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Old 03-02-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1996 25' Excella
Waco , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 21
Trailer door open...trailer brake on???

So my wife and I were driving home from a mountain bike race yesterday with our 1981 international in tow and everything was going great. We stopped for dinner and ate. When we came back and I began to drive, the street side front wheel was locked and would not move. I heard it squeeling, so I put the car in reverse, it would move a little bit, then I would engage it in forward and it would move for a bit before locking up again. All of this was taking place in a big parking lot.

I turned the truck off and back on and I think if I remember, it stopped for a little bit, but then it began locking up again. My wife who was watching me in her car then said, "the door to the trailer is open."

Apparently I had forgotten to shut it. We have an 8 month old baby and I am continually amazed at how I am losing my short term memory.

So I shut the door and proceeded to drive the trailer home. It drove perfectly. I drove cautiously and my wife watched me all the way home in her car to make sure that the brake didn't lock up again. When I got home I stopped in a major parking lot that was empty and backed the trailer up and and back a few times to check it again. Everything was fine.

So my question is : Was the trailer's door being open in any way related to the brake being engaged or was this a coincidence?

If the two (the door and the brake) were not related what do you think I should do to ensure that the brake doesn't lock up again? Obviously I'm thinking pull the wheel off and shoot some grease in the bearing and check the drum brake to make sure it is returning after it is engaged. I just want to be safe.

Let me hear from you...


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Old 03-02-2009, 01:06 PM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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I think your guardian angel was letting you know the door was open. I can't see how the two are related in any way.

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:21 PM   #3
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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The only thing that SHOULD lock up your brakes would be pulling the pin from the emergency disconnect (which is supposed to stop your trailer if it pops off the ball or otherwise breaks loose from your tow vehicle).

Having the door open - NO, but it would be a good idea. But then so would:
  • having your steps down
  • having the exterior garage door open
  • having the batwing antenna up
  • having the power cord connected
  • having the water line connected
  • having the sewer line connected or the black/gray water valves open
  • having "acute cranial rectal inversion" in any of it's other manifestations
I've got to go with the "guardian angel" theory.

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:26 PM   #4
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So while you were checking the trailer in the parking lot why didn't you open the door again to answer your own question? I donít think there is a interlock but who knows. Very interesting.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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Not being a quardian fan, never seen them able to control the flow of electrons.

I suggest to you the previous owner installed a microswitch somewhere along the door frame.Look around, actually sounds like something some folks would like to have installed.

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:51 PM   #6

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Can you say coincidence, neither can I.

Worked with a fellow whose standard answer to all questions electrical......

"looks like a wiring problem to me" He was right about 60% of the time.

Check the trailer brakes and breakaway switch and wiring.
AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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Princeton , New Jersey
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If you can reproduce the problem with the door open I think Doorgunner has the answer. Study the door frame for a switch.

If opening the door does not reproduce the problem I would remove the brake drum and check the return spring on the brakes. There is a manufacture that only uses one return spring to release the brakes. That single spring is not a goo design and some times the trailing shoe will not release and the brake will drag. However usually backing up will release them and they tend to drag rather than lock. But id is worth looking into if the door is not the answer.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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1996 25' Excella
Waco , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 21
My gut was not there was no correlation between the door and the stuck wheel, but I couldn't help but examine the coincidence. I can't think of why one would want the brake to be engaged when the door is open? If your door accidentally flew open I don't think it would be good if the brake came on right.

So given what's been offered so far, I'll check when I get home to look for a switch by the door, but I'll probably also have the brakes examined, the return spring is a good idea.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:45 PM   #9
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1996 25' Excella
Waco , Texas
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having "acute cranial rectal inversion" in any of it's other manifestations
Duly noted.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:58 PM   #10
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Longmont , Colorado
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Post #3 is onto something- Airstream, are you listening in here?

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