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Old 07-23-2015, 06:40 PM   #1
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Switched brakes when hooked up?

In the process of fixing up a '72 Ambassador, currently parked on the side of our property, and my father and I were talking about ideas for when it's at a campsite (and hooked up to facilities). Something he asked about was whether you could set up a switch to power / engage the brakes while you're parked, as opposed to setting up one of those "x-brace" wheel chocks. Has anyone tried out something like that?
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:49 PM   #2
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If you have battery power...pull the emergency brake disconnect pin on the A frame. Whats the matter with chocks...?
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:28 PM   #3
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You will burn up the electric brake magnets in a matter of minutes.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:47 PM   #4
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If anyone has tried it I suspect they found out quickly what a bad idea it is.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
You will burn up the electric brake magnets in a matter of minutes.
This is exactly what I suspected would be an issue. Thanks for confirming that thought.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:45 AM   #6
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If you have battery power...pull the emergency brake disconnect pin on the A frame. Whats the matter with chocks...?
Nothing at all wrong with chocks. He suggested the idea and I figured it was worth asking. Overlander63's reply about damaging the magnet was something I suspected, just wanted to hear it from another source to confirm.
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:07 AM   #7
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You will burn up the electric brake magnets in a matter of minutes.
No you won't. I accidentally pulled the break away pin on my Argosy with a new axle and brakes. Was plugged into power so the battery stayed up. Found it 3 days later. Didn't hurt the brakes one bit. All it is is an electromagnet, taking about 3 amps at 12 volts, or 36 watts. They don't burn up in minutes.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:14 AM   #8
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Otherwise you'd be replacing magnets after a long stop light.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:42 AM   #9
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Otherwise you'd be replacing magnets after a long stop light.
I have thought about that. At long stops I will usually shift into park, foot off the brakes. Truly necessary or not, I do not know. But I have read too many post warning about long activation of brakes to chance it.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:00 AM   #10
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No you won't. I accidentally pulled the break away pin on my Argosy with a new axle and brakes. Was plugged into power so the battery stayed up. Found it 3 days later. Didn't hurt the brakes one bit. All it is is an electromagnet, taking about 3 amps at 12 volts, or 36 watts. They don't burn up in minutes.
Someday, when I have nothing better to do, I'll post pictures of the melted breakaway switches and ruined magnets I've had to replace over the years, because people think "no, you won't".
Keep doing it, I need the work.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:47 AM   #11
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Brakes

I would like to add a few thoughts on electric brakes. An electromagnet is made up of many windings of wire. The wire is insulated with a thin coating of varnish like material. The heat can build up over time and melt the varnish. The wires may short internally and this will cause more heat. It will just destroy itself. Anyone try to remove a 25 watt incandescent bulb while it is on. That is a lot of heat. Also the manufacture doesn't recommend using them as a parking break. After working on my breaks it looks to me like the vehicle has to be moving before the breaks will work. Bottom line. They are not parking breaks.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:44 AM   #12
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I would like to add a few thoughts on electric brakes. An electromagnet is made up of many windings of wire. The wire is insulated with a thin coating of varnish like material. The heat can build up over time and melt the varnish. The wires may short internally and this will cause more heat. It will just destroy itself. Anyone try to remove a 25 watt incandescent bulb while it is on. That is a lot of heat. Also the manufacture doesn't recommend using them as a parking break. After working on my breaks it looks to me like the vehicle has to be moving before the breaks will work. Bottom line. They are not parking breaks.
Interesting first introduction post, welcome.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:30 AM   #13
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Someone correct me, I think some countries in Europe require travel trailer to have a mechanical (parking) brake.
However, I see no real need for a parking brake. I do not (and would not) park on steep slopes or grades. Chocks work great for me!
I have hydraulic disc brakes on my Safari which uses an electric/hydraulic actuator. I have never tried to use them for parking brakes. I wonder???
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:08 AM   #14
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I don't know what happens to the brakes, but I do know it will destroy the breakaway switch. I had my AS dealer check the brakes for function after inadvertently not reconnecting the breakaway plunger after unhitching and they found the break away switch destroyed. Also, if you do this while camping you will have the converter fan coming on frequently as it will be working overtime to keep the batteries charged or if using solar to maintain battery charge, with batteries disconnected, it will discharge the batteries and possibly damage them.
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