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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Brakes grabbing

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Tyler0215

Iowa

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Posted: 09/11/22 09:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Today while cruising along about 60 mph, I suddenly felt the trailer jerk once, pretty hard, about 1/4 mile later another jerk, not so bad. Then everything felt fine for about another mile or so an the engine bogged down, then everything was fine. ten miles later we hit a red light and the brakes worked fine, but SMOKE from the right side or the trailer wheels. Pulled into an Autozone lot across the street.
I used a thermometer to check if the problem was one brake or all. All four brakes were about 195 to 210 f.
We waited about twenty minutes, pulled forward and it seemed as if the brakes were free. Went about six blocks and felt rhe brakes grabbing again when not applied. Stopped again for about twenty minutes and found a nearby campground less than rwo miles away. We drove there without a problem, but what do we do next? We are in Ft Stockton Tx. No RV shop nearby.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/11/22 10:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Could be an intermittent ground issue. Either ground to the vehicle or individual wheel magnet grounds.
Simple solution to just get you on the road, first try turning the gain all the way down although I don’t really think that will work.
If it doesn’t, disconnect the power wire to the brakes, at the trailer plug or junction box on the tongue and drive carefully.


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corvettekent

Marysville, WA

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Posted: 09/11/22 10:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Make sure that your break a way switch has not been pulled out.


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afidel

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Posted: 09/11/22 10:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get your bearings repacked ASAP after you figure out the cause. We had a stuck brake coming down a hill where we couldn't stop. Got it corrected and looked for a shop that could repack the bearings, almost made it but had a blowout 40 miles short. If you can't find a shop very near to you I'd try to find a mobile tech to do it. Btw it doesn't have to be an RV shop, we eventually got ours done by a tire shop that does big rigs as they had high bay doors, trailer shops that handle boat or commercial trailers are also an option.


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dodge guy

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Posted: 09/12/22 04:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What kind of trailer? What kind of brakes? Can’t help much without any info.


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MFL

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Posted: 09/12/22 05:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^Agree more info, year of trailer also. Often times a trailer with lots of use/miles, can have brake wires shorting inside the axle, due to worn wire insulation.

Jerry





JRscooby

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Posted: 09/12/22 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

^Agree more info, year of trailer also. Often times a trailer with lots of use/miles, can have brake wires shorting inside the axle, due to worn wire insulation.

Jerry


Can you explain how "wires shorting inside the axle" can cause a brake to grab?

MFL

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Posted: 09/12/22 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey JR, this is a common issue, but normally takes at least a light touch of pedal, that can result with braking similar to pulling the pin. Very aggressive, tires chirp/maybe smoke. As Grit mentioned, turning the gain way down will help, but braking will be diminished.

It starts mostly intermittent, due to the wiring moving/bouncing inside the tube.

Quick fix..cut the wires going through tube, and run new cross wire outside the tube.

JRscooby

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Posted: 09/12/22 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

Hey JR, this is a common issue, but normally takes at least a light touch of pedal, that can result with braking similar to pulling the pin. Very aggressive, tires chirp/maybe smoke. As Grit mentioned, turning the gain way down will help, but braking will be diminished.

It starts mostly intermittent, due to the wiring moving/bouncing inside the tube.

Quick fix..cut the wires going through tube, and run new cross wire outside the tube.


Sorry, I do not have enough info to tell the OP what the problem is. But what I can say is unless a cut and run more wires "tech" has really screwed up already the problem is NOT a short in the axle. Unless something is wrong elsewhere, the only time current flows in/out of axle is when break-way or controller signals apply the brakes. Now there can be a short 2 ways; brake wire to axle. The magnet does not get power/shoes don't move to drum/brake does not work. Or brake wire to ground wire. The magnet does not get power/shoes don't move to drum/brake does not work.
The 3rd, and most common issue is a broken wire (brake or ground) in that case the magnet does not get power/shoes don't move to drum/brake does not work.
As the OP is not saying the brakes are failing to apply, the issue is not wires in axle

If I was tasked with fixing I would first ask if any trailer lights on. I suspect that the issue is the brake wire is getting power from someplace it should not, most likely in the plug.

canoe on top

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Posted: 09/12/22 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check brake light switch.

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