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Old 02-17-2014, 03:47 PM   #1
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Greased up brake failures being investigated by NHSTA.

On this forum, and a few others there have been owners experiencing brake failures with their Forest River towables. The chassis are built by Lippert, and the reported problem has been grease leaking out of the hubs and coating the drums and brakes.

After several reports on other forums, a report was made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While Lippert has been providing new brake assemblies in most instances, the failures are still unexplained. The Feds have finally gotten involved, and are looking seriously at the issue. If you have now, or in the past, have experienced this problem with ANY FR towable, I encourage you to contact the representative on the case, Tom Bowman.

Attached below it the text from my post in another forum that pretty well explains the issue and Toms investigation.

Hey peeps, just got off the phone with Tom Bowman, NHSTA regarding the brake problems on the Columbus. My experience was a little different than most because I had my brakes completely replaced only to have another failure within 200 miles.

Tom asked me to pass this along to the group. So far he has 6 documented failures. He is looking for anyone else that had the same issue to go to the web site and fill out the complaint form. He is also really interested in finding someone that has identified a problem with grease on the brakes, but has not taken them in to be fixed yet. Usually this is verified by using a flash light to peek in the backing plate of the wheel and verifying you are seeing grease.

He would like to have you call him before taking the rig in for repairs, as he may want to send an investigator to the shop to observe the dis-assembly of the wheel assembly.

Tom stressed that he is not on a witch hunt, he just wants to verify the problem first hand, identify the cause, and facilitate the process to permanently fix the problem. So I think that this is the best real chance we will ever have to address the nagging greased up wheel issue once and for all. Tom's e mail address is T.Bowman@dot.gov

He is a good guy, and is looking to help. I am going to be forwarding him some pics of my second set of failed brakes for his case.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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Thanks Mod Master.
Actual names have been changed to protect the innocent. ;^)
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #3
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Feel free to forward this to Tom Bowman. Recent thread on Trilogy brand having the same problems with Lippert axles.
Lippert axles and bearing in Trilogy
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SargeW View Post
On this forum, and a few others there have been owners experiencing brake failures with their Forest River towables. The chassis are built by Lippert, and the reported problem has been grease leaking out of the hubs and coating the drums and brakes.

After several reports on other forums, a report was made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While Lippert has been providing new brake assemblies in most instances, the failures are still unexplained. The Feds have finally gotten involved, and are looking seriously at the issue. If you have now, or in the past, have experienced this problem with ANY FR towable, I encourage you to contact the representative on the case, Tom Bowman.

Attached below it the text from my post in another forum that pretty well explains the issue and Toms investigation.

Hey peeps, just got off the phone with Tom Bowman, NHSTA regarding the brake problems on the Columbus. My experience was a little different than most because I had my brakes completely replaced only to have another failure within 200 miles.

Tom asked me to pass this along to the group. So far he has 6 documented failures. He is looking for anyone else that had the same issue to go to the web site and fill out the complaint form. He is also really interested in finding someone that has identified a problem with grease on the brakes, but has not taken them in to be fixed yet. Usually this is verified by using a flash light to peek in the backing plate of the wheel and verifying you are seeing grease.

He would like to have you call him before taking the rig in for repairs, as he may want to send an investigator to the shop to observe the dis-assembly of the wheel assembly.

Tom stressed that he is not on a witch hunt, he just wants to verify the problem first hand, identify the cause, and facilitate the process to permanently fix the problem. So I think that this is the best real chance we will ever have to address the nagging greased up wheel issue once and for all. Tom's e mail address is T.Bowman@dot.gov

He is a good guy, and is looking to help. I am going to be forwarding him some pics of my second set of failed brakes for his case.
I see this post was April of 2013, have you heard if this issue has be officially resolved and has the brakes been replaced with a new product or manufacturer? Any updates would be helpful.
Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:24 AM   #5
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April 2013 is the date the original poster of this thread SargeW joined this forum. Not the date that this message thread was posted - which was only a couple of weeks ago.

Safety related items can take months to years to investigate and have results. Stay tuned or check into the Columbus owners facebook group. They probably talk about it more there vs. here as it is brand and owner specific info. This forum is good but it is generic in nature as it is so large. It can he hard to find info here unless you learn how to use the search features or are diligent and want to read hundreds to thousands of messages.

If I traveled with a big 5th wheel RV, I would say screw warranty wait times. Just pay to have the brakes inspected and put new hub seals in or do the work yourself. Peace of mind and safety going down the road vs. waiting for some group of investigators to decide my fate has way more value for me. Get your RV fixed and worry about reimbursement for costs later!
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SammySabre View Post
April 2013 is the date the original poster of this thread SargeW joined this forum. Not the date that this message thread was posted - which was only a couple of weeks ago.

Safety related items can take months to years to investigate and have results. Stay tuned or check into the Columbus owners facebook group. They probably talk about it more there vs. here as it is brand and owner specific info. This forum is good but it is generic in nature as it is so large. It can he hard to find info here unless you learn how to use the search features or are diligent and want to read hundreds to thousands of messages.

If I traveled with a big 5th wheel RV, I would say screw warranty wait times. Just pay to have the brakes inspected and put new hub seals in or do the work yourself. Peace of mind and safety going down the road vs. waiting for some group of investigators to decide my fate has way more value for me. Get your RV fixed and worry about reimbursement for costs later!
That is exactly what we did. Independent dealer did the whole thing for $325. Breakpads were fine. Replaced the seals and hand packed the bearings.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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I have sent Mr.Bowman my information in regards to my Coachman Freedom Express with the grease issue on the brakes. They have fixed my trailer 3 times so far. The last time they changed everything except to brake drums. They also replaced the grease seals. We will see In the spring if they corrected the problem this time. Its starting to get old, running to the dealership every 2 months with brake issues. I only have 1000 miles on this new trailer. :€

2013 310BHDS 'Coachman Freedom Express, Liberty Edition
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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If anyone else is experiencing the brake pulsating they should be checked immediately, YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT. Be safe and happy camping.

2013 310BHDS 'Coachman Freedom Express, Liberty Edition
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