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Old 07-01-2011, 01:01 AM   #15
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I fasten the 'zip' coiled breakaway cable's carbiner to a secure place on the top of the bumper - away from the TV's frame mounted receiver hitch...

I wouldn't hook the 'zip' to the TV's hitch chain attaching point - in the event of weld failing on the hitch itself and breaking away under the trailer's load, I want the 'zip' to be attached to an entirely different part of the TV!
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:37 AM   #16
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I guess one other thing that should be self evident is to make sure the cable is not too short and has a clear, unobstructed path. Ours had had a "repair" done, (I guess it had frayed or broken) but was now probably shorter than it should have been. Got caught on the rock guards as we rounded a corner, in a small town, at a 4 way stop sign. What a surprise when those wheels all locked up in the middle of that intersection! Blocked all 4 directions. I suppose it was a good test of the system, and enjoyable viewing for all the folks sitting at "every" stop sign as we hopped out to figure out what in the world had happened. Ahh well. Cable is longer now, and has a clear path.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:37 AM   #17
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I had one of these (coiled breakaway cable) on my old Casita.

Thanks for the reminder. I found a source and am getting one today!
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:17 AM   #18
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How far must the Fastway coiled breakaway cable be pulled before it actually pulls the pin?
Can it be shortened?
This next question may bring some varied opinions: If the trailer popped off the ball, wouldn't you want the brakes to lock? Would there be too much stretch in the cable to activate the brakes?
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:36 AM   #19
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Thanks for posting this. I always had mine independent of the chains but attached to the same point as the chains attach on the hitch. I looked under the truck and see two holes on the frame which may work.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:04 AM   #20
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Thanks to Luke!!!

I had a great time at the Restoration Rally in Albuquerque a few weeks ago. As a side light to the work sessions I sat thru Lukes' general information discussion. One thing I came away with was to check the pull pin in those breakaways. Have you ever pulled the cable and pin to see if it actuates and is not corroded into uselessness? It needs to be done and regularly lubed.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:32 AM   #21
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I just ordered one of the coiled cables, yummy.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:38 AM   #22
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Did It and Dismayed

OK, as a newbie I did the pull-and-look thingy and am dismayed to report the unit closed down and there was No Way to reinsert the plastic pin (at least that I could figure out). I bought a new one and installed. What don't I know about how to "check" the pin and lubricate it? THANKS!

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I had a great time at the Restoration Rally in Albuquerque a few weeks ago. As a side light to the work sessions I sat thru Lukes' general information discussion. One thing I came away with was to check the pull pin in those breakaways. Have you ever pulled the cable and pin to see if it actuates and is not corroded into uselessness? It needs to be done and regularly lubed.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:41 AM   #23
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Have you ever pulled the cable and pin to see if it actuates and is not corroded into uselessness? It needs to be done and regularly lubed.
I haven't checked mine this way yet but was told the easiest way is to pull the pin and use a magnetic compass (available at a $1 store) and see if the needle points to the wheel when the electric brakes are activated. It is on my to-do list for next time.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #24
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Crispyboy, If the trailer comes off the ball you still have the chains and your electrical connection so you still have brakes. This should allow for a controlled but probably not gracefull stop. If your day continues to get worse and you'll blow through your chains you'll also loose your electrical. Then, the emergency brake cable will cause the pin to be pulled. A little longer cable would be way better that a cable that is a bit too short.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:55 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy
How far must the Fastway coiled breakaway cable be pulled before it actually pulls the pin?
Can it be shortened?
This next question may bring some varied opinions: If the trailer popped off the ball, wouldn't you want the brakes to lock? Would there be too much stretch in the cable to activate the brakes?
I would guess that many cables are used as they come out of the box and are too long. In practice, the cable must be long enough and routed so that it won't pull the pin on the switch when making the sharpest turn your hitch will permit. But it must be short enough to pull the pin if for example the ball broke and the chains caught the coupler as the minimum failure scenario.

For that reason I personally prefer a straight cable. You can purchase any length cable from nearly any hardware store along with a pair of crimp ferrules or mini u-bolt clamps and then assemble a cable that is the correct length for your setup.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:08 AM   #26
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If the hitch receiver is corroded, I think I would see it. I look for cracks and serious corrosion periodically. On older GM trucks cracked hitch receivers were a problem, but there are no reports of same on our truck. Attaching to a license plate bolt if it effectively goes into the body, bumper or tail gate is an alternative, but all those can corrode too. Bumpers, especially, not being the bumpers of long ago, can rip of the truck though I doubt the breakaway cable is strong enough to do that. The frame can corrode or crack. I think the thing to do is check for corrosion and cracks from time to time everywhere.

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Old 07-01-2011, 11:22 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
How far must the Fastway coiled breakaway cable be pulled before it actually pulls the pin?
Can it be shortened?
This next question may bring some varied opinions: If the trailer popped off the ball, wouldn't you want the brakes to lock? Would there be too much stretch in the cable to activate the brakes?
Fastway says the cables are either 4' or 6' long... I'm guessing that's the stretched max length, and they coil up much shorter than that. Hopefully I'll have a chance to drop by one of their listed vendors after lunch this afternoon and find out.

If the trailer pops off the ball but is held in the "cradle" of the safety chains, you absolutely would NOT want the breakway to trip. At that point you're better off with controlled braking from your controller rather than locking up the trailer brakes and having it test the strength of your safety chain attachment points, don't you think?
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #28
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Very informative initial post and discussion. Thanks all!
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