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Old 07-20-2003, 07:56 PM   #1
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Unhappy Brakes will not release

We're over 2hrs north of any repair service with a new 2003 30' classic TT and the brakes will not release. The unit has been parked for a total of 6 weeks in one spot. (with out being moved) When I connected the tow vehicle to the trailer and tried to move it , it wouldn't budge. I disconnected the battery in hopes that there may be voltage reaching the brakes that caused the problem. Anyway does anybody have any ideas on how to solve my dilemma? George

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Old 07-20-2003, 08:07 PM   #2
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Try unplugging your cord to your tow vehicle, and see what that does. Did you happen to plug your cord in upside down? The way the brakes are constructed you must have current going to the magnets. Can you back up? That should release the brakes for a few feet, if current is flowing to the magnets, then they will lock up again.

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Old 07-20-2003, 08:42 PM   #3
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There is a safety device on the tounge that activates the brakes if the trailer comes unhooked from the tow vehicle. It powers off the battery on the trailer. There is a cable that attaches to the tow vehicle. If it was yanked it would become active.

The bad news its possible the the magnets were damaged if left active too long.
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Old 07-20-2003, 09:54 PM   #4
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You have gotten good advice. The only thing I would add ---

(1) my '87 has two batteries to disconnect

(2) a simple 12v light tester can probe the wires going into each brake to test for current.

It is unlikely that a new unit would have a defective breakaway switch but, disconnecting the batteries should get it.
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Old 07-21-2003, 05:48 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replys, I've tried all the above solutions and they haven't worked as yet . About the batteries though, I did disconnect both, but only on the negitive sides. would leaving just the positive side connected put power the brakes. Thanks
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Old 07-21-2003, 05:53 AM   #6
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P.S. Sorry the only thing I didn't do was test the electric lines for current going directly to each brake. I Do not own a tester.
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Old 07-21-2003, 06:51 AM   #7
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The brakes operate electrically, and must have 12 volt power to come on at all. This can come from either the coach batteries, or through the umbilical cord from your tow vehicle.

It seems impossible to me that all four brakes have somehow seized. Either your brake controller is sending current to the brakes, or the safety switch has failed, or it may be that just one of the four brakes has somehow locked up.

If it is just one brake (you'd have to jack up each side, and turn the wheels by hand to find out), you could take off that wheel and tow to your dealer on three wheels. Slowly.

Good luck,

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Old 07-21-2003, 08:11 AM   #8
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Disconnecting the umbilical and the grounds from the batteries should insutre hat there is no current to the brakes. By the way, you did it right, ground on a battery should be connected last and disconnected first.

Even if the breakaway switch jad been pulled, the brakes should not be actuated with everything disconnected. A damaged coil would result in no brake.

I agree with the throry that just one brake may have failed. Backing up should "unservo" all of the brakes. Did it back up OK and then bind again going forward? That could be something like a broken return spring one brake.
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Old 07-21-2003, 08:33 AM   #9
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I located a 20 ton jack (over kill) and have all 4 tires spinning freely, but one of them has something inside the drum that clicks and clangs when we spin the tires back and forth, so I suspect that may be the problem area. Thanks Guys For All Our Help.
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:45 AM   #10
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Three time in the last 4 years I have had the spring which holds the brake shoes to the adjuster fail. After the first time I replaced the springs on all 4 wheels. One trailer place said it was because the brakes were not adjusted properly. I however check my brake adjustment every 3 to 5000 miles but still had another failure this year. I now carry spare adjuster and spring kits in my tool box. When the spring fails the adjuster falls out and bounces around inside the brake drum, first indication is noise when towing slowly or backing up.

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Old 07-23-2003, 07:24 AM   #11
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Hi Jim,

Thats just what happened, the right front brake adjuster spring broke and the adjuster assembly bounced around inside the drum. I'll carry an extra spring and adjuster assembly in the future. Thanks again to you and to all who offered their help.


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