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Old 07-07-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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Check those backing plate bolts!

I've been working on cars for 40 years. I can do brakes and wheel bearings in my sleep. I have never seen the bolts work free from the brake shoe backing plate until it happened on my '13 Roo. We pulled into camp the other night to a horrific squalling and scraping coming from somewhere on the TT. I found the right rear bearing hub so hot I couldn't touch it, so I'm thinking crap I've lost a bearing. Went ahead and got it parked in our spot and checked it out the next morning, and when I looked at the backside of the wheel found the backing plate was just flopping around, bolts and nuts all missing. A buddy and I jacked it up and pulled the bearings and drum, the bolts had fallen inside and had been rolling around inside the drum. Brake shoes were beat up, the plate had appeared to have rotated at least one revolution since the magnet wires were snapped. I could not reuse the bolts as they were supposed to be pressed into the backing plate which by now has the holes wallowed out, and besides were buggered up and missing the nuts. My only option was to pull the whole brake plate assembly off and remount the wheel and tow it home without brakes on that wheel. The TT is just one month out of warranty but the Dexter axle is within its 2 year warranty, so I will call them tomorrow and see what they say. The only way I can see this happening is if the nuts were not properly tightened at the factory.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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Did you have a look at the other three? See what they have for hard-ware either nuts and lock washers or nylon locking nuts, if it is nuts and lock washers you could have a wheel balance problem or like you said never tightened properly but that's a long time although it would also depend on the amount of towing, good luck either way.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
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Did you have a look at the other three? See what they have for hard-ware either nuts and lock washers or nylon locking nuts, if it is nuts and lock washers you could have a wheel balance problem or like you said never tightened properly but that's a long time although it would also depend on the amount of towing, good luck either way.
That brings up an interesting point. None of my tires have balancing weights. It has always pulled smoothly. I know it is possible to dynamically balance tires with small beads inside the tire but who knows if they are practicing that? I probably have less than 2000 miles on the TT. The bolts in question hold the backing plate to the axle flange. The spindle was in no way involved.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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That brings up an interesting point. None of my tires have balancing weights. It has always pulled smoothly. I know it is possible to dynamically balance tires with small beads inside the tire but who knows if they are practicing that?
The camper's tires are not balanced during production...owners do that themselves. Strange but true...

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Old 07-07-2013, 11:24 PM   #5
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The camper's tires are not balanced during production...owners do that themselves. Strange but true...

Dave
Yes I've discovered that is a slightly controversial subject.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:41 PM   #6
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Those bolts should not come loose under any circumstances.
My guess is that they were never tightened properly.
Thanks for the reminder to check yet another vital part of our campers.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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I've been working on cars for 40 years. I can do brakes and wheel bearings in my sleep. I have never seen the bolts work free from the brake shoe backing plate until it happened on my '13 Roo. We pulled into camp the other night to a horrific squalling and scraping coming from somewhere on the TT. I found the right rear bearing hub so hot I couldn't touch it, so I'm thinking crap I've lost a bearing. Went ahead and got it parked in our spot and checked it out the next morning, and when I looked at the backside of the wheel found the backing plate was just flopping around, bolts and nuts all missing. A buddy and I jacked it up and pulled the bearings and drum, the bolts had fallen inside and had been rolling around inside the drum. Brake shoes were beat up, the plate had appeared to have rotated at least one revolution since the magnet wires were snapped. I could not reuse the bolts as they were supposed to be pressed into the backing plate which by now has the holes wallowed out, and besides were buggered up and missing the nuts. My only option was to pull the whole brake plate assembly off and remount the wheel and tow it home without brakes on that wheel. The TT is just one month out of warranty but the Dexter axle is within its 2 year warranty, so I will call them tomorrow and see what they say. The only way I can see this happening is if the nuts were not properly tightened at the factory.
You know this happened to me once with our Wanderer TT, but it happened after I had redone the brakes that included new backing plates. Did not balance those wheels/tires, but I do now on the new 2011 Flagstaff TT. Never understood why "trailer wheels/tires did not need balanceing"???
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #8
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Dexter is sending me a new backing plate/brake assy and drum. I'm going to install it myself. I had the old one off in the campground in about 20 mins so it shouldn't be a big deal. I couldn't get an answer to why this happened. They just said check your other wheels and we'll send you extra nuts in case you need them. I think thats a diplomatic way of saying it can happen. From the lot# off the axle they were able to tell me the day it was shipped to FR. Maybe someone had a hangover the day mine were assembled.
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