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I didn’t realise just how many caravans have screeching brakes!


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Been on a site in Cambridge for the last 7 nights and we have not gone far off site.

Our pitch is fairly close to reception and the approach it is slightly downhill so incoming residents need to brake rather than drift to a halt.

 

 I have been really shocked that almost every caravan that has turned up over the past week has, to a greater or lesser extent, had screeching brakes :o  

 

I know the subject, and it’s causes,  has been covered at considerable length on here, but up until now I hadn’t realised just how common the problem is. 

 

I had the dreaded screech from new (2019 Bailey) and had new drums and shoes at the first service under warranty and (touching wood as I type this ;)) all has been silent every since so, judging by the last week, I consider myself to be very lucky indeed. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Andy.Identical caravan, and sorted as yours was!

My brakes behave themselves for about 50/60 miles and then they start to screech !

Following day they are as right as rain until we have done 50/60 miles then they start again!

I just put up with it!

2019 Bailey Platinum (640) Phoenix from Chipping Sodbury caravans, towed by our  2017 my Discovery Sport!

 

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Ours is a 2018 Swift Group twin axle & so far we’ve escaped this problem, but echo the comments as we’ve heard a lot that clearly do have it!

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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6 minutes ago, PR1 said:

Andy.Identical caravan, and sorted as yours was!

My brakes behave themselves for about 50/60 miles and then they start to screech !

Following day they are as right as rain until we have done 50/60 miles then they start again!

I just put up with it!

 

How bizarre! My latest tow was about 150 miles and not a peep (or screech ;)) from them. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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With AL-KO now refusing to regard the screeching as a problem, we will be hearing much more of it until they start fitting different brakes on their chassis,

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19 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

How bizarre! My latest tow was about 150 miles and not a peep (or screech ;)) from them. 

Andy. Latest tow down to Summerlands, Coombe Bisset, and the last twent miles they squealed horribly!
Not going to worry about it though!

Just means people move out of the way!

Edited by PR1

2019 Bailey Platinum (640) Phoenix from Chipping Sodbury caravans, towed by our  2017 my Discovery Sport!

 

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2019 Elddis Avante here, squealy brakes sorted under warranty, no issues since, touch GRP. 

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2019 Swift, squeaky brakes, fixed on first service under warranty after lengthy discussion, no further issues to date. 

 

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Also have a 2019 Swift and no problem until last outing when screeching started. Done approx 2500 miles since new. Booked to have it sorted at 2nd service in September.

Frank

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They are all old ex black cab drivers who like the noise as it reminds them of the past driving the old cabs 

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What is done to eliminate then.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front - Discovery 4. Wheels at the back - Bessacarr 845.

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Brought this up at my second service after being told at first service that it would need sorting at 2nd( if that makes sense) This is the reply I got.

With regards to squealing brakes the information we are getting from AL-KO currently is that due to the restrictions on their supply chain due to Covid-19 they are prioritising where they are sending warranty parts for brakes. The information they are giving is that squealing brakes are still safe to use and the noise is considered an inconvenience rather than a safety issue, therefore they are not currently supplying replacement parts under warranty for squealing brakes. Obviously if this changes between now and March then we will get some in for you under warranty. I know this is a bit of a pain and I’m really sorry about that but unless we buy new parts then our hands are tied a little bit unfortunately. Hopefully things will have eased by the time your van is due in! "

So my brakes are still squealing.

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The responsibility is with the dealer you ought it from and not AlKo so don't accept that answer 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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A couple of thoughts on that.

  1. AL-KO are correct, screeching brakes do still function perfectly as far as doing the job of braking is concerned.
  2. Screeching brakes are not “a safety issue”
  3. Screeching brakes are very annoying
  4. The dealers are totally in the hands of AL-KO, if they won’t supply parts under warranty there is not a lot a dealer can do
  5. By the time AL-KO decide to “release” replacement parts how many caravans with screeching brakes will then be out of warranty period
  6. Will those in 5 above still be eligible for replacement parts?

I wonder if the problem with caravan brakes is that caravan owners tend, when towing, to be very gentle on the brakes (for obvious reasons) so is this gentle use causing the caravans brake shoes to “glaze over” and therefore screech?

 

It seems that if a dealer “roughens up” the friction material (or chamfers off the leading edge as I have suggested many time) the problem goes away, but  only for as long as it takes for the shoes to glaze over again.

 

I recall  many years ago, when an apprentice mechanic, taking various cars down the road and “hammering” the brakes a few times, or drove with my left foot on the brake pedal, to cure the brakes from screeching. It was an operation that usually worked (but was pretty short term) 

 

In summary though this is a simply awful state of affairs that has arisen and one that should have been “nipped in the bud” rather than having been left to fester for many years. I am a tad surprised that a brake shoe manufacturer (such as Ferodo or Mintex) hasn’t  recognised the problem and come up with replacement brake shoes that don’t screech (it was common years ago to be able to have “softer” or “harder” friction material on brake shoes) 

 

I am sure many caravan owners would happily pay for replacement shoes (even though they shouldn’t have to)  in order to have silent brakes. I know I would (if mine still screeched) 

2 minutes ago, WispMan said:

The responsibility is with the dealer you ought it from and not AL-KO so don't accept that answer 

 

But the brakes function perfectly as brakes, they just make a lot of noise about it. So I don’t think that argument can be used.

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Seems there are four options currently:

 

1. Keep on winging 

2. Turn your radio up

3. Switch your hearing aids off

4. Put some noisy kids in the back

 

I go with option 2 and 4. What screeching brakes?? 

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Legally it is the dealers problem and the law says it must be fixed.  We had them on the last Valencia one of the first to suffer thus.  You could feel the grinding through to tow bar. Brake drums were obviously scored by an unsuitable material.  Let battle commence I thought. It did. 

AL-KO at first used every trick in the book to knock back claim. 

Dealer frustrated as any replacements had to come from AL-KO = same faulty material. 

It continued AL-KO eventually admitted there was an endemic problem.  Various fixes that involved chamfered leading edges, anti squeal grease etc. Obvious to anyone it was the brake shoe material. 

All happening at the same time as the collapsing axle saga. 

Eventual my conclusion, including sources I can not name, is that the bean counters at AL-KO we’re now in charge and sub standard product was being manufactured.  Such a pity but as dealers were saying. If we change to non AL-KO approved brake shoes we are responsible for any on going issues, including accidents due to brake failure.  

 

Not very often i’m On a dealers side but in this case AL-KO were completely in the wrong and refusing to do anything. A product of. “We have the monopoly.” and arrogance.  So far the

Edited by Alan Stanley
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Of course nobody should be put off by the usual dealership response of 'our warranty claim has been rejected' etc. That's immaterial and only means they won't be paid by AlKo for rectifying an issue. If screeching brakes are unacceptable, then the van isn't suitable for purpose and the dealer has to put it right, whether AlKo cough up, or not. If enough owners kick up a stink and pressurise dealerships there'll be commercial pressure on AlKo to sort the issue.   

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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18 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

But the brakes function perfectly as brakes, they just make a lot of noise about it. So I don’t think that argument can be used.

 

Do they function perfectly though?  If, as you say, the noise is caused by glaze (and I agree with you) can we be sure that such bakes would function immediately to their spec in an emergency braking situation?

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5 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

Do they function perfectly though?  If, as you say, the noise is caused by glaze (and I agree with you) can we be sure that such bakes would function immediately to their spec in an emergency braking situation?

 

How do you prove it either way is the question though.

 

I am not trying to excuse AL-KO, but if the dealer can only get brake shoes from AL-KO how are they (the dealers) going to fix the problem.

 

If you were a dealer would you keep replacing one set of screeching brakes with another set at your expense ?? 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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3 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

How do you prove it either way is the question though.

 

I am not trying to excuse AL-KO, but if the dealer can only get brake shoes from AL-KO how are they (the dealers) going to fix the problem.

 

If you were a dealer would you keep replacing one set of screeching brakes with another set at your expense ?? 

 

Agreed on all points.  Just googled the following including surprise at the second part of para 2 below.

 

1.  Glazed brake pads and/or shoes: The brakes have been heated up to the point that they become hardened and are no longer create enough friction on the brake drum or rotor. ... This condition can cause the brakes to make all kinds of noises, from squeaking to grinding. It will also reduce braking performance.

 

2.  Brake glazing occurs when the brakes are pushed beyond the temperature limits of the friction material. Riding or “dragging” the brake, or repeated hard, rapid braking from speed can overheat the brakes enough to cause glazing.

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Not too many caravan brakes get subjected to that amount of heavy use though do they? 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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I appreciate the point about the dealer not being paid, but suspect this is not true where these are replaced as a result of litigation or serious threats of this. At that point the makers have to support the dealer although the dealer would still be underpaid on the labour. What you get is the dealer threatening the caravan maker who relies on them for its sales and they just deduct the cost from what they owe AL-KO, and there is little that  AL-KO can do given the size of account the makers have with AL-KO. 

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Having the shoes and drums replaced on mine in 2018 I no longer have the mild squeal I use to have. It only happened on very light braking

 

I'm probably the only one who is going to say this but I miss that gentle noise, no way near the volume to wake the dead more like a quiet warning to pedestrians :)

 

I found it useful when driving through town centers to warn pedestrians who strayed off the pavement and caused me to brake.

(now I guess I will have to use the car horn)

 

Anyone with a 2017 chassis want to swap brakes?

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