Terrible Jayco x23b brakes - please help

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May 23, 2009
I bought our 2015 Jayco x23b from a private seller after it was 1 year old(still under warranty).  He told me the only issue he ever had was the brakes seemed weak and he had the dealer adjust them and then no issues after that.  I tow with a 2500 Dodge diesel with an exhaust brake.  We were on our first trip when I came over a hill and had to stop in a hurry.  It didn't happen, I missed our turn.  I adjusted the brakes at our first campsite and after this, they seemed maybe 15% the strength of our previous trailer.  A hundred miles later and they were almost non existent again.  I have since adjusted them two more times and the same outcome repeats.  I called Dexter and they told me Jayco is using too light of an axle.  I called Jayco and they told me they are properly engineered.  I took it to the Jayco dealer this year and he said they are all wearing normally and pulling 11 amps at the plug.  I tried a different brake controller and then tried my dad's truck.  It is the camper and it has maybe 3% of the braking power i'd expect.  I can hear them, but they won't even keep my truck from rolling from a stand still on even the slightest grade.  I am talking about a grade that takes the truck a bit to start moving at all.  I won't pull this thing in the mountains like we want to and am extremely disappointed.  My truck handles it fine until I need to stop in an emergency situation, otherwise I always use the exhaust brake.  I am wondering if the brake shoes could have a defective friction material or something.  What are your thoughts?  If they are pulling 11 amps, I'd lean towards a mechanical issue that wasn't obvious to the dealer.  And I do realize these are 7" brakes compared to the older models with 10" brakes, but they do basically nothing.  I'd expect them to do at least half of what the 10' brakes would.

The dealer said I am the only complainer about weak brakes like this.  He said it all checks out good for him.  He said I will have to take it to a axle shop if I need more help.  The one thing that really sucks is they didn't road test it because of insurance.  He said they spin the wheel while lifted by a jack and if it stops the spinning wheel, all is good.  I am sorry, but how can that test compare to a camper trying to push that wheel.

Thanks, for any help.


Well-known member
May 14, 2013
I've had trailers with 7" brakes since 1977.  I can tell you that they are the most useless device invented by man.  Install axles with larger brakes or get rid of the trailer.


Well-known member
Apr 16, 2014
From reading on the 'net, a few people that regularly tow in mountains have converted to disc brakes on their trailers. They said they would never go back to drum brakes. They are pricy though. I do agree that 10" drums would be a lot better than the 7" though.

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL
7" brakes? They may as well not even bother!

You may be able to install new brake assemblies and get 9" or 10", but if the wheels are small there may not be room. In that case, swap the hubs (or the entire axle) out and use bigger wheels.  It's actually not all that expensive for the brake hardware, but larger tires and wheels can make it painful.
etrailer.com has a lot of that stuff, and Amazon & Ebay too.


Well-known member
Dec 21, 2017
On my use TT the brakes were rather poor, the pads were old, the part of the drum when the electric actuator pendulum rides was scored and had worn away enough of the brake coil to cause an I open circuit on one of the wheels.

I was in the process of getting new pads, actuators and drums when a road hazard bent both axels and the insurance replaced the entire undercarriage. The new brakes stop quite well, but they will not lock the wheels on dry pavement.

If you are doing it yourself, I would try all new brake pads and drums and perhaps new electric actuators if they are bad. Or if that is to much money to gamble on correcting the problems, I would opt for disc brakes.

You may find the brakes simply will not stop the TT as soon as you wish. Just because the manufacturer thinks they are fine, does not mean you will.

Good luck
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