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Old 12-16-2014, 01:37 PM   #1
mje
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Did I just damage my trailer brakes?

Last night, I hitched up (NOTE: for the first time on electrical connection) and forgot to unplug the main power from AS when I plugged in trailer power cord to the truck. When I took it out of the driveway, I pushed the lever on trailer brake on my dash - nothing happens, the trailer did not engage the brakes and not slowing me down. So, did I damage the trailer brake electronics? Oh I forgot to note that AS batteries are completely drained (fried from 2 stage charger - that's an entirely separate issue that I have to deal with).
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:56 PM   #2
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If I understand correctly, you plugged the trailer connector into the truck while the trailer was still plugged into shore power?

If this is correct, this should not damage the electric brakes as I've done it frequently. Sounds like you have a different problem with the brakes. Have you double checked the wiring between the truck and the trailer?
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:03 PM   #3
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just the English Language
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:06 PM   #4
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Dial up your gain for your electric trailer brakes in your truck.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:24 PM   #5
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Agree - I don't think the shore line shouldn't cause a problem with trailer brakes. Must be a problem somewhere in the braking system. Maybe a blown fuse?

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Old 12-16-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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Did you check the connection on the 7 pin? They get corroded, and some times the female contacts spread. Try disconnecting and reconnecting several times.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:02 PM   #7
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Check the wiring from the trailer that goes to the brakes. One time I did not have brakes on a slick ramp ( I had to stop and clean my drawers-not the ones in the trailer). The wires had worked loose where they connected to the brakes on the axle.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
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check your 7 pin from TV to AS, then check your brake controller. Its something simple.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:22 PM   #9
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Are you plugged in upside down? Do your running lights work?
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:31 PM   #10
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OK... it might be a simple problem. So you feel comfortable... give the wheels "the sniff test" for HOT wiring. You probably do not smell a thing. Good.

You might want to get one wheel off the concrete and see if it spins easily. It will... good. It does not... then you can disregard my solution.

When we purchased our 2008 Toyota Tundra and plugged the trailer into the receiver... NO BRAKES. With the 2006 Tundra it worked fine. So... the next thing I checked was the FUSE that plugs below the dash board on the left side. It was burned out. Obviously, before we bought the truck... too. The fuse might have been a 30amp that pulls out and you just plug a good fuse into the spot. They are color coded, so no confusion.

There were actually a couple spares plugged into the circuits under the hood, and I think there was one I pulled out to use. I later bought a packet of ten fuses, that I never needed or used... but had them anyways.

I suspect this fuse in whatever vehicle you are using as a Tow Vehicle is the problem. If not... sell me the trailer as Junk and trade the tow vehicle in for a sports car. I will tow the Airstream home and figure out what to do with it.

Just kidding... but check the fuse first.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:20 PM   #11
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Do the trailer brakes need good coach batteries to work, or are they powered by the truck?
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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Both, I think. The trailer definitely needs good coach batteries to work with the breakaway switch and for the trailer to be driven legally. That circuit is open when the pin is in the breakaway switch. I think when it is connected to the truck the brakes work of current that the truck supplies through the controller.
This problem has happened to me several times over the years and it has always been a problem with the wiring in the trailer connector.
I think the OP needs to check the brake output voltage and the ground at the 7pin on the truck and to check continuity in the brake circuit on the trailer.
Seems like the controller should have some sort of indicating light or gauge to tell if the brakes are hooked up and if the controller is outputting current to them. My cheap controller has a LED that changes color to show that information. If I had been smart enough to read it I would have saved me a 200 mile round trip back to Anchorage to have the controller checked the first time the wire in the connector broke.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:11 PM   #13
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Brakes are powered by tow vehicle only


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Old 12-17-2014, 05:31 PM   #14
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Not the breakaway switch. Jim
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:56 PM   #15
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Did your truck come with a towing package, and have you towed with it before?

Mine supposedly came with a full towing package including brake controller - but did not work, I forget if it was brakes, running lights or whatever but I distinctly recall something was inoperative - the truck was brand new.

Took it back to the dealer and it turned out there were extra fuses that had to be installed or wires connected, they didn't give me exact details - in any event that was the problem!

You can get 7 pin socket testers to stick in the truck socket - they have LED lights to confirm power on the various pins. Likely Harbor Freight would have them in the U.S.

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:33 PM   #16
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Under normal circumstances the brakes are powered by the TV.
BUT!!! The breakaway switch applies the brakes if you lose the coach. This requires that it be powered by the coach battery. Usually by a non fused wire.


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Old 12-17-2014, 10:13 PM   #17
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Replace batteries BEFORE towing...

Is the 'breakaway' switch pin/plunger installed? If pulled, it would engage brakes and drain batteries in fairly short order.

You must figure out the wiring of the 7way... oh, and BTW, did this 'work' before?
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