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Old 08-03-2018, 01:59 PM   #41
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If the trailer cord pulls out and you have to make a fast stop you will probably have TV damage as the TV will slow down but the trailer will not until it contacts the rear of the TV. Assuming that the breakaway switch is not pulled.

Your damage may vary, as all situations have variables.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:05 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Johnfort View Post
Agree. If the ball breaks or the hitch comes off the ball and drops, the safety chains should keep it attached. Apply "trailer brakes only" by hand to stop. Your trailer power cord should be long enough to keep the brake circuit functional. This will hopefully minimize TV damage by having the trailer pull against the chains and stop your rig safely. Make minimum turns or steering corrections to get off the road.

If the trailer power cord pulls out and the chains are still in tact, you will probably have TV damage unless you can safely make LONG SLOW STOP.

If the chains don't hold the breakaway activation will hopefully stop the trailer safely, or you will have the lawsuit of the century.
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It typically won't.
My bad, I misread.

However, regarding your statement emphasized above, if the breakaway were short enough to activate with the trailer coming off the hitch but with the chains still attached you can avoid such damage. This is echoed by the "experts" at etrailer.com as well; The breakaway should activate with the trailer coming off the hitch, not both off hitch AND safety chains breaking, in order to have consistent force fulling on the chains and avoid having the trailer moving unpredictably due to no solid connection to the TV and inconsistent brake applications.

Direct from a breakaway switch manufacturer in their installation instructions it also echoes this.

Quote:
8. Determine the correct length for the lanyard. The lanyard is the correct length if the following conditions are satisfied:

Condition 1: If trailer should become disconnected, the lanyard must become taut and pull the pin out of the breakaway switch before the trailer safety chains become taut.

Condition 2: If the trailer should become disconnected, the lanyard must become taut and pull the pin out of the breakaway switch before the towing vehicle-to-trailer electrical wiring becomes taut. Making the electrical wires longer than the safety chains is a convenient way to accomplish this.

Condition 3: During normal towing operation, the lanyard must NOT become taut enough to pull the pin out of the breakaway switch when turning a corner.

Condition 4: During normal towing operation, either straight or while turning corners, no chains or wiring should be allowed to drag on the ground.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:31 PM   #43
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On a trip to Arizona, my switch's cable (on the SOB fifth wheel) was a wee bit long and got caught under the frame of my trailer hitch and pulled the plug. Luckily this happened at a fuel stop and not on the road. Stopped me dead in my tracks.

I take care now to be sure my cable isn't too long to get snagged anywhere.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:51 PM   #44
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That’s all some really logical info. When I unhook on Monday I’m going to raise the trailer off the ball and pull forward enough to tighten the chains and see if the breakaway pin comes out. I have a coiled cable which appears to be short enough but never hurts to test.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:03 PM   #45
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I was one of the people who just installed the coiled breakaway cable and obviously I did not consider the idea that the cable should be short enough to trip when the trailer was off the hitch but still on the chains. I'm pretty sure the original cable was longer than that anyway, so my situation has not changed in that respect. I think I had always thought of the breakaway cable in terms of a full breakaway.

I will tell you that I had one of those tiny 4x8 folding trailers come off the hitch and hang on the chains and it certainly was pretty violent as it slammed back and forth. Obviously that little trailer does not have brakes and Luckily I was in town only doing maybe 20 mph and that little trailer was no match for my truck so there was no damage but I can certainly see how there would be with a 5 to 10 thousand pound trailer at highway speeds.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:01 PM   #46
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@ dieseldrax....thanks for posting that information. I knew there was more to this. I am sure nearly ever new camper breakaway is too long as the manufacturer has no idea where the owner's connection point will be. This cable should be adjusted after purchasing however the salesman doesn't tell you this and is probably unaware. I do like the convenience of the coiled ones but believe it would still be difficult to properly cut to a length needed without it always being tight.
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:49 AM   #47
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i went to a 6’ coil on my fiver after watching alot of videos about the regular cable always getting tangled in the fith wheel hitch during turns. I have not had a problem with it. I ran the regular cable on my travel trailer. Never had any problem with that either. By the way i see alot of replies in this forum where folks put X2 either in there answeror just that by itself. Can anybody tell me what X2 means?
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:03 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by wanderer26 View Post
i went to a 6’ coil on my fiver after watching alot of videos about the regular cable always getting tangled in the fith wheel hitch during turns. I have not had a problem with it. I ran the regular cable on my travel trailer. Never had any problem with that either. By the way i see alot of replies in this forum where folks put X2 either in there answeror just that by itself. Can anybody tell me what X2 means?


X2 basically means “me too.”
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:29 AM   #49
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I also went with the 6'-foot coil on my 5'ver.

The 4-foot one is too short, in my opinion.

I had actually bought the 4-footer thinking it would be long enough, but I didn't like how tight it got making right turns, so I picked up the 6-footer and gave the other one to a fellow camper.

I had already experienced ripping the pigtail out of the 5'ver due to it being too long and getting caught on the hitch receiver of the truck while backing it into my yard (it is now 10-inches shorter), so getting this right was very important to me!

And really...in the end if our TT or 5'ver breaks loose from our hitches and we are rolling down the highway at 70+ MPH, that two inches isn't going to make any difference whatsoever!

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Old 08-05-2018, 11:02 AM   #50
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We get this same debate every so often in the forums. The biggest problem is that different manufacturers have different ideas on it, and it's been pointed out before that etrailer contradicts itself on certain things.


One manufacturer may say you don't want the breakaway switch to engage unless it's totally broke free from the TV, while another will say you want the lanyard shorter than the tow safety chains so it does engage while still connected.


I'd have to go back and look, cause I remember several of these past threads.


You can see what I mean just from this link from Winnebago, who specifically state and warn that you want the lanyard "longer" than the safety chains.


Page 19 in the CAUTION box


https://winnebagoind.com/resources/m...atorManual.pdf
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:15 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by jandacamping View Post
Wow, I don't see how they made it to the campground without knowing. I have had the line get snagged while turning in campground and it slams the brakes so hard it jerks the truck to a stop, and you can not move until the switch is plugged in. I would get brakes adjusted.

Totally agree, some TTs may not lock the wheels totally as we've heard on other threads but it would sure be noticeable.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:22 AM   #52
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some TTs may not lock the wheels totally as we've heard on other threads but it would sure be noticeable.
yep - unless you were asleep behind the wheel and even then I suspect someone would notice the dragging of the top speed backwards.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:29 AM   #53
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That will not happen at 60mph

I hope I am not reading your comment incorrectly, from your answer you're telling us that if your brake switch activated applying full battery Vcc (13+v depending on charge and condition) to the trailer brakes at 60mph you would notice the additional drag on your tow vehicle?

Brake fade would eventually happen from overheating but not immediately.
If I manually snap my controller on to 75% while doing anywhere from 0 to 60 it gives me a solid jerk on the ball.

You've either got one of these oversized tow vehicles (a highway tractor probably wouldn't feel the drag) or poorly adjusted brakes or controller.

At 60, 70 , 80mph I would hope my brakes are going to help stop my rig!
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:54 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
We get this same debate every so often in the forums. The biggest problem is that different manufacturers have different ideas on it, and it's been pointed out before that etrailer contradicts itself on certain things.


One manufacturer may say you don't want the breakaway switch to engage unless it's totally broke free from the TV, while another will say you want the lanyard shorter than the tow safety chains so it does engage while still connected.


I'd have to go back and look, cause I remember several of these past threads.


You can see what I mean just from this link from Winnebago, who specifically state and warn that you want the lanyard "longer" than the safety chains.


Page 19 in the CAUTION box


https://winnebagoind.com/resources/m...atorManual.pdf

wmtire, I'm not sure which side of the debate you're on but after trailering for 35+ years I am in the mind of having the breakaway switch only happen complete disconnect/hitch failure. I've seen 2 or 3 disconnects over the years of travelling Northern Ontario where the ball or hitch failed and the driver has got full control and made a steady controlled stop without too much damage.

One time up near Kap, the ball had failed and the driver admitted he had snapped on full trailer brakes, locking-up the trailer wheels and the jerk of the trailer on the system had torn half the hitch off the back of his Duramax.

I would not want full uncontrolled trailer braking on anything except a breakaway (maybe this is why some call it a breakaway switch?). If my TT dropped off the ball I would slow down and make a controlled stop without any violent brake applications or steering input, of course no one can predict all possible scenarios but in most cases and all my trucking learning (10 years Class A) teaches me to use moderate control input and ride it out.

Just think of the stresses on the hitch, tow chain, chain loops, A-frame and tow vehicle from that sudden jerk of chain slack being taken up by the sudden trailer brake application!

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:12 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by wabakami View Post
I hope I am not reading your comment incorrectly, from your answer you're telling us that if your brake switch activated applying full battery Vcc (13+v depending on charge and condition) to the trailer brakes at 60mph you would notice the additional drag on your tow vehicle?

Brake fade would eventually happen from overheating but not immediately.
If I manually snap my controller on to 75% while doing anywhere from 0 to 60 it gives me a solid jerk on the ball.

You've either got one of these oversized tow vehicles (a highway tractor probably wouldn't feel the drag) or poorly adjusted brakes or controller.

At 60, 70 , 80mph I would hope my brakes are going to help stop my rig!
If you have hydraulic disc brakes on the trailer and the breakaway activates four things are going to happen very quickly.

First you will get enough of a pullback on the tow vehicle to cause any loose objects to get thrown around. About ½ second after that you’ll see a massive amount of tire smoke boiling out from the tires. Then in about 15-20 seconds you’ll hear 4-6 tires boom as they blow out. Then there will be big showers of sparks from the bare wheels sliding down the road.

All of this is going to happen in less ½ mile. Probably much less. Most will stop the rig before the tires blow out but those tires will have to be replaced anyway.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:21 PM   #56
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I'm somewhat amazed that 5'vers don't have safety chains.

With exception pf the Anderson gooseneck hitches, and with these it is an option, not a requirement.

I wonder why that is?
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:42 PM   #57
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No way would I want my brakes to be engaged if the safety chains are still intact. I have read elsewhere where you don't want the brakes engaged during that scenario either.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:52 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by wabakami View Post
I hope I am not reading your comment incorrectly, from your answer you're telling us that if your brake switch activated applying full battery Vcc (13+v depending on charge and condition) to the trailer brakes at 60mph you would notice the additional drag on your tow vehicle?

CORRECTION!

I missed a word, talk about a 3 letter word changing the context of a statement, sorry to all about my goof..... 3rd line down 3rd word in .....


Requote;

I hope I am not reading your comment incorrectly, from your answer you're telling us that if your brake switch activated applying full battery Vcc (13+v depending on charge and condition) to the trailer brakes at 60mph you would NOT notice the additional drag on your tow vehicle?

Brake fade would eventually happen from overheating but not immediately.
If I manually snap my controller on to 75% while doing anywhere from 0 to 60 it gives me a solid jerk on the ball.

You've either got one of these oversized tow vehicles (a highway tractor probably wouldn't feel the drag) or poorly adjusted brakes or controller.

At 60, 70 , 80mph I would hope my brakes are going to help stop my rig

Unquote


Again sorry about that.
Is there anyway to edit your posts, even an hour afterwards?
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:53 PM   #59
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Second correction,


10th word in on that 3rd line.....................


Arghhhhhh
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