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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Trailer Feels Heavier After Hauling for Period of Time

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phiko73

Edmonton, AB

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Posted: 08/01/19 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey all. I have some ideas of what the problem could be, but I wanted to see if anyone else had a similar experience and might be able to offer some insights.

I have an ’02 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 Z71 (7100 lbs max towing).

I have an ’06 Keystone Zeppelin Z291 (4890 lbs dry).

Water tank is 45 gallons, which equates to 375 lbs when completely full.

I don’t tow with black or grey with contents for very far, if at all.

We have roughly 200 lbs of extra gear and supplies.

So everything added together we are at roughly 5500 lbs (1600 lbs under the max towing), not including human beings.

When I first start towing it tows like a dream. Acceleration isn’t perfect, but I’m also pulling 5500 lbs, so nothing out of the ordinary.

The problem comes after a period of time has passed of driving with the trailer.

It begins to feel ridiculously heavy and coming to a complete stop, and then breaking inertia can feel like I’m pulling a trailer full of concrete.

Sometimes when I floor the accelerator and will get no more than 2500 rpm on a level surface.

The feelings are particularly pronounced with city driving because of all the starting and stopping.

I am starting to wonder if it is related to the trailer brakes. I’m thinking that there is a build-up of brake fluid in the line that isn’t releasing the pressure fully after releasing the brakes. The more I use the brakes (like in city driving), the more the brake fluid builds up and puts pressure on the brakes, causing them to continue to rub and create resistance after the brakes have been released on my end.

I have also noticed a smell of what seems to be hot rubber coming from the wheels, but I had always chalked it up to the tires being warm from the weather.

Can anyone else weigh in on this? Perhaps you’ve had this happen or seen this before?

Thanks!

Mickeyfan0805

SE Wisconsin

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Posted: 08/01/19 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

phiko73 wrote:



Sometimes when I floor the accelerator and will get no more than 2500 rpm on a level surface.


I am the last person to give mechanical advice, but this is the element of your story that stands out to me. If you are flooring the accelerator and your RPM's are staying low, that doesn't sound like a braking or drag issue in the trailer. Stuck breaks would simply have your engine rev higher as you tried to get it started.

This sounds like it has more to do with the truck than the trailer.

Tyler0215

Iowa

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Posted: 08/01/19 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you have two problems.
The truck:The first thing that comes to mind is a plugged catalytic converter.
The trailer: The brakes are not releasing fully.

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 08/01/19 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ what he said.


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Boomerweps

Hills of PA

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Posted: 08/01/19 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most all travel trailer use electric brakes. Some are self adjusting, some are not. You can jack up your TT and check your brake adjustment and see if they are dragging.
What kind of brake controller do you have? Is it an aftermarket add on? Is it possibly not a progressive type? My first one was a timed type, the longer you activated the brakes, the more current supplied for more pressure, locking up and overheating the brakes in hilly areas. I had mine smoking and smelling BAD! Wheels hot to the touch.
Last have your transmission and transmission cooling checked out. I think if it overheats you will lose power.


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bdpreece

Yuma Arizona / Oregon Traveler

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Posted: 08/01/19 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the brakes are dragging the wheels will feel really hot. If you really want to know how hot you can buy a Infrared Laser Thermometer at Harbor Freight for around $20. My guess would probably be the catalytic converter.


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2012Coleman

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Posted: 08/01/19 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe your over your payload limit and as things start to heat up, like the transmission and brakes, they don't work so well. Max tow number is meaningless. Suggest you take your loaded TT to a CAT Scale - google it.

Although your last statement seems to answer your own question - "I have also noticed a smell of what seems to be hot rubber coming from the wheels, but I had always chalked it up to the tires being warm from the weather."


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Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 08/01/19 11:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

all the brake drag in the world wont stop that chevy from reving. service the truck, service the brakes try again

momanor

Seminole Fla.

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Posted: 08/01/19 11:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had this happen recently also, it felt like the breakaway switch was holding the truck back. We traded for this new 5er in Ohio, drove it around for 3 weeks in Ohio and Indiana, revisited the dealer to have a noisy fan motor replaced. We drove aprox 1500 miles without a problem, got off the Interstate 15 miles from home in Florida, and at the first light we stopped at we had a problem accelerating as the op stated. The truck really worked getting up to 30 or 35 mph and it would release and truck transmission would slam to catch up, continued to happen all the way to the house,got to my driveway, backed in and did not happen jockeying the trailer around. Hooked up and towed it to have the hubs pulled, all was fine, I replaced the E. disconnect switch and am hoping for the best. This the same brake controller that I haved used for the last 5 yrs (prodigy p2) and the same truck in my signature for the last 15 yr, need to update the 5er in signature. I have never seen this problem discussed.


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phiko73

Edmonton, AB

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Posted: 08/01/19 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey all.

Thanks for the advice so far. Much appreciated.

I will get it in for a look at the tranny and the cat.

I have noticed hesitation in acceleration without a load on occasion, and thought it was more of an old truck problem and the little qwerks they get.

I think the brake thing is real and I think the problem may be in my harness on the truck end.

One of the other side effects I have noticed on occasion is truck's tail lights come on when connected to the trailer and then remain on when disconnected. I usually have to disconnect the battery to get them to reset, so I'm thinking there is a short in the line somewhere, probably at the connection itself.

Can anyone else confirm this as a possibility?

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