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Old 06-27-2015, 11:24 AM   #15
2 Rivet Member
2010 30' Flying Cloud
Sandy , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 34
Trailer Disconnet Message

I have had the same problem with a 2008 F250 and now have a 2014 F350. I spray both ends of the connectors with electrical contact spray, then I plug and unplug several times, as well as move it around the best I can. That has stopped my problem... I am now replacing the truck plug assembly because the car wash brushes tore the cover off ($84 for assembly).
Going to place a zip tie over new plug when not pulling trailer, as the truck gets washed every couple of weeks. Will see once I replace the plug assembly, if the problem continues. Stand by.
Thanks, Carlos

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Old 06-27-2015, 11:26 AM   #16
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Dallas Center , Iowa
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 127
What does the Ford manual define Trailor Disconnect as? Or call the Ford Customer Care line, they will get to the bottom of it.

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Old 06-27-2015, 05:28 PM   #17
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 254
Good question. The replies have focused on brakes, but we have numerous circuits relating to the trailer connection. Brakes, running lights, turn signals, brake lights, charging circuit, ground.
Like the tortoise, travelin' slow with the house on our back
2012 FC27FB "Ted Zeppelin"
2010 Tundra Crewmax Platinum "Silver Rhino"
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:33 PM   #18
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 254
Which leads me to another idea.

Most modern trucks have a relay that energizes the charging circuit to the trailer. +12V will only flow to the trailer battery when the engine is running. That prevents the trailer's house loads from depleting the truck's starting battery. Just wondering if an intermittent relay could be causing the truck's monitoring software to throw a warning. In a canbus system, that fault should throw a code. Has the dealer looked for a code?
Like the tortoise, travelin' slow with the house on our back
2012 FC27FB "Ted Zeppelin"
2010 Tundra Crewmax Platinum "Silver Rhino"
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:11 PM   #19
2015 25' Flying Cloud
2016 30' Flying Cloud
Blenheim Ontario , Ontario
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 441
Just for your "Book of Useless Information":
Many larger Commercial aircraft have a similar message centre called "E.I.C.A.S." (Engine Indicating, Crew Alerting System.)
They have their issues too, but are general reliable.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:46 PM   #20
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2012 20' Flying Cloud
Bishop , California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 31
Problem solved - Maybe???

I did a lot of internet searching and someone suggested checking the ground wires from the electric brakes. One of my ground connections appeared to be questionable so I put in a new ground using solder rather than a crimp connection on the magnet ground line. Airstream ran the line into the belly so I spliced it and put a bolt thru a small hole in a frame member - I sanded off the frame paint to bare metal and attached the ground line (white wire). I did a short test run and did not get the "Trailer Disconnect" message.

It seems like Ford needs offer a little more flexibility in their trailer settings. My message with the warning chime drove me crazy. At least Ford could offer an option of turning off the chime warning until a repair is made. When the "Trailer Disconnect" message was on my driver dash info display, the trailer brakes still worked when I used the manual control on the brake controller. I am not sure if this will solve the problem but if anyone is getting the "Trailer Disconnect" you might want to check all your wire connections. After time the crimp may come lose and cause a warning message when the trailer bounces or hits a bump.

Thank you everyone for all the suggestions. I will still greatly appreciate any other ideas or suggestions.

Bill Dunlap
Bishop, CA
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:39 AM   #21
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2015 28' Flying Cloud
1969 31' Sovereign
Kerrville , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 72
Been there done that!


Ford intergrated trailer break controllers use the potential difference between the hitch ball and the ground wire to determine status. It also sums this value with the resistance of the lighting circuit.

Once a few seconds go by that controller knows all this and monitors that value while you are hooked up.

The seven way connector after a while has flat spade lugs that become distorted (bent) both on the truck side and the trailer side. This causes the monitor circuit to loose its mind and set off the warning.

Same thing happens if your ground wire on the trailer becomes damaged or becomes dirty or rusty.

With a small small screw driver scrape the spade lugs and bend them just a bit and secure the 7 way plug connector in the Fx50.

If the grounds are clean and tight and the 7 Ways (both ends) are also, the problem goes away.

2005 F350
2008 F350
2012 F350
16' equipment trailers (5)
16' ATV trailer
21' goose neck
24' goose neck
2015 FC

Approx. 875,000 miles

I have had experience with this issue.
I don't have the issue any more.

Happy trails!
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:02 PM   #22
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Seattle , Washington
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Cool Similar problem with F150 and brake indicator

I have a similar problem with my 2012 f150. Periodically, I get a message to service my brakes. It goes on for no apparent reason and then when I stop the vehicle and let it set for awhile and restart it goes away. I have had the dealer check it out and they cannot figure out what precipitates the warning. But they have assured me that my brakes work well. They also admit that there are a lot of sophisticated electronics in the F150 and sometimes they can be overly sensitive. So, it probably is a glitch in your truck. Nevertheless, I am sure it is quite frustrating!
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:00 PM   #23
2 Rivet Member
2012 20' Flying Cloud
Bishop , California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 31
I am still getting the "Trailer Disconnected" message on my 2015 Ford F150 dash display. I thought it might be the ground on the brake magnets but apparently this is not the issue. I will try soldering the blue wire (hot wire) connection to the magnets. The trailer came with a crimp type connection. The message appears when driving every few miles. I also get a message "Trailer brakes" and sometimes "Trailer brake output 7.5" (or what ever the gain is set at).

Does anyone know if electric trailer brake magnets go "bad?" The trailer is a 2012 single axle Flying Cloud with light use. If magnets and brakes are an issue, I will replace the brakes and magnets.

Also if anyone knows a good mechanic especially in electrical problems in the Bishop, CA, please send me some info.

Thank you for any advice / info.

Bill Dunlap
Bishop, CA

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