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Old 08-04-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
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Brake wiring details needed

I want get the belly pan back on and then install the axles, so need to finish the brake wiring first. Problem is the original wiring was non existent and all the diagrams I have been able to find don't go into enough detail. I am completely rewiring the trailer and am going to rewire to RV industry standard for 7-way plug setup and not as originally wired by Airstream. I think the blue wire will be the brake wire. Here's comes the question...Do I run the blue wire from the plug to a junction box then 4 wires, one to each individual brake from there? Or do I run directly from plug to the brakes by somehow splitting from the one blue wire to four then one to each brake? Thought I read that the wires should be near the same length so brakes all work the same. learning as I go from all you fine people who have been there done that. *Moderator* wasn't sure if this belonged in axles or electric.

Thanks,

Michael
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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In my case the there are four seperate wires that connect each brake axle to the umbilical cable. The wires being the same length should not be an issue for no longer than your run. Make sure that you use at least 12ga wire or larger to help with voltage drop.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:20 PM   #3
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In my case the there are four seperate wires that connect each brake axle to the umbilical cable. The wires being the same length should not be an issue for no longer than your run. Make sure that you use at least 12ga wire or larger to help with voltage drop.
Thanks, where and how do the four wires connect to the one wire from the umbilical?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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I'll let you know what was done on my trailer. This was done by recommendation of some very experienced help, but may not be in total compliance with "RV standards", so keep that in mind.

As I had an open ground somewhere in the brake circuit, we elected to run new blue lines exposed below the belly pan. In the event I open the pan up in the future I will move them, but didn't feel the need just to hide the wires.

I have my main junction box directly behind my LP tanks. It is accessible from both the interior and exterior. We ran two lines directly to this box, down to the curbside wheel. From there, we pigtailed to the right brake and to the left brake.

I really doubt wire length will have any significant effect (if any at all).

Doing this allowed very clean tight connections. I would be careful if I decided to bury any electrical joints without an access cover. That is probably asking for a failure.

Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
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Mine connected in the front wall of the trailer. It was just put together with wire nuts. I chose to redo this with solder and heat shrink. You can chose a place that is easy for you near the front out of the weather.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #6
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Michael,
Why are you putting brakes on all four wheels? Trailers with a GVWR less than 6,000lb do not require brakes on all four wheels, just two.

My '58 Overlander is in the shop right now getting new axles. At the recommendation of the shop owner, I'm only putting brakes on one axle. My Overlander is about 4,000lbs dry. Putting brakes on both axles is overkill for such a small, lightweight trailer.

Now my 31' Sovereign has brakes on all four wheels. Fully loaded it's about 6,200lbs.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:48 PM   #7
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When I gutted our 31' Sovereign, the brake wire pair (one blue and one white in the same casing) ran from the connector block inside the front wall, down into the belly pan on the port side, and then aft inside the port frame (to the rear, or non-pointy end, for you land lubbers). It continued to just in front of the rear axel. There, it "Tee'd" out so one wire pair went to the port wheel and one to the starboard wheel. Directly in front of the front axel, there was another "Tee" connection, with again, one wire pair going to the port wheel and one to the starboard. Since the wire feeding the drops was on the port side by the frame, the drops to the wheels were not the same length. They dropped out the belly pan directly in front of each axel, fairly close to the wheels. The connectors in the belly pan were nothing fancy - wire nuts covered with black electrical tape.

Chris
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Michael,
Why are you putting brakes on all four wheels? Trailers with a GVWR less than 6,000lb do not require brakes on all four wheels, just two.

My '58 Overlander is in the shop right now getting new axles. At the recommendation of the shop owner, I'm only putting brakes on one axle. My Overlander is about 4,000lbs dry. Putting brakes on both axles is overkill for such a small, lightweight trailer.

Now my 31' Sovereign has brakes on all four wheels. Fully loaded it's about 6,200lbs.
Mike,

All four wheel had brakes originally and I'm going with Dexter axles so they are 10" drums as opposed to 12" that the trailer had originally.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:04 PM   #9
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Chris, Thanks! I have wires running all the way from the front ( I know almost nothing of nautical terms) of the trailer where I will be installing a 7-way umbilical socket to the rear of the streetside wheelwell battery compartment and up thru the floor. This is where I will install batteries as well as a to be purchased converter. I can either hook the brake wire to a junction box and go back down into the belly with eight wires, two to each wheel or i can split the wires in the belly. I'm thinking(always dangerous) that it would be best to have the connection to a minimum in the belly so maybe the junction box is the best way to go?
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:23 PM   #10
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I'm a great fan of never hiding connectors inside walls, ceilings, etc. unless you have an access panel available. Just makes it easier to troubleshoot when something goes wrong. In the grand scheme of things, wire is pretty cheap, so running 4 legs from the connector block at the front to the 4 wheels wouldn’t add much to your cost. Just remember to tie in the breakaway switch to all four legs.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:30 PM   #11
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Btw – the sailor in me keeps referring to port, starboard, forward, bow, aft, etc. Must be something to do with the land yacht name. Kay, on the other hand, uses the more trailer oriented conventions such as street side, curb side, etc. We have some interesting discussions sometimes.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:24 PM   #12
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Btw – the sailor in me keeps referring to port, starboard, forward, bow, aft, etc. Must be something to do with the land yacht name. Kay, on the other hand, uses the more trailer oriented conventions such as street side, curb side, etc. We have some interesting discussions sometimes.
I'm the same way, Chris. I retired from the Navy six years ago and I'm just now getting over the port and starboard designations.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:56 PM   #13
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Funny thing is, when I was actually in the Navy, and onboard a ship, I refused to use nautical terms with my Division Officer. Just one of those things that happened and kinda stuck as a game between us. One day, Lt. Denny and I were having a very animated (i.e., LOUD ) discussion about walls (bulkheads), floors (decks), doors (hatches), left (port), right (starboard), aft (rear), etc. When he asked me if I knew where the bow was, and I replied yes, it's the pointy end, he just shook his head and walked away...
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:39 PM   #14
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Thanks, saved me from looking up the definitions.
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