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Old 10-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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Where were you guys when I needed you?

Just got back from Goliad, TX. The State park there is awesome. But this is not about the park. It is about needing help when no forums folk are around.
About halfway to the park I noticed my electric brake controller flashing a red "No Trailer Detected" warning. Now.... I know I had a trailer, I could see it in my mirrors. And I am sure I looked before I left home and it was detecting it just fine. Well...pretty sure I looked.

Pulled off at a weigh station and checked connections, all looked fine. Lights worked, flashers worked, just the weird signal of "No Trailer Detected". So, I took it easy and made it to the park with no incidents. Naturally, I needed forum help. Again, naturally, I had no internet signals. What the heck do I do now? No one to ask questions of? On my own trying to figure out an electrical problem! Electricity is like magic to me.... So...while I am pondering my dilemma, considering smashing my new i-phone that will not connect to anything, I hear my sweet wife (Sunny Skye) calling me from outside. I obediantly go to see what she needs. She has the battery storage box open and is pointing inside. "Why is there white and blue stuff growing on the battery connections?" she asked sweetly..

Corrosion. Dang. So, a trip to town, a wire brush, and some corrosion prevention pads. Plugged up the truck and the brake controller had no more trouble finding the trailer. whew...

I seriously need a satellite connection or something. Do you know how embarrasing it is to have Skye point out the obvious to me? Is there an upgrade I can get to the forums to avoid future problems like this? Really, I will pay...
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
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I'm glad it worked out. However I am wondering why corrosion on the battery posts is going to affect your brakes. Your brakes should work even if the battery is missing. I am guessing you have a loose connection somewhere in the brake circuit. most likely would be at the trailer/TV connection. When you stopped either you messed with the connector and cleared the problem or the act of stopping cleared it. I would like to hear from anyone who could explain how the trailer battery could come into play.

The only thing I can think of is perhaps you have those electric/hydraulic brakes I know nothing about.

Ken
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
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Could be that the ground wire for the brakes is tied in with the negative lead of the battery. This would lead it to the frame of the trailer and, in theory, directly to the frame of the tow vehicle via the ground connection of the umbilical.


If so, the corroded terminals kept the magnets from seeing ground.

Just a theory.


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Old 10-08-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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See what happens when you don't invite us!

Besides, it's no fun without all of your buddies there.

It's a good thing Skye is as sharp as she is, no telling what trouble you could get yourself into.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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I'm glad it worked out. However I am wondering why corrosion on the battery posts is going to affect your brakes. Your brakes should work even if the battery is missing.
Ken
I was thinking the same thing. I didn't have either battery installed when I drove home with my trailer for the first time and the brakes worked just fine. You may want to open the 7 pin connector and make sure that all the wires are secure and not severed nor frayed. I had that problem with an old pop up camper I had.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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Greetings! This is my first reply to a post on this site

We have a new 19' camper, and on our fist voyage home the same thing happened with us. I knew it was the connection to the car, as the wires looked as if they were pulling away from the plug—something we missed during the final walk through.

Lots of electrical tape to tighten and hold everything together didn't help. Regardless of the digital readout on the brake controller (no connection) the electric brake still worked correctly, thankfully since we had two passes to descend! The RV company installed a new plug and it has worked correctly ever since.

Perhaps checking the plug just incase—to insure it doesn't happen again.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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Greetings! This is my first reply to a post on this site

We have a new 19' camper, and on our fist voyage home the same thing happened with us. I knew it was the connection to the car, as the wires looked as if they were pulling away from the plug—something we missed during the final walk through.

Lots of electrical tape to tighten and hold everything together didn't help. Regardless of the digital readout on the brake controller (no connection) the electric brake still worked correctly, thankfully since we had two passes to descend! The RV company installed a new plug and it has worked correctly ever since.

Perhaps checking the plug just incase—to insure it doesn't happen again.
Thanks for posting and welcome to Airforums. The plug is the best place to look first. We had our brakes fail on the downside of a pass in Wyoming. After a lot of searching, I finally found that the nut was loose on the terminal under our couch where the umbilical cord was joined to the brake circuit in the trailer. That explained why they kept blinking off and on in our case.

Ken
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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Moral of the story: if you don't have the Forums with you, be sure to take your wife!
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:15 PM   #9
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I suppose you could have called me as I was on the same highways yesterday from CC to Westhoff and back (183 & 77) running a bulk load of barite to an H&P rig. But must have been a different time as I didn't see you as I guarantee I would have seen and recognized your rig. Glad you pulled off into a large space well off the road what with the oilfield traffic in that area these days (me among them, ha!).

As to Internet connections, a smartphone plus similar to below (see other threads where the tech savvy have covered this in depth):

Wilson DirectConnect Cellular Power Booster, Cell Phone Signal Booster, Cellular Amplifier

Wilson Trucker Antenna, Hole Mount Antenna, Cellular Antenna, NMO Mount Antenna

And a nine year old to do it for you.

After that, Trailer Life has long had a series of books on RV maintenance. Even old ones (1970's) cover many useful topics.

For batt connections, get a batt tool plus some NO-ALOX (at homers) and clean, clean, clean. I haven't had corrosion on batt terminals or lamps for twenty years with judicious use of this product.

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:37 AM   #10
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Thanks all! And as much as I enjoy giving credit to Skye, the connection was the first thing I did after getting to the camp-site. Connected my son-in-laws truck and still got the error. So it was definitely the trailer. I checked for loose wires and found none, although in all fairness, that is hard to tell... But I took out my handy pocket knife and scraped all connections inside the connector really well. This was all done before she found the corrosion. But I did not check the connection to the truck after scraping. So, it very well could have been the connector. Corrision had to be cleaned off anyway so...
And you are right Rednax, lots of oilfield traffic. But not terrible, I gave them a break and pulled over a bit, when I could, to let them thru. All seemed grateful with the blinking taillights. Nice 90 minute drive each way and so away from everything when you get there.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:00 AM   #11
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Send Skye over to my place I need some help. lol I love these forums there informative as well as entertaining.
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