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Old 05-15-2005, 06:01 PM   #1
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Breakaway Switch and Battery

I have a 2005 25' International CCD. The last time I used it and was parking it for the week, I forgot to put the Breakaway swtitch plunger back in the socket. It was out for almost 5 days. Upon returning this weekend, I replaced it and the trailer towed fine. The Plunger was somewhat hard to insert. Once at the park on Saturday the plunger came out fine. When back in fine to tow it home. Upon storing the trailer for the week it would not come out and actually broke the end off where the cable is disconnected to the plunger.

OK so for my questions:

Have I permanently damaged anything on the brakes themselves if the trailer was parked and the battery set to store?

Is the breakaway switch fried? Do I just need to remove the broken on and replace the cable and plunger?

How do some of you attach this to your vehicle without always taking the plunger out of the breakaway socket?

Is this perhaps the cause of why the battery seemed dead when I picked the trailer up this weekend; the trailer jack would not work until the wiring harness was hooked up to the truck.

How hard is it to replace the breakaway switch if it is fried?

Any answers would be appreciated, or else I am going to be worrying until tomorrow when I can talk to a dealer.

Thanks
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Old 05-15-2005, 06:39 PM   #2
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You don’t need to remove the break away except to check it occasionally. Just use wheel chocks. I'm sure that's why your battery was dead and I wouldn't be surprised if your brake magnets are too. You can buy replacement lanyards and plugs at any RV parts house.
In edit, if you had your batteries in the store mode, you might have saved the brake magnets depending on how long you had the brakes energized.
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:20 PM   #3
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Time to check those brake magnets. You may not have any brakes.
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:30 PM   #4
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Would electro-magnets fry from being enegized that long?
I am not sure as I have never been in that situation.
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:40 PM   #5
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Yes they would but maybe Brud pulled the plug and then cut the DC power soon enough.
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:42 PM   #6
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I have used electro-magnets in industrial applications but never knew you could fry them by applying power to them for five straight days.
Never left one energized that long.
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:50 PM   #7
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Maybe use a small motorcycle battery for the brakes, then the battery would go 'toes up' before the magnets burned out.
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Would electro-magnets fry from being enegized that long?
I am not sure as I have never been in that situation.
Lou,



The magnets will need to be checked. I feel if they actually received power for an extended period of time they’re toast. The magnets will get very hot in 3-5 minutes of constant power – I CANNOT imagine 3-5 days .



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Henry
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:03 PM   #9
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The battery was put in store mode. The Dealer had said that the switch should be looped thru the end when attached to the vehicle. This would imply that it is remove during EVERY hitch up and un hitched.

I towed it a short distance, 10 miles this weekend and the brakes appeared fine the brake controller was functioning and I could feel them engaging.

Is this normal after such a stupid mistake? If the magnets were fried would it be very obvious or should I take it to a trailer shop in any event.

Thanks
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brud
If the magnets were fried would it be very obvious or should I take it to a trailer shop in any event.

Thanks
Brud,



Whenever anything on a brake is questionable – get it checked to be safe. My dad used to tell me “if you can’t stop it, don’t start it” this was referencing cars but I think it can apply here as well. Hopefully all is well but I would want the piece of mind of being sure. Remember your life and others lives could depend on it .



Regards,

Henry
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:16 PM   #11
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Brud,
You need to have them checked. The dealer mis-spoke or you misunderstood him. Don't worry though, he should have made it clear and it's not your fault. The small motorcycle battery idea is good for trailers that don't have coach/house batteries but not necessary if you don't unplug the brake away (except for checking it.) You will be back in business soon with experience. Hang in there friend.
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:38 PM   #12
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Brud,

I have an old trailer but, new Tekonska breakaway switch. The cable is approx. 3 ft. long with a loop in one end and the switch plug on the other.

I don't understand why you have to unplug yours each time??????

I run my breakaway cable thru my bumper where my license plate fits and then loop it back to the trailer hitch lock making sure it is long enough to turn freely but, shorter than the safety chains.

I never unplug my breakaway switch except to check it once in a while. I would change your procedure because it is just too easy to make a mistake and the consequences are too critical and possibly expensive.
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Old 05-15-2005, 10:58 PM   #13
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Also we should note, and if I'm wrong please correct me, if you do pull the plunger on the breakaway switch for a test, make sure your tow vehicle is NOT connected.

If it is, you could damage your brake controller.

The opposite end of the brakeaway wire from the plunger in the brakeaway switch ties into your frame mounted bumper. If the trailer brakes away from the hitch, ball and chains, it will pull the plunger which will apply brake power to the trailer brakes from the trailers own battery.

I believe that is what the dealer meant when he said you had to connect and disconnect it at every hitch up, remove the free end of the wire, not the switch plunger. Probably most just loop the free end thorugh the end of the chain that goes to the hitch.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
Lou,



The magnets will need to be checked. I feel if they actually received power for an extended period of time they’re toast. The magnets will get very hot in 3-5 minutes of constant power – I CANNOT imagine 3-5 days .



Regards,

Henry
OUCH!
That makes sense.
I have only used elctro-magnets that would energize for a few seconds at a time.
never really looked at the total life span of one with them energized for an extended period of time. I am sure that there are specs on this but no one expects them to be energized for that long.
I hope the battery went dead before damage was done.
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