Brakes - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-29-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
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Brakes

Where is a good place to start putting brakes on a VT, there is nothing there at this time.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Roger Kimble View Post
Where is a good place to start putting brakes on a VT, there is nothing there at this time.
If it has a plate behind the spindle with 4 holes in it, then brakes can usually just be added by buying the backing plates with brakes already installed and/or with the drum hubs. Then it is a simple bolt-on job plus wiring.
If there are no plates behind the spindle you are looking at the need for new spindle assemblies which on a torsion axle means a new axle, which can be bought with brakes already installed
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:20 AM   #3
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Thank you sounds good, I'll start looking.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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Roger,

I will talk to Kevin to have him check out this question. He redid our brakes, although we are not quite done with them yet. We have to get them bled next spring.

Of course, you may not decide to go with surge brakes like our VT has. That was original equipment, although we replaced our original setup with a used surge assembly from the dual axel trailer that Uhaul rents out. That trailer has parts that match the VT, i.e. hubs and brakes. However, as I write this, I am thinking I remember a conversation with Kevin where he said that Uhaul is not selling those parts anymore. We wondered how they planned to service their dual axel trailer. I may be mixed up though.

I will have him post here.

CindyL
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:12 PM   #5
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Thank you
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:33 PM   #6
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I would be very surprised if your VT doesn't have the original set of brakes installed, unless a previous owner replaced the backing plates. Our 1986 VT had the old brakes still there but they were totally shot. Everything was rusted tight, so they obviously hadn't been used in years.

You should have a surge brake unit on the hitch-end of the tongue. If that is not there, you either have a strange, one-of-a-kind VT or it was removed. If it's there, you can use it to power your new surge brakes. If it's not there, you will probably want to go to electric brakes. Most trailers have electric brakes now.

For our VT, I ordered new 10 inch brakes with the components all included. Unfortunately, the 4 holes available on the new generic brakes available don't quite match up with the UHaul hub bolts. This is because UHaul had proprietary parts to keep people from stealing pieces of the trailer to use on other rigs. Only UHaul parts would fit a UHaul (for the most part) and I could not find anywhere to get original style UHaul brake plates. To mount these new backing plates, I drilled a new fourth hole and slightly elongated another hole to match the hub bolts. This results in a braking backplate that is slightly off level, but it works just fine. To look at it, it is tipped slightly to the front with the center of the rear shoe more at 10:00 rather than level at 9:00. The hydraulic brake line hooks up just fine. By the way, you have a choice of rear-locking or free rolling brake plates. The free rolling brakes allow you to back up with the brakes applying through the surge controller. I have the read-locking units, just because I was cheap when I ordered them! You can lock the controller open to prevent pressure being applied if you have the rear-locking units, or you can just back up very slowly, with constant pressure (no quick starts).

My problem has been with the surge control unit. It doesn't seem to want to move easily (I know it shouldn't be TOO easy), and bleeding the brakes to clear the lines of air is a problem. I hope to solve this next spring when I take the trailer out of storage. Up to the this time, we have towed the VT for over 20,000 miles with NO brakes working and our VW Eurovan has handled the braking well. Of course, I start and stop slowly and allow plenty of distance, anticipating stops well in advance. We've gone in the Rockies and the Appalachians with no problems yet, but I'd like to get those brakes working. If you have them clearly installed, state troopers could ticket us for not having working brakes. If we didn't have any brakes, I guess it's no problem for most states.

Sorry for the long posting!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:25 PM   #7
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Thank you for the information, it will help a lot, there are no brakes at all on the VT, just the hub and wheel. I pulled it from Denver Co. down to Pueblo Co. then went east on 400 to Wichita Ka. 65mph with our Chevy Impala, It was a dream to pull, easy to stop. I have been driving semi trucks & heavy crains for over 45 years, this was like a breath of fresh air. I worked for Michigan Dept of Transportation, statewide overhead signs. It sounded like you did a very nice job on your brakes, if you can hook a chain binder up to the front of your tongue, to ingage you brakes it will help in bleading them.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
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I was thinking today, if someone changed the axle, that would account for alot, note the wheels, I'll have to check when I get to Wichita, it is a torsion axle though
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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If you change the axel, Roger, you can get rid of the proprietary Uhaul issue. That is a goal of our VT in the future. We were lucky and found a dealer with new hubs that fit ours when one blew on a trip in Montana but that kind of luck only comes once.

If we were in a position to change our axel, I would be discussing it with Kevin. It would make me more secure to know that if we break down again (I was driving when this happened. Happily, nothing did happen, and Kevin spotted the awkward angle of the tire before we left a very accommodating Motel 6.) that the neighborhood RV place would be able to service the camper.

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Old 12-02-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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Oh, and nice-looking VT! Only 1 of around 12 that can be accounted for.

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Old 12-02-2011, 08:03 PM   #12
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My rims are not UHall, so can you put regular trailer rims on a UHall axel ? If not then some one has changed the axel, no brakes, no master cylinder on the tongue. Maybe Kevin will know?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:12 PM   #13
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Did you ask Spencer (I am remembering correctly here, right? You bought his VT?)? Do you want me to ask Spencer, assuming he responds to my PM?

I will ask Kevin to weigh in here. He has had a busy week and is gone tonight and tomorrow AM. It does sound though as if someone changed your camper to non-Uhaul (Lucky you! The first thing Kevin said when I told him to post here was to say tell you to go non-Uhaul.). I almost wonder if you searched for Spencer here and at uhaulcamper if you would find the answer. My recollection though is that anything Spencer might have done was done by an RV place. And actually, that implies non-Uhaul. An RV place cannot deal with the Uhaul parts.

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Old 12-02-2011, 10:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyL View Post
Did you ask Spencer (I am remembering correctly here, right? You bought his VT?)? Do you want me to ask Spencer, assuming he responds to my PM?

I will ask Kevin to weigh in here. He has had a busy week and is gone tonight and tomorrow AM. It does sound though as if someone changed your camper to non-Uhaul (Lucky you! The first thing Kevin said when I told him to post here was to say tell you to go non-Uhaul.). I almost wonder if you searched for Spencer here and at uhaulcamper if you would find the answer. My recollection though is that anything Spencer might have done was done by an RV place. And actually, that implies non-Uhaul. An RV place cannot deal with the Uhaul parts.

CindyL
Spencer said he did not know about the brakes, he said he had a guy look at them, he said they were all there, and they are not, there is nothing but the hub's
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