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Old 10-01-2016, 08:09 PM   #1
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Testing breakaway switch

I would like to test the switch in my driveway. Can I just pull the pin and then reinsert it? I wasn't sure if there was difficulty in resetting the switch.
Incidently I am replacing the breakaway cable. It dragged on the road and wore almost in two. I've ordered one of the corkscrew type replacement cable. Is this a good choice?
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:24 PM   #2
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All the brake away switch does when pulled is apply the trailers 12 volts directly to all trailer wheels.
Yes you can do it in the drive way but you shouldn't notice anything as you can not see any thing that tells you it is working or not.

Now if you pull it down the driveway and someone pulls the pin it should set all the brakes and stop. If your trailer battery is in good shape.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:55 PM   #3
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Testing switch is a good idea. My brand new RV had a bad switch on it. It worked only intermittently, it mostly didn't work. I only noticed it because I had to relocate the switch because of WDH brackets and wanted to check my work. When it did not work it drove me crazy for a few minutes. What I found was that the two contacts inside switch would not contact each other after pin was pulled. Replaced switch never any problems after that. The dealer did not think it was possible to fail, until their techs played with it themselves.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:25 PM   #4
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Hook up trailer to tow vehicle, DO NOT connect the trailer plug to the tow vehicle. Pull the breakaway plunger out and pull trailer forward a few feet, see if brakes lock up. It will take a bit of force to push the plunger back in after the test.
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:54 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I just wanted to confirm it BEFORE pulling the pin. I've been known to pull a few pins that I later wished I hadn't...
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:45 AM   #6
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Our state inspection process now includes a test of the breakaway brake switch. I pull up, the technician pulls the breakaway switch, the brakes lock, I get approved when all else checks out. My trailer's power cord is ALWAYS plugged in to my TV.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
Hook up trailer to tow vehicle, DO NOT connect the trailer plug to the tow vehicle. Pull the breakaway plunger out and pull trailer forward a few feet, see if brakes lock up. It will take a bit of force to push the plunger back in after the test.
Yes, it's a good idea to make sure your RV's umbilical cord is not connected to your tow vehicle when testing as the breakaway switch can then backfeed your brake controller via the RV's battery and ruin it. We have discussed this before, and it depends on what controller you have as to if it hurts it or not so it's better to be safe than sorry.

Some of your brake controllers will have warnings telling you to make sure of this; like this one on page 1 of the manual for a Tekonsha Voyager and Prodigy brake controllers.

It's listed as #3 under "Important Facts to Remember" for both

http://www.expediter.com/pdf%20folde...r%20manual.pdf

http://www.expediter.com/pdf%20folde...y%20manual.pdf

EDIT: Here's a previous discussion on same:

New Trailer - Fried Emergency Brake Box
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:19 AM   #8
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Interesting. I don't know if they are tested in Texas. I will find out soon at our first inspection.
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:51 AM   #9
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Activating the breakaway with the trailer plug in can damage the controller!? That seems like very poor design - I guess that means you'd better make sure your trailer electrical cable is shorter than your breakaway cable, else in a real-life breakaway situation your brake controller might get fried. :-(
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:16 AM   #10
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Activating the breakaway with the trailer plug in can damage the controller!? That seems like very poor design - I guess that means you'd better make sure your trailer electrical cable is shorter than your breakaway cable, else in a real-life breakaway situation your brake controller might get fried. :-(
In that situation, that's probably the least of your concerns..

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Interesting. I don't know if they are tested in Texas. I will find out soon at our first inspection.
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Our state inspection process now includes a test of the breakaway brake switch.
A lot of that's going to depend on who's doing your inspection. It may be required, but that doesn't mean they won't just mark it off the list. I had mine done last year and all they did was check the lights. My dad had one done at a place just down the road from where I did mine and all they did was give him the paper saying he passed...didn't even look at it.
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