Brakes locking up - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #1
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Brakes locking up

Last year we picked up our new 19 in Chilliwack, and wandered back home to Ohio. We were only able to camp a couple of weekends in the fall, and there seemed to be a problem with the brakes on just the curb side. I don't remember it happening on the long trip.

When starting on a trip, with just a touch of the pedal, the curb side brake (s) would lock up complete with burning rubber or skidding gravel. We are using the factory installed brake controller on the 2013 F-150.

After a few miles, things seem to return to normal. Not sure at this time if it is one wheel or both, but only on the one side.

Any ideas ?
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:32 AM   #2
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Only one side is a bit perplexing. I had a Prodigy brake controller go bad. It caused the brakes on both sides to drag just enough that I couldn't tell while driving, but enough that both wheels were hot enough to melt out the grease--too hot to touch. The RV shop said it was the first time they'd seen a Prodigy go bad. Luckily, thanks to it being a short trip, the wheel bearings and brake pads survived.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Yep. Just the one side, and only when applying the pedal. They don't drag, they just are not applied proportionally. All ON or all OFF.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #4
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Maybe rust. We used to have erratic brake performance the first few miles after sitting idle for a while. We lived at the top of a 2 mile downgrade so I gently rode the brakes for 2 miles, and everything worked normally after that. Now that we live in the desert (low humidity) I don't see any brake anomalies.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:13 PM   #5
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Before I sold my old '86 Scamp 16 I replaced the entire axle, wheels, and brakes with a brand new Dexter unit ($800+) ordered complete, from the factory, installed in place by my experienced local trailer guy. A couple weeks after the new owner took possession I get a phone call from him frantically asking for help. He was on the road, stuck half-way to Chaco Canyon (30 miles of miserable dirt road) when his wheels were smoking and grease was dripping, big time.

Turns out the brake shoes from the factory assembly came loose inside the drum and caused the friction that produced the heat. I say again: it was a brand new, complete, factory assembled unit. What fun, eh?
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:07 PM   #6
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I had this problem intermittently with the right side. It would lock up on gravel and would grab, but not fully lock up on pavement. I had them adjusted but the benefit was short lived. I finally pulled the hub and discovered the mechanism seemed stiff and somewhat rusty. Following YouTube advice I put a little grease on the few points where the shoes ride on the backing plate, and I degreased and cleaned the drum surface where the shoes rub. Apparently grease on the drums makes the shoes sticky. All of this was easy. I drove 800 miles in the next two days without problems and the hubs were cool.

I don't know if this will help, but its worth a try to see if the brake arm is hanging up and cleaning is needed.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the cleaning/greasing tip. When I tow it home from the storage lot, I will check it out.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:40 PM   #8
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Prodigy nearly guarantees their brake controllers for life! If it's bad, contact them directly. You may be pleasently surprised. They value their reputation. I've heard stories about Tekonsha replacing "free-of-charge" 20 year old brake controllers, because they wanted the old one returned because they wanted to know what failed.... pretty amazing for an item that typically costs a bit less than $100 brand new.... or dang close.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Prodigy nearly guarantees their brake controllers for life! If it's bad, contact them directly. You may be pleasently surprised. They value their reputation. I've heard stories about Tekonsha replacing "free-of-charge" 20 year old brake controllers, because they wanted the old one returned because they wanted to know what failed.... pretty amazing for an item that typically costs a bit less than $100 brand new.... or dang close.
Wish my RV shop had said something about that. On the other hand, I wanted things fixed ASAP and not have to wait.
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