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Old 12-12-2016, 09:49 AM   #1
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Trailer Brakes

It is probably answered somewhere and I am using the wrong search criteria. When a 5th wheel is disconnected from the tow vehicle, do the trailer brakes lock. I have parked on some slanted areas before and always use chocks prior to disconnecting and not brave enough to "test" that theory.
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Ron S.
Sarasota FL
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:53 AM   #2
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It is probably answered somewhere and I am using the wrong search criteria. When a 5th wheel is disconnected from the tow vehicle, do the trailer brakes lock. I have parked on some slanted areas before and always use chocks prior to disconnecting and not brave enough to "test" that theory.
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Ron S.
Sarasota FL
No.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitroxron View Post
It is probably answered somewhere and I am using the wrong search criteria. When a 5th wheel is disconnected from the tow vehicle, do the trailer brakes lock. I have parked on some slanted areas before and always use chocks prior to disconnecting and not brave enough to "test" that theory.
& Thanks
Ron S.
Sarasota FL
The answer is usually no. Most trailer brakes are electric, and are powered proportionally thru your tow vehicle and the electric brake controller.

You also have what is called an emergency disconnect switch on your RV (this is the emergency cable you connect to your truck bed or such). If your RV becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle. then this cord is pulled which then draws power from the RV's battery to power the brakes to stop the trailer in case of a breakaway situation. That's why you always want to make sure your RV has a battery and it's charged when traveling.

You are doing correct, and make sure to always chock your RV's wheels/tires.

This link may help explain how electric trailer brakes operate:

http://www.dexteraxle.com/i/u/614960...ric_Brakes.pdf

Speaking of chocks, Harbor Freight sells some great solid rubber chocks.

http://www.harborfreight.com/solid-r...ock-96479.html
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:55 AM   #4
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correct. They are not "fail-safe" like OTR trucks. In those, you need some sort of energy (air pressure) to release the brakes, and pressing the pedal releases some of that pressure and massive springs apply braking force. If you unhook the trailers, the lack of air pressure to release the brakes means they are locked up tight (if they adjusted properly)


In our trailers, you need energy (electrical voltage) to apply the brakes. More voltage (from the controller) means more brake action. Their default condition is released. If you remove the voltage, the brakes stay in their default state. Hope this makes it clear

Tim
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:32 AM   #5
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Both wmtire and cowracer have given very good explanations of how the brakes apply on our trailers.

I will add one more thing... the emergency disconnect is not an emergency brake.
You cannot pull the pin and expect the trailer to remain stationary very long.

The battery will only last a limited time supplying power to the brake magnets and then there is no more holding power.

Also, should you ever pull the emergency disconnect pin thinking the trailer will not move be prepared! The magnet inside the brake drum is attached to a lever that applies the brakes. For the lever to actuate the brake shoes, the magnet must attach itself to the inside of the drum and the wheel has to roll a slight amount for the magnet/lever to move enough for the brake shoes to apply. The movement may not be much but it could move several inches to a foot or so. Just sayin'.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:11 PM   #6
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Good answers by all

What has been said prior is correct. Though there is a electric brake with parking, these brakes have a pull lever that engages the drum brakes. I'm waiting on mine from E-trailer. I won't stop using the chocks, it's just more for peace of mind. Happy camping.
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