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Old 12-15-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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Donít Forget to Adjust Your Airstream's Brakes

Our last camping trip of this season saw The Mighty Burb doing ALL the braking during some fairly steep, downhill grades. While this truck is an extremely capable tow vehicle, it was not happy. But it rose to the challenge, and kept us safe. I was not happy either, as I had "just" replaced the axles complete with new brakes.

Troubleshooting after our slow return, I found that time flies, and I had just forgotten that my Airstream's brakes had accumulated too many miles on them without adjustment. The complete tale can be read here.

Don't let complacency sneak up on you like I did. Adjust electric trailer brakes after no more than 6000 miles of travel.

Tom
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:52 PM   #2
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Thats a good reminder Tom.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:05 PM   #3
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Another good reason to consider installing Dexter NevRJust brakes the next time you need brake service. Self adjusting brakes eliminates this potential risk.

These brakes are now available as a complete backing plate replacement for $50 each which is less expensive than replacing existing lines, magnets, etc.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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We...I mean me...Pull a bearing PM every Fall. As suc the brakes get checked and adjusted while the hubs are off. Steep grades and poor trailer braking me.

Thanks for the reminder.

Kevin
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:01 PM   #5
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I pull the wheels and adjust every spring as I put about 15-20k miles on the trailer each year. I have a straight shift diesel with an exhaust brake and I get teriffice mileage on the trailer brakes as the engine does most of the normal braking, specially on off ramps and downgrades.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:28 PM   #6
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Last month I inspected my brake magnets and found that they were so worn the copper spooling was exposed. Had to replace all six magnets at $35 a magnet. Trailer brakes are now working perfectly.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:34 AM   #7
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Another good reason to consider installing Dexter NevRJust brakes the next time you need brake service. Self adjusting brakes eliminates this potential risk.

These brakes are now available as a complete backing plate replacement for $50 each which is less expensive than replacing existing lines, magnets, etc.
Do you know if these brakes are standard on new axles? I just put new Dexters on my '73 and don't recall any mention of this when I ordered them. I did have to adjust my brakes during installation.

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Old 12-16-2009, 08:29 AM   #8
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Do you know if these brakes are standard on new axles? I just put new Dexters on my '73 and don't recall any mention of this when I ordered them. I did have to adjust my brakes during installation.

Jim
New axles come with new brakes. you are good to go for a few years on the brake front. that does not preclude you from greasing the bearings every year or so depending on use.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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Thanks for the heads up on this. I recently experienced problems braking going down steep passes over the Rockies and had some front end wobble in the TV. I replaced the front rotors and will test them on our trip south in January. In the mean time I will have the trailer brakes inspected before I go and give you a report on their condition. I suspect they are partly to blame for my original problem. This is the thread relating to my problem and people's helpful responses http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...des-57926.html

Thanks
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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Does anyone know if the new backing plates work with the screw in lug studs (not bolts) that the older trailers use? My current hubs don't use lug nuts....
Thanks!
Marc
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:56 AM   #11
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Does anyone know if the new backing plates work with the screw in lug studs (not bolts) that the older trailers use? My current hubs don't use lug nuts....
Thanks!
Marc
The style hubs you have, has nothing to do with the electric brakes, either manual or self adjusting.

Andy
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #12
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New axles come with new brakes. you are good to go for a few years on the brake front. that does not preclude you from greasing the bearings every year or so depending on use.
Agreed. What I'm asking is:

Do ALL NEW DEXTERS come with this NevRJust feature?

I've not heard of this specific feature on Dexter axles before.

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Old 02-17-2010, 05:49 PM   #13
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I just had my bearings done and brakes adjusted, and when I got home and parked it I stepped out and could smell something which I associate with brakes. My husband thought so too. I watched him back it into the carport and I could hear the brakes hum when activated, they seemed to be behaving normally, and it felt normal on the drive home. I wonder if what I was smelling was just because they had adjusted them and maybe they were dragging a bit or something? Should I be concerned or is that normal?
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:00 PM   #14
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Maybe, and no

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.. Should I be concerned or is that normal?
Your description sounds like your brake shop set the brakes up a little too tight.

The proper adjustment of manual-adjust brakes is apparently somewhat subjective. Some mechanics feel the shoes need to drag more than other mechanics do.

At this point, you have two options. Jack one side of your American Classic up, and spin a wheel and "be one" with the amount of effort. Decide for yourself if it is too much effort.

Option two is to call the boyz up at the shop, and determine if they share your concern.

Tom
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