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Old 08-17-2021, 02:07 PM   #1
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2021 27' International
2019 22' Sport
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
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One brake locking up

I've got a 2021 International 27FB and the right rear brake has now locked up twice on us. I know it's locked up cause just that tire drags while the others roll fine. Both times I've been able to get it to release by reversing.

The first time was in June. It happened after a hard stop (nothing out of control, just the light turned yellow at just the wrong point). We ended up dragging the tire a few hundred feet to a safe spot and got the brake to release by putting it in reverse. Thankfully we were only a mile from home at that point - it was the end of a 6 hour travel day after a 10 day trip.

Had my local Airstream dealer look at it and they found nothing wrong with the brake. There was a bubble on the sidewall of the tire, but we don't know if that was there because of dragging the tire, or from before the brake locked up. Either way, they didn't find anything wrong at the time and we paid to replace the tire and paid the service fee (warranty didn't cover it cause they found nothing wrong...sigh).

This weekend the brake locked up again. It was a normal stop this time - not coasting to a stop, but not hard. I was able to pull off the road right away and reverse to get the brake to release. After inspecting the tire, I found nothing wrong and finished the last 30 minutes of our drive home. We had been on the road for about 1:30 at that point. We had no further incidents on the drive home, but I was extra careful.

I have another appointment with my Airstream dealer for September 9 now, but we have reservations for Labor Day weekend. I'm worried about taking it out, but that was the soonest I could get it in. Does anyone have any idea what would be causing it? And advice if you'd still use it before the service appointment? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-17-2021, 02:32 PM   #2
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One brake locking up

Marden72

When the airstream dealer “looked at it” did they pull the wheel AND drum and visually inspect the brake assembly?

Any metal to metal scraping screeching noises associated with this?

Gary
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Old 08-17-2021, 05:25 PM   #3
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I haven’t heard metal to metal, just tire screeching. The dealer said “they took it all apart and inspected everything”. I’ll definitely be asking more questions this time since they obviously didn’t look hard enough the first time.
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Old 08-17-2021, 05:27 PM   #4
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Are you able to pull the drum?
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Old 08-17-2021, 07:10 PM   #5
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No other brakes lock?
  1. Electrical short in the wire of that particular brake. Look for frayed wires. The drum will need to come off in order to trace the wires to the magnet.
  2. Bad brake assembly. Replace it and the other brake assembly on the same axle. The Lippert 12” brakes are about $120 a pair on Amazon. Dexters are about twice that. You can do it yourself with the three correct tools you may not already have. Many threads on the forum describe the procedure. If you can’t find them, reply. If that is not in your wheelhouse, take it to any brake shop but force them to use the correct jack points.
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Old 08-17-2021, 08:15 PM   #6
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2021 Globetrotter here: two wheels kept locking and not releasing on ours. It was impossible to drive slow speed through a city. I had to go to a second dealership for them to confirm it wasn't my car, Echo brake controller, cable etc. The first dealer threw all other excuses at us. On ours you couldn't feel it on the freeway as I guess the momentum kept the wheel spinning, but basically they told us the issue was that the spring of the brake wasn't releasing.
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Old 08-17-2021, 08:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback. Pulling the drum is not something that’s in my wheel house (bad pun alert). This is all useful details for me to take to the dealer and push on them. Seems like best course might be to get them to replace the brake all together. And not drive it till then.
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:03 AM   #8
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Can you raise the wheel as if you were changing a flat? If you can then put gloves on and spin the wheel when its in the air. Listen for metal to metal sounds. If you're able when it's back on the ground slide under and get behind the wheel and brake. Now look at the about 6:00 position on the brake backing plate. See a rubber inspection plug it's maybe 1/2" X 2" remove it. Now look for any loose pieces floating around inside. The brake adjusting stuff will be partially visible. None of those parts should be loose and out of place.

If any loose parts are observed that's the likely source of the random lock ups and continued driving as is just risks more lock ups.

Other internal brake issues are possible but need visual and hands on inspection to see.
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Old 08-18-2021, 07:12 AM   #9
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You can often hear the parts rolling around in the drum. That's how we discovered our problem...we drove past someone at a campground and he mentioned the racket. Later that day as we drove through a small town slowly with the windows down, we could hear the rattle each time the wheel bounced. So if you walk along side while someone else drives the TV, you might hear something.

Ours was not locking up, but I was afraid it might. I had not pulled a drum in 40 years but I had no choice because I couldn't find anyone to work on it. So I removed the wheel with the help of some tools a fellow camper loaned me (1 7/16 socket, snap ring pliers), and pulled out the offending guts of the brake assembly. On the way to our next campground I bought the two tools from Napa and a Lippert brake assembly from an Airstream dealer that was on the way. They couldn't get to it for two days and guaranteed that the Lippert would fit.. I replaced the brake assembly a week later...one hour job. Replaced same axle opposite side brake assembly at home a week after that...40 minutes IIRC. Bought the second assembly on Amazon. Trickiest part on the road is the wiring.
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Old 08-18-2021, 07:57 AM   #10
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A temporary fix to get home is to reach under and cut one of the electric wires leading into the rear of the brake. It will disable that brake, but you still have three others.
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
A temporary fix to get home is to reach under and cut one of the electric wires leading into the rear of the brake. It will disable that brake, but you still have three others.
^1, if electrical short.

If loose parts, the drum has to come off.
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:23 AM   #12
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Back that break off
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:33 AM   #13
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Long story short, we had a similar problem a couple years ago, one of the brakes would lock up while backing up. On a trip a long ways from any major city, our TPM sounded an over temperature alarm, and we discovered the brake was dragging and smoking hot. We were under warranty so the dealer shipped a brake assembly locally and a local mechanic installed it. I believe the automatic adjuster was over-adjusting the brake. You can back it off manually. Also, install a TPM if you don't have one- it will alert you if the brake drags and overheats.
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:37 AM   #14
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We had a similar locking issue with our 2021 FBT Flying Cloud. Like you the dealer couldnt identify a cause but replaced the drum and brakes under warranty... have not had the issue since.
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Old 08-18-2021, 10:29 AM   #15
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I had this happen to me on my 2017 FC 27RB. I was on the far side of Indiana and still had to make it back to Ohio. The right rear tire was locking up in a rest stop while I was going in reverse. Shut the TV off and then restarted, the wheel was turning but I also noticed a loud squeaking noise going forward and reverse. The cover was also very warm to the touch. Checked the torque on the lug nuts and that was fine.

To get out of this mess, I disconnected the trailer plug from the TV (since shutting off the TV had helped a few minutes earlier) and finished my drive to Ohio. The wheel did not lock up all the way home. Fortunately is was during the day, nice weather, very little traffic, and I was extremely cautious about lane changes. A white knuckle drive for sure.

Made the appointment and took it to Haydocy (now Wahlberg) Airstream in Columbus. It locked up right in front of the service manager as I was maneuvering in the parking lot. He did the same thing (removed the plug from the TV). After a very thorough inspection it was discovered that the Nev-R-Adjust brake mechanism had failed on that side (right rear) and that the left rear was about to come apart as well. The dealer took everything off, down to the axel, and replaced it all on both sides. Did not have a problem after that.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-18-2021, 10:33 AM   #16
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Good Catch

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
A temporary fix to get home is to reach under and cut one of the electric wires leading into the rear of the brake. It will disable that brake, but you still have three others.
Never thought of that. Will use it if I ever get into this situation again.
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Old 08-18-2021, 10:49 AM   #17
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You have a brand new trailer, under warranty, with a potential safety issue in an area most owners don’t consider “self-service”. You did the responsible thing by asking for warranty service from a dealer and they failed to fix the issue. I would call Airstream customer service ASAP — 937-596-6111 — and ask them to get involved. Sometimes they even monitor the forum. A brake locking up is not normal. A brake locking up twice is an issue that should receive better than “we can look into that again in a month”. The tire, too should have been a warranty replacement IMO.
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Old 08-18-2021, 10:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMCMRET View Post
Never thought of that. Will use it if I ever get into this situation again.
The controller sends current to the trailer brake circuit, the magnets are energized, rub the vertical face of the drum, rotates the brake actuation lever, lever rotates the cam at the top of the brake shoes, friction material contacts drum, braking occurs. All good and normal. Release brakes and the return springs pull the shoes back to the ready to apply brakes resting position.

But IF any brake hardware comes loose as has been seen and documented in drum brakes cutting the wire to the magnet does not remove these loose pieces that jam and can lock up the brakes.

If you encounter this parts in the wrong places the only field fix w/o replacement is removing all of the brake hardware, shoes, lever, magnet and parts leaving only the backing plate. Then drive to repair facility on one less brake carefully but at least you have eliminated the potential for a lock up.

Yes, I took that pic in my driveway helping a fellow AS'er inspect and replace the brakes.

Gary
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:12 AM   #19
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As stated above, you have a warranty so suggest you contact the

Airstream Service Center in Jackson Center, explain to the Service person what is happening and request they schedule an appointment soonest to diagnose/fix the problem. You are a days drive from Wisconsin to JC. Cut one of the wires to the brake assembly so you are not activating the brake on that wheel.



A month after I had new never lube axles installed on my trailer at JC earlier this year had identical problem. They worked me in to resolve. They coordinated the problem with Dexter Tech support. Took the 4 brake assemblies apart and found nothing unusual ( as your dealer did) but agreed to replace the brake assemblies on the axle as a precaution. Something is causing this to happen and ironically mine was also on right rear axle. Coincidence?



The incident occurred as I was braking for a stop light. Destroyed the tire on wheel. Not fun. Safety issue for anyone that has this happen.
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Old 08-18-2021, 02:51 PM   #20
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One brake

Your brake is adjusted to tight
You glazed that brake with to much gain
Your drum is out of round
A wire to that drum has a open or short to power

If your traveling un hook one wire to that brake and get to someone
Who is Dexter certified

We have a 2021 30 one drum or several are pulsing out of round from day one.
While in Jackson center service I had a work order to pull all wheels. They pulled them said well they look great, did not take them to the Napa machine shop to put on a drum machine to test taper or out of round. So frustrating
With guess don’t test attitudes now. They still pulse

No help from Dexter they say take to your dealership.
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