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Trailer trouble.


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OK - so I have a DHM double axle trailer for my 2000 VLX. About 2 months ago my bearing locked up on me. I dropped my boat/trailer off at the local trailer shop. The shop replaced my axle, bled the brakes, rebuilt the actuator, blah, blah, blah. A few weeks after getting it back I noticed that when I slow down the trailer tires lock up and the trailer starts to jerk :blush: back and forth. At first I thought it was because I was breaking on some rough asphalt and perhaps the actuator was locking and releasing. The jerking motion :blush: doesn't happen all the time. Yesterday I dropped the boat/trailer back at the shop and explained the situation. They told me they would adjust the brakes and I would be good to go. Today when I picked up the boat I was told that if it continues to happen it will eventually wear itself out. Well…it’s still happening, even more so now. Has this happened to anyone else?

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Doesn't sound like your trailer shop knows how to fix it. I'd call the brake manufacturer and explain the problem to them.

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I know from experience that those actuators (mine's a UFP) don't last forever, no one knows how to "rebuild" them properly, and to save yourself a lot of grief, just replace the whole thing.

I had lost all confidence in my trailer when the actuator was acting up. Once, it set my wheels on fire. I was explaining this to the repair shop, and they told me it was normal to have some heat build up, but mine were ON FIRE. I had to use the fire extinguisher to put out the flames ( I think the actuator was "semi-locked up" which heated the brakes and tires such that grease blew from the seals and ignited.)

Once they replaced the actuator, (and replace seals, etc.) absolutely zero problems since. Mine was under warranty, so I don't know the cost, but I don't worry about the trailer anymore.

UFP was a little jerky about replacing the actuator (telling me I shouldn't keep the trailer outside and such Mad.gif ), but Boatmate was superb and told me to take it where I want, have them do what I want, and send them the bill, as I told them I didn't feel comfortable with the Malibu dealer working on the trailer.

Edited by rts
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They told me they would adjust the brakes

If you have disc brakes like I do on my DHM, there's no way to "adjust" the brakes. Not at the caliphers (the things that squeeze the brake pads against the rotors) or, at the actuator.

The shop replaced my axle, bled the brakes, rebuilt the actuator, blah, blah, blah.

I agree with RTS that it's not worth rebuilding an actuator and I doubt they did that. Besides "blah, blah" what does your repair order say they did?

Lastly, it sounds as though you've got what RTS had. The brake is semi-engaged by the actuator causing any slight braking by your tow vehicle to make the trailer brakes almost lock-up.

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Do your hubs seem to be building up excess heat? Put your hand on them after you've been driving a while, esp in a stop and go situation (carefully, please, because if your actuator is keeping pressure on the brakes, they will be rocket hot)

You should be able to touch them comfortably (after my problems outlined above, I touch my hubs after every trip just to make sure they are not too hot) If you can't put your hand on them without getting burned, I'd bet you've got actuator problems.

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We had a 2004 Boatmate trailer that felt like you were going over rumble strips when you hit the brakes. I dont think that was anything to worry about and it never caused any other problems such as fires. What size tow vehicle are you pulling with? I felt this rumble strip feeling in a small SUV, but not in my friend's 3/4 ton.

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They told me they would adjust the brakes

If you have disc brakes like I do on my DHM, there's no way to "adjust" the brakes. Not at the caliphers (the things that squeeze the brake pads against the rotors) or, at the actuator.

The shop replaced my axle, bled the brakes, rebuilt the actuator, blah, blah, blah.

I agree with RTS that it's not worth rebuilding an actuator and I doubt they did that. Besides "blah, blah" what does your repair order say they did?

Lastly, it sounds as though you've got what RTS had. The brake is semi-engaged by the actuator causing any slight braking by your tow vehicle to make the trailer brakes almost lock-up.

I have drum brakes. I don't know anything about brakes. Can drum brakes be adjusted?

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Do your hubs seem to be building up excess heat?  Put your hand on them after you've been driving a while, esp in a stop and go situation (carefully, please, because if your actuator is keeping pressure on the brakes, they will be rocket hot)

You should be able to touch them comfortably (after my problems outlined above, I touch my hubs after every trip just to make sure they are not too hot)  If you can't put your hand on them without getting burned, I'd bet you've got actuator problems.

My hubs do not appear to be throwing off too much heat (nothing out of the ordinary). I check all the time since my bearing seized up on my trailer.

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We had a 2004 Boatmate trailer that felt like you were going over rumble strips when you hit the brakes.  I dont think that was anything to worry about and it never caused any other problems such as fires.  What size tow vehicle are you pulling with?  I felt this rumble strip feeling in a small SUV, but not in my friend's 3/4 ton.

I'm towing with an F150. I didn't have this problem last year.

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did they change the brake or rotors/drums???

They had to replace one of the drums because it was stuck on the axle (hence...had to replace the axle). The also greased the seals, replaced the backing plate, inner bearings, outer bearings, bled the brakes, turned shoe surface (?), removed and replaced races, replaced the breakaway cable and rebuilt the actuator....whew... Blowup.gif

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Tony,

Sounds like they did the right thing. But, if you didn't have this issue before having the axle replaced and, they said they'd fix it when you brought it back. Well, I guess they haven't fixed it yet and you'll have to bring it to them again. Sorry.

p.s. you should have mentioned that when we we're grillin :-)

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Tony,

Sounds like they did the right thing. But, if you didn't have this issue before having the axle replaced and, they said they'd fix it when you brought it back. Well, I guess they haven't fixed it yet and you'll have to bring it to them again. Sorry.

p.s. you should have mentioned that when we we're grillin :-)

You were there?? and didn't bring it up. Mad.gif

Pete is right. take it back untell they fix it. do a test drive befor taking it home again. If you need or want me to take a look at it I could just let me know. We do live in the same town. Tongue.gif

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Tony,

Sounds like they did the right thing. But, if you didn't have this issue before having the axle replaced and, they said they'd fix it when you brought it back. Well, I guess they haven't fixed it yet and you'll have to bring it to them again. Sorry.

p.s. you should have mentioned that when we we're grillin :-)

You were there?? and didn't bring it up. Mad.gif

Pete is right. take it back untell they fix it. do a test drive befor taking it home again. If you need or want me to take a look at it I could just let me know. We do live in the same town. Tongue.gif

Yeah! I was too busy taking notes on Pete's grillin' skills. I'm bringing the trailer back to Marv tomorrow.

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Since you have drum brakes and the bearing burned up, did they replace the wheel cylinder on that side? It doesn't sound like it from your post. If they didn't, then the wheel cyl probably had some seal damage from the extreme heat when the bearing burned up and should be replaced or at least rebuilt.

If the side that they repaired is locking up, there could be some grease or brake fluid on the shoes causing them to grab under load.

If they replace only one side (the burned up side), then they could have mis-matched the wheel cyls causing an unequal amount of braking.

Also, look for any kinked or pinched brake lines on the new axle.

Shoes do not get turned, only drums and rotors on brakes.

If the new side is working ok and that is the side that it is pulling from, there may be something wrong with the other side (installation of shoes, adj, fluid on the linings, springs wrong or not the same as the other side)

There can be allot of reasons but those are the more obvious ones that come to mind.

Take it back. I replaced my axle and installed all new brakes parts. No issues.

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I have been battling SMP trailer drum break heat problems for two seasons. After visiting two different recommended local shops, way too much $, and multiple trips, I called the mfg. myself. They sold me a new inner member assembly and my problems went away. Call the mfg.

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As a side note but related to braking problems....As noted many times here and other boards: The trailer should sit "level." Meaning equal pressure on all 4 (assuming a tandem trailer) wheels. Though it is more of an issue with newer "torsion" axle setups.

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