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Old 12-29-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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Towing problem

Im just towing my 1972 Overlander 72 for the first time today. I ran into a problem. I was in front of my house about to back it into the driveway and the brakes on the trailer locked, I can not back this up. I drove a little way down the street checked the pigtail and all seems ok, the lights and blinkers etc, work. It just wont back up. What am I doing wrong or is there something I need to know? Thanks for any help.
Jim O'Connor
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:11 PM   #2
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I assume the trailer has electric brakes? If so, could the connector be wired incorrectly so that when the tow vehicle is put in reverse, the brakes get energized? Otherwise, I would raise a wheel/tire and check for mechanical problems.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:13 PM   #3
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Try unplugging the trailer pigtail from the tow vehicle........reverse lights maybe wired to brakes?

If that doesn't work, sounds as if there is a mechanical problem with the trailer brakes.


EDITED - beat to it by PaulNGina!
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7GenTex View Post
Try unplugging the trailer pigtail from the tow vehicle........reverse lights maybe wired to brakes?

If that doesn't work, sounds as if there is a mechanical problem with the trailer brakes.

Great minds think alike!!
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulnGina View Post
Great minds think alike!!
And another Avion owner even!
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:16 AM   #6
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Unplugged

Hi,

Thanks for responses, I unplugged the pigtail and can get the trailer backed up. When I plug it back in the reverse brakes lock up. But at least Im able to back it into my driveway until I can get it solved. Any thoughts though? Maybe the pigtail is bad? Probably not its in good shape. Another wiring problem? Could they have just frozen up from lack of use?
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:28 AM   #7
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brakes

make sure the emer. cable is seated properly, or the brake magnets will burn up; wiring can be corroded also! joe in MN
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:38 AM   #8
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There is a wiring problem in the connectors. On the tow vehicle, the pin that is providing 12V that is supposed to turn on the back-up/reverse lights is getting directed to the pin on the trailer connector that is providing power to the brakes. I would assume that the brakes are not working at all when you are moving forward. Is this a 7-pin plug?
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:45 AM   #9
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First thought would be the Beakaway switch pin has come out and you have Full Power going to the breaks from the trailer battery.

If it was one break it could be mechanical but more than one it has to be electrical and if not the breakaway disconnect the umbilical cord and try again.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:49 AM   #10
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Greetings Jim!

Since this was your first tow with your Vintage Airstream, my suspicion is that your trailer's umbilical cord is wired to the earlier Airstream pattern for the seven pin connector -- or possibly a unique pattern used by a prior owner. A misplaced brake wire might be being energized by your backup lights when reverse is selected.

Good luck with your Airstream!

Kevin
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:51 AM   #11
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Unplug the umbilical cord. Then, there will be no signal to the brakes. Now you should be able to move the trailer.
When the cord is connected, and if it moves forward, but locks up only when backing up, then you may have a mechanical problem. Some drum brakes have an auto-adjust feature that tightens the adjuster when backing up, and yours may be doing this.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:54 AM   #12
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What Kevin said - check the wiring. The backup lights are often marked as Auxiliary
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:59 AM   #13
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Greetings Jim!

In this type of situation, the wiring of the seven pin connector is the prime suspect. Airstream utilized a wiring pattern of its own unique design during the era of Vintage Airstreams. I suspect that you seven pin connector needs to be wired to today's standard -- I know that this was something that I had to do with my 78 Minuet before my first tow.

Good luck with your Airstream!

Kevin
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