Clicking Noise When Braking - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2015, 12:39 PM   #1
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Name: jen
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe 2003
Georgia
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Clicking Noise When Braking

Hi folks. I haven't actually towed my new-to-me casita yet beyond around the RV park where it has been parked since I bought it.

But the guy I bought it from (who suddenly "noticed" two problems the day of the sale, when I had all the cash ready), told me about this:

"When towing and applying the brakes, there seemed to be a clicking sound in the driver side trailer brake. The noise abated if the brakes were "pumped". No idea what that issue might be. It needs to be checked.

The braking system is proportional: the longer the brake pedal is DOWN the stronger the trailer brakes are. Hence pumping the brakes reduces the noise.

Still, get it checked."

I'm about to get my truck wired with a P2, then will practice towing on easy-traffic roads. I will definitely get it checked but thought y'all might have an idea what it might be or what I might tell whomever I take it to, to check.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:02 PM   #2
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
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The only REAL way to know what's going on in there is to have someone pull the wheel and check the brakes actuator and shoes. But if it's like my Scamp's axle, it will be the hub you pull and you will have to deal with the bearings as well. Did he say the last time he PULLED the wheels and checked the bearings and/or repacked them?

You dont tell us what year model of the Casita so it's hard to tell anything about it- age DOES make a difference.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:15 PM   #3
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It's a 2003 casita. I'll put that in my profile.
He said the wheels were new, they took a trip to their daughter because his wife is dying. She lives in Moab. They went out there in March/April and I bought this at end of May. So I would assume everything was repacked in March prior to their trip.

Couldn't tell about the guy though. I felt he was a creep. And he "discovered" two problems the day of sale when I already had all the cash in hand. Plus I just repaired a leaky faucet (yeah, I did not THOROUGHLY check everything, but if I had, he probably would have thrown a hissy if I discovered it and told me to take a hike and not buy the trailer. And I DO like the trailer and its in very good shape. It almost looks new inside except for some small things).

I mean to have somebody check all the rivets, too. I had ordered more from Little House, but haven't gotten them. I won't take it on the road without a thorough check.

I have no idea about bearings, axles, etc, and I don't intend to learn lol. I mean, I'll take it to a professional--I just wondered what anyone thought. He said it might be a $2 repair...or at most $50. I don't even know what he's talking about as its my first trailer.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:46 PM   #4
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You've got the right idea. And you've stated that you're not going to work on it, so I'd take it to a reputable RV or "Trailer" repair and let them take a look at the wheels/bearings/brakes. THEN you will feel secure. No matter about the other issues/problems, if the wheels/axles arent right, you will be sitting on the side of the road!
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:58 PM   #5
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I don't think I would take it to an RV repair place. Almost all automotive shops can handle brakes and wheel bearings. If you have some that works on any of your vehicles talk to them. Most the time in my observations RV shops charge close to twice the hourly rate of automotive shops.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:53 PM   #6
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Georgia
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Thanks--yep--I have good info on a few local repair shops.
I just thought y'all might have an idea what such a clicking is, and what to expect...but maybe it's impossible to know.
The leaky faucet set me back $200! My bad. The plumber, who was very reasonable in installing my ceramic low profile toilet, upgrading my showerhead, doing the HEPVO valve mod, and installing a higher faucet neck, must be having a hard week? He went and bought me a $60 bar faucet, brass etc (I do like it but...I would've liked some various options) and then charged me $140 for the "service call" even though it didn't take much time to install the faucet...yikes. He probably took a commission on the expensive faucet and...then charged me much more than last time for his time. My jaw dropped, I faintly protested, but I hadn't asked ahead of time what this particular job would cost. So I learned a lesson.

So I'm just hoping I don't have a somewhat expensive issue here...but whatever it is, I'll take care of it, of course.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:05 PM   #7
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In regard to your clicking noise, do you have hub caps on your trailer. It's hard to pinpoint sometimes, but often hub caps are a bit loose in one direction or have a small piece of gravel or such in them. When you are going slow, centrifugal force doesn't stop the movement of the cap or debris, so you hear a clicking sound. It may not have anything to do with your brakes.

RE: proportional brakes. Proportional brakes are based on the action of an accelerometer which senses how fast the tow vehicle is slowing down. The greater the deceleration rate the greater the voltage applied to the trailer brakes. Pedal time has nothing to do with it. Since it's an electronic system, if properly set up the action is virtually instantaneous.

The accelerometer is the reason that some controllers are more sensitive to mounting angle.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:17 PM   #8
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Dexter, the folks who make axles, recommend greasing the bearings every 12 k miles or every year. I did mine today. To do it I needed seals, some grease, some solvent to clean the bearings, and 2 cotter pins. Less than $15. To have a mechanic do it figure an hour labor. While it is not hard, it needs to be done right. To do the job the brake drum must be removed so brake inspection is easy. They will inspect all the parts and check things out. If there is a problem, you need to fix it. Your axle is the most important part of your trailer when it comes to safety. Good luck and do let us know what they find. Raz
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:31 PM   #9
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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The newer Dexter axles don't use a cotter pin on the nut, they have a washer with a lock tab. The whole brake assembly, backing plate with shoes, magnet, and all hardware is available as an assembly at a reasonable price
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:39 PM   #10
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etrailer has the assembly for $36 per wheel, or $46 per wheel for the self adjuster model. For Dexter 3500 lb axle. I've also seen them at my local trailer dealer, Heavy Haulers, where I bought my truck cap. Got seals and a bearing kit there too.
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:52 PM   #11
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Name: jen
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe 2003
Georgia
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Ummm... Thanks for all the good info but are you suggesting I get new brake assemblies or grease the wheels...I think they did 4000 miles in that spring 2015 trip on the new tires and he claimed all was good, bearings, etc...I will check out the hubcap.


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Old 07-31-2015, 06:49 PM   #12
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Just saying if there are worn brakes or broken parts or excessive rust, the new assemblies may be the way to go. And since you have said the seller was squirrelly, do you believe he knows the bearing condition or that they have been serviced recently, or done correctly.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:34 PM   #13
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Bob is correct. The 7 inch drums on my trailer use the cotter pin but the 10" drums don't. Cheaper to do! Raz
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:55 PM   #14
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And simpler Raz. I prefer the cotter pin style myself.
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