Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-16-2003, 05:06 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 113
Breakaway switch pulled accidentally

Somehow my breakaway switch was accidentally activated. I was looking to see why my battery was drained and saw that the pin had been pulled out.
I believe I read somewhere that the brakes would stay on for 15 minutes after activation. Would my battery be drained in that length of time? Also, I read that the magnets would burn and be ruined if the brakes were left on. I just put new brakes and magnets on this past Spring.
I was wondering if anyone had had a similar experience and if they had to replace the magnets. Any information would be appreciated.

Wayne
__________________

__________________
wayner1239 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2003, 06:51 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
THe breakaway switch can be activated for not more than 5 (five) minutes.

Any time after that can result in the magnets severely overheating, and self destructing.

Additionally, should a magnet become hot enough and for an extended time, the heat generated has been known to "detemper" the spindles.

You should remove all the hub and drums and check each magnet. If they smell like burnt varnish, replace them. A burnt varnish smell indicates that some of the varnish insulation on the wire within the magnet has burned off. This results in a "short" within that magnet.

Since you depend heavily on the trailer brake system to function properly and adequately upon demand, if there is "any" doubt in your mind, replace the magnets.

Four magnets are far cheaper than any accident or personal injury.

Andy
__________________

__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2003, 08:07 PM   #3
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
Angry been there done that!

andy is right.

had a lawnboy pull my breakaway with a weed wacker at a park i had my trailer at.

new magnets.

now i keep my breakaway cable tightly coiled when not in use.

john
__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2003, 08:10 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1987 29' Sovereign
Sparta , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 507
Send a message via Yahoo to wingfoot321
Trailer breakaway cable

I attended a Reese seminar last weekend at the WBCCI rally in Chattanooga.

An item that came up during a safety discussion was very interesting.

The Reese rep suggested everyone check the length of their breakaway cable that pulls the pin. His point was that it should not exceed the length of the safety chains, otherwise you could have a breakaway and not pull the pin.

I checked mine and it was really close. Now that I am home I need to make sure which is the longest, cable or safety chains.

My cable has lead clamps which complicates things if I decide it is too long.
__________________
wingfoot321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2003, 10:03 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
I do NOT want a skidding trailer with brakes locked up while it's still chained to my truck. That's why my cable is longer than the chains. Why WOULDN'T a cable longer than the chains pull the pin after both chains failed? That's when I want the trailer brakes applied to the max.

And as long as the chains are holding, I DO want the electrical cable long enough that it will still be connected and I have control over the trailer brakes. So it needs to be longer than the chains.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2003, 10:12 PM   #6
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Quote:
Originally posted by RoadKingMoe
And as long as the chains are holding, I DO want the electrical cable long enough that it will still be connected and I have control over the trailer brakes. So it needs to be longer than the chains.
I've been told by a dealer that if the trailer is held only by the chains, it is obviously in a nose down position. What you don't want at that point is the nose to dig into the ground due to road irregularities. If that would happen the trailer could pivot over the top of the tow vehicle.

If the cable pulls the pin and the chains are attached, the heavy braking of the trailer will cause the trailer to nose up thus lessening the load on the chains and minimizing the possiblity of the nose of the hitch from digging into the ground.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,822
Images: 3
I agree with Maurice

The last thing I want to let go is the breakaway pin. Like he says, there is no way that I want a 7300# trailer with locked brakes attached to my truck.

My umbilical is longer than the chains and my breakaway cable is led along one chain with very light cable ties and the cable slack rolled up right by the breakaway switch. If my hitch ball breaks, I will have trailer brakes and lights so long as the chains are attached. If it all lets go, the pin will pull dead last.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2003, 11:02 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
Vehicles with the center of mass above the axles, including trailers, don't nose up during hard braking. They nose dive and go tail high.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2003, 05:10 AM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 148
I believe the likelihood of the trailer pivoting over the top of the tow vehicle in either scenario to be infinitesimal, especially with any of the longer trailers. However, the odds of losing control of both the trailer w/brakes locked and the tow vehicle still attached by chains seems almost certain.

My vote: Longer cable than chains.

bbb
__________________
biggerbadbrad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2003, 06:06 AM   #10
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
either way

your pretty well screwed if it comes to the breakaway.

1: a heavy trailer like a airstream will most likely NOT skid (on pavement). the brakes are not powerful enough. unless you have one of those models with disk brakes. if you don't believe me try it sometime.

2: the first thing you as a driver will do when something goes wrong is either hit the brakes hard or let off the gas. or both!

3: if your chains are the right length your drawbar will never make it out of your reciever. the ball breaking is another matter. if your chains are crossed as they should be, the tounge should never hit the ground.

having had a load of 40 foot poles hop off a pintle hitch at speed, and had the breakaway operate. believe me it is not fun!

but, with the brakes fully applied it was controllable and i was able to safely stop!

my vote is for a short cable.

had i had a longer one i would have been rear ended by an out of control trailer. the result certainly would have been different!

just my 2 cents.

john

ps, the first thing that will hit you will be your propane bottles!
__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2003, 07:22 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
59toaster's Avatar
 
1959 22' Caravanner
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,197
Images: 22
Read this and thought about it for quite a while.

Shorter cable for me. Here is my reasons.

If the trailer is braking hard and the chains are still connected the tounge of the trailer should stay off the ground. It will actully come up to near the hight of the point where the chains attach to the tow vehicle.

The trailer pulling on the tow vehicle should keep the tow vehicle in line and prevent the to tow vehicle from fish tailing in this senerio.

The chains should alow directional control of the trailer and keep it from turning side ways if one brake is stronger then the other.

Also prevents the tanks from bouncing off the back of the tow rig.


I think this goes back to driver training as well. If the hitch comes off and the break away is activated you would want to cost down and use minimal brakes on the tow vehicle.


Good thread and good thoughts on both sides.
__________________
1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
59toaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2003, 08:30 AM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pick's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
High Springs , Florida
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,310
Images: 36
Send a message via AIM to Pick
I do not think the breakaway switch is a good idea at all, and do not use them on any of my trailers. First of all, it is darn near impossible to adjust electric trailer brakes so they are all balanced. Prove this to yourself by by pulling your trailer through your lawn or a loose gravel parking lot or driveway and applying your trailer brakes. If your trailer comes off of the ball and your breakaway is activated, the toungue of the trailer is going to pull on the chains one way or the other. Imagine what this would do in rainy slippery conditions, it will cause the trailer to apply leverage to the back of the tow vehicle, and possibly make you loose control.

I have never had a hitch come off a ball, but I do know of some who have. One person hooked a 2 5/16" hitch to a 2" ball. Another's hitch worn out because he was always hauling his forklift not centered on the trailer and had no toungue weight. He has since gone to a pintle hitch.

I do use safety chains crossed, but a friend of mine does not. I asked him why and he said, "If that thing comes unhooked, I don't want it banging into the back of my truck."

I always lock my hitches, when hauling, to prevent some jerk from pulling the pin at a rest area or anyplace else I stop.


/fire extinguisher ready
__________________
ARS WA8ZYT
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
Air # 283
WBCCI 1350
Pick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2003, 08:42 AM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 113
Thanks Andy, and others, for information about possible damage to magnets from breakaway switch being activated too long. I will have to check mine out to see if there is any signs of damage. Since I only have one battery maybe the battery went dead before things got too hot.
Wayne
__________________
wayner1239 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2003, 09:36 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
I agree with Mike about the tires skidding on wet pavement, but just because you can't make yours skid on dry pavement with brake controller application doesn't mean it won't if the trailer is nose down with less weight on the rear axle tires. Activation of the brakes during breakaway is the kind of sudden full force braking that initiates skids, not the kind you usually apply with the brake controller. Once the rear axle tires break away and are sliding, the front axle tires, taking all the load, are not far behind.

It takes very little to get a vehicle sideways, even a 7000+ lb big truck. Ever see how cops spin out a running vehicle, even a large step van, with a tap on the rear corner? A jerk from a loose trailer connected to your tow vehicle by chain can apply as much or more sideways force and take the tow vehicle sideways.

I think the short cable philosophy depends on events happening in the reverse order that they will occur. To pull the pin, the chains are going to have to be stretched out. However, the chains AREN'T going to be stretched out until the pin is pulled and the trailer brakes are applied. Why?

As JohnHD observed, if the ball breaks and you feel the tongue fall, the first reaction is going to be to lift the throttle, if not also apply brakes, slowing the truck. And fall the tongue will, not only due to the tongue weight, but due to the spring bars adding significantly to the tongue weight by pulling down on the tongue.

The first thing that's going to happen is the tongue swinging up under the tow vehicle receiver hitch, shortening the distance between the breakaway switch and the tow vehicle. How far forward it goes will probably be limited by the spring bars and their chains or jacks, which will still be attached to the tow vehicle and tongue. This will determine whether the tanks hit the rear bumper or not.

With the tongue up under the hitch receiver, it's also unlikely you'll have been able to get the chains short enough to keep the tongue from hitting the ground without them binding in turns.

If a tongue digs in, it isn't likely the trailer is going to pitch pole... more likely the tongue or frame will bend. And it is very likely the chains or their attachments are going to snap and the truck keep going.

Just some thoughts...
__________________

__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is your Brake Controller of Choice? overlander64 Brakes & Brake Controllers 71 11-29-2008 09:40 AM
Some towing Q & A for newbies femuse Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 3 08-24-2004 09:05 AM
trailer wiring Cruiser Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 4 09-02-2003 02:43 PM
Getting Close! kamadeca Our Community 48 02-05-2003 09:56 AM
Trailer Listing To "Street Side" montanaandy Axles 4 06-07-2002 01:15 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.