Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We just picked up a 2011 Cameo 31ksls yesterday from Lazy Days RV in the Tampa area. Great experience and we think that we will love the RV.
So far, only one problem that we noticed on the drive home. I think, I mean I know, the brakes are very, very poor.
I will give a little background about grease on brakes that I have experienced.
Prior to the Cameo, we owned a 8200lb Outback Sydney fiver. I always felt the brakes were very poor and could barely lock them on sand much less pavement. Eventually, we pulled the drums and sure enough, 2 of the 4 brakes were covered in grease. We suspected that the manufacturer or delivering dealer had pumped the EZ Lube axles full of grease. We never did.
At that time, we towed with a Dodge Ram 2500 CTD with a Prodigy brake controller. I ran the brake controller wide open but after the new grease free brakes were installed, I was able to turn the Prodigy way down to about 7.
In May, we purchased a new 2011 Chevy Silverado 3500 Duramax/Allison with the intergrated brake controller. The entire set-up is awesome and the brake controller works far better than the Prodigy. The range is up to 10 and with the Outback, I had to turn it as low as 5. Using the manual lever would jerk the truck and lok the brakes.
Well, on the way home last night (200 miles/4 hours) I had plenty of opportunity to play with the brakes. I had the controller all the way up to the max setting of 10. The trailer brakes were so weak, they would barely hold the truck at idle. I tried several times closer to home on a stretch of road with no one around to push the manual lever all the way over at speeds around 40-45mph. No tire locked or skidded and I experienced no jerking like I would have with the old fiver.
So I do suspect the brakes are covered with grease - actually, I hope that is the problem. Makes sense to me. I know that my truck controller works perfectly. The brakes are engaging but are so weak. Thank God I have an exhaust brake.
I have read on the Carriage forum of another member with the same issue on the same exact model I have. Grease covered brakes, too. Another poster has the same truck and trailer and is running the intergrated controller on 4 or 5. Again, at 10, very little braking. I'm kind of doubting they are out of adjustment.
I'm all ears. Thanks, Phillip
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,485 Posts
Phillip,
In all of my years of towing, I’ve never hooked on to a new trailer and had the brakes work properly. There are many reasons why.

1st and foremost, axle inventories are stored outside in the elements, from the axle mfr to the frame mfr, all the way to the finished product…sometimes for years. And why not? They’ll be outside in use for their entire lifespan. When in storage and without any use, the brake drums rust over, limiting the magnet’s ability to ‘grab’ and activate the brakes. It can sometimes take hundreds of miles of driving before the drum face is clean enough for the magnet to bite.

2nd, no one ever adjusts the brakes on a new build; they’re just riding at a default position from the mfr.

3rd, improperly greased EZ-Lube axles. The RV forums tend to blame Dexter’s design in regards to the brake lining’s grease contamination, labeling them as troublesome and swearing never to own them again, when in fact, it’s a maintenance not a design issue.

When new, a proper baseline needs to be established by pulling the hubs and filling the spindles until the grease finally weeps thru the hole. This can take several tubes of grease to fill. With the spindles full and the bearings properly greased/packed and a baseline established, all that’s then needed is to lift and spin the wheel while applying new grease to the spindle. Pumping grease in without the bearing spin can have the grease pile up and get past the seal, contaminating the brake linings, which is what you experienced.

Pull the drums, inspect and clean with brake cleaner, make sure the spindles are full, and then adjust up the brake shoes all around. Then, You should be good to go. :thumb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hello Hook'em,
Thanks for the great detailed response! I could not have said it better. I do have a full understanding of the brakes and the grease situation having been there.
I guess my question is would an adjustment make a difference in the situation and test that I have described in the original post? I have an apointment with the dealer next month which is 4 hours away. In speaking in detail with them they advised me not to do anything since it is new and under a 2 year warranty. I do think I will see if an adjustment will make a difference but if it doesn't, I think I will let them deal with just becasue I do not want to give them any reason not to honor the warranty and absord the expense should it be a grease situation. If it is grease, I know they will have to clean everything up as well as replace the shoes. Thanks, Phillip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I must be a lucky one.......just picked up a new Keystone Sprinter and I had to keep backing the brakes off on the trip home.....no trouble seeing a bit of tire smoke at first........
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,485 Posts
4 hrs of driving time plus the cost of fuel and double that for the return trip? nono

Warranty aside, If you don't have the necessary tools on hand (jack, screwdriver, channel locks), it'd still be cheaper to pay a local brake shop to pull the drums (5 minutes each?) and inspect/clean the rust...FAR cheaper than 2 tanks of fuel. If there is oil/grease on the shoes, brake cleaner will remove it with no need to replace parts. humpin:
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top