Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-31-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,813
Images: 12
Breakaway Switch Question

What can one expect to find after the Brake Away Switch has been pulled and the battery run down to Zero Volts?

I have heard comments that this can do damage to the magnets but question that.

Yes the battery will most likely have to be replaced because of the deep discharge and age.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
Commercial Member
 
Kristi Foster's Avatar
 
Jonesboro , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 266
Images: 33
Brake Away

Our 1968 Avion originally came with this feature, a break away switch, but we do not know what it looks like or how it actually works. It sounds like a safety feature that I would like to have working again. A picture of one would be appreciated and any instructions. Thanks
__________________

Kristi Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 06:42 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Howie, it sounds like the brake breakaway switch was pulled, the magnets energized and the battery run down because of it. Is that correct?

I can't imagine how electromagnets can be damaged by no electricity. Most of the time they have none. As the voltage drops to zero, maybe there could be something that happens at low voltage, but I don't know what it could be.

Kristi, the breakaway switch locks the trailer brakes if the hitch comes off the ball and the trailer is getting farther away from the tow vehicle. It should be a length that permits it to work when the trailer is just being pulled by the safety chains. On newer models it is mounted near the front of the tongue and a wire goes to a clip or carabiner that is to be attached to the tow vehicle. Do a search on this item and you'll learn even more. When the wire pulls out the piece at the front of the switch, it closes the brake circuit and the brakes are locked. I believe some states, maybe all, require this as a safety feature so that if the trailer comes loose it will soon stop.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
I have heard the same stories that the magnets will burn up, but it has all been second hand information. You could test them after you get a charged battery on the trailer. The magnets are almost a short circuit when they are functional. They are rated at around 4 ohms. With a good meter you could measure the resistance of each one and see if any are open or shorted.
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 07:44 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
If a trailer is plugged into city power, and the breakaway switch is pulled, it's been known to easily destroy the magnets, warp the drums, and to also discolor the bearings and spindles, to the extent that continued useage, would be a big gamble.


Without being plugged into city power, there can be enough wattage in a good battery/batteries, to absolutely burn up the magnets, before the voltage disappeared.

It's a very good idea, to pull the drums for a close visual inspection.

Travel trailer braking, should never be guessed at.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 08:27 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
Wouldn't it be easy enough to wire a light into the brake circuit? There's only power to the brakes under two conditions. The light would be a warning that the switch is pulled. I have an external light on my freezer in my garage at home to tell me from across the room that it's got power. I've never said: "I wish I didn't have that indicator light!".
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 09:58 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,840
Howie's question was about no power to the brakes causing damage to the magnets because of a dead battery—at least that was how I understood it.

Airstream recommends pulling the breakaway and oiling it once a year, but to do it quickly.

Gene
__________________
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
Quote:
Howie's question was about no power to the brakes
it's the journey, not the destination -- In order to drain the battery, you have to pull more than a kilowatt hour of electricity from it. That means a lot of heat is generated.

Brake magnets are not designed for continuous duty. They shouldn't be put full on for more than a few minutes.

Quote:
it's been known to easily destroy the magnets, warp the drums, and to also discolor the bearings and spindles,
wow! I'd think the magnet would fail before things got hot enough to do that much damage (unless you were rolling and the brakes were dragging).
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 12:52 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Mexray's Avatar
 
1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
I can see where this would be a big problem if some vandal comes by and 'pulls' the break-a-way pin from the switch!

I've never given it much thought, but I guess it could happen if you're in the 'wrong' neighborhood...

I've also thought about a hidden SPST switch being wired into the POS, powered wire going to the BAW switch so pulling the pin won't activate the brakes - problem is - how does one always remember to flip the SPST switch back to the ON position, when back on the road....?

I suppose I could mount a GREEN LED panel light near the BAW switch that would be illuminated when the BAW switch has power and the SPST switch is in the ON position - LED light ON = circuit activated...for a reminder...

Any other thoughts?

Ray
__________________
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
Mexray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 01:08 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Dave Park's Avatar
 
2005 22' Safari
Hyde Park Place , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 972
I would put a small 12v buzzer into the circuit, so if the circuit is made, it will draw attention. The only times it should be in use is for testing, and in a separation.
__________________
TX-16
Dave Park is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 08:54 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
re: "I suppose I could mount a GREEN LED panel light near the BAW switch that would be illuminated when the BAW switch has power"

The problem is that the switch always has power and must for safety reasons. Anything put in series needs to be 'fail safe' so that the emergency function of the switch is not hindered.

It is parallel to the brake controller so there is no easy way to tell if it has been activated or the brake controller has been activated.

It seems that a device that would measure current over time would be needed. That would sound an alarm if the current to the brakes got above a certain threshold or the product of current and time indicated a problem. That kind of device would probably cost more than the risk.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #12
Site Team
 
azflycaster's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,127
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

I think the greatest concern is when the trailer is parked and no one is around. I had this concern when I parked my trailer at the RV storage yard so I would disconnect the battery when I parked it and then connected the battery when I got ready to take the trailer back out. This is a real pain in the you know what with the battery arrangement on a 70s trailer. I stopped doing this a few years ago and have never had an issue. I have been thinking that a hidden switch for the power to the tongue jack and break away switch might be a good solution. Since it would kill power to the jack it could not be overlooked when hitching up the trailer.
__________________

Richard

Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 09:23 AM   #13
RLS
Rivet Master
 
RLS's Avatar

 
2004 25' Classic
Prescott , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 608
Is it possible to connect a 12 volt buzzer on the side of the switch that makes connection when pulled?
__________________
Julia & Bob
W/ Deedee & Boo
AIR #30685
RLS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 09:35 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,813
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RLS View Post
Is it possible to connect a 12 volt buzzer on the side of the switch that makes connection when pulled?
Yes That would sound when the switch is closed and not any effect on the braking capacity. Sure would have saved the problem I am working with if they had heard the buzzer when they pulled away after parking the trailer.

The switch to the trailer tongue jack and brake away switch would require a heavy duty switch because of the currents drawn by these items but would work.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
breakaway switch toastie Lights - Interior & Exterior 4 04-11-2010 11:06 AM
Breakaway Switch PunkZTT Brakes & Brake Controllers 24 05-03-2006 12:48 AM
breakaway switch aeriqua Brakes & Brake Controllers 2 01-09-2006 07:48 AM
Would you/did you buy it? Breakaway switch joatmon Brakes & Brake Controllers 3 05-11-2005 12:57 PM
Breakaway switch bhsl8 Brakes & Brake Controllers 26 10-06-2003 04:09 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.