Brakes not used by previous owner for several years - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-08-2015, 02:11 AM   #1
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Name: denny
Trailer: 2001 Scamp 16 layout 3
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Brakes not used by previous owner for several years

I can not check the brakes before purchasing but the owner never used them while he owned trailer for several years. He thought he was since he plugged into a harness but he never had a brake controller in his TV so I assume they were not functioning. Not sure of other owners usage. Trailer is 13 yrs old. Possibly a minor repair issue or do you think it could be all rusted up or other major brake problem and if so cost to repair?
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:11 AM   #2
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Under $100. My 5500 hadnt had brakes used. For quite a few years either, I just pulled the hubs off, cleaned with a wire brush, and reassembled, then adjusted.
Joe
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:36 AM   #3
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To test, I energize the brakes from the 7 pin plug using two pieces of metal, small nails will work, and a wire with alligator clips on each end. I connect the 12 volt supply (battery) to the brake line. With a wheel jacked, I have a helper spin the wheel and make the connection. If the wiring is good, the wheel stops.

That said, if I were buying a used trailer I would want to have the bearings greased. To do this the drum has to be removed. As Joe suggests, checking the condition af the brakes is easy to do with the drum off.

As far as replacement, I redid mine using Dexter parts I bought from etrailer for about $250. That was brakes mounted on a backing plate, drums, new bearings, etc. If you have it done at a local shop brakes and bearings should be less than $500.

Don't forget to check the date on the tires. If they need replacing add $200 to the bill. Good luck, Raz
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:51 AM   #4
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I think Raz has it pretty well covered. I would want to look the hubs/bearings over anyway so the brakes will be exposed to check things out. I suspect you will find fine but dirty brake components covered in spider webs. They will probably clean up and function fine. This would not keep me from buying a trailer I was set on otherwise, but I would have working brakes on it soon.

I recently bought an enclosed cargo trailer with electric brakes and found they were fine but unadjusted. After cleaning them and adjusting them they work fine.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:30 AM   #5
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
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From experience, if you dont disassemble and check the brakes, they will more than likely "stick" from being corroded/rusted. And as mentioned, make SURE you check...in this case...I would replace the bearings while having the hubs removed.

I dont know your level of expertise in the mechanical field, but if you're not comfortable doing the bearing work, you will need to have it done by an experienced mechanic. Clean, properly greased, and finely adjusted wheel bearings are crucial for a safe pull on the road with your trailer.

You didnt mention the brand of trailer, but you will need to know the axle brand before beginning this work if you purchase the trailer....
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:01 AM   #6
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Name: kevin
Trailer: 13' Scamp
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directions online

I concur with comments above and will add that Trailer Hitches & Vehicle Accessories (800)298-8924 has amazing videos on exactly how to do all of these things. I simply bring the laptop out with me and stop and start the video as I complete each step... or get it done for you.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
From experience, if you dont disassemble and check the brakes, they will more than likely "stick" from being corroded/rusted.
Good point. Testing first might freeze up the brakes, making the trailer hard to get home. Raz
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denny w View Post
Not sure of other owners usage. Trailer is 13 yrs old. Possibly a minor repair issue or do you think it could be all rusted up or other major brake problem and if so cost to repair?
When I first acquired by 16 year old scamp (that had spent a better part of its life parked) due to the state of the rust on the springs & other moving parts of the brakes, but little wear on the brake pads which I suspect where original to the trailer, I decided to just buy a whole new dexter brake assemble. If I remember correctly the cost was about $40 per side & it included new pads. I also had the hubs polished up as there was a far amount of surface rust on them where the magnet would/should contact it. I actually do not think the previous owners of the trailer had ever adjust the brakes so they probable never really full working correctly which may account for why everything was as rusty as it was.

Edit: Should add I did not take the wheels off before heading home with the new to me trailer as the owner had a receipt for a very recent wheel bearing change. I realized the brakes where a question mark when I attempted to set up my brake controller before heading home.... could not get much if any braking power out of them.
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:10 PM   #9
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
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I'm "assuming" you have a Dexter axle and 10" brakes.

E-trailer has 10" manual adjust brake asssemblies for $35 each. (left and right are different)
https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Trailer_Brakes.aspx

And hubs complete with bearings, bolt and cover for $50, if you have ez lube axle they are $51.
https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Tra...and_Drums.aspx
So for around $170 you can get everything new. Or if your hubs are usable brake shoes and backing plates for $70.

Joe
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