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Old 08-27-2019, 08:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 18
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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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pine, AZ
Posts: 3,006

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

Hi-Lo 1707T - Tire Minder TPMS on Tow Vehicle and Trailer, 300W Solar Battery Charger, Equal-i-zer WDH
2014 F150 Platinum 4x4 3.5L EcoBoost SCrew
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:00 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SWFL Bonita Springs/Andrews, NC
Posts: 1,113

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.
PS: you should have seen the spare! Dated 2002, rotted beyond use.
2703 Tow Lite
2002 Escalade
Bonita Springs, Fl. &
Andrews, NC
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:00 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Ruston, LA
Posts: 189

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.
2000 24' Classic, "We have the technology, we must rebuild it"

Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
2018 Tundra
1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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breaks, controller

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