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Old 08-27-2019, 09:55 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 08-28-2019, 12:41 AM   #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, 12:00 PM   #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, 07:00 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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Old 10-27-2019, 03:31 PM   #5
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Turns out the brakes were not damaged. I had fiddled with the controller before I knew what had happened and got it out of adjustment. But I am glad I read about the e-Trailer replacements on this thread anyway. Thanks.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:56 PM   #6
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Exclamation disc brakes are the best!

Well if you really want to go deluxe make a complete change away from those dum...I mean drum brakes and get disc brakes like I did on my 31C. These are electric over hydraulic type that have an actuator that sends the fluid to the brake pads. No adjustments here and no worries about over greasing either. I can stop on a dime and give you 9 cents change.These are the best and also I like how smooth they work...just like my truck with no herky jerky sticking after stops and starts.
This year we went to Colorado and crossed over lots of mountains and they worked flawlessly on down slopes without any over heating which can cause grease fires in your hubs and be very dangerous. Most of all I like the peace of mind they have brought me. I will never have a travel trailer without disc brakes on them. And hey...if they wear down they are super easy to replace with GM type pads!
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:06 AM   #7
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Savage, it might help our members if you would post a link to the kit you used, since you're so pleased with them.

- Jack
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:15 PM   #8
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Jack, it really wasn't a kit...I just contacted etrailer and told them what size wheels I had and what the brake assembly number was and they did the rest....I did however pick out the actuator as there are several on the market.
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:33 PM   #9
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OK, you got it from etrailer then. I see they have several ones for sale. Besides getting the right size for our wheels, it looks like you can get stainless steel rotors, "Dacromet" coated rotors (whatever that is), and "E-Coat"??? Also, I see at least two different brands, what were yours?

- Jack
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:27 PM   #10
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Talking my disc brakes from etrailer

I got the Hydrastar actuator hba16, 2 Kodiac disc brake kits with the Dacromet rotors K2hr35d and the Hydrastar brake line kit Hs496-252 ....by the way these are all etrailer numbers
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:09 AM   #11
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Thanks, TC - that's what I think can help anyone wanting to make this change too. I certainly don't care for the drum brakes in my trailer and may look into a disk brake conversion.

- Jack
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:39 PM   #12
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Jack they are a bit pricey but you really can't put a price on the safety of you stuff especially your family! I like the fact that they are easy to replace the pads....I'm all about easy!!! Just about all of my mods lean this way....anything I can do to make my unit easier and quicker to set up and tear down is where I'm comin from!
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