Caravan brakes locking up at cruising speed

Submitted: Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 15:57
ThreadID: 141969 Views:1109 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
We have Alko Electronic Stability Control fitted on our off- road van. Had problem with brakes locking on two occasions (within an hour’s travel) while on bitumen road doing about 85 kph. Wheels skidded slightly ,but vehicle & van did not swerve. A motorist travelling behind us stopped to tell us he saw black smoke coming from the tyres, so it is a bit of a worry! Any suggestions as to why this occurred, and how to prevent this happening again?
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Reply By: Genny - Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 17:01

Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 17:01
Is it possible it sensed a bit of sway and did what it is designed to do?
AnswerID: 636794

Reply By: RMD - Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 18:08

Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 18:08
jb
It could be a number of things. "IF" your vehicle brake controller is loose on it's mounting OR not secured to a stable surface it may be flapping whenit experiences a sudden bump and subsequently applies the van brakes fully ON for a short period of time. Since there is a residual magnetic effect in the brake magnets they may hang on for a second or two.
Secondly, if wiring in the trailer plug is not good inside, some intermittent conection with park light system may be applying the brakes when flicked. Check the wiring in there.
Thirdly. Breakaway system wiring may also be doing similar if wiring isn't secure.
If electricals are proper, the adjustment of brake shoe clearance may be an issue. When sudden bumps may throw large clearance shoes against the drum and the subsequent "servo action" of the brake design will jam the brakes fully ON until the shoes can settle themselves to a neutral running position.
Have you had some sudden grabs of van brakes during normal use? If so adjustment could be a problem.
AnswerID: 636796

Reply By: Member - jb2211 - Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 18:57

Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 18:57
Thank you for those suggestions - will check them out.
AnswerID: 636798

Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 20:47

Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 20:47
JB
A further thought. Perhaps the Alko stability unit is faulty, loose or wromgly positioned. If fitted by a caravan place and not a fully aware person, that may be a problem.
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FollowupID: 914731

Reply By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 21:57

Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 21:57
Cruisemaster trailer brake lever has a problem there is a recall maybe worth a look cheers
AnswerID: 636801

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 23:32

Monday, Jun 14, 2021 at 23:32
To check if it is the AL-KO controller, disconnect the power from it and see if the problem keeps reoccurring.
PeterD
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AnswerID: 636802

Reply By: Member - jb2211 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 06:24

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 06:24
Thanks. How do I disconnect it?
AnswerID: 636806

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 20:51

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 20:51
Is there not an Anderson plug that supplies the power to the control circuit? I remember in the early days of these devices you were supposed to have a power supply for them that could be disconnected for off-road travel (that meant real off-road and not just gravel roads.)

If you don't have an easy method of disconnecting the power then you need to get the installation instructions of the system. Find the wire that connects to the 12 V input to the box. When you have located it you need to trace it back to the fuse at the power supply for the device.
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FollowupID: 914755

Reply By: Member - jb2211 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 21:26

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021 at 21:26
Thanks for all that helpful information - I will contact the caravan maker & follow up your suggestions. Most appreciated !
AnswerID: 636826

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 10:18

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021 at 10:18
I would be checking all plugs and connections, wiring joints and signs of squashed wiring, long before going to a caravan manufacturer. Unless the integrity of normal bits and pieces is verified first, they will also be “ all at sea” and unable to solve the issue you are faced with.
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FollowupID: 914770

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