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Old 08-05-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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How often do you check/service your TT brakes?

Hi guys,

I have about 4,000 miles on my TT and have yet to check the brakes. They still seem to function fine but I'm certain I should probably check/service them much more often than a car. This is my first TT so I'm not sure what a proper service interval might be. Also, I have my built in controller at 10 which is full assist. I'd still like a little more although it seems fine. Panic stopping is a bit scary though. Any way to add more? Is there an adjustment I can make at the trailer? What is the proper way to identify the correct amount of assist? I've gone on what feels comfortable when braking normally but recently tested a quick stop to see what it would be like if I had to nail the brakes. It seemed a bit weak on the trailer brakes.

Is this subjective or is there a good solid rule of thumb people follow?

Thanks,
Darren
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagmandt View Post
Hi guys,

I have about 4,000 miles on my TT and have yet to check the brakes. They still seem to function fine but I'm certain I should probably check/service them much more often than a car. This is my first TT so I'm not sure what a proper service interval might be. Also, I have my built in controller at 10 which is full assist. I'd still like a little more although it seems fine. Panic stopping is a bit scary though. Any way to add more? Is there an adjustment I can make at the trailer? What is the proper way to identify the correct amount of assist? I've gone on what feels comfortable when braking normally but recently tested a quick stop to see what it would be like if I had to nail the brakes. It seemed a bit weak on the trailer brakes.

Is this subjective or is there a good solid rule of thumb people follow?

Thanks,
Darren
Darren,

I am no expert but I have my brakes checked and adjusted once a year when I repack our wheel bearings, for us that usually means about every 8000-1000 miles. I use the manual override on the controller to check the trailer brakes every once in awhile during a trip. The trailer brakes will rarely skid on dry pavement but if I get a serious tug from the trailer I feel I'm ok.

Bob
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:44 AM   #3
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Hello Bob,

I hit the manual override on the way out the driveway while I'm still on the gravel and make sure the tires lock up. Then I set my controller to where I can just feel the trailer drag at low speed stops. Most (all the ones I've owned) trailer brakes are manually adjusted at the hub, just like the the old drums on your '57 Chevy. You take off the dust plug and use a screwdriver to rotate the star wheel while rotating the tire (up on stands). Go 'til the tire drags then back it off a bit. Adjust all of them the same. Then try to drive in such a way you don't need to use your brakes. BTW, those panic stops are always scary. Your tow vehicle will always do most of the stopping. In fact it will be your front tires that do all the work, just like a motorcycle. That's one big reason why a 3/4 ton truck is a better tow vehicle that an S-10 Blazer. The GO isn't the issue, it's the WHOA. Happy camping.

Ken
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:49 AM   #4
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When I had a TT I would check and adjust them once a year in the spring time before the first trip out. I would set the brake controller for the type of driving I was doing, on highways I would use a high number, On secondary roads a low number. This way I would get the proper amount of stopping power for the amount of momentum.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:07 AM   #5
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I have the bearings repacked every 10,000 miles. They always check and adjust the brakes at the same time.

I had new bearings installed after about 40,000 miles.

I always take IR measurements of the hubs and tires too at every rest stop just to keep track of what's going on with the trailer.

For whatever reason I always have one hub that is a little hotter than the other three but not enough to spend money on it to find out why.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:19 AM   #6
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I have the bearings repacked every 10,000 miles. They always check and adjust the brakes at the same time.

I had new bearings installed after about 40,000 miles.

I always take IR measurements of the hubs and tires too at every rest stop just to keep track of what's going on with the trailer.

For whatever reason I always have one hub that is a little hotter than the other three but not enough to spend money on it to find out why.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
X2 on the
-10k mi repack (as per my dexter manual) (equates to approx 3 yrs for us)
-IR measurements (including one 20deg hotter)

I also check the nev-r-adjust brakes to ensure they are adjusted correctly. Always seem to find one or two looser than the others.

Funny, my dealer refuses to even look at them before 3 yrs, says they are fine. (My inspection result agree with his assessment).
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:46 AM   #7
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I'm curious about the bearing re-pack. For modern cars it is almost never done for the life of the cars. Why so often with the trailers? Cheap parts?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
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A whole bunch of cars and trucks have sealed bearings now. No maintenance until they go out, if ever. Trailer bearings are old school, and in the old days we also repacked the car bearings fairly regularly, at least as often as brake jobs, which with the old drum brakes, was much more frequent than the modern disc brake set ups. And although it has already been mentioned, the adjusters on almost all trailer brakes are manual, and must be adjusted fairly often to get the best braking response, especially on a new trailer, or new shoe installation.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:41 PM   #9
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A whole bunch of cars and trucks have sealed bearings now. No maintenance until they go out, if ever. Trailer bearings are old school, and in the old days we also repacked the car bearings fairly regularly, at least as often as brake jobs, which with the old drum brakes, was much more frequent than the modern disc brake set ups. And although it has already been mentioned, the adjusters on almost all trailer brakes are manual, and must be adjusted fairly often to get the best braking response, especially on a new trailer, or new shoe installation.
Yeah, I remember packing bearings on my old truck. I just didn't think a modern trailer would use old-school non-sealed bearings. I guess I need to put it on my schedule.

I'll have to give the adjusters a look and do some research, that is one thing I've never had to service before owning this trailer. I do all my own brake jobs and have done so since I started driving. I assume it should be pretty basic to test out.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:49 PM   #10
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I think it is a good idea to slide under your trailer every once in a while and certainly before a long trip and take a look at the underside suspension, axles, wheels, brakes, etc. I have found one brake dragging several times and creating heat. That is why one hub was always hotter than the others. I have found one brake not making contact with the drum at all. I have found shackle bolts worked lose and the spring just literally hanging by a tread, I have found broken springs twice. I have found a busted seal on several occasions and grease everywhere. If you don't look you won't know.
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