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Old 09-25-2023, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default Issue with brakes on a 99 HiLo 21ft

I just bought this unit. We are in Kansas heading in two days to California. At first the brakes were locked up. I replaced the break-away. Cured that. But the break-away is not bolted to the frame. (No method here to do that).

This morning I went to get something, as I pulled away the higher the engine RPMs went, the more the brakes applied. I was not touching the controller. Which was a Curt.

I went to Tractor Supply and bought an Impuse unit, I just connected it up, Brakes do not lock apply by themselves until I hit the brakes on the truck, Then when we start to move again they randomly apply quickly and then release. Just as if you touched the pedal quickly and released. I am in a Walmart parking lot testing.

OK, ground? I'm new to this trailer, and need to get it home to Cal. I would prefer to have brakes on the trailer, i am towing with a F150 V-8.
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Old 09-26-2023, 02:04 AM   #2
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RustyMac, that's a very odd and strange thing happening with your trailer brakes. I suspect you may have a defective Brake Pedal Switch in your F150 tow vehicle. Maybe a loose or bad connection under the dashboard going to your controller (check ground wire). Your brake pedal switch (if defective) could be sending power to the controller as if you were applying your brakes, triggering the controller randomly, it could be a number of other things though.
I have a question for you...have you towed other trailers with your truck? Any problems?
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Old 09-26-2023, 06:33 AM   #3
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I think there is a couple of possibilities. When the PO delivered the trailer to me, I'm at a motel taking care of business in Kansas, I tested all the lights and brakes.

I found blue wire near the battery disconnected and tapped. So that would lead me to believe that the PO(s) had issues with the brakes. And yes, I did tow briefly a 32ft Gulf Stream TT from my home in Fresno to a shop out by the Airport. I had no problems with the brakes of that trailer. When I get home I have several known good SUV's that have towed and have working controllers. I only have to move 100 yards to determine if its the truck or the trailer.
I swapped out the Curt unit, for an Impuse unit. Within a few minutes of towing around the parking lot, it threw a SC on the display. Short Circuit. So again, I am leading to worn brakes on the trailer or a grounding problem. I got the lights to work, I disconnected the controller so I can tow it without randomly application of the trailer brakes.

I will register the truck and trailer this morning and head back to California. When I get home, the trailer hits the shop. In regards to the truck, it is suspect. It originally came from New York. It has a snow plow setup on the front and significant rust. The frame is solid, but...who knows what was tampered with in regards to the snow plow electrics on the front bumper?
I need to get home. So I am going to take this carefully. I disinfected the interior of the trailer, bought sheets, pads and a sleeping bag from Walmart to put over the mattrice. I was told there was a leak at the water heater. I have a new one in my garage in Fresno.

Basically, the trailer is solid, it just needs to be cleaned up and remodeled
I had a 19Ft Mallard that I sold to a young lady who was moving to Tenn. Then I boought this 32 ft Gulf Stream--too big! Albeit its a great trailer, I cannot get it into many State or Federal Parks. I saw this HiLo in northern Kansas. I wanted to drop the Cal plates off the F150, visit the farm, the price was right (2800) I sent the guy a check, paid him to deliver it to the motel, and the rest is history. Now I need to get it back to California.
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Old 09-29-2023, 07:10 AM   #4
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Default More and the weird brakes of my HiLo

I'm back in Central California. It was only once that things got hairy without brakes on the trailer.

I hooked up the trailer to another vehicle, and the brakes locked up when I tried to back up. Pulling forward they locked again. I disconnected the plug and parked the trailer in the street, I'm tired and the dogs are beat. Sat I will work with this some more. If not there are several decent shops here in town. I bet the brakes are wore out. Just a guess.

1. It acts like the breakaway has the trailer brakes locked. I did replace the unit in Kansas. As an experiment, I will undo one line of power and see what it does.

2. I'm not sure, but I think it's only one axle that is locked up. Reviewing the skid marks at the motel looks like the front axle only, maybe only 1 wheel.

3. I had a Biden moment and tried to come to Calif with questionable tires. I blew one just outside of Dalhart Tex and the spare was a rotten mess. I bought new tires at Eisner Tires and continued on my journey.

4. I'm learning how to raise and lower the top half shell. I now know what the cable is all about at the switch just inside the door. 🤣

I'm going to be asking lots of questions because I did not get an owner's manual, and I need to familiarize myself with this trailer. BTW it tows much nicer than the 19 Mallard I used to own. The crosswinds and trucks do not bother it very much. THIS is good.

They say size matters, I took a snapshot of a trailer next to us in Tucumcari to send to my kids. I think everyone might get a chuckle.
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Old 09-29-2023, 10:56 AM   #5
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Rusty - glad you're working things out. You said the brakes locked up when hooked to another vehicle. That tells me things are probably fine in your tow vehicle.

Now, electric brakes are only applied using power from the tow vehicle, or, if the breakaway switch in the trailer tongue is applied, then they lock solid until the trailer battery is depleted. There is no other way they get power.

But, in my trailer, I had a problem with the brakes where the adjusting mechanism inside the brake drum broke and pieces of that mechanism were loose in the drum. It caused my brake to lock while backing, and once in a while while moving forward. There was also noise from the brake while the wheel was turning (the trailer wheels should be silent while turning). To fix it, I had to open the brake drum and replace the brake mechanism (which I bought from etrailer.com).

I think it's possible this has happened to you, especially since you say it's only in one wheel.

- Jack
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Old 09-29-2023, 09:22 PM   #6
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Default Trailer brakes

Brakes are like brakes on vehicles. Meaning they wear out and parts have to be replaced. On my first used HiLo we had to have the brake backing plate replaced and calipers. Our state requires NYS inspection. This is a good thing. Once you get it to a competent repair shop you should be good for many miles. Keep us posted.
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Old 10-01-2023, 03:38 AM   #7
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RustyMac, happy you made it to Cali. I agree with Jack, your brake issue may be a mechanical problem instead of an electrical one. You need to take the brake drums off and take a look inside for any failures (broken springs, clips, magnets, ect.) and until you do, you won't be able to pin point your brake problem.

I could be wrong; but I don't think the 1999 Hilo models had brake "Calipers". I believe the brakes were Electric with magnets, but then again I could be be wrong.
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Old 10-02-2023, 06:25 PM   #8
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Default Trailer is in the shop

I swung by to see what they found, they had one wheel off. The brakes look great, but this one brake, right rear, wont release once you activate the brakes. I told them to put new brakes on that axle if not four wheels.
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Old 10-03-2023, 07:20 AM   #9
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Angel,

tell me how I would deal with the forced air heater. I swapped out the FA unit in my 32ft Gulf Stream TT last year, I have the one I took out sitting in my shop. I got the wood cover off where the heater is and noticed it is a different size and shape. If by chance that 1989 FA unit craps, what would be the best way to deal with it? Is someone selling a new FA unit like what is in this HiLo?

I yanked the AC unit off over the weekend. It was noisy and hardly worked when the dogs and I were in Tucumcari working out way back to Central Cal. I noticed once it was off it was only an 11k BTU. I have a Coleman Mach that I believe is 13.5k but I needed to order the inside metal mount.

The water heater is leaking. No doubt it was never winterized in Kansas and probably either has split open, or rotted. I have a new 6g unit sitting under my boat or I will pull the Fugatti unit off the Gulf Stream.

There is some funky white paint spray on the back of the trailer. I picked up some paint chips at Walmart and Lowes to find a close match. I am thinking I need to paint but that is down the road a bit.

Other than that, I am quite happy with this unit. I only paid $2800 for it, and the cost to go from CC to Kansas and back. I registered my F150 in Kansas while I was in town, but the title on the trailer is all messed up. I need to contact the OO and get a signature or a title replacement...or some creative signatures so I can get plates on this baby.
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Old 10-03-2023, 03:12 PM   #10
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Well, we have brakes now. The trailer repair shop replaced one brake unit, he said while the brakes looked good, but the mechanism that controls the power was defective, and cheaper to replace it. He found numerous short circuits from PO tinkering, now I have tail lights, brakes

Tab was $290
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Old 10-03-2023, 10:58 PM   #11
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Default Brakes

Glad you got your brake problem sorted out. If you are handy look on you tube on how to do some repairs. On my 1990 unit i had the dealer replace the refrigerator and the AC. Dh doesn't do any brake work. He replaced the water heater and the converter. His strong suit is electrical. He wired in a surge protector. What year is your HiLo? Pretty soon you will have your problems sorted out. We are here for any questions you may have.
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Old 10-04-2023, 04:01 AM   #12
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RustyMac,

If you have your furnace model number (it's probably a SUBURBAN unit) you can search online for it, I think they are still available. I have issues with my Suburban unit (1989 model year); when I turn it on the fan starts running and blows air OK, but the burner doesn't fire up. Probably the Sail Switch inside is bad, I also suspect that it could be the propane pressure regulator or maybe the mainboard could be toast. I dont want to throw a bunch of money at it on parts without knowing for sure what the problem is (the local RV dealer repair shop quoted me a ridiculous price just to look at it!). So for now and until I spend some more time diagnosing the system, we've been camping at full and partial hookup campgrounds with electricity where I use an electric heater, luckily it doesn't get too cold here in So. Cali.

Maybe you can make that unit you took out of the other TT work in your HiLo. If it fits in compartment then it would only be a matter of re-routing your air duct hoses.
Sorry I wasn't much help.
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Old 10-04-2023, 06:42 AM   #13
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1989 21 footer
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Old 10-04-2023, 06:43 AM   #14
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The unit in my HiLo is a narrow boxy type. The one I pulled from my Gulf Stream is more of a flat model, I could...if I moved a gas line and extended out the exhaust and air intake about 18 inches to clear that wheel well, retro the larger unit...
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Old 10-04-2023, 08:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyMac View Post
I'm back in Central California. It was only once that things got hairy without brakes on the trailer.

They say size matters, I took a snapshot of a trailer next to us in Tucumcari to send to my kids. I think everyone might get a chuckle.
Great that you got it back okay - always easier to work on things with space and tools around for sure.

I love the picture vs. that monster to the left. These trailers are easy to pull, and I love it too.
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Old 10-04-2023, 02:44 PM   #16
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I just sold a 34ft Bounder Class A, fun once you are there, hella costly to feed, repair and park, I have a 32ft Gulf Stream TT that I use occasionally but its also way too big, requires at least a 3/4 ton to tug it,

I sold my Mallard two years ago, and have tried to replace it since. Those small trailer are costly, so I decided to go HiLo
For 2800 bucks I thought at least I could resell it in Cal
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Old 10-04-2023, 10:35 PM   #17
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Default Heater propane issue.

DH switched out the propane regulator and pig tails on both HiLOS we have owned. This is cheap insurance. Then if you are still having problems you can trouble shoot further.
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