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Old 05-08-2021, 10:02 PM   #1
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Wheel locked then scraping noise

2018 Airstream flying cloud 27FB. About 30,000 miles on her. Pullled over for gas and as we pulled away a dragging sound. Went away immediately and couldnít identify source so we continued for 200 miles. Next gas station same thing as we pulled away. Identified sources as the right rear tire that appeared to be partially locking up and bouncing as we pulled forward.

I got underneath and discovered the right FRONT tire had a severed wire for the brakes. Fixed it, thinking it may be related to rear right lockup.

Seemed to fix rear right lockup but rear right now has a scraping or brake dragging sound that seems to be getting progressively worse another 200 miles later.

We are driving from Denver to Seattle and currently at KOA in Pendleton. Iím worried as we cross the cascades I may be dealing with a full lockup at speed or similar.

Iíd love to get the thoughts of some of the experienced folks here.

I should add I have never greased the wheel bearings on this trailer or repacked them. Iíve also never serviced the brakes in any way. Itís still stock and of course Iím regretting that now.

Thanks in advance.

Mark.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:30 PM   #2
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Assuming these are electric brakes and not hydraulic disc. Sounds like a) something came loose and is rubbing on the drum or b) self adjusting brakes are too tight. I have hydraulic disc so no experience with how long a set of shoes lasts.

On google I see a Drakes RV Service and Thompson RV Inc in Pendleton. No idea if open on Sunday. I give both a call in the morning and get it checked out.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:48 PM   #3
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That year trailer has sealed bearings and they don't need 'repacking', that doesn't seem to be your issue from what you posted. Nothing to regret. The standard electric, not hydraulic, "self-adjusting" brakes from Dexter seem to have a common failure mode. The self-adjusting star nut & bolt has been known to come loose and/or fallout completely inside the drum. Sometimes it will just rattle around BUT it can and probably will, or already has, caused the drum to lock-up. This needs to be addressed before you go anywhere, IMHO. It's happened to me backing into my driveway, got lucky as it was repaired right there.

The tire needs to come off and the drum opened for inspection/repair. Depending on what you find the pieces can be removed to avoid a lock-up and 'limp' home with three working brakes. That would not be my first choice but it's an option. I would not pull the trailer like it is.

If you are still under warranty you can call for road side assistance. For me that would be the best option. Good luck and again I would not try to tow it anywhere without addressing the problem. I'm just going on what you've posted and putting out a theory and possible actions.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:39 AM   #4
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What RivetED said covered it nicely.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:57 AM   #5
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Thanks all. Those are incredibly helpful comments. I’m going to try to open up the drum this morning and try the limp home option. Will report back. Much appreciated!!!!!!!
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:05 AM   #6
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Ok slight tool list based in Nev-R-Lube bearings.

After removing the wheel and dust cap, remove small snap ring and save it. 1 7/16 x 1/2Ē drive socket and good breaker bar. Remove the nut.

Now you can remove the drum.

If parts tumble out and you HAVE to continue trip remove ALL offending parts, reinstall drum and tighten nut to 150 lb-ft install snap ring and dust cap. Check for free drum spinning. No itís not like old school snug em up back em off adjustments.

This is your decision not mine as this puts you into three wheel braking but at least removes parts that could jam and lock wheel.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:01 AM   #7
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I just replaced my never lube bearings and brake assemblies and have the procedure down cold. After removing the wheel and tire pop the hub grease cap off, a chisel or flathead screwdriver tapped with a hammer. Next remove the small snap ring from the spindle. Don't mess with the large snap ring, not necessary for hub removal. Remove the paper washer with the written torque spec. You'll need a 1-7/16" socket and larger breaker bar to remove the big nut. Its on tight so an extension pipe may be useful. Remove the large washer too.

If the bearing is still okay the brake drum should now pull off. You may need to motivate it with some pounding. My guess is some springs and wires broke inside the brake assembly and are rattling around in there. Clean out the debris and cut the brake electrical wire to that wheel. Reassemble.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:14 AM   #8
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Thanks all. Keeping an eye out here as I prep to do the work. You folks frikkin rock!!!
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:19 AM   #9
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If you've not pulled your drums before as described above you are proably not going to have a 1 7/16 socket because most people would not normally carry that. You could stop in a big box store, Harbor Freight, or auto parts store and pick one up. And if you are oing to do that get some snap ring pliers for 5-!0$. And as said you'll need a breaker bar. Before you pull it apart jack it up and try rotating the wheels, if they turn freely but there is a slight or occasional draging sound that can be normal for self adjusting brakes--Frank
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:07 PM   #10
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We bought a Creekside from Thomson’s in 2014. They are a good dealer, and only one exit from the KOA.
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Old 05-09-2021, 01:55 PM   #11
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We just went through this a couple weeks ago. Once I opened things up I found the adjuster and spring fell off rolling around inside getting chewed up by the drum. Removed the pieces, cut one of the wires and ran with three brakes till we got home.
Get the socket and spring clip pliers as mentioned and open er up. I now carry an extra adjuster and spring for next time.
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:26 AM   #12
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^ X2, broke a spring and it and adjuster were loose in the drum. My hitch guy replaced springs/ adj'rs on each side.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:10 PM   #13
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It sounds like a search on the web for an identical Dexter drum assembly would be good thing to do. It would only take couple of minutes change one out an they are not very expensive.
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Old 05-27-2021, 09:32 PM   #14
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I wanted to post a follow-up here because I never reported what I found. I removed the wheel and the brake drum with the help I received here and the pad/magnet/spring assembly inside the drum was destroyed. One of the bolts had gotten jammed between the pad and the drum and had damaged the pad badly and was mostly destroyed. It would have continued to do damage had I left it in there and probably locked up the wheel at highways speeds at some point.

I removed all parts and left the wheel without a brake. Reassembled it and I need to order a new brake for that wheel. I might go ahead and order an entirely new drum. But we managed to drive home just fine on three brakes over the Snoqualmie pass on the i90.

Thanks again for all the help. If you encounter something like this I'd strongly recommend you pull over somewhere you can work, take the few hours, open it up and find out what you're dealing with. Had we not done this, and suffered from get-there-itis, we might have had a locked up wheel on the highway which would have done far more damage, best case. Worst case, a flipped airstream.

Thanks again all.

Mark Maunder.
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Old 05-28-2021, 05:50 AM   #15
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Mark

Good call and now you can fix on your time and terms.

Gary
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