Troubleshooting Locked Brakes on 2013 Forest River Salem Travel Trailer

Question:

My breaks are locked on my 2013 Salem camper cannot go back or forward. Help me unlock them.

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Expert Reply:

If the electric drum brakes on your Forest River Salem travel trailer are locked up then the first thing you can check is the breakaway switch and battery which provide emergency braking in the event of a vehicle/trailer disconnect. it is possible that your breakaway switch has been tripped/damaged or that there is a wiring issue in that system that is sending power to the brakes.

First, disconnect the trailer plug from the tow vehicle socket to prevent any chance of your vehicle's brake controller delivering power to the brakes (just in case there is a problem within in the controller).

If the brakes remain locked up then you should move on to the breakaway system. Disconnect one breakaway battery cable to eliminate any chance of it sending power to the brakes. If this allows the brakes to disengage then you'll want to replace your breakaway system with a new one like # 34-285 or # 50-85-313, both of which have built-in chargers. The linked articles on breakaway systems will be helpful.

The other potential cause for the trailer brakes to lock up when the wiring plug is connected to the vehicle is foreign material or corrosion inside either the vehicle socket or the trailer plug. These could cause the 12V auxiliary power circuit to send power to the brakes. You can inspect both connectors for signs of either problem and clean or replace the socket/plug as needed with items like # PK11893 and # 277-000141.

If all of the wheels are locked up it is more likely that you have an electrical issue than a mechanical one.

expert reply by:
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Adam R

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