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Old 06-23-2019, 04:48 PM   #1
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Electric brake problem - New A213HW

We bought a Rockwood A213 A-frame camper less than 3 weeks ago. (2019 model) The first time out the drivers side brakes were getting pretty hot. The passenger side brakes seemed to be fine, or at least they were a lot cooler. After short trips I could smell the brakes. Which may or may not be normal for a new camper? I put our IR temperature gun on each side after a short drive and the drivers side was 250 deg F and the passenger side was 120 deg F. Probably 10-12 short braking events. We took it to the the dealer and they said it just needed adjustments and all should be fine. They made the "repairs" and claimed it was fixed. I drove it home, which is a short 10 minute drive, and when I got home I checked the temperatures again. Sure enough, they read about the same as they did when I brought it to the dealer. So, we took it back to be repaired again. I don't know what normal temperatures should be? I'm now wondering if the hotter side is actually normal and the cold side isn't working as well as it should be? I can feel the trailer do a bit of a "torque steer" associated with the uneven braking on the left and right side. When they get hot, I can feel the brake feels a bit sticky and the torque steer gets more pronounced. Has anyone else experienced this issue? I don't want to over heat the brakes and get stuck somewhere due to a bearing failure or worse. Has anyone measured temperatures? If you have had this fixed what did they do to repair the problem? I'm headed to go camping again on Thursday and I don't want to be worrying about the brakes. Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:56 PM   #2
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Did you adjust the gain on your brake controller?
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:20 PM   #3
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Just a guess - one brake is advanced too far. The brakes are "self-adjusting" (I have the same model made by Flagstaff), but they can only adjust themselves tighter. Or it could be a wiring issue - broken connection or poor ground on the side not working as well.

I had a similar braking issue on a Coachmen pop-up. Turned out the magnet wasn't mounted correctly inside the wheel. Replaced the magnet, magnet arm, and shoes and it worked fine after that.

On mine, it seemed the brakes were barely working. I was scared the rear seal was leaking grease into the brakes from the factory. Turned out that the voltage was too low from my brake controller (Prodigy II). Turned up the voltage (close to max) and the brakes started working fine.

I pulled the wheels anyway to check the bearings and adjust the brakes as needed. I found out the lube was done right at Dexter. Cleaned everything, hand-packed the bearings, put in the new grease seal, and re-assembled the wheels. While adjusting the nut, I checked the brakes. Just a very slight drag with no power on - what they should be.

In your case, I would pull the wheels and see what is going on with the brakes. Repack the bearings and replace rear seal while you are in there. If you don't feel up to it yourself, take it to a trusted shop that can. You won't have to fiddle with the brakes or bearings for 2-3 years after you do it. I doubt the RV dealer is going to do the work properly under warranty - he won't get reimbursed enough money for it.

Fred W
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2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upflying View Post
Did you adjust the gain on your brake controller?
Yes, I've messed with the gain and that isn't the problem. That should not effect the balance between the left and right sides. If I basically turn the controller gain way, way down, it puts too much strain on the Highlanders brakes but it does lower the temperatures a bit.
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
Just a guess - one brake is advanced too far. The brakes are "self-adjusting" (I have the same model made by Flagstaff), but they can only adjust themselves tighter. Or it could be a wiring issue - broken connection or poor ground on the side not working as well.

I had a similar braking issue on a Coachmen pop-up. Turned out the magnet wasn't mounted correctly inside the wheel. Replaced the magnet, magnet arm, and shoes and it worked fine after that.

On mine, it seemed the brakes were barely working. I was scared the rear seal was leaking grease into the brakes from the factory. Turned out that the voltage was too low from my brake controller (Prodigy II). Turned up the voltage (close to max) and the brakes started working fine.

I pulled the wheels anyway to check the bearings and adjust the brakes as needed. I found out the lube was done right at Dexter. Cleaned everything, hand-packed the bearings, put in the new grease seal, and re-assembled the wheels. While adjusting the nut, I checked the brakes. Just a very slight drag with no power on - what they should be.

In your case, I would pull the wheels and see what is going on with the brakes. Repack the bearings and replace rear seal while you are in there. If you don't feel up to it yourself, take it to a trusted shop that can. You won't have to fiddle with the brakes or bearings for 2-3 years after you do it. I doubt the RV dealer is going to do the work properly under warranty - he won't get reimbursed enough money for it.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time

Thanks for the thoughts. That's pretty similar to what I am thinking. I've done tons of brake jobs so I feel completely comfortable tearing things apart and putting them back together right. I didn't want to do the inspection myself in fear of voiding the warranty. It's literally less than 3 weeks old! I'm trying to coach the dealer on what to do next. I would be checking the voltage on both sides and ensure it is the same before taking more things apart. I think there is a good chance the cool side has a poor connection and the magnet just isn't keeping the balance correct.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:06 PM   #6
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If you can put a direct 12-13 volts to brake wire with dc amp meter in between, the draw on 2 magnets should be 7.5 to 8.2, and 4 mags 12.6 to 13.7. I just had to do this as I wasn't sure they were working properly. Fortunately for me I found a blown fuse. The way mine is wired the feed back to emergency switch wouldn't work, and house battery not charging while driving.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:47 PM   #7
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I forget what the draw should be but 4 should be twice the draw for 2 so at lease 1 number is wrong " draw on 2 magnets should be 7.5 to 8.2, and 4 mags 12.6 to 13.7"

Where are you taking the temperature reading? if it is near the outside of the drum the issue is probably on the cold side. Don't forget it could be bearings too so you need to be sure it spins freely without any play.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by llr View Post
I forget what the draw should be but 4 should be twice the draw for 2 so at lease 1 number is wrong " draw on 2 magnets should be 7.5 to 8.2, and 4 mags 12.6 to 13.7"

Where are you taking the temperature reading? if it is near the outside of the drum the issue is probably on the cold side. Don't forget it could be bearings too so you need to be sure it spins freely without any play.
Thanks for the input. I hope to pick it up tomorrow and see that it is fixed. If not, I'll troubleshoot it myself.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:22 PM   #9
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My electric brake saga continues...

Well, the dealer claims that the brake problem is because of a ďbad groundĒ and one of the magnets ďis wornĒ so it needs to be replaced. This makes no sense to me. If there is a bad ground on one side I would expect the magnet wouldnít get energized and as a result you would not wear the magnet. Make sense? The only way I can see that you would get significant magnet wear in only ~1600 miles of usage would be to have some voltage leakage to only one side of the trailer brakes all the time. Am I thinking of that correctly? Theyíve finally got the warranty approval but Iím skeptical this is the problem. Iím supposed to be leaving for my next camping trip tomorrow and Iím worried Iíll still have brake problems after I pick it up. Iím headed to troubleshoot this myself if it is not fixed. I just have to be careful to not impact my warranty. Again, left side is hot with strong brakes, right side is cool with very little brakes. Adjustments are not the problem. Ugh! Only three weeks old.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:52 PM   #10
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FINALLY! Issue resolved...

They fixed the ground and installed a new magnet and that did NOT fix the problem. New technician discovers the brand new axle had the wrong magnet on the hot side. They said 4 ohm one side and 2 ohm the other. This led to one side having double the braking of the other. He replaced the wrong p/n magnet with the new one and the problem was solved. That is a pretty big miss from the factory for a safety related system. The camper brakes straight and even now. Both sides are cool. I'm glad I can finally use my new camper.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:12 PM   #11
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Probably didn't come that way from the FR factory. Most likely it came that way from the Lippert factory.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:23 PM   #12
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Glad to hear things worked out for you.

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