Repairing Electric Trailer Brakes or Never trust what a previous owner tells you

On my travel from NE Arkansas to Waco, Texas I noticed that the trailer brakes were not functioning anything like they are supposed to. So I did a lot of judicious anticipatory braking to make sure sudden stops were avoided. While I do recommend this type of defensive driving, doing because of faulty brakes is never a good idea. So in this case definitely follow my parental advice and do as I say NOT as I did. LOL

Lakota Wolf and I tore into the brakes, starting on Monday May 7 and finished up getting everything back together on Wednesday May 9. What we found was beyond your wildest dreams of a nightmare.

Back in November of 2017 when I purchased this trailer, the PO told me that he had the brakes redone and the bearings repacked when he put new tires on the spring of 2016. This has proven to be so far from the facts that Lakota and I uncovered that this PO will definitely be going to hell with his panties on fire.
One of the 4 brakes showed signs of actually trying to work. The other 3 had cooked brake shoes, broken springs, and the optional unattached braking material respectively. Three of the four had so much grease everywhere that there is no way they would have provided and braking effort even if they had been working. Two of the hubs had so much grease pumped into them that the real wheel seals were pushed out. The 2 hubs on the left side were cinched down so tight that the bearings were burned badly, just shy of being blue in color.
Here are a couple of pictures of the grease we took out of just one wheel assembly:

Here are three pictures showing the grease we found in one hub and one of a hub with the rear seal that
was pushed out:

This is a picture of the brake assembly with the cooked shoes that was on the right side:

The left hubs, where the bearings were cooked from being cinched down is also where the brake
assembly with the braking material was no longer attached:

After finding all this mess, I decided to go with all new brake assemblies, bearings and races.

And the final product:

A simple one day project turned into a 3 day ordeal that left us both wondering who ties some people’s shoes for them.

I do have to put in a shameless plug for the people at Flat Rock Trailer & Ranch Supply in Hewitt, Texas. I got the brake assemblies, bearings, and races from them and the customer service and helpfulness of
these people is beyond outstanding.
Finally another big shout out to Lakota Wolf for his tireless help in getting this mess repaired.

A better friend no one could ask for.

A final word to all who purchase a Good Old RV, trust nothing and no one. Figure it is on its last leg and check everything 3 or even 4 times. I was lucky that nothing happened where I had to go into an
emergency braking event because I may have not survived. I started pulling trailers at the ripe old age of 14, 1970 for those who are really curious, and those years of experience served me well on this trip. But
as I said earlier…. Do as I say not as I did.

Be safe in your travels. And remember to love often, deeply, and unconditionally. Time is a precious commodity and when someone passes your way seize the moment… you may never get another chance
to say or do all the things you wanted.

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Oh yeah! Been there! I had a station wagon with so much wrong on the brakes it reflects your experience. Missing pads, ground out cylinders, rotors so rutted out that they should have just fallen off. It was a total rebuild to get them to work at all. YIKES! Glad you sorted it out.

Hi Russ, what a mess. The PO moved from Erie PA to Pittsburgh PA and your in Texas. I think I've said enough.




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