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Old 04-14-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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Modified umbilical

I have found the now-standard trailer umbilical to be problematic on several counts.

  1. The cable tends to get caught on hitch components and pulled out or damaged.
  2. It is inconvenient to repair the cable and connector safely because there is no way to switch off the charge line without disconnecting all sources of 12 volt power (converter, batteries, solar).
  3. When circumstances require a change of tow vehicles, the cable length and connector type are often wrong. Adapters are a source of problems and also contribute to the cable getting caught or dragged.
I placed a round-pin 7 way of the type used by semis on the bottom of the A frame where it is protected by the WD bars, and used a support spring attached to the tongue jack head to hold the cable up and out of the way while still allowing movement during turns.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:36 PM   #2
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A few more photos
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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I like the idea. I have often thought about doing this myself.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:41 PM   #4
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Very nice work; looks good.

Brian
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Looks great

Good idea.
In reference to the charge line being hot all the time. If yours is wired like mine; there is one fuse to pull to kill the 12 volts from the house battery etc. I'm guessing it would already be disconnected from the TV if you're having problems.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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Nope. It goes through a self-resetting automotive breaker and there's no manual disconnect.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:14 PM   #7
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Jammer, I thought we have a "kill switch" to battery power under the sofa of our Airstream models?
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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Yes, but it doesn't shut off the power to everything. I believe that the converter, the umbilical, and maybe the breakaway switch stay hot.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:34 PM   #9
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I believe the jack and the emergency brakes come directly off the batteries.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:40 PM   #10
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The sofa switch kills every thing on 84,85,86 models
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:42 PM   #11
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Why not just install a battery disconnect? They cost about $5 and connect directly to the pole of the battery. I got mine from Batteries Plus and use it to disconnect my house batteries over the winter. Otherwise, there is a constant drain on the batteries from things like the carbon monoxide monitor, etc.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:52 PM   #12
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I think the battery disconnect varies (like just about everything else on these trailers). Mine leaves the brake actuator, co detector, umbilical, and breakaway switch on. My jack has no power. I have roughly 100ma draw with the switch off. My monitor only has one place to the right of the decimal point and it moves back and forth between 0 and 1. So somewhere around 100ma, depending how the monitor rounds off. Actually I moved my co detector to the other side of the switch since I'll never be in the trailer without the switch on, so the 100ma is without that detector on.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:23 PM   #13
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Very cool idea and implementation!
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:26 AM   #14
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If anyone is intrested, there is a coiled embilical available. You might find it at larger truck stops or at your local Freightliner,PETERBILT, Kenworth,International Dealer or ANY Heavy Duty Truck supply Store.
I think both ends will be the same but came be rewired into a 7 way flat blade plug for the TV end.
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