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Old 11-14-2009, 11:37 AM   #1
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Break-away switch recommendation?

What type of break-away switch is recommended? One with just the switch itself, or one with the switch, battery, and charger? Pros/Cons?

Here's a couple examples...

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/..._p/vts-341.htm

Hopkins Trailer Break-Away Kit with Charger HM20001 : Trailer hitch bike rack and trailer hitches - etrailer.com
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:25 PM   #2
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It depends on what you have for a trailer. If you have a house battery and converter, there isn't any need to add another battery and charger, just wire the breakaway switch to the 12V line from the tow vehicle (that charges the house battery), or to the line to the electric jack.

The breakaway switch from Vintage Trailer Suppy is a good unit, and it looks nicer than the plastic ones.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:10 PM   #3
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The round metal breakaway switches are good.

The plastic breakaway switches are pure junk.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:34 PM   #4
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I picked up the round metal switch at one of our local RV dealers. I believe it is a Bargeman product .
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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I picked up the round metal switch at one of our local RV dealers. I believe it is a Bargeman product .
That's a good type break away switch.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:43 PM   #6
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I am picking up an older Airstream (1978) that is about 7 hours away. It won't have a working battery, so do I need to install the breakaway switch with battery for the drive back?
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:45 AM   #7
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If the trailer is less than 3000# and you stay in Kentucky you don't need a breakaway switch or battery.

The battery doesn't need to be a full size automotive battery, A good lawn tractor or motorcyle battery duct taped to the tongue will work.

Don't forget insurance, unless you've already got coverage under your regular policy.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:45 AM   #8
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The trailer is in MD and I believe it weighs just under 500 lbs. I guess the price of $34 for the unit with the battery and charger isn't a bad way to go just until I get it home.

Good advice regarding the insurance coverage. I am covered under my current policy so all is good there. Other things I will have to deal with when I get to MD include new tires since the current ones are dry rotted. I suspect the brakes may need some work as well. The trailer has been sitting for several years. Fortunately there is an RV shop just 4 miles down the road.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:13 PM   #9
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I meant just under 5,000 lbs, not 500.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:55 PM   #10
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Definitely stay away from the plastic, they don't handle the elements well at all. Seemed my Dad replaced his every year because it got brittle. I finally took care of it for him last month with a good metal (round) switch, that way I know it will last and work if ever needed.

Al
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:41 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. Unfortunately, the deal on the trailer fell through. The search will continue...
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:08 AM   #12
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Good luck finding a trailer.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #13
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I wouldn't connect the breakaway switch to the TV power because if the trailer comes off the ball the umbilical to the TV may disconnect and you'll have no power and no trailer brakes.

Gene
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:23 AM   #14
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The break away switches that require their own little battery in a box are really for use on things like cattle trailers, etc. that don't have a 12v battery for living off the grid. You've got to have the 12v to lock up the brakes.

For your airstream, if your 12V system works, and charges as you go down the road, just use the round type like Andy recommends.

Edit: I see that link of the kit with battery is only $35. That's cheap enough to be disposable if you just want to get your new rig home, need it for legal reasons, and don't know if the 12v system works.
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