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Old 09-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #1
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Breakaway switch wiring

I decided to replace the break away switch on my 93 34' and found the old one to be wired to a yellow and red wire, both of which carry no voltage nor ground. (I tested these 2 wires with the trailer plugged into the TV and brakes depressed, still no current)
The diagram clearly says BLUE is the brake wire, but my 2 blue wires in that location are +12V on one and ground on the other.
I also have a 12V red wire in that location.
What am I missing? I may have to splice into the umbilical cords blue wire to make the switch work??
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:18 PM   #2
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Well your trailer has to have a good battery in it and then that 12V battery kill switch needs to be closed. Then that circuit breaker it is tied to has to be good. Then the emergency switch has to be open.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:36 PM   #3
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Maybe the old one was wired wrong? That diagram pretty clearly shows that you need the +12v red and +12v blue (no ground wire) on the two wires connected to the break away. Here's a more generic wiring diagram form the Out Of Doors Mart site (first thumbnail diagram): Break a way Switch 17-0154 [2009] - $26.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!. +12v on both there as well.

I was looking at this tonight trying to decide if I want to tackle the same project.

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Old 09-29-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
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If you are reading between the red and blue wires that go to the break away switch. You will read 12 volts because in effect the blue wire is standing common/ground because it is wired to the brake coils.
When the switch is wired in to the circuit and it is in the "normally open" position, you will still read 12 volts.
When you have the switch wired in and pull the pin the voltage will drop across the brake coils. That is what activates the coils.
The only place common/ground comes in is on the opposite side of the brake coils from the blue wire.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
Maybe the old one was wired wrong? That diagram pretty clearly shows that you need the +12v red and +12v blue (no ground wire) on the two wires connected to the break away. Here's a more generic wiring diagram form the Out Of Doors Mart site (first thumbnail diagram): Break a way Switch 17-0154 [2009] - $26.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!. +12v on both there as well.

I was looking at this tonight trying to decide if I want to tackle the same project.

Jim
Yes, the old switch, as it was wired was useless. I understand that diagram, except the blue wires I have in that location is +12V at all times and the other blue one -negative ground at all times.
The +12V on the Blue should only happen, until either the brakes are depressed in the TV or the break away switch is activated.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
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If you are reading between the red and blue wires that go to the break away switch. You will read 12 volts because in effect the blue wire is standing common/ground because it is wired to the brake coils.
When the switch is wired in to the circuit and it is in the "normally open" position, you will still read 12 volts.
When you have the switch wired in and pull the pin the voltage will drop across the brake coils. That is what activates the coils.
The only place common/ground comes in is on the opposite side of the brake coils from the blue wire.
Thanks for the reply, TG Twinkie. Please see my reply to Jim and Susan. I don't understand how the blue wire carries 12V unless its activated ...
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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When you read between the 2 blue wires. What do you read?
When you read between the red wire and blue wire #1. What do you read?
When you read between the red wire and blue wire #2. What do you read?
When you read between blue wire #1 and the trailer frame. What do you read?
When you read between blue wire #2 and the trailer frame. What do you read?
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
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I replaced the breakaway switch yesterday on our 2005 model. While doing it, I shorted the hot wire. Be sure to disconnect (or be more careful than me) from the battery.

But I have a question about this error. I can't find a fuse that needs to be replaced. I presume this isn't wired directly to the battery without a fuse. Any ideas on where to look or what fuse. It isn't labeled in the fuse panel.

Or short of that, how do I tell if the breakaway switch is working without taking off the the wheel and checking out the magnets?
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:39 PM   #9
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But I have a question about this error. I can't find a fuse that needs to be replaced. I presume this isn't wired directly to the battery without a fuse. Any ideas on where to look or what fuse. It isn't labeled in the fuse panel.
It might be. If you need those brakes, a blown fuse stopping them from working isn't something you'd want.

Quote:
Or short of that, how do I tell if the breakaway switch is working without taking off the the wheel and checking out the magnets?
Pull the pin while a helper holds a compass near the wheels. Or pull the pin and try to move the entire rig with your tow vehicle. I wouldn't leave the pin pulled for a second longer than necessary, though.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:44 PM   #10
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When you read between the 2 blue wires. What do you read?
13.4v
When you read between the red wire and blue wire #1. What do you read?
0 v
When you read between the red wire and blue wire #2. What do you read?
13.4v
When you read between blue wire #1 and the trailer frame. What do you read?
13.4v
When you read between blue wire #2 and the trailer frame. What do you read?
0 volt
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:09 PM   #11
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From what you are reading:

Blue 2 is the same as common/ground, 0 volts, therefor it must go to the brake coils.

Blue 1 reads 13.4 volts between
Blue 1 and Blue 2. It also reads 13.4 volts to the Frame. Therefor, it is +13.4 volts.

Red reads 13.4 volts between Blue 2. Therefor, it is + 13.4 volts.

Are you getting these readings with the UCord disconnected from the TV?
Do you have an electric tongue jack?
If so, the red wire may be to power the tongue jack. If it is for that purpose it is probably fused. By pulling the fuses one at a time, you may be able to ID it.
If you disconnect the battery in the coach. And both the red and Blue1 drop to Zero. Then my educated guess is that you connect both of the blue wires to the breakaway switch.
If you don't have an electric tongue jack, just tape off the red wire for future use.
Keep us posted on your findings.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
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From what you are reading:

Blue 2 is the same as common/ground, 0 volts, therefor it must go to the brake coils.

Blue 1 reads 13.4 volts between
Blue 1 and Blue 2. It also reads 13.4 volts to the Frame. Therefor, it is +13.4 volts.

Red reads 13.4 volts between Blue 2. Therefor, it is + 13.4 volts.

Are you getting these readings with the UCord disconnected from the TV?
Do you have an electric tongue jack?
If so, the red wire may be to power the tongue jack. If it is for that purpose it is probably fused. By pulling the fuses one at a time, you may be able to ID it.
If you disconnect the battery in the coach. And both the red and Blue1 drop to Zero. Then my educated guess is that you connect both of the blue wires to the breakaway switch.
If you don't have an electric tongue jack, just tape off the red wire for future use.
Keep us posted on your findings.
Thanks again for your time.
Yes, all this disconnected from TV.
My diagram in post #1 shows the red wire to be the feed for the Jack and the breakaway switch.
Blue #2 has zero resistance to the frame, which means ground. How can that be the coil wire and not create a short once the switch is pulled???
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:02 PM   #13
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It won't be a short. The voltage will drop across the brake coils. If you were to read across the Blue wires while you pull the pin on the break away switch you will see the voltage drop from 13.4 to 0. If you were to read the voltage across the brake coils, it will read 13.4 volts when the breakaway switch is activated.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
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It won't be a short. The voltage will drop across the brake coils. If you were to read across the Blue wires while you pull the pin on the break away switch you will see the voltage drop from 13.4 to 0. If you were to read the voltage across the brake coils, it will read 13.4 volts when the breakaway switch is activated.
Yes! You are right!! To test it before I connected the blue wires, I plugged in the UCord from the TV, depressed the brakes and got low voltage on the blue #2. After that I disconnected the Ucord and manually connected the blue wire 1 and 2 and had someone stand by the brakes and they heard the magnets clicking.
Thanks a bunch, I just couldn't get passed the negative ground of Blue #2.
Now I need to figure out what the yellow and red wire are for, the old switch was connected to, probably propane sensor wires
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