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Old 05-30-2019, 09:47 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: MN
Posts: 117
Mine varies a little by road condition etc but my typical feel right spot is 7.5 with GMC 3500HD and 16,400 Alpine.

I tend to ramp it up a bit going down steep hilly areas and ramp it down a little on wet roads.

37 foot Alpine dragged by GMC 3500.
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:14 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by MarkEHansen View Post
The trailer brake controller manufacturer will provide guidance on this, however...

You generally want the gain high enough that you get maximum braking action without skidding the trailer tires. Note that this level will change with trailer loading, road conditions (wet/dry), etc. - so you need to check/set it when you think it's appropriate.

From my manual, it says to load the trailer to it's normal level (for your trip), then on a safe road, reach a speed of 25-30 MPH and then smoothly apply the manual brake actuation lever (on the controller) until fully deflected. You want the gain just below the point where the above causes the tires to skid.

Refer to the manual for your brake controller for details.

As stated above this is the correct way to adjust your gain. Keep your foot off the brake of the truck. Speed up till your doing 25-30mph or 60kmph and reach down and squeeze the lever over till its on the other side of the controller. It even has a lip on the one side to hook your thumb on. Its designed that way. Watch your mirrors. If the trailer tires lock up then release and drop gain 1-2 and try again. Initially if they do not lock up then increase gain 1-2 and try again. If they lock up then drop 1-2 and your GTG. This procedure literally takes 30 seconds to one minute to check. Your manuals show you how to do this and it's the correct way to check your applied brake pressure on your trailer. Please remember if you are using a bumper hitch trailer or goose neck for hauling larger items your gain needs to be dropped when the trailer is empty.

Once I get the tires to skid I like to drop the gain 2 and try again. Usually 2 is enough of a drop to stop the skid and get the maximum braking from the trailer. Now keep in mind you should be in tow/haul mode when driving and letting the engine braking and transmission keep your speed constant when coming down hills. I drive on 7 degree inclines for miles and miles and rarely need the brakes. 50-60 mph is perfect for the truck to hold itself back. There is a reason truckers go much slower downhills saving the brakes for when they are really needed. Like an emergency. If your brakes are hot and fading, good luck stopping when you get cut off on the highway. It's all about consistency.

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