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Old 12-07-2021, 10:53 AM   #1
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2021 brake issue

We purchased our 2021 3120rl new in January and took it out several times before a summer 3-month long trip. About 6 weeks into the trip we discovered we were having brake issues. We checked out our vehicle and found it to be working fine. We did what we could to check the trailer but were not able to pull the drums and wheels off the trailer to check the brakes. By the end of the trip we had virtually no brakes and still had to complete an elevation change of 7500 feet coming out of the Sierra Nevada range in California. (very scary situation)

After getting home we had a certified technician look at the brakes and we discovered that they were totally destroyed. We are waiting for Keystone to reply to our warranty claim.

Anyone else had similar brake issues?

FYI - this is not our first time towing a trailer and tow it with a 2019 Ram 3500. Our trip was through the northwest, leaving from Arizona. My husband regularly tows trailers in his business so we are by no means new to towing.
 
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana AZ owner View Post
We purchased our 2021 3120rl new in January and took it out several times before a summer 3-month long trip. About 6 weeks into the trip we discovered we were having brake issues. We checked out our vehicle and found it to be working fine. We did what we could to check the trailer but were not able to pull the drums and wheels off the trailer to check the brakes. By the end of the trip we had virtually no brakes and still had to complete an elevation change of 7500 feet coming out of the Sierra Nevada range in California. (very scary situation)

After getting home we had a certified technician look at the brakes and we discovered that they were totally destroyed. We are waiting for Keystone to reply to our warranty claim.

Anyone else had similar brake issues?

FYI - this is not our first time towing a trailer and tow it with a 2019 Ram 3500. Our trip was through the northwest, leaving from Arizona. My husband regularly tows trailers in his business so we are by no means new to towing.
Do you have disc (legacy package) or drum brakes?
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:39 PM   #3
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Could you provide more information describing the damage to your brakes? Disc or Electric? It would be very unusual to damage all four brake assemblies at once unless there was either an electrical or hydraulic fault. If the brake away pin cable was to hang up on something in the bed and the pin became disconnected that could cause you to overheat the brakes and ruin all four assemblies. With the pitiful drum brakes on most of the Montanas that could easily happen without your knowledge. If you have disc brakes than itís highly unlikely, as they would lock up the wheels and smoke the tires. Have you checked to see if that pin has become dislodged?
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Old 12-07-2021, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theunz View Post
Could you provide more information describing the damage to your brakes? Disc or Electric? It would be very unusual to damage all four brake assemblies at once unless there was either an electrical or hydraulic fault. If the brake away pin cable was to hang up on something in the bed and the pin became disconnected that could cause you to overheat the brakes and ruin all four assemblies. With the pitiful drum brakes on most of the Montanas that could easily happen without your knowledge. If you have disc brakes than itís highly unlikely, as they would lock up the wheels and smoke the tires. Have you checked to see if that pin has become dislodged?
I don't have any experience with the later models but when the brake away was operated on my 2006 at about 10mph there was no doubt as it jerked the truck to a stop in the middle of an intersection. Understanding the technology of the break away system I don't know why the newer models would act any different.
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Old 12-08-2021, 04:41 AM   #5
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On my 2019, I had one wheel where the magnet was destroyed and the wires were wrapped around the axle. I received it that way, but only found it when I did the first bearing service. Dexter ended up reimbursing me for the parts. I found the part on eTrailer cheaper than what Dexter had them for.
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Old 12-13-2021, 08:06 AM   #6
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sounds similar to what happened to me. same symptoms, just didn't seem right when stopping. When the pulled the drums off the pads were gone and the drums were scored. they were forward adjusting and my belief is they adjusted frequently and wore out premature. being used to car brakes I didn't think they could go that fast it was only a year (we don't tow it that much). started paying more attention and the wear rate is extremely high. so I followed the advice of this forum before getting another set of shoes - I got the disk brake conversion done - I will never have another big rig without disc's. easy to check pads, smoother stopping, stronger stopping, ..... better all around
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Old 12-13-2021, 08:21 AM   #7
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We just had our Disc Brake Pads changed this summer, and that was just over 6 years and 50K miles and still had pad left, but were at the replacement point.
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Old 12-13-2021, 12:10 PM   #8
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First, still waiting on OP to tell which brake system they have, because it is different issues that cause brakes to fail. On electric brakes, the most common cause of brake failure (and in 1000 miles you can destroy the whole system) is pumping grease into the lube zerk, blowing by the seal and getting onto the brake shoes. I had this happen to me. I had a company grease the bearings. One of their new guys greasing the suspension “greased” the wheel zerks after the bearings were greased.
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Old 12-13-2021, 04:08 PM   #9
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from OP

we have electric drum brakes, no legacy package,
here are pic of brakes
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Old 12-13-2021, 04:40 PM   #10
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I am assuming your dealer is doing the contact. It shouldn’t take them long to approve it and availability of parts from Dexter will determine how quick the repairs are done. Best of luck and keep us posted on the repairs. I would still think possibly grease past the seal.
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Old 12-13-2021, 04:52 PM   #11
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I had a friend of mine accidentally pulled his emergency brake application device out from his king pin while up in the back of his truck for some reason and that was what his brake pads and drums looked like before he realized what was going on. I think another person in another vehicle got his attention to the smoke. I ask him how do you not see that much smoke coming from your camper wheels. I kinda enjoyed harassing him how someone could do that and not realize something was not quite right when started pulling his camper from a dead stop right off the bat.He didn't see quite as much hummer in it as I did. Good thing he was a good friend.
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Old 12-13-2021, 05:33 PM   #12
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In your pics I DO NOT SEE the classis telltale sign of grease contamination from blow by thru the rear seal due to a faulty rear seal or incorrect lube technique if the EZ lube methods was used... Which I WILL NEVER USE THE EZ LUBE ZERKS

What I THINK I see in both images is missing or damaged brake shoe hold down springs... the brakes should be flush against the backing plate..

Either there was an issue with the hold down hardware or auto adjusters not working correctly..

I have over 38K miles on my original Dexer 7K brakes and bearings..
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Old 12-25-2021, 01:10 PM   #13
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Warped drums

What happens a lot in self adjusting drums is you overheat them and they warp. The drums go out of round and when you brake, the self adjuster will ratchet up a notch when it goes past the egg shape side(wide side). That in turn makes it even tighter and drag more on the the skinner side which wears the shoes even more. Vicious cycle.
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Old 12-26-2021, 07:30 AM   #14
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Yikes!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana AZ owner View Post
we have electric drum brakes, no legacy package,
here are pic of brakes
This would be beyond scary coming down a mountain. Really just bite the bullet and put on disk brakes and forget about worrying every time you start down another mountain and you will after seeing this. I can`t believe everyone doesn't do this as the their first modification. It took a near miss from a rude driver in a panic stop for me. As everyone says after they put them on " I`ll never tow a big unit with out them again." Just $1600 dollars in parts and about 5 hours of work on a weekend and then you can forget about brakes.
Just ask the wife.......
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Old 12-26-2021, 11:45 AM   #15
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My TPMS Saved us from a brake failure that could have been a lot worse than it was.
I would suspect a brake shoe retainer clip failed.

https://www.montanaowners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84766&highlight=Tpms+saved
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