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Old 09-07-2006, 04:16 PM   #1
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Brakes locking up in reverse

We went out for a long labor day weekend and I ran into a problem I've never had previously, and can't figure out.

On Thursday we had dropped our trailer in some friends driveway while we went to Silverwood theme park. When we came back, I hooked back up to manuever the trailer to the side of their house, as we were staying the night there. When I placed the TV in reverse, the trailer didn't want to move, I was peeling out in their gravel driveway. I put the TV in 4wheel drive and was able to back it up, but it still felt like way to much resistance. I had my daughter watch the wheels on the airstream to make sure they were turning, which she said they were.
If this was an isolated incident, I would write it offf as just being loose gravel and an overactive imagination. However Friday we went camping with our friends and it did the same thing - this time there was no gravel. When we got home Monday, again the same issue, this time on a paved road. This only happens when I have my trailer cord attached to the TV. If I disconnect, there is no more problem.
  • I haven't had this problem previously
  • No recent changes have been made to the TV or trailer
  • I haven't made any changes to the cord (7 prong)
  • I do not have a brake controller installed in the TV (yet - I do have a Tekonsha Prodigy sitting on my desk and an appointment to have it installed)
  • This only happens in reverse, and only when the cord is hooked to the trailer.
Any ideas what could be causing this?
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:26 PM   #2
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Maybe your reverse lights in the 7 way are crossed with the trailer brakes lead? I'd get the volt meter and do some investigating as to which wires are going where. This will be most helpful when you hook up the controller. --dave
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:37 PM   #3
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My 64 Safari does the same thing. Brakes lock up tight only when I put TV in reverse and trailer cable is hooked up. I haven't made time to check with volt meter to see if wires are crossed etc. I do have a brake controller installed.

Sorry, I know that's no help, just odd two 64s do it. Please let us know when you find the culprit.


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Old 09-07-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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Speaking of brakes.....

Mine does something weird too. I have a prodigy controller and if I turn on the hazard lights in the tow vehicle, the trailer brakes activate with the flashing lights. Doesn't that seem weird? That means that accidentally turning on the hazards while driving could be a BIG problem. The installers of the controller told me this is normal. Anyone have any insight?

Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSurfer
Mine does something weird too. I have a prodigy controller and if I turn on the hazard lights in the tow vehicle, the trailer brakes activate with the flashing lights. Doesn't that seem weird? That means that accidentally turning on the hazards while driving could be a BIG problem. The installers of the controller told me this is normal. Anyone have any insight?

Thanks!
I haven't experienced this...but I can see where it might happen. As to the 64's it sounds like there might be some kind of bridging in a terminal box or plug somewhere. Possibly in the taillight bulbs? I have had the lead on a dual filament bulb deform to the point where it caused all kinds of interesting issues when the bulb was powered up.
I would contact the Prodigy manufacturer. I had one unit replaced under warranty no questions asked. They have excellent customer service.

Aaron
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSurfer
Mine does something weird too. I have a prodigy controller and if I turn on the hazard lights in the tow vehicle, the trailer brakes activate with the flashing lights. Doesn't that seem weird? That means that accidentally turning on the hazards while driving could be a BIG problem. The installers of the controller told me this is normal. Anyone have any insight?

Thanks!
This is not normal . You may need your flashers ( i.e. when traveling below 45 mph on an interstste ) without brakes . Take it back to the installer . Good luck
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:41 PM   #7
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Silver surfer ,
Power from your hazards circuit is feeding the blue brake wire somehow
from controller/prodigy .The blue wire should only go to the low side of brake
switch at the switch ,so check that out .Maybe the blue wire is connected
for the brake switch elsewhere? Its odd that thats happening for sure .
some wiring trouble and it is not normal .No way that the blue lead can get
any power since the hook up is to the non 12volt of brake switch .something
else going on there.A back feed of voltage is feeding the blue wire sounds like.


Scott
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:45 PM   #8
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Hazard lights

Thanks! I will definately look into this. I thought that was really weird too. And I can think of many instances where I might have to drive with the hazards on, so it didn't seem right.

Jenny
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:03 PM   #9
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My brakes lock up too!

I'm glad that others have experienced this problem - that's not to say enjoy their predicament - because I just bought a 78 Argosy and connected it to my 98 ford F-150 and found that I couldn't back the thing up. I didn't think to try it without the plug connected, but that was my next step. When we hooked it up I noticed that the back-up lights are on all the time so maybe I have a similar issue with plug compatability. Is it possible that Ford wired these so-called standard light/brake jacks different then other manufacturers? And if the brakes are set, why it is only a problem in reverse?

One last question, the truck was ordered with a trailer package, but I noticed that there is no visible trailer brake button or lever. Is this their oversight or is it somehow built into the truck brakes? (This might be a pretty dumb question.)

I appreciate any help I can get from those that have solved this brake problem.

lorne
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:13 PM   #10
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I suspect the back-up lights might be wired into the 7 way plug.
Try backing up with the plug pulled.

Garry
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:18 PM   #11
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Lorne -- a trailer package usually includes a hitch receiver, a 7-pin trailer plug on the rear bumper, and a pre-wire somewhere under the dash. You will need a pigtail to plug into the pre-wire and your own aftermarket brake controller. Tekonsha Prodigy is a very good unit. I usually give a call to the folks at R-Jay's at about this point -- pigtail and brake controller is what you need. Any questions about location of the under dash prewire -- they might know but the local Ford dealership would probably help you.

Brakes come on when backing up? Some good ideas have been offered -- but this also sounds like a common problem with surge brakes. Surely you don't have those ... ?

BTW -- excellent idea Garry!
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:33 PM   #12
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Lorne , AS's and Argosy's of that vintage were not wired with the same color code as is standard today . If it hasn't been done before you may have to change terminals on your trailer plug . To do this go by the function of the terminal ( LT , RT , Stop , etc ) and not by the color code of the wire .
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:59 AM   #13
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Pulse Preventer

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSurfer
Mine does something weird too. I have a prodigy controller and if I turn on the hazard lights in the tow vehicle, the trailer brakes activate with the flashing lights. Doesn't that seem weird? That means that accidentally turning on the hazards while driving could be a BIG problem. The installers of the controller told me this is normal. Anyone have any insight?

Thanks!
When your hazards are on the trailer brakes are getting the same message as when you step on your brakes. You will need a Pulse Preventer. It is connected after the brake switch in the stop light/trailer brake wire. The Pulse Preventer csts about $15 - $20.
Neil.
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:50 AM   #14
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When we bought our 78 Sovereign we plugged into a GMC and checked the lights and turnsignals, all OK. When we arrived home and attempted to back into the drive the brakes locked up! We unplugged and backed in. Upon testing we found that three wires were differant on the Airstream! The backup light, brakes and power to charge trailer battery were interchanged!
We changed the wires at the truck plug so we could plug into a standard vehicle! The 78 has a cord that unplugs at both the trailer and truck, we changed this cord at the truck end!
Paul
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