After 3 years (next month) my wife and I finally got our camper to the point where we can use it. Still lots of work to do but it is usable.
We took it on its maiden voyage this past weekend to a local campground to work out the bugs.
Prior to the trip we took the camper out for a test drive. The brakes were making noise so I took the brakes apart and cleaned everything, lubed the grease points, inspected everything and put it back together. Everything looked good.
The noise seems to have gotten worse during the first trip. It's like a grinding, clacking sound. Almost as if the drum is out of round and something is hitting a high spot as the drum goes around. The sound is continuous while braking and it changes with speed.
It seems to be a pretty simple braking system. I've taken apart plenty of drum brakes on passenger vehicles so this is not new to me. I'm confident that it is all put back together properly, I took lots of pictures before disassembly. I guess the PO could have put them in wrong. I did not replace any parts because they all seemed to still be in good condition.
I also notice that when I release the brakes the trailer brakes will make a loud click sound, one time only. I don't know if that is normal but I assumed it was just the return spring pulling everything back to resting position.
Before the next trip, I would take the wheels off and inspect the brakes. Sounds like something is hitting/rubbing as you apply the brakes. It could be something simple, but what you describe is not normal.
What happens when you spin the brake and apply power? (with the wheel off) I had a brake with weak wiring that did all sorts of weird things. You're right, the "click" could be just the brakes releasing. Another thought is your brake controller.Is it adjusted to minimum braking? Perhaps try that and then gradually increase?
Please let us know what you find. It will help all of us.
I didn't realize I never closed out this thread. I ended up bringing the camper to a shop to have a look at the brake issue. One of the drums is cracked. Time to search out new hub/wheel options or a new axle. I'm hoping to avoid a new axle as it will be a custom size from what I was told by the shop that found the cracked drum. Once this last round of snow melts and the temp goes up it will be time to take some measurements.
I'm happy to report that I was able to get replacement hubs/drums, brakes and wheels to fit my original axle. I called eTrailer and supplied them with the numbers from the inner and outer bearings. They were able to cross reference those numbers to the appropriate replacements.
My inner bearing number is: L44648
My outer bearing number is: T-LM48549
They can do something similar by providing certain measurements from the spindle. They have that information on the website.
I got discouraged at first because I could have swore the last number on my outer bearing was an 8. And there was no matching part for that. After some time on the phone with an extremely helpful rep I decided to have a younger set of eyes read the numbers. Lo and behold it was a 9. Bingo! We had a match.
Here are the eTrailer item numbers I ended up with in case anyone is interested. The left and right brake assemblies also came in a kit but the kit was more than double the cost of the separate items and did not include anything additional. Go figure.
left brake assy - AKEBRK-35L-SA right brake assy - AKEBRK-35R-SA hub/drum - AKHD-545-35-K wheels - MX54FR center caps - PXQT545BHS
I am not going for an original restoration here, just functional. I'm very happy with the outcome.
Surprisingly, the four incredibly crusty nuts holding the brake assembly to the axle came right off. I sprayed them with PB Blaster only moments before trying and no problem. The new brake assembly lined up perfectly with the 4 mounting holes. For a grand total of US $451 this was a far better option for me than getting a custom sized axle made.
Now I need to get the tires swapped, make up the electrical connections and take it for a test drive and set the brake controller.
Last Edit: Apr 16, 2021 10:34:55 GMT -8 by haze5736: additional info about spindle measurements