boost on.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
Gone But not forgotten:
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2013 Aliner Expedition

mkowske

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Re: Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 07:01:10 AM »
We definitely have power to the brakes... they work well it seems and the truck lurches abruptly and slows down dramatically when I engage the manual trailer brakes, just can't get them to lock up.  By "in the back" I just meant the trailer brakes. It has two axles but neither of them will lock up.

Not sure on pulling the breakaway wire. Everything is contained in a wiring harness and I'd rather not pull it apart if I don't have to.

I don't know the miles on the trailer, but it is a 2012 and from the condition it was very lightly used -- looks almost new. Wheels and tires are in very good shape. I don't know when the brakes were last serviced.

I will try doing this on gravel -- I think the brakes are functioning okay because when I leave the setting really high there is an obvious difference than having it lower like 9 or 10. The trailer seems to pull the truck and it is not as smooth.

Thanks for tips everyone.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 07:05:36 AM »
It's not terribly unusual that trailer brakes won't lock up, at least on solid surfaces.  Sometimes it is brake adjustment, and sometime it is just poor quality wiring to the brakes.Insufficient power to get the brake to lock up.

When I spoke of pulling the disconnect wire, I meant the mechanical cable that pulls the switch if a breakaway occurs. No need to disassemble the wire bundle to do that. Just give the cable a firm yank to activate the breakaway switch. After the test, push the switch back in so it is ready for the next time.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

lavarock1210

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Re: Having trouble setting up my Tekonsha P3
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 09:40:01 PM »
With a P3 it very easy to detect a wiring /magnet problem.

First with  manual lever full travel note voltage applied.

Then with the  diagnostic  mode measure the current being delivered.

Most  4 wheel brakes will be 1 amp per volt applied.

If you are close to this the wire is adequate and all 4 magnets are in the circuit.

This is a test I perform before every trip.

I would recommend packing the wheel bearings and inspect the brakes.

 

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