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Old 08-27-2019, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default Cautionary Tale About Brakes

We had a hitch and brake controller added to the truck and bought our HI-Lo. Everything was humming along nicely. Last weekend, after leaving a gas station, we noticed the truck seemed to struggle to keep us moving. After about five miles, we reached the campground and I tested the brakes by putting the truck in neutral on a gentle slope. The camper brakes were locking. I had to disconnect to get the camper to a site. Then we noticed the truck's brake lights were staying on. We found broken pieces of plastic in the floorboard. This was the brake light switch actuator dry rotted and crumbled. I scampered to a nearby dealer and got it fixed before they closed. Now on the trip home (mostly on the highway, thankfully) I could tell the camper brakes were "sticky" when being released after a stop. They had been burned up. It's going to be a several hundred $$ brake repair job on the camper due to the failure of t $2.00 part on the truck. The adventures never cease.
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:41 PM   #2
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You can replace the brakes yourself if you're "handy". Etrailer sells pre-assembled electric drum brake kits that include the drums, brakes, magnets, etc. They're not too hard to install. Look for the ones that are "self-adjusting". They are only a tiny bit more expensive than the OEM type and are superior, in my opinion.

I had problems with my OEM brake adjusters falling apart shortly after I bought the trailer (new). This caused metal parts to drop into the drums which caused noise (which, since I was new to all this, did not warn me that something was amiss). I realized there was a problem when backing up. The loose pieces caused binding and they locked up the wheels. It happened on the driver's side first. I had that brake replaced and then the curb side did the same thing. And, a short time later, the driver's side adjuster fell apart again! This is when I decided to replace the brakes myself and have had no further problems.

- Jack
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:00 AM   #3
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Like Jack, I also replaced all four at once from etrailer. After buying a 27'er, I wanted to ensure all maintenance was complete to my specs. The first assy I pulled was in pieces! Went on etrailer and three days later I installed all 4. They included everything including mounting hardware. Safest way to go.
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PS: you should have seen the spare! Dated 2002, rotted beyond use.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:00 PM   #4
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Hi All,

Just following this thread along - and thinking about replacing the 20 year old breaks after one last small jaunt this season. These are 12” self-adjusters, right?

Thanks from Louisiana - and we’re keeping you all on the east coast in prayer too over the next few days too.
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