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Old 03-20-2024, 02:14 PM   #1
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Are trailer brakes self-adjusting?

I have a 2019 Surveyor 19BHLE. I just arrived in Phoenix after a trip from the Midwest.
I noticed when I left last night’s campground this morning, there was a noise (not really a squeak or squeal) from one of both of the trailer brakes the first time I stepped on the brake pedal (at the stop sign at the campground exit, so low speed).

150 miles later when I applied the brakes coming up to a stop sign at my destination, it felt like one of them was grabbing much more than the other.

Do the drum brakes self -adjust by moving in reverse and applying the brakes? If not I’ll need to sort this out in the next 2 weeks before heading home.

Thanks
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Old 03-20-2024, 02:38 PM   #2
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Actually...

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
I have a 2019 Surveyor 19BHLE. I just arrived in Phoenix after a trip from the Midwest.
I noticed when I left last night’s campground this morning, there was a noise (not really a squeak or squeal) from one of both of the trailer brakes the first time I stepped on the brake pedal (at the stop sign at the campground exit, so low speed).

150 miles later when I applied the brakes coming up to a stop sign at my destination, it felt like one of them was grabbing much more than the other.

Do the drum brakes self -adjust by moving in reverse and applying the brakes? If not I’ll need to sort this out in the next 2 weeks before heading home.

Thanks
Actually, they self-adjust when you are moving FORWARD and stop.

A wheel that grabs hard actually can be one that has gotten grease or oil on the brake linings (shoes), even though that's the converse of what you would expect. Did you recently grease the axles?
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Old 03-20-2024, 02:49 PM   #3
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When is the last time you serviced the wheel bearings? Sounds like you might have a wheel with grease on the shoes. A blown grease seal perhaps? That will make a wheel grab.
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Old 03-20-2024, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
I have a 2019 Surveyor 19BHLE. I just arrived in Phoenix after a trip from the Midwest.
I noticed when I left last night’s campground this morning, there was a noise (not really a squeak or squeal) from one of both of the trailer brakes the first time I stepped on the brake pedal (at the stop sign at the campground exit, so low speed).

150 miles later when I applied the brakes coming up to a stop sign at my destination, it felt like one of them was grabbing much more than the other.

Do the drum brakes self -adjust by moving in reverse and applying the brakes? If not I’ll need to sort this out in the next 2 weeks before heading home.

Thanks
I agree with the possibility of grease on the shoes but a "noise" could be anything.

Likely best to check them. If nothing else jack each wheel up and spin it and see if you hear/feel/see anything.
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Old 03-20-2024, 04:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

We have about 5000 miles on the trailer since new (3 years). I haven’t serviced the bearings.

We are here (Apache junction AZ) for 2 weeks so I’ll procrastinate until tomorrow jacking and spinning the wheels. I suppose I should pull the wheels off and look at the shoes. After I have the wheels off, is it obvious how to remove the drums?

I need to find a mobile tech to look at/listen to the slide room motors which suddenly got very noisy this morning, so I may get leave the brake inspection to him when I find one.

Thanks!

Ken
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Old 03-20-2024, 04:56 PM   #6
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You will need to remove the brake drum that requires the axle nut and bearings to be removed. If you are not mechanically inclined than I would suggest you have it done by someone who knows what to do.
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Old 03-20-2024, 05:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odyknuck View Post
You will need to remove the brake drum that requires the axle nut and bearings to be removed. If you are not mechanically inclined than I would suggest you have it done by someone who knows what to do.
As I was typing the message asking about how to remove the drum I realized that if I needed to ask I shouldn’t be doing it!

Thanks
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Old 03-21-2024, 04:39 PM   #8
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You don't need to remove the wheels, removing the bearing nut allows the wheel and hub/drum to be removed together.

You may be able to see if you have self adjusting brakes by looking thru the slot in the backing plate.
Self adjusters have fine teeth on the adjuster wheel. Manual adjusters have maybe 10 to 12 teeth on them.
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