On the last two trips we’ve developed a braking problem. As soon as I touch the brake pedal, then one of the brakes grab and causes the trailer to lurch. At very slow speeds one of the wheels will lock up. Adjusting the brake controller sensitivity or power settings makes no difference to this behavior.
What you are describing sounds like 1 brake is adjusted more aggressive then the other 3. That one brake is trying to do all the stopping and not letting the other 3 share in the braking.
Try this. Go to a parking lot with dirt or gravel. With a buddy, tow about 3 to 5 mph and apply the brake firmly but not a stomp. Your buddy should see the 1st wheel that locked up on one side. The dirt pile at the sides of the locked up wheel will show which one is dragging 1st. Go try the other side. If the same wheel keeps locking up first, then it is trying to do all the braking. If you stop too hard all 4 may slide and you cannot tell who locked first. It may take a few tries to get the stopping feel down right.
To correct for this it can be as easy as backing off about 2 to 3 clicks on the adjuster. Then try again. If it starts coming more close with the other 3 your gaining and may have to tweak a few more click. The goal is all 4 lock up at once. You may find that once you back of the 1st aggressive one you may find the next digressive, that one needs a clicked to 2 backed off. Again goal is all 4 lock at once.
New brakes need to be burnished in to seat themselves properly. The dealer or the delivery person may have or may not have done this. And after that seating process they often need a tweak to get all 4 locking at once. You can also tell if all 4 are working together by the heat they develop. The real hot one is the one that is working the hardest. The hubs should all feel about the same temp. Be careful a hot brake will burn you touching it. My post explains more on this.
Good luck and hope this helps
John & Cindy
2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver
2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)
Another thought.. Because a brake is grabbing doesn't necessarily mean it's adjusted too tight, though that could very well be the reason. Some wheels on my car hauler were skidding so I kept backing them off trying to stop the problem. Finally I adjusted them out to where they should be and I eliminated the grabbing problem. Why, I can't explain and it doesn't make sense but that's my experience.... Good luck..
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2003 Sierra SP 26'Toy Hauler
1997 F-350, PSD, 4X4, red Crew Cab, long bed.
2007 Arctic Cat Prowler, Arctic Cat 500
Thanks to everyone who responded to this post. An amazing amount of info was supplied and gives me an idea of what my plan should be to resolve this problem.
I'm going to try many of the suggestions given. If I can't fix it, then I'll go ahead and make the 2+ hour trip to the nearest Heartland service center to get it looked it. I'm just hoping to avoid making that trip!
I had the same symptom on a previous camper which developed with no other changes to the system. For example no other work had been done to tow vehicle or camper prior to problem.
The single break wire going from the 7-pin plug back to the wheel area had developed corrosion at the tie-in points. There is where I found my problem. The press on connectors which tie and split the power to each of the four wheel magnets several had become corroded from road salts. After replacing with new connectors and wrapping with electrical tape to seal the connections. No more grabbing wheels.
You might want to pull the wheels and check the brake shoes. I had the same problem,and was thinking that I had a problem in one wheel. I found that on three of the four wheels the brake linings had seperated from the shoes. They are dexter axles and brakes. Two hundred bucks for new shoes and no more problem. Trailer was 4 years old..No warranty from dexter.....Bill
I say...the brakes are contaminated with grease, a seal has failed, or the never lubes have pushed grease into the brake assembly.
+1. Something to check for sure, especially if it's only one wheel. A little grease and some brake dirt and a touch of heat can make a great stickey mess. As soon as the magnet sees some voltage, it grabs onto the drum locking it. The magnet need metal to metal to work properly.
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"...An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Col. Jeff Cooper
Sunset Creek 298 BH
I have a lot of experience with this same problem with my 2010 Keystone Passport. The first thing the dealer ruled out was the controller. They said it was impossible for controller to cause one wheel to lock up. To make a long story short, I had to take it back to them 4 different times and each time the one wheel would lock up before getting home. TOTALLY FRUSTRATING. I eventually took it to a general trailer expert mechanic who found the flange on the end of the Dexter axle wasn't welded on flush, thus brake plate caused brake pad to engage drum on an angle. He said I needed to replace the whole axle. Keystone wouldn't stand behind it, I was totally frustrated and sold the trailer back to the dealer at a $4,000 loss. Bought a Ever Lite 32MKS and haven't looked back. (until now :-(
I have a Kodiak Express, new, with a similar issue. I'd be interested in what you find out. I've replaced all of the wiring from the junction box to the brakes. Dealer is stumped. They are looking at the harness with the 7 pin connector, but that was last week and I've heard nothing since, so I'm guessing they found nothing.
I've disconnected all brakes, and reconnected one at a time and it still has an on/off feeling to it, almost like a brake rotor needs turned (I know I have drums).