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Old 08-01-2005, 09:57 AM   #1
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1993 34' Excella
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My Brakes are Groaning

The brakes on my trailer are making a howling/groaning noise on slower speed stops. They also seem to grab a little bit more than I remember them doing so. I have an appointment at the rv place in a couple weeks but would be interested to hear if anyone has any ideas as to what may be going on. Could it just mean that they need some adjustment or are they probably shot?

-Alden
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:04 AM   #2
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1996 28' Excella
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Alden,
Do they just do it when they are cold? When I first leave out after the trailer has been parked overnite, mine are very sticky and grabby, making a groaning sound. After traveling a few miles, they quiet down and act normally. (1979 28' Ambassador trailer, similar vintage and length to yours) When I regreased the bearings this spring, the pads had plenty of life left, so they are not worn out. I also get a bit of groaning from the friction anti-sway bar on the hitch.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:04 PM   #3
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They do it warm or cold. Speed seems to be the difference, less than 25mph they grab and howl. I'll have to see what the experts say when they take them apart.

-Alden
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:36 PM   #4
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Greasy brake linings will howl like that. The situation is more common on the rear axle of vehicles since, when a seal blows, the gear oil used can flow more freely than bearing grease.

If you do in fact have grease on your linings, it may mean that the bearings got hot, and thinned the grease out enough to blow past the seal. Make sure you are comfortable with the fix & why it happened.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:46 PM   #5
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There are many reasons for brake noises as you described.

Brake dust - Worn friction material collecting on rotor/drum
Rust -- One way rust can form is after use the drum/rotor are very much bare metal. If they sit in moist air (like overnight in dew) rust can form.
Foriegn material - in lining material as noted above

Most of these are noted on light braking applications. Annoying and not necessarily a brake performance issue.

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Old 08-01-2005, 03:04 PM   #6
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Hmm, both sound like possibilities. I have asked that the bearings get repacked when the wheels are off to check the brakes.

Now I just have to wait a few weeks for my appointment.

Thanks for the responses.

-Alden
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:32 PM   #7
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1993 34' Excella
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It's back...

I dropped my trailer off on Saturday. They took a look at it today. No leaks in the bearing seals, everything was repacked, looked good. The brake shoes had plenty of wear (still looked like new they said). The one find was that the wiring for the front left brake had become disconnected and wasn't working. They said that it could have caused the noise I was hearing because one of the four wheels wasn't being slowed at the same speed, could have caused some stress there.

All I know is that in the 25 or so miles I drove it home it didn't groan or make noise once. I realize that's not much of a test drive but it would start howling after seven or eight miles before. I'm happy and looking forward to going to the beach in September!

-Alden
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