Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: question about trailer brakes.
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tewitt1949

Sparta Michigan

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Posted: 09/04/20 07:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an older 32 ft pull behind trailer which I bought new. When new I could feel the trailer breaks working but I could not get them to lock up and slide the tires. On a gravel road they might sort of slide a tire but not 100% lock up. I put all new magnets, shoes, backing plates etc in it a couple years ago. Still won't lock up.

The trailer weighs 8500 empty which is not all that heavy, or is it heavier than the normal trailer? Maybe I should have questioned it when it was under warranty but it too late for that now.

With max voltage going back to the brakes, will your lock up the tires? I'm curious if some do and some don't.


Terry Witt

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Posted: 09/04/20 07:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get out on the hwy and do an emergency stop. I think you will find the brakes are working just fine.

All of my trailers have been heavier than yours and I could not lock up the brakes on any of them.

You do not want the brakes to lock up if you are trying to stop in a hurry.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 09/04/20 07:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, my TT brakes lock up. 8500 pounds is a heavy trailer if your brakes are defective.

You tried. Have a professional repair the TT brakes.


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Sjm9911

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Posted: 09/04/20 07:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never could lock up my breaks nor do i want to. They say to lock them up then dial down the gain so they dont lock up. Breaks are made to slow the trailor down some so the TV dosen't do all the work. If they engage and slow the camper , not the TV , they are most likely fine. 8500 empty is plenty heavy bud. They are countermuserate to the xamler. Smaller campers have smaller breaks.


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tewitt1949

Sparta Michigan

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Posted: 09/05/20 05:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for your relys. I understand you don't want the brakes to lock up under normal or emergency conditions. I would prefer that they would lock up them have to dial down the voltage going to them. Since I can have max voltage to them without them locking up, it almost seems as though they are under sized for my trailer.

agesilaus

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Posted: 09/05/20 06:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You do need to adjust those BRAKES unless you have disk brakes and most RV's do not. I'm about to do it on our RV and just ordered a $5 brake spoon tool on Amazon to make it easier. You can do it with a flat head screw driver tho. Here is a youtube video that I found interesting:Adjusting RV drum brakes


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MFL

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Posted: 09/05/20 07:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tewitt1949 wrote:

Thanks for your relys. I understand you don't want the brakes to lock up under normal or emergency conditions. I would prefer that they would lock up them have to dial down the voltage going to them. Since I can have max voltage to them without them locking up, it almost seems as though they are under sized for my trailer.


What size are your brakes? How heavy is your trailer? Not sure if some 4,400 axles come with 12 inch brakes, but 5,200 axles do. In my experience the 12 inch brakes are much superior on a similar wt trailer. My IBC in rig, in sig, is set to 5.5, and works great! At a setting of 6 or more, with up to 10 possible, it will lock/squeal the tires on pavement at 25 mph when squeezing lever quickly.

Are you testing your lockup capability, by quickly squeezing the manual lever, or stepping on the TV brake, with gain set to max?

It does not take new brakes long to require adjustment, and not all people adjust the same. Myself...I adjust to can't turn the wheel, and normally back off 3 clicks, but never more than 5 clicks. I go by drag sound, and with a light spin with hand, watch for the valve stem to make 1-1.5 revolutions before stopping.

In some cases, the wiring may not be heavy enough to allow max voltage to the brakes.

Jerry





Lynnmor

Red Lion

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Posted: 09/05/20 08:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The number of clicks and the number of revolutions is not the correct way to adjust drum brakes. Why not use the instructions from a brake manufacturer? See page 13.





jkwilson

Indiana

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Posted: 09/05/20 09:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The heavier the trailer, the harder it is to lock up the brakes. I can lock up my aluminum stock trailer empty, but can’t with a few cows in it.

* This post was edited 09/05/20 01:59pm by jkwilson *


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 09/05/20 09:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a DC clamp-on ammeter and look for 3 amps at each wheel when the controller is manually applied. Next check the brake adjustment at each wheel.

Drum brakes need to run in a bit if they have been sitting in storage. So you need to drive some to get them worked in and warmed up. In a clear and safe space fully apply just the trailer brakes manually at 30 to 40 MPH. They may lock and they may not but they should pull you firmly to a stop. This should give you a comfort level that they are working properly. There is no guaranty the wheels will lock.

If you are not comfortable with the braking force you will need to remove one or all drums to inspect.

If you really want superior braking I recommend converting to disk brakes.


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