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Old 05-29-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
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Help please. Emergency brake cable

When it rains it pours. Went to pick up trailer and notices cable had been pulled out. Not sure how. Anyway, this caused the emergency brakes to actuate so I took a flat bladed screwdriver and somehow was able to guide the loop of the cable back inside the actuator and it worked but I am concerned this cable could just come out easily and cause the brakes to lock up while I am driving. I don't want to pull on the cable as I am afraid I will be back to square one and have to try to jimmy it back in there again. Is there any way for me to be sure that the cable is in properly? Also, this might be a dumb question but could I just cut the wires on this and disable? If I amusing chains, how likely is it the emergency break away brake will ever really be necessary? Thanks
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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You cannot disconnect the brake cable. If by chance your trailer did come off the chains are meant to hold the trailer up and the brake away cable stops the trailer from becoming a run away vehicle.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:04 AM   #3
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In a lot of places if you're stopped without an active emergency braking system they pull you off the road ... HUGE tow bill, fines, etc. not worth the risk. Besides its a safety device and you don't want anyone hurt or the criminal liability if an accident happens and someone is hurt.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:23 AM   #4
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Replace the actuator, they are not too expensive.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:01 AM   #5
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in every state, as far as i know, if a trailer has electric brakes, it's required to a battery and a working emergency brake actuator.
sounds like there wasn't enough slack on the cable and a turn pulled it out.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtapp23 View Post
so I took a flat bladed screwdriver and somehow was able to guide the loop of the cable back inside the actuator and it worked but I am concerned this cable could just come out easily and cause the brakes to lock up while I am driving. I don't want to pull on the cable as I am afraid I will be back to square one and have to try to jimmy it back in there again. Is there any way for me to be sure that the cable is in properly?
I'm not sure if I am understanding this correct. Usually one end/loop of the CABLE is connected to a pin that goes into the breakaway switch. When this pin is pulled out, it lets the two sides inside the breakaway switch contact each other, thus completing a circuit to power your trailer brakes.

The other end/loop of the cable is hooked to your tow vehicle. If the trailer ever comes disconnected from your tow vehicle, then the cable will pull the pin out of the breakaway switch, thus to provide power from your trailers battery to apply the electric brakes on the trailer. You always want to make sure you leave more than enough slack in the cable, so it will not pull the pin when making turns with the trailer. You only want this pin to be pulled as a last resort when the trailer is leaving the tow vehicle (god forbid this ever happening).



If this pin is missing, I would think that you pushing a metal cable back into the breakaway switch to separate the sides, might still maybe allow the circuit to be completed somewhat. See pics below of the pin.







The good new is these breakaway switches are usually less than $20 to replace and can be picked up at auto parts stores, or trailer supply places. If yours is missing the pin, from how you are describing it, I would replace it posthaste. I would also replace it, just to give yourself piece of mind.

Is there any way you can post of pic of your situation, so we can see if the pin is missing or just pulled out some.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:18 AM   #7
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i was also wondering why the OP didn't mention the pin and just the cable.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:51 AM   #8
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In a bad accident with our TT several years ago, the emergency brake switch activated and the trailer brakes actually stopped the trailer (via the safety chains) AND the tow vehicle. The brake switch was significant in saving us from serious injury. Don't travel without it (or a charged battery)!
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:37 AM   #9
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I had no idea about this stuff ~ or the importance of having your TT battery charged at all times ~ thanks for the education, guys
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:41 AM   #10
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The cable should be short enough that if the trailer should happen to become unhitched, the chains being crossed under the tongue should catch the tongue and prevent it from touching the ground and the cable will pull the pin to activate the brakes and stop the trailer while still chained to the tow vehicle.

Bottom line, the cable should be shorter than the chains.
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