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Old 08-15-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
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Self Adjusting Brakes..... can't back up....

Regina and I are 5 weeks into an extended Airstream trip. Prior to leaving Springfield, MO in July my nephew and I replaced the axles on our trailer with new axles and self adjusting brakes.

Everything has been fine until last week when we pulled into McKay's Bend, a BLM campground just SE of Lewiston ID. When I went to back into the spot, I thought I had lost reverse in my TV.... but it was the trailer brakes were preventing me from backing.

I drove around the campground and tried it again, no luck although I was able to move the trailer. I disconnected my plug in and was able to back up as normal.

I had thought by backing up the trailer brakes self adjusted themselves.

We left McKay's Bend and as I was pulling out of the spot, I tried backing up...it was stiff but I was able to move. I told my wife the brakes were adjusting.

When we arrived at Huckleberry Campground on the St. Joe River between Calder and Avery ID, I again found that I could not back up without the trailer brakes engaging.

The route we took north involved dang near every scenic byway in Idaho. I replaced the trailer plug in coming into Mackay ID.... other than that,,,and I am sure I got it wired correctly because my wife took a picture of the old plug and guided me installing the new one.

Any advice? Backing up the trailer brakes engage, going for forward all is ok. Disconnecting trailer umbilical cord allows the trailer to be backed.

I am at hte public library in St. Maries ID eagerly awaiting any and all suggestions!

Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:59 PM   #2
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Your cable to the trailer is miswired. The backup lights are connected to the brake light e. Worse than that, I would bet that you have no trailer brakes going down the road.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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I've got good brakes going forward.

But I will check that connector again.

The brakes work fine going forward and it I had no trouble backing up until last week at McKay's Bend.

I backed into the spot at Mackay BLM, at Pink House BLM and other than that, I don't think I backed up at all. Oh yeah, I backed up at Turquoise Garden RV park in Albuquerque.

I paid special attention to installing the new plug....which I got at WalMart for $14 and later found the same plug at Big R in Lewiston for $9.00. It has a metal shank which is easier to put in that the plastic one but it was tough to wire.

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:22 PM   #4
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I think I got the wires wired up wrong.....I seem to remember the black wire in teh center instead of the purple wire, when I get back to camp I'll check it.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:23 PM   #5
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I'm thinking you are correct.... I am color blind.......red and green..
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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Chances are the backup light wire is powering the brakes.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:56 PM   #7
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Can you backup with the 7 way unplugged?
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:53 PM   #8
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I'm color deficient for red/green also. And dyslexic. Fun! I feel your pain!
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:14 AM   #9
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Problem solved

The back up wire was not tight into the plug and spark jumped over to the brake wire

I had replaced the plug outside of Arco NM and never had to back up until McKay's Bend ID.

Now we're heading west out of Mt Rainier towards the Washington Coast.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:55 PM   #10
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Glad you solved it. Have a great trip!
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