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Old 11-04-2015, 09:57 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2016 22' Sport
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 9
Ford F150 Trailer Disconnect Warnings

My TV is a new 2015 Ford F150 with factory installed tow package purchased to tow a new 2016 22' Sport. From the minute I began to tow the newly installed hitch and AS from the AS dealer lot the truck Trailer Disconnect warning appeared and then Trailer Connected status resumed. With less than 2500 miles on the truck and no more than 1300 miles towing the AS this has been a constant problem. Historically whenever I slowed down or accelerated from a full stop the Trailer Disconnect message appeared and the lights on the camper stayed lit.
Now the disconnect message has appeared while on the highway using cruise control so it now happens when the truck manages the speed. Always the camper lights remained lit- except ONCE while on the highway the camper lights went out and the Trailer Disconnect warning did not appear. I immediately exited the highway and reconnected everything.
This has been checked by AS at JC and they say not an AS issue. My Ford dealer says it is the weight of the connection cord which causes the cord to jiggle loose.
The dealer reinstalled the the TV tow software (did not resolve) and now they have replaced the receiving plug. The dealer says it is repaired and ready to be picked up. I have instructed the dealer to take the TV towing the camper and test drive up to 20 minutes to insure repaired AND have noted the Ford F150 Forum which notes this issue for several years. Any thoughts, similar experiences, and/or suggestions will be very much appreciated.

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Old 11-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #2
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2015 23' Flying Cloud
Moses Lake , Washington
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I have the exact same setup except for a 23D FC. Squirt some dielectric grease in each connection port and the problem will go away.

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Old 11-04-2015, 10:25 AM   #3
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
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I have a 2012 F150 and A 2012 Safari 25FB. The first year the left turn signals on the trailer would occasionally quit working. I would wiggle the plug and then the problem would go away. I finally figured out that the hinged plug cover on the truck and the trailer plug were not coming together in a way to secure the plug into the truck properly. The truck hinged plug cover was pushing the trial plug sideway. With my sharp pocket knife I was able to modify the way ear on the truck so it held the plug in more securely.
I hope I did not create too much confusion with my explanation.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:27 PM   #4
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1962 22' Safari
2016 30' Classic
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The 2015 F150, like recent GM trucks turned the 7-pin receptacle upside down, with the hinged cover on the bottom, relative to the typical orientation with the cover on top. This allows the plug to become looser than when the cover is on top. It also puts the trailer brake and ground wires at the top, making them the most likely to experience an open circuit when the trailer plug backs out to the stop on the cover and rotates downward due to the effects of gravity and road vibration. Turn your truck on and wiggle the plug back to the stop and tilted downward to see if this is your problem. If only the trailer brake circuit is affected, your trailer lights would still work, so check for the disconnect message. Even if the ground pin is affected, the trailer brakes are likely more sensitive than the lights. The redundant ground via the hitch ball may be good enough for the lights, but not the trailer brake computer.

If this is your problem, turning the receptacle over on the truck will help. Changing the plug on the trailer will also help if you switch to a Pollak connector. Pollak connectors are designed to the same Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard J2863 as the receptacle on the truck. Most other trailer plugs, including the Bargman plug used on new Airstreams and many other trailers, differ significantly from the SAE standard and do not perform as well.

In my opinion, this issue is the joint responsibility of both Ford and Airstream, but they have not studied it in detail so they do not understand the interaction between receptacle orientation and plug design.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:28 AM   #5
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1975 31' Excella 500
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Change to round pin connectors and these connection issues will diminish sharply.

Brevi tempore!
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 11-05-2015, 04:42 AM   #6
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Cary , North Carolina
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I've never had this problem with the Airstream on either of my trucks, but it happened a lot with my cargo trailer when connected either truck. Both trucks have OEM 7-pin connectors.

So figuring its something with the plug on the cargo trailer, I make sure the plug stays out of the weather, spray both ends with Corrosion X regularly, and make sure it is seated firmly and the latch-lock is seated. No disconnected messages for a while now.
2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
2011 F250 6.2L
Broadway, NC
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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2010 30' Flying Cloud
Sandy , Oregon
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Trailer disconnect waring

I have a 2014 F350 and a 2010. 30' FC, I have the same problem. I finally started to spray electrical contact spray on the both ends of the connections, before each trip and that solved the problem. It appears, one of the connectors is not as tight or snug as needed, don't know which end is off, but he spray or gel does work. I carry the spray can in my tool box.
Good luck
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:21 AM   #8
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2015 20' Flying Cloud
Bellaire , Texas
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F-150 and Airstream connection.

I bought a new 2015 Ford F-150. I have an AS FC 20. When I bought the AS I had a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Everything worked fine until I hooked up the new Ford and smart tow. It doesn't feel like the AS umbilical is in all the way on the truck. I can tell it is connected or the connectors are touching bec the lights on the trailer are on and everything seems like it is working. I too get "Trailer Disconnected" frequently. I went to Ford they say trailer company. Trailer co. Says Ford. I went to a trailer service co. That does utility trailers and they forced the plug in and said it works! It is still the same way as before. It just doesn't fit. I bought another connector for the AS thinking I would change it. It fits right in the Ford. I am nervous about cutting off the current AS connector.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:08 PM   #9
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2015 27' FB International
Carlsbad , California
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I had that experience last Sunday(F250 ). I disconnected the 7 pin, I also have an extension, reconnected, turned tow/haul on/off. It didn't happen again. It was unnerving though....
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:27 PM   #10
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Bossier City , Louisiana
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Disconnet between F150 and Trailer

I have the same problem between my 2007 AS Safari and my 2015 Ford F150. I now use one of the thick rubber wrist bands to apply pressure between the two when hooked up. It has taken care of the problem. The rubber wrist bands are plentiful for now. My rubber bands says "Live Strong", works for me..
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:50 PM   #11
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
Waxahachie , Texas
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I had several instances of this occur with my 2015 F150 with a 2015 28FC. I just continued to work in the Airstream umbilical into the Ford connector and made sure it latched tight. It has now not happened since with over 10,000 miles of towing with it.

I did see a neat connector while at the Balloon Fiesta early October. I cannot remember the name of it ( I think something like Easy Connect) but basically it tapped into the 2015 F150 connector and mounted just below the bumper. A connector went onto the AS umbilical. The connection from the AS to the F150 was made with a magnet connection ensuring a positive connection all the way around. It was a very strong magnet connection, eliminating any disconnect messages.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:34 PM   #12
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2000 30' Excella
Monticello , Florida
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me too 2010 F150
unnerving lol it scared the s..t out of me 1st time
I just jiggle the plug but I like Carlose idea of spray electrical contact gonna try that Thanksgiving trip plus sand paper the connecting points
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:53 PM   #13
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2018 30' Classic
Mountain View , California
Join Date: Dec 2014
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The short answer is take your truck back to Ford for a warranty claim and repair.
The long answer from experience with our 2015 Ford F150 w/3.5 Ecoboost involved pulling a 27'FB that left California for a circle tour of America on 9/27. We are now in Savannah, GA. coming home. After traveling East across to New Jersey on a northerly route, just before Vidalia, Ohio on Saturday, October 10, we stopped for fuel. On restarting the truck the brakes were locked on the Airstream and would not release unless the pin connector was disconnected. We thought it was an Airstream battery issue at first, but later found that the Trailer Brake Controller Module on the truck had failed. Being a Saturday afternoon there was nothing we could do for service, so we drove w/o trailer brakes, and without lights on the trailer, across Ohio and much of Pennsylvania to York, PA and Beasley Ford where we had called ahead to arrange a service appointment on Monday. Yes, that was a scary ride,especially through the snow flurries in the PA. hills, but we only drove in daylight hours. Beasley Ford was incredibly helpful, finding a new Module when none is available except on backorder, and got us on the road again in a day. Wonderful people! No issues since, but I would surely have preferred that the default position for the failed module would have allowed the lights to remain on with the brakes off,coupled with a warning that the module had failed.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:34 PM   #14
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2016 22' Sport
Cincinnati , Ohio
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions and feedback. I am making notes of all your solutions and recommendations and will be prepared to use any and all. My Ford dealer assures me the issue has been resolved, however, will wait and see what happens when I pick up the truck and tow. As many of you have experienced, this situation is unnerving to say the least! Again, thank you so much. PJ

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