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Old 02-21-2006, 05:58 AM   #1
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Adjusting the brakes

I've read that the trailer brakes need to be adjusted periodically. Can someone please tell me how to do this? I fulltime and don't want to tow the vehicle to an RV place and have them sit on it for 3 weeks.

If I can't do it, where would you suggest taking it to get it done?

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Old 02-21-2006, 08:44 AM   #2
JH Sechelt
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Location: Campbell River
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Hi Bob

1) Jack up one wheel at a time, so you can spin the tire.
2) take the rubber inspection cover off the center bottom of
the backing plate. it if about 1/2" by 1 1/4 " in size.
3) There is a little Star wheel inside the brake drum,
take a flat screwdriver and pry up the star wheel until the tire
will (just) not turn.
4) after the tire will not turn you need to pry down on the star wheel
a few clicks ( 2 or 4 clicks ) until the tire spins free.
Now the Brake shoes should just be short of contact to the drum.
5) put the dust capo back in.
6) let the wheel back down and do the same to the rest of the wheels.

oh by the the way, make sure you block up the axle well before lying under the
trailer. You don't want to just trust the jack.

Take Care
J & D
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:31 AM   #3
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If you don't want to do it yourself, any place that can adjust manual-adjusting brakes on cars should be able to do it. The procedure is identical. Unfortunately, self-adjusting car brakes have been around so long most car places may not know how to do this.

Every other year (about 20k to 25k miles) we make an appt with our RV Dealer to check the brakes and replace or adjust as needed. We make sure they know we are fulltiming and cannot leave the rig more than a day. So far they've allowed us to make an appt and just show up at the appointed time. Just make sure they understand your situation.
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Old 02-24-2006, 02:19 PM   #4
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I do mine just like J&D said. Perhaps the only difference is I leave a slight drag as the drum is rotated. I try for a drag occurring only for 1/4 turn (3/4 free of drag). You can hear/feel it.

Exercise the brake after your done by attaching the TV cord and pressing the brakes while spinning the drums and then release to make sure the drums don't stay locked. Several checks for each wheel.

Takes a little practice but once you get the hang of it you will do ok.

When you take the trailer out on the road after adjustment try to watch the trailer tires in the mirror for the first 100 miles or so to make sure there is no smoke.

Then the next time you check your adjustment if your get the 1/4 drag you know your ok and no need to adjust the brakes on the wheel you checked. Adjust only the ones that have no drag.
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:12 AM   #5
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Thank you all very much. I should be able to handle this.

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