Left Tire Locked When In Reverse

gheinegheine Member Posts: 5
edited June 26 in Trailer & Towing
Camped in the backcountry this past weekend and had to be towed 😪 Hooked up camper to our Xterra (we have a 7 pin w brake assist) and put in reverse to turn camper around. There was a slight divot. Back left wheel/tire was completely locked with right tire moving. We put it in drive and the left tire was still locked. Unhooked 7 pin and turned off brake assist completely and tire still locked. Numerous attempts but continuing would have caused serious damaged. 
Ended up with a tow truck making the journey to our campsite and when he hooked camper to his winch, the tire moved just fine. 
Had camper towed to tire repair shop and they found nothing wrong with the tire, ball bearings, Axl, etc. 
We are 🤔. Anyone else experience something similar? 

(Photo edited for size.)


Comments

  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,280
    Did you check the emergency brake cable? 


    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • gheinegheine Member Posts: 5
    Thx for your reply - I’m assuming the brake in the Xterra is what you’re referring to?
  • AirBossAirBoss Member Posts: 307
    @gheine
    I suspect @pthomas745 was referring to the break-away brake cable on the trailer. 

    But that may not explain why the wheel locked up for you but not for the flat-bed tow truck.

    Did you disconnect the TV entirely and try to move the [email protected]? Have you reconnected to your TV? 
    2020 [email protected] 400 "OTTO" (build date 08/19)
    Factory Victron Solar; Norcold 3-way fridge
    '04 Chevy Tahoe Z71 5.3L Dino-killer
    Third Rock from the Sun
    San Diego, CA
    www.vividimagex.com
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  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,280
    The thin wire (or maybe coiled wire) that extends from the tongue to somewhere on your vehicle.  It controls an emergency brake that activates if the trailer breaks away from your vehicle.  Look for it using the pictures here.

    And, I have to say:  of all the photos I've ever seen of a vehicle "on the hook", yours is the most beautiful!  :)
    Too bad you had to leave such a nice spot.

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • AirBossAirBoss Member Posts: 307
    @pthomas745
    I agree...a beautiful spot...even if they are "on the hook." 
    2020 [email protected] 400 "OTTO" (build date 08/19)
    Factory Victron Solar; Norcold 3-way fridge
    '04 Chevy Tahoe Z71 5.3L Dino-killer
    Third Rock from the Sun
    San Diego, CA
    www.vividimagex.com
    www.airbossone.com

  • falcon1970falcon1970 Member Posts: 568
    Sounds like the left brake activated but not the right brake.  That sounds like an electrical short on the left side.  Tracing the wiring from the breakaway switch to the left brake may disclose a pinched wire or one with some insulation scraped off.  Such an inspection will be tedious as you must check every inch of the entire circumference of both of the wires.  Look especially where the wires pass though a channel or hole in the frame.
  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 141
    Did you use the "disconnect switch" to disconnect the battery before the trailer was pulled onto the flat bed truck?
    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
  • tabiphiletabiphile Member Posts: 198
    Sounds like the left brake activated but not the right brake.  That sounds like an electrical short on the left side.  Tracing the wiring from the breakaway switch to the left brake may disclose a pinched wire or one with some insulation scraped off.  Such an inspection will be tedious as you must check every inch of the entire circumference of both of the wires.  Look especially where the wires pass though a channel or hole in the frame.
    It would be quite a bit easier to simply apply 12vdc to the brake and see if it actuates. If it doesn't then you immediately know where the problem is. If it does then you would resort to testing the wiring.
    There are a couple other possibilities to consider. If the brakes are not properly adjusted one could lock up and the other could still be set but turning. A bad breakaway switch will also lock up the brakes and if the pin was pulled or not completely inserted that could also lock them up. 
  • falcon1970falcon1970 Member Posts: 568
    @tabiphile
    If the problem was with the breakaway switch wouldn't both brakes be activated?  Since only one brake activated I suspected a wiring issue.  When the trailer was winched onto the flatbed I expect they had the battery disconnect switch in the disconnect position--thus no power to the brakes at all.  That is why it rolled easily.
    However, it is possible, though unlikely, that the wiring inside the breakaway switch might be faulty.  That might cause one side to activate but not the other.

    @gheine
    Did you notice when the brake locked up?  Do you suppose it might have been locked for some time moving down the highway?
  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 117
    edited June 27
    It's not uncommon for a brake shoes in drum brakes to dislodge the brake lining and when you back up, the loose lining gets jammed under the other shoe. By pulling forward it sometimes dislodges the lining, allowing the wheel to again rotate. Pull the drum and check the brake shoes. I've had 2 partial delaminations on my [email protected], both of which I caught before they completely detached.

    WilliamA
    2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    What remains of a 2017 [email protected] XL
    Can generally be found around west-central Wisconsin.  Otherwise, out looking for smallmouth bass, questing for the elusive 25+" monster....
  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 141
    While I have to think that @WilliamA is describing the most likely scenario, there is another explanation:  Your emergency brakes were unintentionally activated (via the breakaway switch), but your right brake is faulty and did not lock up as it should have done.  Don't just focus on the left side, make sure the right side is working too!
    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
  • falcon1970falcon1970 Member Posts: 568
    @rh5555
    Excellent point!

    @WilliamA
    If the lining had dislodged and become jammed it would still have prevented the wheel from turning when the trailer was winched onto the flat bed.  OP said it worked fine at that point and that the repair shop didn't see anything wrong with the brakes.  They surely would have noticed a peeled brake lining.

    A likely scenario is that the pin was partially pulled from the breakaway switch during a sharp turn.  The pin doesn't need to come completely away from the switch and dangle freely.  it just needs to pull out enough to let the contacts inside the switch close.  The left brake applied fully and the right brake completely failed.

    @gheine
    Please, oh please, let us know what the final resolution turns out to be.
  • tabiphiletabiphile Member Posts: 198
    @rh5555
    Excellent point!

    @WilliamA
    If the lining had dislodged and become jammed it would still have prevented the wheel from turning when the trailer was winched onto the flat bed.  OP said it worked fine at that point and that the repair shop didn't see anything wrong with the brakes.  They surely would have noticed a peeled brake lining.

    A likely scenario is that the pin was partially pulled from the breakaway switch during a sharp turn.  The pin doesn't need to come completely away from the switch and dangle freely.  it just needs to pull out enough to let the contacts inside the switch close.  The left brake applied fully and the right brake completely failed.

    @gheine
    Please, oh please, let us know what the final resolution turns out to be.
    Plus two on that...it seems like the pin was partly pulled and one brake worked and one didn't. It is not unusual to find brakes incorrectly adjusted and it is also not unusual to have problems getting the pin correctly inserted. It would be really nice to know what the issue was once it's known.
  • gheinegheine Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for all the great insight!  We have since picked up the camper and returned home via a 3-hour drive and had no problems. Backed the camper up before departing the mechanic just to make sure something didn't lock up.  The breakaway cable is snug in its place and looks like it would take a bit of force to remove it.  
    My husband thinks that since we were in a slight divot when backing the camper up, the Xterra's initial push (it's a 5 speed) may have caused it to lock up. That doesn't make sense to me of course which is why I posted my question on the forum :) 
    I am unsure of how to investigate further except to have the Xterra's wiring looked at. The dealer said they have never heard of an issue like this. 
    I will definitely post the answer to our issue if we find one.  Thank you all for replying to my post!
  • tabiphiletabiphile Member Posts: 198
    Possibly the breakaway cable is too short? If so the pin may have been partially pulled when the [email protected] went into the rabbit hole (divot makes me think of a 2 iron size patch of grass laying 20 yards away). You should take a look at how it's (the cable) routed and how long it is. It needs to be short enough to pull the pin if the rig gets unhitched, long enough so that turning and hauling don't pull it and not so long that the rig can be dragging on the pavement before it pulls. It is important to keep it from getting shortened up in the chains. 
  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 141
    edited June 28
    Following up on my previous post, @gheine, if I were you (or more probably your husband!) I'd hook up the trailer and take it to a dirt or gravel road somewhere.  I'd stop, make sure the trailer battery is not disconnected, intentionally pull out the breakaway switch, then drive forward slowly with one person driving, and the other observing the trailer wheels.  They should both lock up and drag through the gravel.  If one wheel or the other still turns, the brakes on that side need to be checked out as they are defective.  Remember to replace the breakaway switch before you drive home!
    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
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