The next day, we got around and resolved to try to get help with our trailer brakes in Abilene…AFTER we secured all the stuff that fell down during our first 100 miles the night before. I actually had to break out my cordless nail gun to reaffix some trim pieces that had fallen down – fortunately, I had brought along the nail gun I had bought to install a ton of baseboards in our sticks-and-bricks house before we sold it.
We made our first stop when I realized one of our slides seemed to be sticking out too far. After a few minutes of running it in and out, it seemed to correct itself. Later, we would realize that the box to our AppleTV had fallen between our bed and our slide out in the master bedroom and was the culprit.
Next, we stopped at Franklin’s Big Country RV Outlet near Abilene. The guys there were kind enough to let me pull in with our trailer. They checked everything they could, but they couldn’t figure out why the brakes weren’t working.
We left with no charge and recommendations to try a dealer due to the trailer brake controller being factory-installed. We continued on toward Lubbock, and I called a local Chevy dealer there to schedule an appointment for early the next morning.
Bright and early the next morning, I found out that the dealer was a month behind on repairs, so they wouldn’t be able to look at it within our timeframe (we only had two weeks to get to Vancouver for our Alaskan cruise). They recommended a couple of local shops, so after a quick Google search, I headed to Shepherd’s Auto with high hopes. The gentlemen there worked our truck in to try to address our “safety issue.” They checked fuses and plugged a meter into the wiring adapter on the truck. Everything seemed to check out, so they sent us on our way free of charge.
Once I got back to the RV park we were staying at in Lubbock, I tried everything out only to find that the brakes were STILL not working. I called another local auto shop who recommended Brandon’s Auto as his shop worked on Duramax, i.e., GM, engines. I called Brandon, and he made a plan to work us in. The first thing Brandon’s Auto did when we got there was test the trailer brake controller to see if it was sending a signal to the trailer. Once they determined that it was, Brandon offered to allow me to park the trailer and leave the truck for a couple of hours so he could do a deep-dive on the wiring. This lead to the first time I had to back the trailer into a spot; with great help from Dawn, we parked the trailer like a boss and left for some lunch and an oil change on our suburban. When we came back a few hours later, Brandon walked me through what he had found (a bad wiring connection between the controller and the wiring adapter in the bed) and how he had fixed it by returning the wiring to “factory specs” by reconnecting everything to the adapter on the bumper.
I can’t say enough about how much Brandon helped us and how BIG of a relief it was to have trailer brakes that ACTUALLY worked. I was worried about how much the repair might cost given how long Brandon had spent on the work, but the price ended up being exceptionally fair. I plan on returning to Brandon’s Auto in Lubbock for any future work I decide to do on our 2013 GMC DenaliHD 3500 and would recommend him to anyone with a GM vehicle (I don’t know if they work on other makes, but they probably do!).
Finally, after I had tried to diagnose the problem twice with the help of different people at RV parks and after three other attempts at RV or auto repair shops, we were able to get our problem FIXED so we could head for the mountains. We spent another night in Lubbock and then it was on to New Mexico to see my parents and grandmother before leaving everything we’d known behind on this crazy adventure!