Excessive Break Wear?

Discussion in 'On The Road' started by danointhenw, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. danointhenw

    danointhenw New Member

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    In May of '17 we bought a new Rockwood 1970ESP. It was used extensively until just this year (next trip scheduled for Sept) but while getting it ready to go, I noticed I could no longer lock up the brakes on the unit even with the tlr brake gain control on the tv set to 10 (it usually is set at 4 to 5 and would lock them at 20mph as per instructions). Current tv is a '19 Silverado Z71 with tow package. I went to Les Schwab and they told me brakes were fine after $160 worth of "work". The problem was still there and they would not look again saying they don't do electric brakes. I finely found someone who knows what they are doing and was told that both the drums and shoes were badly glazed.
    My guess is that I have 15k to 20k miles on this pup although in fairness it goes up and down a lot of mountain passes. The tech has also replaced some bushings and some other parts on the running gear (not the springs though) leading me to believe this pup is not as off road capable as I had hoped, but is it me too? My question is this: What is everyone else getting mileage-wise out of a set of brakes?
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with your camper's brakes. What size are the brakes? From your narrative it appears that you have some pretty heavy use to the brakes.
     
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  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Ok , so a few things. It sounds like you cooked your breaks. Thats a bit different from getting millage out of them. The breaks when set correctly will just slow the camper. You dont want them to lock up. I wouldn't. Your truck could still pull them locked up. And the camper will skid? But you said the instructions said they sould do that? It seems you set them too high.
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    We had our TT for about 10 years and the brakes are past due to be changed, should have been done a year or two ago.
     
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  5. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    you need new brake shoes and drums (includes hubs). Or (maybe) get drums machined to a larger diameter to remove glaze AND get your shoes ground to match the drums' new radius.

    Then adjust shoes, using the star wheels, to get rid of slack.

    Then use ebrake controller dial so as to not quite lock up when you apply the brakes.
    AND
    Maybe use more engine braking going downhill?? (we do - we have a stickshift)
     
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  6. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Does your truck have a tow/haul mode? On my truck that greatly reduces braking needed going down those passes. (EZ-mode engine braking.)
     
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  7. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I can't answer mileage, but my TT is 25 years old and still has the original brakes. I pulled the wheels, cleaned everything up and adjusted them a few years ago. The pads and drums were still good.

    For comparison on drum brakes, one of my trucks has 225k miles. It still has the orignal shoes on the back.

    I agree with someone above. You dont want the trailer brakes to lock up.
     
  8. danointhenw

    danointhenw New Member

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    Thx all. The last tv I had was a 2000 chevy silverado z71. It did not have tlr brakes and I added a system. I was going by the instructions that came with them which said to get to 20mph and then take the tv out of gear, set the gain to the point that it would lock up the brakes at that point. I just used the same method to set the brakes on the new tv.
     
  9. Tom Jordan

    Tom Jordan Active Member

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    @danointhenw , all of the instructions that I’ve seen that reference locking up the brakes, use that as the reference from which to back off the setting on the controller. So, you adjust the brakes at the hubs. Then you adjust the controller, but not so high that they lock up.

    EDIT: I use 20-25mph to test the breaks just to see how they feel stopping the trailer and truck with trailer breaks alone.
     
  10. A-Ranger12

    A-Ranger12 Active Member

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    My brake controller won't ever lock the brakes. Its directions even state it won't. Sounds like yours is set too high.

    As others have said, trailer brakes are there to help. They can't help if they are skidding the tires.

    You can try knocking the glaze off the drums with 120 grit sandpaper and see if that helps. Otherwise, replacement hub and drum shoe assemblies are roughly $150 a side.
     
  11. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Ok, my TH weighs over 8k lbs fully loaded and my brake controller is only set to 4 or 5, depending on terrain. I live at 6k ft elevation and drive all over the mountains and have NEVER needed to adjust brakes or replace them.
     
  12. danointhenw

    danointhenw New Member

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    Thx again folks. Beginning to look like the wounds were self-inflicted!
     
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  13. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    +2 My last 5 campers the brake controller would not lock the brakes doing it per the instructions. So either I'm not following the instruction correctly, or campers use the minimum size brakes for the GVW
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
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