RV Brakes

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Calgary Dave, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Calgary Dave

    Calgary Dave Member

    Any RV tech's out there? I seem to have problems with my brakes and just not sure where or how to look. I'm quite mechanical, but electric brakes I have no clue about.
    I've hooked up my 27' trailer to the truck that has a Tekonsha (I think). I've followed the instructions to level the controller and then set the power...but what happens is the trailer brakes will hit HARD and lock everything up. I back off the power dial and then there's no brakes. When I manually squeeze the controller..same thing; the light will ease from green to orange and then BAM full on red and brakes lock up again.

    Does this sound like a faulty controller? or faulty trailer brakes? I just need a few pointers on what to check and what tests to do.

    Also: second issue. When I last parked the trailer, I didn't notice that the brake-away swith got yanked out. The RV was plugged in, so it didn't drain the batteries. But when I plugged it back in, the box heated up, smoked the wires and now it doesn't work at all. Just a bad box?

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    RE: RV Brakes

    Have u had the magnets and brakes cked on the tt ?? and also ck the ground on the TT ,, and post back on what u find ,, i have a feeling u have a bad brake controller ,, but untill the others are tested ,, one can only speculate :approve: :approve: :)
     
  3. Calgary Dave

    Calgary Dave Member

    RE: RV Brakes

    magnets?? lol...hmmm. I'm thinking I should do a complete brake inspection. I was going to just take it to our local RV service dept...but its a 4 week wait!! So, its another learning curve I guess. I'll look up youtube, see if there's any diy videos.
     
  4. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: RV Brakes

    Not a hard job to do Dave. Just pull the wheels hubs and you will find the magnets. Might also want to ck the brake adjustmens. I agree with 730 that it sounds like a controller but you need more checking before buying a new controller. Keep us posted
     
  5. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

  6. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: RV Brakes

    Kind of a beginner thing but: the controler should have two adjustments. 1. how hard the brakes come on and 2. how fast the come on once activated. Have you tried both adjustments?

    LEN
     
  7. Calgary Dave

    Calgary Dave Member

    Re: RV Brakes

    Yeah, I played with both of those. If I have it set so that they stop locking up...then the brakes wont come on at all. The minute I get the brakes to come on...I can be slowing to a stop, at say 20 mpg...and without moving the position of the brake pedal....I can feel them come on slowly....then WHAMO, little light goes bright red and brakes jam on.

    How do I check the magnets? I am thinking the controller as well...but on my other truck, a couple of times I lost all brakes through the controller. The little light just stopped coming on, even when manually activated. Then without doing anything, they started working again.

    The "ground" thing seems a likely culprit. just not sure how I test it. It acts just like a poor connection....nothing...nothing...BAM....nothing...
     
  8. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: RV Brakes

    Check the brake lining adjustment to drum and be sure they are adjusted properly. Do your lights on the trailer work? Crazy problems generally go to ground problems. You can use a compass to ck to see if the magnets are working. Have someone work the controller while you hold the compass near the wheel. It will go crazy if the magnet is working. Have to do each wheel. The magnets are probably ok since it will work. Not to famaliar with the new controllers but know some of the older had to have voltage regulated. Some of the older units had to be in a certain postion, level, to work.
     
  9. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: RV Brakes

    Almost sounds like the trailer brakes are working OK but the controller is not. If it is coming on slowly then locking up the delay is ok but the amount of braking is not allowing you to adjust.

    LEN
     
  10. Calgary Dave

    Calgary Dave Member

    Re: RV Brakes

    Ok...got to the bottom of this, so I thought I'd update.
    So, first I was checking out the breakaway switch...which got hot and melted the wires when I activated it. So I just snipped the wires and got rid of that. Jacked each tire up and one by one, connected the breakaway wires and each tires brakes worked perfectly. Ok, so brakes are definitely working. Next I looked at all wiring junctions...couldn't see anything there. What was nagging me, was my right signal and brake light wasn't working, so I thought I'll just replace that bulb while I'm at it...strange..bulb is perfect. Hooked up the trailer to the truck and all of a sudden they're working....couple minutes later, they're not. *light bulb going off in my head*. I check the contact points inside the trailer plug and truck plug....VERY coroded! I cleaned them all up and voila...brakes are working perfectly along with the controller. Got it set to perfection now.

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions of where to start looking. I'm quickly becoming quite an expert "back yard RV mechanic"!! Fridge....Water heater..and now brakes!!
     
  11. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: RV Brakes

    Good on you!

    LEN
     

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