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Old 04-28-2006, 01:53 PM   #1
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Breakaway Switch

In my trailer I have a battery disconnect switch. If I turn the switch on (so that nothing electric will work) will the trailer brakes activate if the switch is triggered while towing? I store my trailer in a parking lot down the street that has a lot of kids walking by after school. I have been taking out my breakaway pin because I didn't want it to get stolen or such. I have read that this will burn up your brake magnets. I took the trailer out last weekend and the brakes worked perfectly fine. The battery had a full charge too! SO my guess is that pulling the pin doesn't do anything unless you have the battery disconnect switch in the cabin turned off. (so that power goes to the trailer).

Any thoughts on this? I have a 03' 22ft CCD
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:09 PM   #2
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PunkZTT,

From looking at the schematic, the breakaway switch should operate regardless of the battery disconnect switch.

Here is the schematic, see page 17.
http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p...UAL%202003.pdf
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:19 PM   #3
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Yeah I guess the disconnect only turns off power to the distribution panel. Everything else stays live. What would explain the full charge on my battery? If the brakes were engaged for weeks at a time they would surely have drained the trailer battery.
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:49 PM   #4
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Have you tried moving the trailer with the breakaway pin pulled out? Maybe the switch is defective, or you have a broken wire somewhere. Also check that the breaker is ok.

Some "authorities" say you're not supposed to have a breaker in the brake line, but if Airstream puts one there, who am I to argue.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:46 PM   #5
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breakaway switch

I was told by the tech at the dealer, that in order for my breakaway switch to activate my bakes the main power needs to be on. I have not been able to find a wiring diagram as yet to verify that claim
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:02 PM   #6
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The breakaway switch should be directly connected to the T/T's battery and NOT routed thru any other switching device as a safety measure. I believe that the tech's advise was ill-advised and your wiring diagram for the switch should show this. I'll check the wiring on my 19CCD and report the findings over the week end.

If there IS a circuit breaker in the line, it should be the auto-reset type that will continually cycle on-off allowing the trailer brakes to still operate, even though they will not be at full efficiency.
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:05 PM   #7
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yo!!! What you say????

It's my understanding that the break away switch is wired straight from the battery ( at least our 04 is ) and not connected to the main wiring system. I'd have to check, but I think it is protected by a 30 amp?? fuse on the line coming from the battery. In fact if I remember, I had to put something over the wire, as the Lp tank cover was pressing down on it. You may have a problem if you have pulled the pin and left it out. First I'd check for a line fuse and then I'd have the brakes and wiring to them checked.
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:20 PM   #8
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You guys do whatever suits ya.

If you have a fire and the insurance adjuster finds you disabled or modified the original wiring, maybe the experts that say you shouldn't have a breaker in the line will come to your defense.

All the schematics I've seen on the Airstream website clearly show a 20 amp breaker between the battery and the breakaway switch.
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:31 PM   #9
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Smile Well I said I wasn't sure

Mark ---I'm not for sure, but you may be correct on the 20amp fuse. Whatever size A/S installed, is still there. I found the Lp cover was smashing the wire, so I put a covering (insulator) over the wire to avoid a short. Preventive maintenance I think they call it.
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:15 PM   #10
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Hello eveyone,

That break away switch needs to be energized by the trailer battery so if comes unhitched in transit or breaks away the brakes energize as the pin pulls out and the unbilical will be ripped out also ,so it has to be energized at the trailer. The prodigy brake controller is supposed to be damaged if the pin gets pulled when hitched and connected to the tow vehical ,which bothers me .Lews got it right,should not be controlled by a main power circuit in the trailer .Horse trailers are the same way and have a small battery just to apply the brakes ,installed in the front compartment area or in a little mounting box on the side of the tongue.

Scott
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:15 AM   #11
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i'm gonna try to steer this back to the original problem.

punk is worried about kids yanking out his break away. a simple solution would be to get a spare break away cable, then cut off the cable leaving just the pin.

at that point you can just insert the pin, you would need a pliers to remove it. but a person passing by would not be tempted yo yank it out!

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Old 04-29-2006, 05:38 AM   #12
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Yeah the whole thing is a confusing mess. I found people saying that it will wear out the magnets on the brakes and drain your batteries. When I hooked it up the other day, the trailer brakes worked perfect and the battery had a full charge. The schematic doesn't show any sort of specific 12 volt battery used for the brakes only. I guess I will have to try pulling it with the switch out and not hooked up to the tow vehicle. If the brakes engage then I know that having the pin out for extended periods of time might not cause problems. If the brakes don't engage, then I know that I screwed things up royally! I am not an expert on this but perhaps all that happens when you pull the switch is the brakes engage and then they take no additional battery power to stay on. I know the magnets are controlled with electricity but perhaps in the event of a breakaway they just engage fully and stick to the rotors without any further electrification/draining of power.
Are there any brake experts here!?
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:47 AM   #13
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if everything is working correctly pulling the pin WILL drain your battery and possibly destroy your magnets and or damage your spindles.

don't ask me how i know this but lets just say a guy with a errant weed whacker cost me a lot of money!

my best guess it that the first time you left it with the pin out you blew the fuse.

might be time to have the brake system looked at by a professional.

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Old 04-29-2006, 08:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
You guys do whatever suits ya.

If you have a fire and the insurance adjuster finds you disabled or modified the original wiring, maybe the experts that say you shouldn't have a breaker in the line will come to your defense.

All the schematics I've seen on the Airstream website clearly show a 20 amp breaker between the battery and the breakaway switch.
Mark,

You are right about the breaker, but it should be the auto-reset type ONLY.......not an ordinary breaker. The auto-reset breaker will protect the circuit while still allowing the current from the battery to energize the brakes in an emergency stop caused a disconnect. If a fuse or ordinary type breaker is used and opens the circuit, there is no possibility of getting the brakes to work on a disconnect.
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