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Old 08-21-2009, 05:59 PM   #15
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off cytaylor, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to the emergency brake switch on Lucy, I test it on a regular basis. I do it quick and dirty. Without the trailer plugged into the tow vehicle, I pull the cable, walk back near Lucy's wheels on each side and if I hear a "hum", I consider it working.

Brian
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Now step back a second and rethink your position.

You are going down the road and the ball or hitch breaks and the trailer tongue drops down on the crossed chains and most likely starts to drag on the ground.
um...no, the crossed chains are there to prevent just that.

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The breakaway cable is still not released. The sudden crashing sound would cause the average human to hit the brakes causing the trailer to come smashing into the rear of the TV.
no, again. The umbilical is still connected in this scenario, and the trailer's brakes would apply with the TV's. If the brakes are properly adjusted, the trailer shouldn't be smashing into anything.

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Now if the cable had pulled the pin you would still have the trailer tongue dragging on the ground and the trailer attempting to stopp the combination before you hit the brakes and ruin both the front of the trailer and the rear of the truck.
quite possibly causing a loss of control, as the brakes are applied full-force, at worst, or at best, bringing you to a stop in a very bad place, like the center lane of a super highway...

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Luckily I had just stopped to rest after a 5 hour run when the head shattered and dropped. Had that happened while towing I would not have wanted that 8,500 lbs freewheeling behind me.
it wouldn't have, so long as the break-away cable wasn't attached to the same piece.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #17
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I would have to say I agree with Chuck. I have been in the commercial truck repair business for alot of years and have seen ALL sides of the coin when it comes to trailers and such breaking away from the tv. The breakaway switch is designed as a last resort in case the safety chains also fail. Here is one scenario why (which I have seen the aftermath of). If the trailer comes off or dislodged from the hitch on the tv and the trailer's brakes are not adjusted perfectly evenly, which is almost impossible to achieve, when the trailers brakes apply from the brakeaway switch the trailer is undoubtedly not going to stop in a straight path. When this happens you do not want to be tied to the trailer in anyway because it could cause a rollover with the tv and also could be potentially more dangerous to you, your passengers and others on the road. The tv's brake controller should still be functional and you could manually apply the trailer brakes with the slider to "finesse" the trailer to a stop.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:19 AM   #18
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The breakaway switch is designed as a last resort in case the safety chains also fail...........If the trailer comes off or dislodged from the hitch on the tv and the trailer's brakes are not adjusted perfectly evenly, which is almost impossible to achieve, when the trailers brakes apply from the brakeaway switch the trailer is undoubtedly not going to stop in a straight path. When this happens you do not want to be tied to the trailer in anyway because it could cause a rollover with the tv and also could be potentially more dangerous to you, your passengers and others on the road.
That's pretty convincing. I've also learned that I haven't given this anywhere near enough thought. All possible scenarios are pretty scary and not something pleasant to think about. But one must.

Thanks for the discussion above
Carol
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:00 AM   #19
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Excellent examination and discussion of the topic. There are a lot of theoretical givens, like the crossed chains will support the trailer tongue, the umbilical is still intact and the driver has control of the trailer brakes, or perhaps not, et al. It all depends upon what component(s) actually fail. When the "breakaway" switch activates the brakes, the trailer has already broken loose from the TV, whether completely or partly, and all the chains, wires and cables are a tangled mess of stresses and sparks. Stopping the trailer is legally deemed to be safer than letting it continue to run free. jsutro
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:01 AM   #20
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Dang.. I need to fix my brakes.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:40 PM   #21
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Sorry for the delay in response but vacation took precedence.

It seams Chuck did not agree with my comments on just when the Break Away cable should function. I offer the following in support of my original statement that the cable should pull the break away pin before the chains are taut. Please read page 4 Conditions of operation per the manufacture.

http://www.warnernet.com/pdf/819-0454_P-616.pdf
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:52 PM   #22
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I still don't agree. It makes no sense to have a breakaway function before the umbilical is disconnected from the trailer. you don't need a breakaway...your brakes will still function fine.
this'll fry your controller, too...not that its all that important in the big scheme of things.

I think they made a mistake.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:57 PM   #23
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It is not uncommon to have safety devices react before an operator even has knowledge of a problem. That is the nature of safety devices, ABS brakes, computer controller steering, air bags. This is just a fast acting mechanical device that predates the computer.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:07 PM   #24
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I've seen both, trailer become disconnected from the hitch with the chains holding and also 'the hole shootin match' come loose and the trailer heading for the ditch. Having been an unwilling member in the first selection, a locked up trailer would have caused more problems than a minor dink in the bumper, believe me, you will be aware. Having seen the latter - a loose boat/trailer coming head-on towards us, THAT was the time for fully locked brakes on the trailer.

I'll stick with the long cable and a chance of controlling the melee. When that goes to stink, let the missle lock it's own brakes...
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:30 AM   #25
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I'll stick with the long cable and a chance of controlling the melee. When that goes to stink, let the missle lock it's own brakes...
I am sure several ambulance chasing lawyers in your area have copied and filed this statement. Nothing like walking into court with a sure thing.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:14 AM   #26
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HowieE
I am amazed at the pic you posted. I have never seen nor do I want too, a head shattered like that and I have been around these things most of my life. DiD you inspect the break to find out if it had been cracked a long time or was it a new fracture or a flaw in the casting. Just curious.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:28 AM   #27
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HI HO AG Rv
I also have been an UNWILLING participant in one of those sinerious, with a single axle trailer with no brakes, which became unhooked due to operator error(no pin in the locking mech) it broke the safety chains,(put on by the PO) when it came off the ball. I realized it was unhooked and applied brake,at which point it hit me in the rear. Then it went to the left lane and passed me, returning to the right lane and over the curb(in town) and came to rest against a small tree 20yrds off the road. NO Damage only to my truck tailgate and my feelings. No cargo damage ,of course its kinda hard to damage a Midget race car inside a sided trailer. Lesson learned about proper safety chains and an hitch locks.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #28
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Hi Roger

Yes the head had shown evidence that it had been cracked long enough for rust to have formed in the older area of the crack.
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