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Old 09-28-2019, 11:35 PM   #1
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Break-a-way switch question

Is there a code or regulation that requires the owner of a travel trailer to have the battery for the break-a-way switch withing "X" feet of the switch?

I'm considering moving my battery location further rearward, but I can feed the tongue with the existing 6ga 12v wire to power the break-a-way and the tongue jack. These are the only DC powered items that would remain at the tongue (other than the 7-way feed to the lights, brakes, etc..., but that is powered by the tow vehicle, not the main trailer battery).

I've seen some of the discussions about DOT spot checking break-a-way holding power and time. There would be plenty of power for the switch and brakes from that 6ga wire as the run might be 13' once moved, but I did not know if there was some requirement the battery had to be within "X" feet of the switch. Electrically it's all the same as long as the power available is sufficient.

I could see where there is a guideline for manufacturers and the factory, but there is so much owners do that is mostly in the grey area of common sense after the sale of the RV.
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:09 PM   #2
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393.30 Battery installation.

Every storage battery on every vehicle, unless located in the engine compartment, shall be covered by a fixed part of the motor vehicle or protected by a removable cover or enclosure. Removable covers or enclosures shall be substantial and shall be securely latched or fastened. The storage battery compartment and adjacent metal parts which might corrode by reason of battery leakage shall be painted or coated with an acid-resisting paint or coating and shall have openings to provide ample battery ventilation and drainage. Wherever the cable to the starting motor passes through a metal compartment, the cable shall be protected against grounding by an acid and waterproof insulating bushing. Wherever a battery and a fuel tank are both placed under the driver's seat, they shall be partitioned from each other, and each compartment shall be provided with an independent cover, ventilation, and drainage.
(d) Breakaway braking requirements for trailers. Every trailer required to be equipped with brakes shall have brakes which apply automatically and immediately upon breakaway from the towing vehicle. With the exception of trailers having three or more axles, all brakes with which the trailer is required to be equipped must be applied upon breakaway from the towing vehicle. The brakes must remain in the applied position for at least 15 minutes.


see nothing on battery distance.https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retriev...se49.5.393_130
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:17 PM   #3
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Well, that code is for Commercial vehicles, and if there is no distance restriction on them, I doubt there is one for a travel trailer (post sale to the consumer) as it's usually more restrictive on the commercial side. Thanks!

Sounds like I'm good to go on moving the battery closer to the converter.
393.1 Scope of the rules in this part.

(a) The rules in this part establish minimum standards for commercial motor vehicles as defined in 390.5 of this title. Only motor vehicles (as defined in 390.5) and combinations of motor vehicles which meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle are subject to the requirements of this part. All requirements that refer to motor vehicles with a GVWR below 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) are applicable only when the motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle.
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