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Old 05-13-2019, 03:36 PM   #1
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2014 22' FB Sport
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Intermittent Trailer Disconnected Message

Recently got back from a MA to FL trip. During my travels I began to get "Trailer Disconnected" message on my 2018 F150 instrument panel. So I taped the trailer cord tight and it seemed to fix for a while but got more frequent to a point that it was almost continuous on my last leg home. The lights on the trailer worked even when the "disconnected" message came on but not the trailer brakes.
The Ford dealer replaced the 7 pin receptacle as a courtesy but said the old one didn't seem to be defective.
Next time I use the trailer I'll use some electrical cleaner and grease on the contacts but I am wondering if the issue might be with the trailer.
Has anyone else had experience with this occurrence?
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:40 PM   #2
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I had the same thing happen on my 2017 GMC Sierra. It started right after going too fast over a bumpy railroad crossing. After a day and a half of troubleshooting at JD Sanders near Gainesville, it turned out to be something in the trailer brake wiring on the trailer. We tried all the things you mentioned (plus more) first, and then took off each wheel and redid the brake wiring connections. Bam. Problem fixed.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:45 PM   #3
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Yes, the trailer's original 7-way connector died on ours a year ago. Tried cleaning the contacts but that did not help since the problem was the original plug uses two bladed contacts. On one or two wires the two contacts had lost their "spring" and there was a gap. Same intermittent "trailer disconnected" warning as you have. I replaced just the connector with a Bargman metal connector.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
Yes, the trailer's original 7-way connector died on ours a year ago. Tried cleaning the contacts but that did not help since the problem was the original plug uses two bladed contacts. On one or two wires the two contacts had lost their "spring" and there was a gap. Same intermittent "trailer disconnected" warning as you have. I replaced just the connector with a Bargman metal connector.
Same situation here. Replaced Airstream 7 way plug with this one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:22 PM   #5
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I always zip tie my 7-way plug to the truck's receptacle cover. Keeps it in contact and prevents an accidental dis-connect on the road.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:49 PM   #6
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carry some contact cleaner
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for the new plug link, Baby Zeppelin! We were experiencing this issue recently while towing another trailer. However, our 7 way cord length is rather short, so I think we'll go ahead and replace it with a longer one and hopefully take care of this issue at the same time.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:46 AM   #8
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I have a 2016 Ford F250 which will give me the occasional disconnect light. After checking several times that everything was working I found out if I turn the key off and back on the light goes out. I am assuming a computer problem.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:20 PM   #9
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In my case it was a short in the 7 way. Clean the contacts and make sure they are spread apart. Use a screwdriver to spread them apart.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:24 PM   #10
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I had a problem a couple of years ago about the trailer disconnected message being intermittently displayed on my 2015 Ford Expedition EL. I thought at the time that it was the wind (very high cross winds), but no matter what I did the message wouldn't go away. I tried checking all of the connections on the 7-pin and everything was perfect. But the problem still persisted and even got worse such that the message was being displayed at least once per minute. Super annoying!

I did eventually figure it out and it wasn't the 7-pin connector. The problem was that an electric brake wire going to one of my camper axles was loose. It fell out of the crimp when I pulled on it. I re-crimped everything and I haven't had a problem since. Ford must use the brake line to determine if a trailer is connected.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:35 PM   #11
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We experienced the same thing with our Bambi just recently. Had me holding my breath since we were in Vail, Colorado climbing up to 12,000' at the time. The lights were still on, so we figured the plug or contacts had to be loose. We took the scenic route back to Maine from Florida. Went to the Grand Canyon and to Arches. If you can, stay at Devil's Garden, Arches, Moab, Utah. Breathtaking! 6,000+ miles later and we are safe and sound in Boothbay Harbor, ME.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:47 PM   #12
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I traced my same issue to the poor fit between the plug and truck receptacle and I installed the EZ Connector system. See my thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...rs-188152.html
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:04 PM   #13
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We had a consistent "not-connected" warning when I first installed a DirecLink brake controller. After considerable back and forth, a Tuson technician noted that our trailer is single-axle and suggested putting one or two extra brake magnets in the circuit. I put in one and the controller now says "connected."

In the last few weeks, I helped a friend with a new-for-him 20' Flying Cloud (single axle) and 2015 Ram 1500. The pickup has a built-in trailer brake controller. That controller first did not recognize that the trailer was connected. We added an extra brake magnet to the circuit and the controller now recognizes that the trailer is connected.

I think it is obvious that, if a controller sees too much resistance in the brake circuit, it will not recognize the trailer. How much resistance surely depends on the brand of controller. Poor plug connections and loose wires will result in higher than acceptable resistance for many controllers.

Tim
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:09 PM   #14
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We lived that nightmare with a 2019 GT and our 2015 Chevy Silverado. It beeped and bleeped every few minutes everytime we took it out. First the Airstream folks worked hard (replaced the connection, checked the wiring, added straps, among other things) since we'd towed another trailer with no issue at all. Then the Chevy dealer did everything else; replacing all the connections and wiring, loaning us a different truck (no disconnect message there), checking a different Airstream on our truck (no message there either), checking with the Airstream guys on the phone. Both groups of techs started ducking everytime we saw them.

Eventually Chevy offered us a fabulous trade-in and a complete 100% return guarantee if the new truck did the same thing the old one did with the trailer. Fiixed the problem -we still have no clue why our first truck hated that trailer so much, but driving is no fun when the truck is beeping every couple of minutes!
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:26 PM   #15
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Yep! Ductape last couple trips...been meaning to get a new connector...maybe this week.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:35 PM   #16
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thanks

Thanks everyone. I'll replace the trailer connector 1st and if that doesn't work I'll look at the brake connections or have someone that knows what they are doing look at the brakes.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breton View Post
Recently got back from a MA to FL trip. During my travels I began to get "Trailer Disconnected" message on my 2018 F150 instrument panel. So I taped the trailer cord tight and it seemed to fix for a while but got more frequent to a point that it was almost continuous on my last leg home. The lights on the trailer worked even when the "disconnected" message came on but not the trailer brakes.
The Ford dealer replaced the 7 pin receptacle as a courtesy but said the old one didn't seem to be defective.
Next time I use the trailer I'll use some electrical cleaner and grease on the contacts but I am wondering if the issue might be with the trailer.
Has anyone else had experience with this occurrence?
The same thing happened to me a couple years ago. I changed the plugin on the truck, the 7 pin connector on the trailer and went the rounds trying to figure this out for weeks. I finally checked the wires underneath going to the wheels and found one that had been hit by something and was basically hanging by a strand or two. Wish I would have looked underneath first!
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:34 PM   #18
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Trailer Disconnected Message

We had the same problem, also on a 2018 Ford (F150 Platinum in our case) and a brand new 27' GT. We had all sorts of other weird messages about systems being disabled and our GPS went nuts. Showed us in Idaho while we were driving in Virginia for example. Turned out the 7 pin plug did not fit tightly into the receptacle on the truck. We taped it in for a temporary fix while we were troubleshooting and took it to Airstream and Ford to figure it out. Fast forward to knowing what the problem was and our choice was basically to cut the connector off the trailer, which I thought might introduce other problems. So I added layers of electrical tape to the top and bottom where there are 'slots' that go into grooves on the receptacle. I also put some tape on the flap that holds the connector in to make it snug. Problem has not reoccured. I do put new tape on from time to time. We put 17000 km on from Jan - April without an issue.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:22 AM   #19
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Same problem, intermittent "trailer disconnected", no trailer brakes and trailer lights working on 2017 F250 a 2019 27 GT and a Pro Pride with 7 way extension.

After tightening all connectors, and removing some of the dielectric grease (connector packed like it was a wheel bearing) on the second trip to the Ford dealer the mechanic said he found a loose connection where the plug coming from the back of the 7 way connector plugged into another wiring harness just above and under the bumper.

No problems since then. Before fixing this connection, when the brakes were working, brake performance was wimpy with the gain set at 10, probably from inadequate current thru a loose connection. Afterward the brakes would lock up with the gain set at 6 to 7 on the Ford controller.

May not be your issue but something else to check.

Dave S
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:33 AM   #20
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F250 plug replacement?

OK; so tape works for now, but on my 2017 F250, has anyone replaced with an easy "plug and play" replacment they can recommend?
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