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Old 09-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
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Breakaway Switch and Power Jack

In the process of installing a electric tongue jack on our 1972 23ft Safari, the jack instructions state that the jack wires could be attached to the breakaway switch.

I noticed that the smaller of the two switch wires was "hot". Thinking that the larger wire would carry more power to the jack, for a longer period of time, I assumed that the wires somehow had gotten switched around inside the AS (a previous owner had 12volt problems in the "wire area" behind the couch, which lead to charred wood in some areas).

I located the two orange wires coming from the roadside of the AS. The smaller of the two was spliced into a black wire that ran to the trailer umbilical cord in one direction, and back into the roadside wall in the other direction (brakes?). NOTE, this smaller wire was NOT "hot" at this join.

The larger of the two orange wires was connected to a small 2-terminal circuit breaker (from my Service Manual) and the other terminal had a large blue wire attached and coming from the direction of my univolt, on the doorside. Both of these wires and terminals were "hot".

Now, remember, the other end of this larger wire, outside at the breakaway switch was NOT "hot" !! How can this be !!

Further, I removed the AS from all 120volt and 12volt power, I hooked up a continuity tester to each end of each wire, in turn, and found that each wire had continuity !! How can this be !!?
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:49 PM   #2
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I would consider picking up the jack power from the charge line. That way if the trailer battery is weak or dead you have help from the tow vehicle battery and charging system with as short and heavy line a line as possible
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donking View Post
Now, remember, the other end of this larger wire, outside at the breakaway switch was NOT "hot" !! How can this be !!

Further, I removed the AS from all 120volt and 12volt power, I hooked up a continuity tester to each end of each wire, in turn, and found that each wire had continuity !! How can this be !!?
1.Have your tested your breakaway switch? Pull the pin and see if the brakes are applied.

2. The 72 Service Manual says "connect the 12 gauge lead wire directly to the hot lead at the breakaway switch".

3. If you have continuity on the 2 wires are they somehow hooked into the same circuit.

I would suspect the umbilical connections in the 7 way connector. It's a pita.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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Newer models have a wire directly from the batteries to the power jack. The jack is grounded to the body, so only one wire is used. This wire has a fuse underneath the tongue in case you overload the jack. I would go with this type of installation.

I haven't paid much attention to the breakaway switch wires, but since it is a switch that closes when you pull it out, it must be hot on one side when not pulled out and both sides when pulled out. The brakes are activated when power is sent from the umbilical, or when you pull this switch, so power must come from somewhere else. I can't remember whether the truck has to be attached to check the breakaway switch, so try it both ways to get a better understanding of how these things are wired.

But, I wouldn't wire the jack and breakaway switch together because if something goes wrong, you may have a problem troubleshooting. And you could do it wrong and then have to undo it.

The jack wire goes under the tongue to the fuse holder and then through a hole with grommet in the side of the battery box and then to the positive terminal of a battery. That way you avoid the converter and the jack will work if the batteries have a charge when the converter is toasted.

I'm guessing my way through this since I haven't memorized this, and I'm too lazy to walk a hundred feet to the trailer.

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Old 09-15-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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TV does not need to be hitched for breakaway switch to work.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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The TV should NOT be connected to test the breakaway switch. Some break controllers are sensitive to being fed power from the breakaway switch and could be damaged, at least that is what I have been told.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:28 PM   #7
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The break away switch is powered from the house battery. One side of the switch is wired to the positive 12 volt side of the battery. The other wire from the break away switch is connected to the brake wire on the trailer.
If the trailer becomes detached from the TV while in tow the brakes are applied.
Many tongue jacks are wired via a fuse to the plus 12 volt wire that powers the break away switch.
The break away switch like the brake controller are normally not fused. If the fuse would blow, you wouldn't have brakes.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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The break away switch is powered from the house battery. One side of the switch is wired to the positive 12 volt side of the battery. The other wire from the break away switch is connected to the brake wire on the trailer.
If the trailer becomes detached from the TV while in tow the brakes are applied.
Many tongue jacks are wired via a fuse to the plus 12 volt wire that powers the break away switch.
The break away switch like the brake controller are normally not fused. If the fuse would blow, you wouldn't have brakes.
That seems strange all the vehicles that I have dealt with that were factory prewired for a break controller were set up with or for having a fuse, normally 30amp, to prevent fires if there were a short. (some had a dummy fuse the needed to be replaced with a real fuse)
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:05 AM   #9
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wiring diagram

This is the wiring diagram I used.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...8&d=1284576792

I used the USA version.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
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That seems strange all the vehicles that I have dealt with that were factory prewired for a break controller were set up with or for having a fuse, normally 30amp, to prevent fires if there were a short. (some had a dummy fuse the needed to be replaced with a real fuse)
The brake controller may be fused in the TV, but the brake away switch is not. The power jack is fused.

I guess the idea is the brake away switch it the last ditch line of defense to a catastrophic separation between TV and trailer. In this case, fusing is something you don't want to worry about.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #11
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Our setup is two wires to the breakaway switch and another, separate one to the jack. The breakaway switch wires go into flexible tubing under the tongue. The jack wire goes into a separate tubing under the tongue and makes its way to the battery box. The jack wire is heavier gauge, maybe 14 braided wire, and the breakaway switch wires seem to be around 18 gauge.

For a number of years these wires were under the propane cover causing eventual failure of the insulation and shorts. They should be rerouted under the tongue.

That's as far as I looked.

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Old 09-22-2012, 03:47 PM   #12
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Breakaway and Power Jack Problem

I have an 84 Limited 34' beauty I just purchased and working through the bugs. One bug is previous owner/s removed the power jack. When I tested it there didn't seem to be a problem with the jack. However when I tried to re-install it that's where the problem appeared. I don't seem to be getting and 12V power out of either the Red or Blue wires coming out of the frame that were wired across the Breakaway switch. In the connection with the Red wire there was another wire that was cut off (I assume it was the connection for the jack). Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #13
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MY PO was a real smart guy. Jack quite working so he took if off and throwd her in the scrap pile. He also cut the red wire loose from the fuse panel. When he cut the red wire to the jack he also cut off the power to the break-away switch,real smart huh??? I just recently purchased a new power jack and a new break-away switch. Connected it all up NOTHING. In checking the fuse panel I find 15 or 20 amp breakers. The jack breaker was bad. I replace it and everything is fine now.
My 77 is ,Red wire to the jack first and then the break-away is connected to the jack wire which supplies the power.That was the way is was wired when I bought it,so I put it back the way it was,it works
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:12 PM   #14
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Thanks Mike:
Our PO's sound like the same guy. I checked for bad fuses on 12V panel but can't find anything blown. Hard to trace wires that go into the frame.
But I am still working with the theory that Red should be 12Volts and Blue should go to the Brake line. If the Breakaway switch is pulled 12Volts gets applied to the Blue line and the breaks are applied...right?

That same Red 12 Volt line gets wired to the Power Jack and as long as the jack is well grounded then I should be good to go.

So at the 12V panel how do I know which Red wire is for the 12 Volts and not to be confused with the red wire for the 7Way?
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