Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don’t Forget to Adjust Your Trailer Brakes


My first car, a ’68 VW Beetle, had fairly short maintenance intervals. The oil had to be changed every 3,000 miles, and the valves adjusted every other oil change. The manual-adjust brakes were adjusted somewhere in that mileage range, but the call was usually made when the brake pedal got low or had to be pumped up.

Nowadays, every vehicle in our driveway has self-adjusting brakes. In the back of my mind, I knew the Airstream’s brakes are manual adjust, but since the axles were new, the thought of adjusting the brakes never made it to the front of my mind. It did after our last camping trip though after the Mighty Burb ended up having to do all the braking on a few wet mountain grades.

Sure enough, every backing plate needed several clicks of the adjusting wheel. An immediate & significant improvement in braking was noticed in the subsequent test ride down a mountain grade.

Checking the maintenance log, I was surprised to see that the Overlander’s axles turned three years old in September, and had 14,514 miles of trips on them. Since the owner’s manual lists a 10,000 mile/6-month maintenance interval, I’m surprised a problem did not pop up until now.

If you have a travel trailer, don't forget to adjust your brakes!

Gotta go – according to the list, it’s also time to paraffin the Strike pocket on the Main Door…

No comments:

Post a Comment