Burning Smell - Brakes?? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-20-2014, 06:25 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Virginia
Posts: 573
Burning Smell - Brakes??

I picked up my Parkliner yesterday and on the drive home (about 1 hour), I smelled something that I think was something burning. I stopped and checked a couple of times and the smell was very faint and I couldn't identify where it was coming from.

I've never used a brake controller before and wonder if that might be the problem. I could use some help understanding the instructions. The brake controller display indicates it is hooked up correctly.

The instructions say:
  1. Connect trailer to tow vehicle (OK)
  2. Set power knob to 6.0 (OK)
  3. Drive 25 mph and fully apply manual knob (I pushed the manual knob all the way to the left while driving)
  4. If brakes lock (turn power level down)
  5. If brakes not sufficient (turn power level up)
  6. Repeat until properly set
Step 3 was confusing. The instructions didn't say how to fully apply the manual knob or what was supposed to happen when it was applied. I pushed it all the way to the left as that was the only option I saw. Nothing happened when I pushed it to the left.

When I applied the breaks the trailer breaks didn't lock and I had good control, but I couldn't really tell if the trailer brakes were working or not. I left the controller on 6 and headed home.

Going up hill, I felt something strange, but can't clearly describe it. It was kind of like the engine was surging, but it wasn't the engine. I'm wondering if the brake controller was engaging the trailer brakes for short periods of time. It was subtle and mainly a feel thing.

I've checked the manual for troubleshooting tips and nothing matches what i experienced.

What should I check and how can I test it?

ETA: The trailer hadn't been towed before.

ETA 2: Brake controller problem resolved. I'm a dummy.
__________________

__________________
Huck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 07:34 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Virginia
Posts: 1,556
Huck
The first thing I do with a new axle is to pull the hubs and check and repack the bearings, re install the hubs and adjust the brakes. Sounds as if you may have a brake dragging. Jack up each side and make sure the wheels turn freely at the very least. What part of Va. are you located? If near the Northern Neck I can give you a hand to help figure out what is going on.
__________________

__________________
Eddie Longest is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 07:34 AM   #3
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,063
Hello Huck and congratulations on the Parkliner. It would be useful to know what controller you have. On my prodigy the manual actuator is a lever on the bottom of the controller that is pushed left to right. The power adjust is a wheel located on the top. The adjustment procedure is the same. I do it on a gravel road to save the tires if they lock up. When the manual lever is pushed the magnets energize and if you have a helper do it you can listen at the wheel and hear them. If you are not sure, do it with a wheel jacked, spin the wheel. The wheel will stop. Raz
__________________
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 08:13 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Virginia
Posts: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Hello Huck and congratulations on the Parkliner. It would be useful to know what controller you have. On my prodigy the manual actuator is a lever on the bottom of the controller that is pushed left to right. The power adjust is a wheel located on the top. The adjustment procedure is the same. I do it on a gravel road to save the tires if they lock up. When the manual lever is pushed the magnets energize and if you have a helper do it you can listen at the wheel and hear them. If you are not sure, do it with a wheel jacked, spin the wheel. The wheel will stop. Raz
So pushing the manual lever all the way to the left should engage the brakes?

I have a Prodigy P2 brake controller.

I pushed the manual knob to the left and set the power control at 6.0. Then while driving about 25 mph, I pushed the manual lever all the way to the left. Nothing noticeable happened. When I pressed the brakes I stopped with no problem, so I drove home with the setting on 6.0.
__________________
Huck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Virginia
Posts: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Huck
The first thing I do with a new axle is to pull the hubs and check and repack the bearings, re install the hubs and adjust the brakes. Sounds as if you may have a brake dragging. Jack up each side and make sure the wheels turn freely at the very least. What part of Va. are you located? If near the Northern Neck I can give you a hand to help figure out what is going on.
Thanks for the offer, but I'm 4-5 hours away.
__________________
Huck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 08:41 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Victor Benz's Avatar
 
Name: Vic
Trailer: Fiber Stream 1982 16 ft
Alberta
Posts: 361
Registry
When I do these tests, I always do them on a level, gravel road. Open drivers car window, accelerate to 25 mph, and the simultaneously take foot off the gas and apply the trailer brakes, steadily moving the manual knob to the left. Listen for the engagement of the trailer brakes, you'll hear it, gravel will be flying. I target engagement at about 75% of travel to the left. Once that is set, I try again, accelerate to say 50 mph, and get a sense of how long the trailer brakes take to slow down the whole tow package, with foot off the gas.
__________________
Victor Benz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 08:48 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Ice-breaker's Avatar
 
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Escape 19 and Escape 15B
Alberta
Posts: 470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Nothing noticeable happened. When I pressed the brakes I stopped with no problem, so I drove home with the setting on 6.0.
When you say you stopped no problem when applying the vehicle brakes, that was the vehicle brakes working by themselves. The trailer brakes were not helping out at all.

Sounds like your trailer brakes are not functioning, either due to brake controller malfunctioning or being out of adjustment, or due to the trailer brakes themselves not functioning.

You will need to have this checked out. It doesn't sound from your description that you are highly experienced at this, it may be best to take it into a shop where the experts can sort it out for you.
__________________
Dave W - 2013 Escape 19', 2013 Escape 15B and 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." - Yogi Berra
Ice-breaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 09:03 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Virginia
Posts: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice-breaker View Post
When you say you stopped no problem when applying the vehicle brakes, that was the vehicle brakes working by themselves. The trailer brakes were not helping out at all.

Sounds like your trailer brakes are not functioning, either due to brake controller malfunctioning or being out of adjustment, or due to the trailer brakes themselves not functioning.

You will need to have this checked out. It doesn't sound from your description that you are highly experienced at this, it may be best to take it into a shop where the experts can sort it out for you.
I'm not experienced, but with some guidance I can narrow down the problem. I smelled something and my trailer brakes don't seem to come on, yet I felt some drag going uphill. So related or 2 separate problems?

I'm going out for a short test drive.
__________________
Huck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 09:07 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Roy in TO's Avatar
 
Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
Posts: 4,954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
The instructions say:

3. Drive 25 mph and fully apply manual knob (I pushed the manual knob all the way to the left while driving)

Step 3 was confusing. The instructions didn't say how to fully apply the manual knob or what was supposed to happen when it was applied. I pushed it all the way to the left as that was the only option I saw. Nothing happened when I pushed it to the left.
When you hit your speed, foot of the gas and brakes. Gradually move the manual lever, as you do the trailer brakes should gradually apply. You should feel or be able to watch the trailer slow both itself and the vehicle down. (Think of applying your vehicle brakes, you don't jump on them to stop).

If you don't start to slow down, you need to increase the power. If the wheels on the trailer lock (skid) your power is too high. New brakes take a few applications to "settle in" so you will need to repeat this over a few trips. I think it is a good idea to check step 3 a few times at the beginning of every trip. My vehicle brakes don't take well to sitting for long times, so I expect the trailer brakes act the same.

Hope that helps.
__________________
Roy in TO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,063
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
So pushing the manual lever all the way to the left should engage the brakes?

I have a Prodigy P2 brake controller.

I pushed the manual knob to the left and set the power control at 6.0. Then while driving about 25 mph, I pushed the manual lever all the way to the left. Nothing noticeable happened. When I pressed the brakes I stopped with no problem, so I drove home with the setting on 6.0.
Correct. As I suggested earlier, get a helper. With the trailer stationary let the helper push the lever and you listen next to the wheel. You will hear the brake magnet energize. If you don't, jack the wheel, spin it and push the lever. If it stops the wheel then you need to repeat the adjustment procedure until it is high enough to feel the drag. What you want is enough brake to compensate for the weight of trailer. Raz
__________________
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 10:09 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Virginia
Posts: 573
One problem solved.

You know how Prodigy uses dots before and sometimes after, like .C and .C.?

When the instructions said to set power to 6, I actually set it to .6. Now I have it set at 8 and that seems about right.

I didn't smell anything today, but I only drove about a 4 mile circuit 3 times.
__________________
Huck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 10:21 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Just as a side note I use a Prodigy 2 with a Scamp 16' on an Outback and I have never had to set the controller anywhere near 6 to have the brakes work correctly. If set to 6 and I was to pull the controllers manual lever over the trailer would be hopping like a bunny rabbit & pull the tug to a dead stop pretty darn quick. Actually it will do that if set at anything over 3.

Did you controller come with a video disk? Its helpful in clearly showing how to set up. Otherwise Prodigy does have on line how to videos that may help.

It sounds to me as though either the controller is not working or the trailer brakes need adjustment as Raz suggests.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 10:24 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
One problem solved.

You know how Prodigy uses dots before and sometimes after, like .C and .C.?

When the instructions said to set power to 6, I actually set it to .6. Now I have it set at 8 and that seems about right.

I didn't smell anything today, but I only drove about a 4 mile circuit 3 times.
LOL glad you figured it out. But as I mentioned having to set it to 8 sounds pretty high to me for the weight of your trailer.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2014, 10:53 AM   #14
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,063
Setting brakes is as much art as it is science. It takes a while to get a " feel" for it. I try set mine so when I stop at the bottom of a hill, the trailer is not pushing the truck. As I recall, Parkliner comes with self adjusting brakes, so at least you won't need to do that in a few hundred miles. Good luck and again, congrats on the new trailer. Raz
__________________

__________________
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
brakes


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Burning Man hunter42 Camping, Campout Reports 55 08-08-2012 09:49 PM
BURNING MAN - How Do You Do It?? CallDon General Chat 6 10-06-2011 10:49 AM
Any full timers going to Burning Man? Chris Dunphy Fulltiming in a Molded Fiberglass Trailer 4 11-11-2008 06:34 PM
The Burning Man RonMayo Camping, Campout Reports 7 08-22-2008 07:05 PM
Camp Nomadia at Burning Man 2008 Chris Dunphy Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets (Archive) 3 08-22-2008 05:06 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.