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Old 09-09-2010, 05:59 AM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
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wires broken off inside hitch

The wires to my jack and breakaway switch are broken off inside the hitch channel. Any suggestions how to repair/replace these wires appreciated.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:29 AM   #2
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It is likely that you will have to drop some of the belly pan on the front of the trailer. It's a dirty job.
You will be able to pull the wires back out of the tongue area and splice in some longer lengths. (solder and heat shrink) If your up for a little bit more work you may just want to replace them back to the 12v fuse/breaker panel that may be located near the front of your trailer. Both of these wires should be a large gauge - probably 12 gauge wire.
If I recall you will need a 3/16ths drill bit and the large headed rivets to put the belly pan back in place.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by robertel View Post
The wires to my jack and breakaway switch are broken off inside the hitch channel. Any suggestions how to repair/replace these wires appreciated.

On my 1976, those are just two wires. If mine broke, I might be tempted to abandon the OEM wires and add two new ones with a grommet right beside the 7-way plug. That's where the two original wires originate and terminate on my trailer. I'm not one to be looking for chances to pull belly pans without a really good reason.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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I don't know how to tell which wires at the plug are the correct 2.

Do these wires exit the tongue beneath the belly pan. On mine the very front section of belly pan sits on top of the frame with no rivets accessible? Does this make sense?

Unless there is another one, my 12v fuse panel is under my sink, front of center of trailer.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:46 PM   #5
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I don't know how to tell which wires at the plug are the correct 2.

Do these wires exit the tongue beneath the belly pan. On mine the very front section of belly pan sits on top of the frame with no rivets accessible? Does this make sense?

Unless there is another one, my 12v fuse panel is under my sink, front of center of trailer.

If the break away switch wires are broken, for me there's no reason to follow them. To me, it's a replacement issue. The break away switch is easy to see, the power tongue jack is easy to see, and the 7 way plug is easy to see. To replace the break away switch and the jack power wire, I'd just find them in the 7-way plug connection point and replace them.

My trailer is a 1976 31' center bath. There are two pairs of wires going toward the street side. One pair is cased to remind me of romex. Those two are the brakes. That's easy to test. The other two are single wires and those are the jack/break away switch. I removed the inside front panel so I could get at everything up there.

My Service manual shows a fuse panel at the 7-way location under the fiberglass cover. The previous owner of my trailer removed the fuse block and disconnected the break away switch. He pushed the break away switch wires back behind the panel with wire nuts attached to each end. He hot wired the jack by cutting into the umbilical wire and tapping into the 12 volt line and taped it all back up.

I used this drawing as my plan and everything matched a standard 7-way tow vehicle plug and everything works as it should.

Click image for larger version

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I used a multi meter, a bright 12 volt jumper light, a 7-way tester, and a small 1 amp battery charger. My tow vehicles were not involved in my testing and rewiring the trailer. I did it all with the meter, the light, the tester, and the charger. I installed a new break away switch, installed a new fuse block, rewired the 7-way trailer plug, and installed a new molded end umbilical wire. My exterior lights were not working correctly, so I replaced all the clearance/running lights with LED fixtures, installed all new bulbs, and installed all new tail light lenses.

I twisted, soldered, and seat shrunk all the connections except the one cord end I put on and the small wire trailer plug connections. The big wires, I stripped and soldered. I soldered all the ground wires together by fluxing them and soldering them with my map gas torch. The main ground wire is bolted to the frame of the coach.

Important: I ignored the color of wires and mapped the functions. The colors of my wires didn't match the AS service manual or the plug plan.

Gary
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Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
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If mine broke, I might be tempted to abandon the OEM wires and add two new ones with a grommet right beside the 7-way plug.
I would not let a broken off live wire just hang out in the frame. It's likely to short. Disconnect the hot wire from inside the 7 way access panel in the front of the trailer. This wire will be thicker than most others and should be hot when not hitched to tow vehicle because it runs off the trailer battery. Of course to prevent a short until you have time to make the new connections you can dsconnect the trailer battery.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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I would not let a broken off live wire just hang out in the frame. It's likely to short. Disconnect the hot wire from inside the 7 way access panel in the front of the trailer. This wire will be thicker than most others and should be hot when not hitched to tow vehicle because it runs off the trailer battery. Of course to prevent a short until you have time to make the new connections you can dsconnect the trailer battery.

I think I wrote above that I'd find the wires and "replace" them. I guess I assumed that to replace them would involve . . . replacing them . . . = remove old and install new . . like a tire.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:26 PM   #8
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I think I wrote above that I'd find the wires and "replace" them. I guess I assumed that to replace them would involve . . . replacing them . . . = remove old and install new . . like a tire.
Rephrase:
Until the hot wire is disconnected it may short out.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:31 PM   #9
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Idea:
Disconnect the breakaway wires at the 7 way access panel. Attach the new wires to the disconnected ends of the old wire. Use the new wire to push the inacessible end of the old wire out of the frame. Use the old wire to fish out the new wire. Voila! Never tried it.
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