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Old 02-20-2015, 04:37 PM   #1
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Electric Brake - what is going on?

Several months ago, I had the wheelo bearings repacked on my two axel Travel Trailer.. The facility that repacked the bearings never re-adjested the brakes after the job so I had to do it... We have used the trailer about once a month since last August (repack month) and ususally apply the brakes one or twice when leaving the storage area to make sure they are working properly. This week we again took the trailer out for a trip and upon departing, the brakes works as usual.. (it should be noted that the trailer is stored in an undercover proteced dry storage area). At the campsight, we had al ot or rain.. today coming home no matter what I did (controller adjust), the brakes grabbed... The trip home was a rather short one but when we got home they were still grabbing and were hot (could smell hotness).. Could the moisture have caused this, or do I need to do another mechanical brake adjustment again... In the past they have briefly grabbed when first used after hookup, but immediately grabbing went away after testing, but not today..

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Old 02-20-2015, 05:04 PM   #2
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Electric brakes are fussy.
First I'm not sure why you need the brakes adjusted if the wheel bearings are repacked? But that's another topic.

Electric brakes can grab or activate if there's an electric short, so yes if there is some wiring/insulation compromise water could cause the brake to activate and stay on.
You don't mention if it was on only one wheel or on all of them. If it's only one, then I would look at that actuator. If all were grabbing, then I would look first at the trailer pigtail to see if the wiring is loose or shorting.

You should be able to hear a slight buzzzzz from the brakes if they are activated when parked.

Hope you find out the problem.

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Old 02-20-2015, 06:10 PM   #3
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I have had that issue in the past a few times and thought it was the brake controller. Changed controllers- still happened. I think my problem is after I unplugged the controller, it would reset to the hydraulic setting.

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Old 02-20-2015, 08:04 PM   #4
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Adony, I feel your pain as I just finished an electric brake project with the same symptions as you described. If you are mechanically inclined with basic mechanic hand tools you can disassemble the drums for inspection. Lots of YouTube videos available to help with this. It's not really difficult once you get past the first spindle. Assuming the grease seal is still good with no evidence of it on the backing plate or shoes then it's much easier to clean, reassemble and adjust. Wet shoes (grease) is more problematic. PM me if you want to talk via phone as I have too much to speak of on this subject.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:26 AM   #5
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You may have to pull the drums to see if there is spotty grease on the pads.
Perhaps the inner race seal was scored by the axle threads when the hub was mounted and has a small grease leak.

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Old 02-21-2015, 07:04 AM   #6
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ARE YOU SURE your emergency brake away switch has not been pulled out???

Also brakes that are adjusted too close can drag and heat up and expand
and drag worse.... brakes could just be too tight. Jack it up and turn
each wheel. Only slight drag should be felt. If it's difficult to turn a wheel
the brake is too tight.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:45 PM   #7
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A trick I learned to find a brake problem was as soon as stopped after pulling few miles is to check the temp of the rims on the trailer. They should all be about the same temp. If one is hotter or cooler than the others that is where I would start looking for an issue. Found bad magnet on one that way. If all are hot most likely the emergency is energized. Also got water in the truck 7 pin and it let water get into the trailer plug. The backside of the truck plug was not sealed. It is now. It triggered a fault in the Podigy brake controller also.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:38 PM   #8
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Good trick. If any of your brakes are energized you can tell immediately by bringing a compass near each wheel. (or a smart phone with a compass app) It will swing the needle right away if energized.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:51 PM   #9
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Could I inquire the brake controller make and model?

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