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Old 06-29-2005, 02:43 PM   #1
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Brake lockup?

The thread about brake controllers got me thinking about something: I have a Tekonsha Voyager brake controller. The setup instructions say that if the trailer brakes are working correctly, then when the controller is adjusted all the way up I should be able to lock up the trailer tires by sliding the manual control all the way over. (Obviously you wouldn't leave it adjusted this way -- it's just part of their adjustment routine)...

Anyway, I have found that although it will pull pretty hard, I can't actually lock up the trailer brakes on dry pavement. This doesn't bother me -- during towing, the braking seems pretty good.

But is it unusual? This is on a single axle 2003 Bambi with about 5k miles. Maybe I should check the mechanical condition of the brakes? Or maybe the controller isn't applying full power?
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:49 PM   #2
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Contrary to opinion, electric trailers brakes must be adjusted at least every 10,000 miles, or sooner.

The adjustment compensates for the wear.

Andy
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:55 PM   #3
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No lock up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by erik.ness@hp
Anyway, I have found that although it will pull pretty hard, I can't actually lock up the trailer brakes on dry pavement. This doesn't bother me -- during towing, the braking seems pretty good.

But is it unusual?
Erik,



This may sound a bit strange but – most trailer brakes (electric) are designed NOT to lock up. Lock-ups can be dangerous!



Regards,

Henry
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:08 PM   #4
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I have a 1974 28' Argosy twin axle, and I can get my brakes to lock-up, and Andy, how do you adjust the brakes. I will look for a forum on the subject while I wait for you to direct me to one.
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stinkytwinky
I have a 1974 28' Argosy twin axle, and I can get my brakes to lock-up, and Andy, how do you adjust the brakes.
I am not Andy, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I think I can help you. Trailer brakes are adjusted basically the same way rear drum brakes are adjusted on a car. There is a star adjuster, that moves the brake shoes closer to the drum. Most adjustments are through a slot in the backing plate with either a special adjuster wrench, called a spoon, that looks like a bent flathead screwdriver, or a flathead screwdriver. Some use a bolt with a jam nut to adjust brakes, but I haven't seen too many of those.
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Contrary to opinion, electric trailers brakes must be adjusted at least every 10,000 miles, or sooner...
Are you sure about 10,000 miles? I thought it was considerably less.

The last vehicle I owned with manual adjustment brakes was a VW Beetle, and I adjusted the brakes like every 6,000 miles. But I did drive a bit "differently" in high school.

Tom
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:38 PM   #7
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I am not Andy, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I think I can help you...
Slept at home last night too and I will add that there are different interpretations of the "right" adjustment.

I dial the stars out until I just hear the shoes making contact. At this point, the shoes may not scrape for a complete turn. Other people like to hear the brakes drag for a full turn.

Tom
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:43 PM   #8
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Talking Brake Adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
Are you sure about 10,000 miles? I thought it was considerably less.

The last vehicle I owned with manual adjustment brakes was a VW Beetle, and I adjusted the brakes like every 6,000 miles. But I did drive a bit "differently" in high school.

Tom
Tom,



Different axle manufacturers may have different service guidelines. I have seen “General Maintenance” instructions call for a brake adjustment at 200 miles and then every 3000 there after.



Just my two cents.



Regards,

Henry
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Old 06-29-2005, 06:02 PM   #9
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One factor that affects the ability to lock up the brakes is your gain control on your brake controller. I think my instructions for my Jordan controller is to drive slowly on an flat unbusy street or parking lot at about 25 mph. Then you use the manual control to set the trailer brakes to full power. You adjust the gain so that the trailer brakes are almost on the verge of full lockup under full power from the manual control. I know in the adjustment process when the trailer was new, I could get the trailer into lockup.

Jack
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