Dexter brakes and drums - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:39 PM   #1
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Name: Jeffrey
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Dexter brakes and drums

I have replaced by brakes and drums on my 17' 2010 Casita with Dexter products as was there originally. I followed Dexter's directions and know of no place that I failed to do as needed as well as several etrailer videos. On my test run today my hub temps were 143 and 135 after 1 hour at average 55 mph and 80 exterior temperature. Does anyone have an opinion?
Dexter is tough to get through to.
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:56 PM   #2
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How are you measuring temperatures? In my world, if the hubs are too hot to touch they are too hot. In your case you might be OK, but I would guess that either your bearings are too tight or the brakes are adding to the heat you are reading.

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Old 10-22-2021, 05:12 PM   #3
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Did the wheels spin freely?

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Originally Posted by Dan Meyer View Post
OK, but I would guess that either your bearings are too tight or the brakes are adding to the heat you are reading. --Dan Meyer
The wheels should spin freely when finished. I tighten the castle nut until just tight and then back off until the lock pin can be installed. Mine on a 16' Scamp run about 30 degrees above ambient temperature. Measured with a cheap Harbor Freight infrared thermometer.
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:04 PM   #4
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First question is where on the hub are you checking the temperature? If checking the hub temperature at the center of the wheel, this where to check for overheating wheel bearings. Best place to check temperature of the brake drum is on the side of the drum behind the wheel, and when checking here the temperature will vary depending whether you have been braking infrequently or frequently and/or for long periods such as braking while descending a hill or braking for stop lights or stop signs. On wheels with spokes or large openings, its possible to check the "front" of the brake drum surface.
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:12 PM   #5
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A few years ago I noticed a problem where one brake drum (when reaching behind the tire/wheel) was too hot to touch. The other was ambient temperature. I eventually determined that the ambient temperature brake was not working because the magnet was detached. The properly functioning brake was doing all of the work and overheating.
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:47 AM   #6
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I would say those temperature are very acceptable. Obviously going from 55 to 0mph required the brakes to engage. That friction added to the heat.
As said earlier if your wheels turn freely when jacked up, you've done a great job.
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Old 10-23-2021, 11:57 AM   #7
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Dial back the adjuster Star one turn
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Old 10-23-2021, 01:01 PM   #8
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Dial back the adjuster Star one turn
That is just a wild shot in the dark. You don't even say which one and a full turn is a lot of change. If there is a concern, it would be much better to check the adjustment on both sides, than making a wild guess on one side only. 7 degrees temp difference is nothing.

New brakes have to break-in before they become fully affective. So it may just be that one is taking a bit more breaking in than the other.

An initial break-in procedure of about 20 stops from 30 MPH will help them. Start out with the controller on the highest setting that won't skid, and reduce it as needed as the brakes begin to work better. Then normal use on a trip of about 1500 miles will bring them to near full strength. You may start out at 10 on the controller and end up at about 3-4, for instance.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:33 PM   #9
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JL, I have been servicing my Casita brakes for 16 years. Other trailers (boat, utility, cargo) for 55+ years. I have never had HUB temps more than ambient air temp. I trust you throughly greased your bearings on installation and packed the entire hub with the 'easy lube' fitting. When doing this you have to spin the wheel while pumping the grease in. Don't pump grease too fast as you can blow out the grease seal. From what I understand from your description, IMHO, the bearings are too tight (not enough play) or not enough grease. Jack up your wheels and determine if they spin freely. If they do the heat is probably not originating from the brakes. That's my best ideas, hope it helps.

P.S. You might also check the play in the bearings (with the wheels off the ground), grab the tire at 6 and 12 o'clock position and try to rock the tire. You should feel a tiny bit of 'play'. In my early years, we used to check the play with a dial indicator. We were really anal about being exact. Didn't have 'easy lube' to grease bearings either.
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Old 10-28-2021, 05:57 AM   #10
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Old 10-30-2021, 04:46 PM   #11
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I am replacing my brakes with self adjusting brakes and found this info on Lippert web site . I never knew that brakes need to be burnished. Hereís the link. https://lci-support-doc.s3.amazonaws...cd-0001947.pdf
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Old 10-30-2021, 05:56 PM   #12
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I've never heard of that temperature check either.

But I used the 40MPH->20MPH procedure many times to "seat" my new brakes and it made a HUGE difference.

I also did apply the brakes when driving at highway speeds, but I didn't hold them for 1/2 mile. Maybe more like 1/10 mile.

My drums NEVER got to 350F or smoked, so maybe I'm still not getting maximum performance.
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Old 10-31-2021, 05:26 PM   #13
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I've never heard of that temperature check either.

But I used the 40MPH->20MPH procedure many times to "seat" my new brakes and it made a HUGE difference.

I also did apply the brakes when driving at highway speeds, but I didn't hold them for 1/2 mile. Maybe more like 1/10 mile.

My drums NEVER got to 350F or smoked, so maybe I'm still not getting maximum performance.
Allen at dexter axle the procedure to seat new brakes is exactly as you mentioned! The information I posted was from lippert.com. Where it states to heat the brakes to 350. I am installing lippert self adjusting brakes.
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Old 07-31-2022, 04:56 PM   #14
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New brakes have to break-in before they become fully affective. So it may just be that one is taking a bit more breaking in than the other.

An initial break-in procedure of about 20 stops from 30 MPH will help them. Start out with the controller on the highest setting that won't skid, and reduce it as needed as the brakes begin to work better. Then normal use on a trip of about 1500 miles will bring them to near full strength. You may start out at 10 on the controller and end up at about 3-4, for instance.

This is good to know!


I just installed new bearings, seals, brake assemblies and drums along with new wheels and tires. I tried following the Dexter recommendations of burnishing the brakes then tried following the Tekonsha recommendations for setting my P3 controller.

Tekonsha says to start at about 6V and increase gain until you get wheel lockup and back off a bit. I couldn't get the wheels to lock up even at 12+V.


I called up a FGRV member with some experience in this for guidance. Jacked each side of the trailer up, spun the wheel and manually applied the controller. I could hear the magnet actuate and the wheel instantly stopped dead. That means the electrical side was working as intended.


I then redid the manual adjustment till the wheel didn't easily move and backed off a bit so you could still feel drag. Took the trailer out for a 2nd trip. I could feel the tow vehicle initially labouring which improved over the next 5-10 km. I had a stop planned at the 50 km point since install to retorque the wheels for a second time in a shopping mall parking lot. I still couldn't get the wheels to lock up.



In addition to what Raspy (John) says; I considered that brake fade from the shoes being in almost constant contact during the break in period as well as new tires giving me maximum grip were also factors in not being able to lock up. My hubs were warm but I could hold on to them. Dexter also says to apply the brakes intermittently so things don't get too hot. On the way back home I tweaked the voltage down until the amount of trailer pull when braking felt right. Peak was set to 10 V.



Dexter says to readjust the brakes at 200 mi and every 3000 miles there after. (322 & 4828 km for the rest of the world). If you can believe YouTubers, some say to do the first adjustment at 300 or 500 miles.
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