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Discussion Starter #1
I have a nearly new 2020 Colorado with the OEM trailering package that includes the brake controller. Just purchased a new camper and I'm totally confused and frustrated. I get almost no response when I manually apply the trailer brakes and the gain is set to 10!! I've owned campers with brakes before and know how to adjust the gain but this seems to be a different animal. The RV place tested the trailer brakes, no problem. They also tested the truck system and it gives out a voltage when there is an electrical load and the brakes are applied. I can tell the camper brakes are working when I stop but I may as well never try to apply them manually.

What is anyone else's experience with this kind of setup? Should I take this to the dealer? is there an update? You can see I'm kind of grasping here. I'd like some guidance.
 

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Trailer brakes probably need to be adjusted properly. ??
 

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I do not have the integrated trailer brake controller, but the only time i have ever tried the manual brake controller was when I was simply testing the brakes. If I am in a jam on the road, I don't see myself taking my eyes off the road to apply the trailer brakes manually.

The brake controller is designed to sense deceleration and apply proportional braking power depending on how hard you are braking, at least in normal drive mode. Not sure how the manual mode works in regards to the proportional braking force.
 

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Please post back with your findings, why you are not getting Manual Control. Try hooking the trailer up and have someone apply the truck brakes while you stand back at the trailer wheels and see if you hear the magnets humm. Then try the same with the Manual Control. Should hear the magnets humm both ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am going to take my rig (truck & trailer) to the Chevy dealer and check this out. I really want them to hook my trailer to another Colorado and test it. I can't figure out any other way to narrow this down.
 

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Isn't there a message that displays on the information display when you turn on the truck with a trailer attached? I seem to recall that. If there is no such message perhaps the plug isn't connecting properly. Are the trailer lights working?

If that message is displaying, I would agree that the trailer brakes probably need to be adjusted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Isn't there a message that displays on the information display when you turn on the truck with a trailer attached? I seem to recall that. If there is no such message perhaps the plug isn't connecting properly. Are the trailer lights working?

If that message is displaying, I would agree that the trailer brakes probably need to be adjusted.
Yes, there is a message that trailer brakes have been connected and yes, the lights are working. In fact, I make sure to drive with the lights on just so I know the system is connected. Good to see everyone is going through the same processes I've gone through.
 

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Mine works as you expect it should. I did have a problem with losing trailer braking occasionally until I installed a new truck connector receptacle and flipped it 180 deg to better hold the connector fully engaged and also replaced the Trailer plug with a SAE J2863 compliant design. If you want to see the reading while applying brakes, touch the + or - once and braking level will display (which you likely already knew)/

391285
 

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Yes, there is a message that trailer brakes have been connected and yes, the lights are working. In fact, I make sure to drive with the lights on just so I know the system is connected. Good to see everyone is going through the same processes I've gone through.
I would guess then it's adjusting the trailer brakes. My new Winnebago trailer's brakes required a much higher setting initially than other trailers I've towed, but that changed over time. Checking the manual there is some automatic adjustment to my trailer's brakes. I suspect yours might be just more poorly adjusted than mine were.

You said though that you can tell the brakes are working when you brake. Does that change as you adjust the gain?
 

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I do not have the integrated trailer brake controller, but the only time i have ever tried the manual brake controller was when I was simply testing the brakes. . . .

. Not sure how the manual mode works in regards to the proportional braking force.
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but the testing the brakes part pertains not only to making sure the brakes function, but to setting the gain. You don't want them to come on too strongly when you're just applying light brake force, so using the manual lever lets you know basically how soon they will lock up at a given setting. So if your brakes lock up in the first half of the manual slide, the gain is too high. If they don't lock up at all, your gain is too low (assuming your brakes are functioning and properly adjusted).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would guess then it's adjusting the trailer brakes. My new Winnebago trailer's brakes required a much higher setting initially than other trailers I've towed, but that changed over time. Checking the manual there is some automatic adjustment to my trailer's brakes. I suspect yours might be just more poorly adjusted than mine were.

You said though that you can tell the brakes are working when you brake. Does that change as you adjust the gain?
Brake response while braking normally does not change with gain setting. Another curiosity to investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mine works as you expect it should. I did have a problem with losing trailer braking occasionally until I installed a new truck connector receptacle and flipped it 180 deg to better hold the connector fully engaged and also replaced the Trailer plug with a SAE J2863 compliant design. If you want to see the reading while applying brakes, touch the + or - once and braking level will display (which you likely already knew)/

View attachment 391285
Thank you. This answers my primary question whether anyone has a different experience than me. Seems you experience what I expect to experience.
 

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. . . installed a new truck connector receptacle and flipped it 180 deg to better hold the connector fully engaged . . .

View attachment 391285
Slightly off - OP - topic but . . . .
I have assumed GM installs the receptacle with the 9-pin flip lid lock below the trailer pig tail for a reason. Like maybe it works better at holding the trailer plug in place when lock is on bottom. "Works best" under widest range of driving/road conditions.

Would be interesting to know the reason, SAE J2863 rule?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm going to adjust the brakes before I go any further. I'll post my findings. Thanks to you all.
 
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