Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-04-2002, 01:23 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2
problem with Brakes

My family is just trying to leave on vacation today and the brakes on our airstream aren't working. The truck brakes work and there is the usual hum like the brakes are working and the brake lights go on, but my dad says the brakes aren't engaging on the trailer.
Also is it dangerous to drive without brakes on the trailer on fairly flat road?
any help would be appreciated
__________________

__________________
jazzbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2002, 02:02 PM   #2
1 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6
i have,but you want to be xtra carefull. i towed my a/s from charlston, s.c which is about 250 miles from my house. but i was towing with a 1 ton truck,so braking was'nt a problem,just allow double the stopping distance. but if you have the time i would try too find out the problem
__________________

__________________
sudden impact is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2002, 06:01 PM   #3
uwe
418
 
uwe's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 1963 26' Overlander
Posts: 4,767
Images: 41
Send a message via Skype™ to uwe
I would not go out on a vacation without the brakes on my Airstream, I also tow with a 1 ton vehicle. It is absolutely unsafe. Have the brakes fixed, or check the brake controller adjustment.
If the magnets are humming, then probably you need adjustments on the brake controller.
Read the manufacturer's instructions, and try again. Chances are it's something simple.
Don't have your vacation ruined by an accident because of the trailer brakes.
__________________
Uwe
www.area63productions.com
uwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2002, 01:45 PM   #4
Moderator dude
 
Action's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,067
Images: 13
electric brakes

The brake lites and the brakes themselves are on seperate circuits. So do not rely on the brake lites as an indication that the brakes work.

It is also possible that you have a mechanical issue. You may want to pull a wheel to check things over especially if it has been some time (more than a year) since you have checked in there.

>>>>>>>>>>>Action
__________________
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
1966 Lincoln 4 door Convertible 462 4V 1971 Ford LTD Convertible 429 4V Phoenix ~ Yeah it's hot however it's a dry heat!
Action is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2002, 02:54 PM   #5
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Just curious, if he hears the hum, how is he determining that the brakes aren't working?

One thing I would do to test is to activate the manual braking function from my brake controller (without stepping on the vehicle brakes) and see if I encounter resistance. If there is a proper amount of resistance, then the brakes are getting power from the controller.

Assuming you have braking at this point, a second check would be to verify if the brake controler's level switch and gain switch are properly adjusted.( I am also assuming you have a traditional pendulim based controller). Normally you get your tow vehicle and trailer on level ground, step on the brake and adjust the level knob until your controller justs shows minimal activation of the trailer brakes. At that point you can drive slowly and apply your vehicle brakes while turning the gain knob. This will give you the amount of braking that you deem proper for effective stopping of your trailer. Too much gain and your trailer wheels lock up, to little and the tow vehicle is not getting the assistance necessary from the trailer brakes.

You could have a completely different problem but a maladjusted controller can give you symptoms of no brakes. I hope your problem is in this area.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2002, 03:43 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,820
Images: 3
Brakes not working

Electric brakes are servoed. The drag of the magnet rotates the shoes outward to drag againstthe drum. The wheel must turn some degrees before the brakes wll take effect.

Why would you hear a hum? The brakes are DC activated and there is absolutely no reason for there to be a hum. There is usually a soft clank of magnet against drum when current is applied and that is all the noise there should be with the trailer stationary.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2002, 04:19 PM   #7
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Re: Brakes not working

Quote:
Originally posted by Pahaska
Why would you hear a hum? The brakes are DC activated and there is absolutely no reason for there to be a hum. There is usually a soft clank of magnet against drum when current is applied and that is all the noise there should be with the trailer stationary.
John I'm not an electric person but I've had three different trailers and all have exibited a hum (albeit very low pitched) when the brakes were engaged. You just get your ear down by the wheel and you can hear the hum when power is flowing to the brakes.....unless less that buzz is from something else

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2002, 06:11 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,820
Images: 3
Hummmmmmmmmmmmm

I never heard a hum, although my hearing is not the best courtesy of being an F86D instructor years ago.

I have a little test rig that I built some years ago when I was having some brake problems with my Scamp. It is a truck-end socket with a toggle switch that wraps the charge line which is hot from the battery to the brake line. When I turned on the juice, I always heard a clunk from the magnets , but that was all. If I turned the switch off and on again, there was usually no repeat sound because the magnets were still against the drum.

The hum makes me wonder whether some controllers vary the braking force by chopping the 12v. There really shouldn't be a hum unless the voltage is changing, either AC (and we know it's not AC) or possibly chopped DC.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2002, 07:13 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2
Thanks everyone for the feedback. My dad (who is a very careful driver) took it all the way to big sur and back (to Santa Barbara), without any problems. We saw a mechanic and he said everything was fine. I think the problem is that the brakes aren't adjusted properly, (they're too light). I think we can fix it ok though.
__________________
jazzbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2002, 07:22 PM   #10
Moderator dude
 
Action's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,067
Images: 13
Pull a wheel

Jazzbone,

It is possible to adjust the brakes with a wheel jacked up off the ground (from the inside of the backing plate) however I would recommed that you remove a wheel and drum assembly to check everything else too. Then reinstall the brake drum and spin to see if the shoes barely touch the drum. If not remove the drum and adjust the star wheel on the bottom that spreads the shoes apart.

And if you have disc bakes there is no adjustment so ignor the above.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
__________________
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
1966 Lincoln 4 door Convertible 462 4V 1971 Ford LTD Convertible 429 4V Phoenix ~ Yeah it's hot however it's a dry heat!
Action is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2002, 10:24 AM   #11
Still Working
 
smily's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36
North Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,651
Images: 19
Question First time on old brakes

Okay,
I am in Brake mode while I await the curtains to be finished.....

Question: Are the brakes supposed to humm all of the time?

I just installed the new brake controller and a new 7 way connector on my Dodge Ram 1500.

Then I ran a hot wire from the Brake controller to the seven way connector and a hot wire from the battery to the 7 way connector.

Obviously the wire from the Brake controller is for the brakes and the hot wire from the battery is for charging the trailer battery.

First, I checked all of the lights to include Brake, running, and side markers. All are good. Brake lights come on when the brake pedal is pressed.

After connecting the seven way connector to the trailer, I walked to the wheels of the trailer and I heard an obvious Humming from the wheels. (I have not pressed the Brake pedal yet).

At first I consider that the wires may be reversed at the seven way connector, (hot and Brake wire), so I disengage the "hot wire" from the battery and the humming at the wheels stopped.

I asked my eight year old son to press the brake pedal and I can hear a soft "clank" at the curb side wheel well, no noise from the street side. I do not hear any humming from either side of the trailer.

I have a adapater cable that came with trailer. The adapter converts from round pins on A/S to 7 flat pins.

I am going to check wiring through adapter and compare to PDF from A/S .com to confirm wiring.

I am wondering, should I hear a "humm" from the wheels all of the time or just when the brake pedal is pressed.

Smily
__________________
smily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2002, 11:10 AM   #12
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
Smily,

Have you checked the function of your breakaway switch. There should be a pin and cable switch on the tounge of your trailer that engages the brakes when the the pin is pulled. If this switch has become corroded, you may have voltage leaking thru it. This could account for the hum. The clue here is the fact that disconnecting the 12 VDC feed for the battey stops the hum. The breakaway switch uses the 12 volt feed from the coach battery to engage the "emeregency brakes" thru the breakaway switch.

Do you have a battery installed in the coach? You could disconnect(Cut wires) to the breakaway switch and see if you have working brakes with no hum while all 7 wires are connected.

If there is no switch, you may want to see if there are some wires on the tounge that have been spliced together. They may be remmnants and could also be part of the problem.

You should hear the soft clunk on both sides. The concern I would have if only one side is working is that the trailer would want to pull to one side as you stop, so check the connections behind the wheel on the side that is not clunking when the pedal is depressed. There are two wires from the coach and from the wheel each should be connected induvidually and the is no polarity.

Let us know what you find.
__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2002, 11:14 AM   #13
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Re: First time on old brakes

Quote:
Originally posted by smily
Okay,
I am in Brake mode while I await the curtains to be finished.....

Question: Are the brakes supposed to humm all of the time?

I am wondering, should I hear a "humm" from the wheels all of the time or just when the brake pedal is pressed.

Smily
Smily,
This was an observation that I have noticed but I only hear the hum when the brakes are on. Also note that the hum I hear is very faint and I have to get my ear down by the wheel to pick it up. Others on the list haven't heard that hum. I wouldn't be concerned if you can't hear that. The key is that the brakes are engaged and you did hear the "clank" so don't get concerned. Of course you do need to hear the other side engage also. I guess I'm lucky since I clank and hum.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2002, 11:33 AM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 38
You might hear a slight hum from the wheels when the brakes are activated but should not hear any hum when the brakes are not activated.
__________________

__________________
LeeC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is your Brake Controller of Choice? overlander64 Brakes & Brake Controllers 71 11-29-2008 09:40 AM
Some towing Q & A for newbies femuse Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 3 08-24-2004 09:05 AM
Grabbing Brakes 74Tradewind Brakes & Brake Controllers 15 08-05-2004 06:26 PM
Intermittant Brakes dinoburb Brakes & Brake Controllers 4 11-12-2003 09:00 AM
Trailer brakes won't lock-up? John Brakes & Brake Controllers 24 02-06-2003 01:22 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.