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Uneven Brakes


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Hi All, we picked up our Elite II last fall and probably put about 5000 miles on it then parked it undercover for the last 6 months.  Now I’m finding that the two driver side tires will brake to the point of locking up before the passenger side does anything.  Actually the driver side will drag for awhile before releasing.  My mechanic friend  backed off the brake adjustment (after moving the arm up) to the point where the automatic tightening would start if he went any farther.  He’s coming back up but happy for any input.

Jeff

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There's actually not much you can do with the auto adjusting Dexter brakes. You can back them off, but the auto adjuster will just put them back to where they were. However, you might be able to lower your brake controller power setting to eliminate the skidding. Our 2022 was dragging one brake as you describe and I was able to lower the brake controller setting enough to stop the skidding, but still have enough braking power overall. Our Ollie's brakes are very strong and require a lower setting than our previous trailers.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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We had something similar that when we were braking the tires were skidding. We had a mobile RV tech come out and check our brakes. Turned out our brake controller was set too high. Once we lowered it the skidding stopped. 
 

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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

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Adjusting the controller didn’t seem to change much-one side was still braking much more aggressively.  However, I am picking up a new controller to see if that helps and, per my friend’s suggestion, am taking the drums in to get turned or at least checked.  Everything else seems to be working correctly and all the brakes are getting the same voltage.  I will give the Oliver service center a call tomorrow morning.  

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3 hours ago, Boonter Jeff said:

Adjusting the controller didn’t seem to change much-one side was still braking much more aggressively

The vast majority of times we have seen this it is a simple matter of the auto adjusters are way out of adjustment.  They need to be adjusted on both sides of the trailer to the same point.  I would certainly spend the time checking them out before changing out a brake controller.  

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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Please, open a service ticket, and get checked locally. If you only picked up last fall,  you're still under warranty 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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Pulling a service ticket is probably a good next step.  It puts the kibosh on our immediate plans to head north.  I also have no idea where I would take the trailer, I’ve lost faith in our local RV place.  I’m going to try for the second time to get the right controller to plug into our Tundra (Justin at Oliver thought this might be the problem).  Just to make things interesting we live on the top of a very steep hill.  The whole thing is keeping me pretty anxious.  I am grateful for this forum and help I’ve gotten here.  Of course one of the big pluses of buying a new Oliver with self adjusting brakes and 100,000 mile bearings was to minimize stress and hassle 🤨

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After careful adjustment, the next step is to determine the total power going to the four brake magnets.  I can think of two ways to do this:

1.  IF YOU HAVE SOLAR:  

  • Disconnect from TV.  Shut off everything in the trailer and note the residual amp draw. 
  • Go to the street side bed area and locate the power connection for the emergency activation of the brakes. 
  • Using your solar control system, check and record the amp draw causes by parasitic draws (Smoke and propane detectors, stereo, tv etc. Record this amp draw.  Should be very low.
  • Pull the break-away and check your solar system control and determine the amp draw.  Subtract the two numbers and you will have the power going to your brakes "locked up".  It should be right around 12 amps. 
  • Reinsert the break away pin to conserve power and avoid overhheating the magnets.
  • If the increased power draw is less than about 12 amps, it likely will be around 3, 6 or 9 amps thereby indicating you have one or more magnets with a problem.  
  • If it is near 12 amps, the issue is not with the trailer end of the system.  I would then take it to a trailer brake pro, not a RV shop.

2.  If you don't have solar, than I would connect Ollie to your TV and having a partner to activate the brakes:

  • Measure the total amperage going to the brakes.  Requires a clamp on amp meter.  Should read between 11 and 12 amps.  This will tell you if one or more of your brakes are not getting the power it needs to fully activate.  If low:
  • Test the power going to each side.  Should be half of the above (around 6 amps) and equal side to side.  If not:
  • Test each of the four lines going into the brake assembly to figure out which one is the problem.
  • If found, determine if it is:  Broken/corroded connection, bad ground to that magnet, or a bad magnet. 

As above, knowing the amp draw at various places allow you to figure out where the problem is.  If none of the above works.... get professional help before replacing your controller.  Ask prospective shops if they have a plug in testers that connects up to your 7-pin at the TV bumper to diagnose TV brake controller and wiring. 

Finding a bad connection there would be a lot cheaper than a new controller installation.

Hope this helps.

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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  • 2 months later...

Update on brake problem.  Welll it was a multifaceted problem.  Unfortunately I turned our Ollie and Tundra over to a shop which was incapable of actually fixing the problems.  They had them for five weeks.  They gave it back to me twice as “fixed” and I made it almost two miles before the drivers side brakes started locking up, didn’t look back.  They did get the drums turned.  Actual problems were: 1. Bad Curt controller - friend and I replaced with Toyota specific wire harness and Prodigy 3 controller.  2.  multiple wire issues where wire had been pinched between frame and hub tube, also some bad (shorting) connectors, mostly affecting passenger side brakes - solution, did some of our own cleanup and then  took the rig up to All Wheel RV in Redding, CA (5 hours away) where they patiently went through and cleaned up electrical.  3. Still problem with rear passenger side brake not working, the old mechanic said alright let’s swap drums cross way and see what happens, problem stayed with brake.  Inspection revealed that the brake was only making minimal contact, so replace that one plate (brake), after several test rides with shop owner and adjustments all brakes are working.  After almost 3 months finally have our new Oliver available for trips.  Very frustrating, and definitely a learning experience.  I would fault Oliver in the electrical work done around the brakes and brake lights.  Dexter on that crappy brake shoe.  A lot of people are saying that quality control, in general, went way down during Covid.  I should mention that the “All Wheel” boys liked how heavy duty the axle, brakes, and tires were on the Oliver.  They pointed out a much larger trailer and said that I had the same brakes that the big one had.  He also said that even without 4 perfectly braking wheels, we had a lot of stopping power.   Which was reassuring.  I’m going to send some of the costs off to Jason and we’ll see what happens.  Can’t say enough good things about All Wheel RV.  They will let you trailer camp in their yard too.

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"2.  multiple wire issues where wire had been pinched between frame and hub tube, also some bad (shorting) connectors, mostly affecting passenger side brakes"

Jeff,

Did the old brake wires that ran through the axle tubes look like this, this was pretty much in the middle of the wire run?
(one wire pair is the front, the other is the rear.  not sure anymore as to which is front or rear)

Did you end up replacing the brake wires that ran from Driver side to Pass Side?

I will be making a "Forum" post on our issue and resolution.

 

B~Out

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Maggie & Bryan | Arnegard, ND | 2020 LE II "Twins" Hull #665 | 2021 RAM 2500  6.4L HEMI Gasser  4dr  6.5' bed

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Dexter runs the wires through the steel axle, so they will eventually wear through the insulation and and short out, a fix is to run new ones thusly on the BACK side of the tubes (for stone protection):

IMG_5350.jpg

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/2685-how-to-brake-wiring-is-undersized-some-answers-and-partial-solution/

These Auto Adjust brakes are cr@p, if you do have to replace them , consider installing the cheaper and way more reliable manual adjust version.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/2778-brakes-auto-adjust-vs-manual-adjust-what-are-the-differences/

John Davies
Spokane WA

 

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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50 minutes ago, katanapilot said:

I thought the controller provided a single wire output that was then branched to all brakes. Can someone elaborate and explain this to me please?  Thanks. 

You are 100% correct. The controller feeds power to a just single wire and ground circuit. Here is the front wire:

image.thumb.png.f16119f20f60fef1af2a1c0808a074e2.png

And a single brake wire:

image.thumb.png.2acb68f05059c9b34fda120686f4dd21.png

 

John Davies

Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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There was a lot of “stuff” around my brake issues.  The main controller issue originally was that only the manual override was working not the brake pedal.  Another cheap Curt controller and the brake pedal was working but the “boost” was high.  I assure you that adjustments were attempted but the solution was the Prodigy controller, as recommended by Oliver.   Yes there is only one wire coming for brakes but then the passenger side splits off.

 

We bypassed the wires in the axle tube and replaced with new wires on the outside.  Not sure what they looked like but knew there was potential for problem.  Obvious problems by the brake connections.  There’s some pictures somewhere.  Part of our confusion was that the resistance, amps draw, and operation of all four brakes seemed okay superficially but still not working right.

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  • 3 months later...

JD:

Two reach backs:

First the volt meter you suggested years ago, and shown below, has over the years served me very well as my OTT meter.  Very easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and quite portable.   I have purchased four of them as gifts as a result over the years.

Secondly, is the wear point of the brake electrical wires at the axle entry shown below?  

Thanks

GJ

 

image.png.f37a792c75e1b8866f2aebf9eea10aaf.png

 

 

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/24/2023 at 10:14 AM, Boonter Jeff said:

They pointed out a much larger trailer and said that I had the same brakes that the big one had.

Curious which axle you have, 3500 or 5000?

2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt, Hughes Autoformer, dual Lagun tables

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On 12/5/2023 at 3:55 PM, Geronimo John said:

is the wear point of the brake electrical wires at the axle entry shown below?  

 

They flop around inside the unpainted inner diameter of the axle tube and eventually wear through the insulation. It isn’t anything that you can see without pulling them out completely. If the wires were protected by split loom in there, it would most likely be an OK practice. But not for loose wires… those axles hop around constantly and chafing is the result. Here is one reference. 

IMG_5030.thumb.jpeg.4b718b9ad5fc0b4f24e2b66b25664c05.jpeg

https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/fixing-the-rv-brakes/
 

John Davies

Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

They flop around inside the unpainted inner diameter of the axle tube and eventually wear through the insulation. It isn’t anything that you can see without pulling them out completely. If the wires were protected by split loom in there, it would most likely be an OK practice. But not for loose wires… those axles hop around constantly and chafing is the result.

This is exactly what happened to me.  Insulation worn, wires shorting, no brakes.  New wires routed on the outside of the axle solved the issue.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

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Friends, this is a MFG defect of high order.  From the below video, it appears that the axles come to OTT assembled.

11 seconds into this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ngr0igwf20I        

The transverse running brake line is clearly routed to the other side in these replacement axles.

image.png.68a0c6283164beac6932c57c82071701.png

So, don't waste your time trying to get Dexter to do anything.  Been down that road with the EZ Flex Center Bolt Migration Issue.

Instead, I recommend written reports to the NTSB and also the issue on every RV trailer forum you know of.  

 

GJ

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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Looks like another upgrade/preventive project for next spring for Ollie-Haus. Thanks for sharing. 👍

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Chris and Stacie Neuhaus Greenfield, Indiana

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