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Old 04-14-2013, 09:53 AM   #1
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Breakaway switch wires not connected

Hi I'm New to camping. Just picked up a 04 All American Sport 36CK 5th wheel. The breakaway brake switch is not hooked up electricaly. I ohmed it out and the switch seems to be working. There are two wires on the RV harness, a white and a white w/red. Can I hook these up? Connect the TV, jack up the RV, get a wheel off the ground and check it? Is there anything else I can or should check first? Should one of the wires be hot when the RV is hooked up to the TV? I don't want to fry the brake controller.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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I don't have any answers - but pay attention to everything when you hook it back up, the previous owner may have intentionally disconnected them...

Many moons ago, my first car was a 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit. It had been around the block by the time I bought it (read: the back seat floor was rusted out and you could watch the highway go past!). Anyway, the horn didn't work. I took it to the local service center for something and they kindly reattached the horn for me - no charge even! It was great until I started down the road... THE HORN BLEW ON EVERY RIGHT TURN! I re-disconnected it.

Anyway, maybe the PO disconnected it because the brakes were malfunctioning in some way.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
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The brakes work ok while towing. A friend of mine picked it up for me when I phurchased it. About 60 miles. I inspected brakes, did the wheel bearings. The brakes showed wear like they were working. I'm concerened as to why the breakaway is disconnected.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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I'm quite sure it's illegal to tow it with that disconnected. Since the brakes appear to be working otherwise it's hard to see what else could be wrong, unless the breakaway switch itself is intermittent (eg, closes sometimes when it shouldn't). If it were me, I'd probably buy a new switch and hook that new one back up. You have to do something.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #5
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I find it hard to believe the breakaway is disconnected.
Remember one leg of the switch goes directly to the trailer's battery through a fuse and the other goes to the brake magnets.

Check for 12 volts at the switch. If there is no power on either wire, check the resetable fuse (under a red cap) either under the pin box or under the frame where the truck umbilical is wired to the camper.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:37 AM   #6
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Herk, Ohmed out the breakaway switch. Seems ok, open when in, closed when pulled out. With the RV powered up one of the wires is hot, white w/red. New to this, so, Thanks
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:11 AM   #7
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Sounds like it is OK.

The test of course is to jack up one side and pull the break away pin. Try to spin a wheel and it should have resistance as the magnet puts the brake on.

NOTE: The wheel must spin to get brakes!
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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Thanks, Checked everything. Hooked up, we'll see.
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