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Old 05-22-2016, 08:31 PM   #1
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Breakaway wires frayed- how to repair?

I may have outsmarted myself...

My propane tank cover has a small semi circle cut out so the umbilical cord and harness for the breakaway switch (and jack) can protrude to the front of the a-frame.

To address my concern about the cover cutting the umbilical, I purchased some nylon reinforced hose to wrap around the umbilical. Unfortunately, I think the additional outer diameter this created in that space must have rubbed the breakaway harness against the frame and exposed some wires. I only noticed this while setting up this weekend and seeing sparks on the a-frame as I was moving the umbilical cord after unhitching (I shut the propane off immediately).

I wrapped the harness in electrical tape just to prevent any more contact with the frame but I definitely want to repair this before our next trip (this coming Friday). I was worried the short would have engaged the brakes all weekend but it didn't and everything operates fine. We made it home fine too but the thought of a short engaging the brakes while at highway speed is disconcerting to say the least.

I'm assuming this is a case of disconnecting the batteries, splicing in electrical wires in the area they've been exposed (whether soldered or crimped), re-covering the harness in electrical tape and reconnecting the batteries. Yes? Does this solution make sense? Am I missing something?

BTW - There are several breakaway threads here but none that I found matched my specific issue. Pics below.

Thanks!

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Old 05-22-2016, 09:04 PM   #2
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In my ever so humble opinion, that was a pretty lame original design. While you have all that apart, put a gubber grommet in that hole. Like so:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_423484-37672...ductId=4565073
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drboyd View Post
In my ever so humble opinion, that was a pretty lame original design. While you have all that apart, put a gubber grommet in that hole. Like so:



http://www.lowes.com/pd_423484-37672...ductId=4565073

I agree it's pretty poorly designed. The hose was meant to serve as a protective ring (instead of a grommet in the cover) but it must have pressed the breakaway harness in to the frame and frayed some wiring. I need to open that space up on the cover a bit more anyway....

Any thoughts on the re-wiring options?
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:39 PM   #4
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I ran some of my solar wires inside fuel injection hose, itself inside electrical conduit.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:43 AM   #5
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The question I'm asking (buried too deep in the first post) is this:

To repair this - I'm assuming this is a case of disconnecting the batteries, splicing in electrical wires in the area they've been exposed (whether soldered or crimped), re-covering the harness in electrical tape and reconnecting the batteries. Yes? Does this solution make sense? Am I missing something?

The other info is helpful too - but I could use some help on this particular question. Thanks.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:21 AM   #6
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I do not trust crimped connections. I've had too many of them fail and I have the industrial crimping pliers. I suggest soldering and shrink tubing over the solder joint. A grommet in the hole is highly recommended as well. Barring the grommet, some stainless wrapped hose, such as is used for connecting sink taps, can be placed over the wires before soldering and then slid into place to protect the wires from further damage.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:29 AM   #7
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While not addressing your specific question about how to repair this wire, I too have had issues with the design of this "hole" in the bottom of the propane tank cover. In looking at the setup I noted that it is not necessary to run the cable which connects to the tow vehicle through this opening, just snake it under the propane cover to the right (as you face the trailer) as shown in the attached image. This gives you more room for the other wires and makes it easier to protect them.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:30 AM   #8
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I would make the hole a little larger for good clearance.cut and solder the connections . use heat shrink tubing over each wire. This will provide extra protection. Also just a hint for easier soldering. Get a butane cream brulet torch from any kitchen sales area, at Walmart or other . great for small wires .
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:24 AM   #9
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Yes, your solution is sound. Repair the wires and protect from future damage and rubbing.

After the repair, you can place a few washers under the cover bracket to give you more height and give the wires more room.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:35 AM   #10
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IMO a crimped wire with heat shrink over them will not come apart as I have done many semi trailers this way also moisture is cause of many failures.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:02 PM   #11
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Our first trip after taking delivery last year, I noticed the dealer had routed the power cable, jack & the breakaway all through the one opening. I was surprised the cover hadn't already cut thru all three.

I filed the opening smooth and rerouted the power cord to make space. My BA was in the protected cover routing the jack connection which I wrapped in ele. tape to get home.

When I got home, the dealer enlarged the hole...I got out my jigsaw and a file and continued. I tried some reinforced rubber hose I had as someone mentioned it on the threads but it was to thick. I wrapped the protected cover in 3-4 wraps of a bike inner tube and zip tied it. I also slit open a section 1/4" drip tube and lined the inside curve of the opening for extra measure. I used the drip tube so I could control the length needed to fit the opening

I was in for warranty work on the jack last week and the power cord fix entered our jack discussion. I finally said, since I don't have a rivet gun (yet) why don't you make some room here past the existing rivets which limit the opening width, re-rivet and make this right which they gladly did.

As for the connection when I swapped out my refer fan, I used a couple of butt connections, but drilled out the stop in the middle and used it as an end connection. I soldered the wires, slipped the soldered connection in one end of the butt connector (full length) and crimped...slipped some shrink tube over the full connection to seal it up.

Lastly there have been some threads re availability of 30A slow blow glass fuses for the jack so I'm thinking of swapping out the existing connection (which always seems to get jostled & unconnected) for a newer blade type slow blow fuse. I'm thinking this is not critical as I should have a supply of glass fuses tomorrow, but thinking this as a winter project.


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...-151073-2.html

#46 from richw46


Thanks

Bob
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:42 PM   #12
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SSM, the wire I see in your pix looks like the electric jack wire, not the breakaway.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:49 PM   #13
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Thanks for the additional insights.

StreamDog - it is both. The larger wire is the jack, the two smaller wires are coming right off that square box which is the breakaway switch. The 3 wires (which must tie directly to the battery allowing the Jack and BA switch to be used even if in "store" mode) are collected as a harness of sorts through that semi-circle cut in the LP tank cover; also the location of the umbilical exit to the TV.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:53 PM   #14
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What has two thumbs and "crossed the road"?

THIS GUY!

😕

I chickened out and brought it to a local RV dealer to do the fix. I'm just not comfortable enough with electricity and sparks near propane tanks. Going to have them replace the BA switch entirely, splice the wires that are frayed and a couple other minor things while they have it.

Thanks for the advice though. Much appreciated!
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