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Old 01-24-2022, 08:36 PM   #1
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breakaway powered all the time?

I am pretty sure the trailer breakaway switch should have power directly from the battery, all the time.

Is this a correct statement?

I am getting ready to upgrade to Lifepo4 battery and move it inside the trailer.
This got me looking at the current battery (front compartment of 5th wheel) and I found that the only wire hooked to the + side goes to the battery cutoff switch. I was surprised to not find at least the breakaway wire hooked to that side of the switch. I shut off the switch and tested the breakaway wire and it had no juice. Turned switch back on and 12.7v at the same testing point.

If I'm correct, this means if I had my switch off, and the trailer disconnected, it would not activate the brakes.

I am planning to replace the shutoff switch with a dial style in the front compartment, instead of the removable key style that goes into the main under storage compartment. I know my totes have accidently shut the switch off when moving them in and or out. This is why I am changing it out.
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Old 01-24-2022, 08:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mmartin_tdc View Post
... Is this a correct statement? ...
Yes
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Old 01-24-2022, 08:59 PM   #3
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The breakaway switch power should not be on the switched side of the disconnect switch. Are you the original owner? If not, previous owner may have added the switch. It is also a good idea to pull the switch every so on to insure it operates smoothly. Do not leave it activated too long.
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Old 01-24-2022, 09:10 PM   #4
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I am not the original owner so it was done prior to my owning the unit.
Glad I decided to take the leap into Lifepo4 batteries as my first major electrical upgrade.
Solar may be down the line depending on how we really use the trailer.

This is not my first trailer, but only the second one with a cutoff switch. The last one was a dial type that was wired as I would have expected.
This is not the first issue I have found on this unit, but so far, I have been able to fix them all myself.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mmartin_tdc View Post
I am not the original owner so it was done prior to my owning the unit.
Glad I decided to take the leap into Lifepo4 batteries as my first major electrical upgrade.
Solar may be down the line depending on how we really use the trailer.

This is not my first trailer, but only the second one with a cutoff switch. The last one was a dial type that was wired as I would have expected.
This is not the first issue I have found on this unit, but so far, I have been able to fix them all myself.
If you're getting LFP batteries but not getting solar panels, make sure your converter/charger is compatible with Li batteries. If not, they won't be charged completely.

They probably won't be damaged but you won't be getting the full potential out of them. As expensive as they are, you should.

There are many threads in the tech/electrical subforum on the topic.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:34 PM   #6
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Yes, the breakaway switch should be installed directly to the battery - power available 100% of the time. The same with the 12v accessory power from the 7-pin connector.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:59 PM   #7
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I have a new convertor on it's way that is Lifepo4 compatible. I am also installing a Dc to DC charger for my truck to charge while in route.
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Old 01-24-2022, 11:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mmartin_tdc View Post
I have a new convertor on it's way that is Lifepo4 compatible. I am also installing a Dc to DC charger for my truck to charge while in route.
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Old 01-25-2022, 08:48 AM   #9
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the breakaway witch really only needs power to it when it is being towed. its purpose is to activate the brakes should the trailer become disconnected while towing. having power to the switch while the trailer is stored allows for the possibility that the break away cable can get snagged and activate the brakes while the trailer is stored. there have been several posts where this has happened and the batteries get drained and the brake magnets destroyed. if it is stored you should have wheel chocks to prevent the trailer from moving.

many people, myself included, have installed our own battery disconnect switch that removes ALL loads from the batteries by disconnecting one of the battery cables. i disconnect the battery from all loads when i have the trailer in storage. this includes power to the break away switch. my concern was would i be able to hook up and tow the trailer with the batteries disconnected and thus an inoperable break away switch.
in my case i have a fail safe that keeps me from doing this. i need to operate the front landing gear to raise the trailer up to meet the 5th wheel hitch. to operate the landing gear i MUST connect the batteries and when i do this i then have power going to the break away switch. if you have a failsafe such as this there is no problem running the break away switch through a battery disconnect.

at least this is my thoughts.
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Old 01-25-2022, 01:21 PM   #10
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CHICKDOE - that is how mine would work in theory, however, if the key style they used in the cargo area gets turned off by a tote going in or out after trailer is hitched, no breakaway power.
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Old 01-25-2022, 01:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
the breakaway witch really only needs power to it when it is being towed. its purpose is to activate the brakes should the trailer become disconnected while towing. having power to the switch while the trailer is stored allows for the possibility that the break away cable can get snagged and activate the brakes while the trailer is stored. there have been several posts where this has happened and the batteries get drained and the brake magnets destroyed. if it is stored you should have wheel chocks to prevent the trailer from moving.

many people, myself included, have installed our own battery disconnect switch that removes ALL loads from the batteries by disconnecting one of the battery cables. i disconnect the battery from all loads when i have the trailer in storage. this includes power to the break away switch. my concern was would i be able to hook up and tow the trailer with the batteries disconnected and thus an inoperable break away switch.
in my case i have a fail safe that keeps me from doing this. i need to operate the front landing gear to raise the trailer up to meet the 5th wheel hitch. to operate the landing gear i MUST connect the batteries and when i do this i then have power going to the break away switch. if you have a failsafe such as this there is no problem running the break away switch through a battery disconnect.

at least this is my thoughts.
X2. Mine is modified the same. When I activate my disconnect, I want it to disconnect ALL loads (or potential loads) completely.

As far as a tote hitting a disconnect switch... it really is the responsibility as the driver, to be sure all systems are up and operational. If YOUR disconnect switch disconnects the breakaway, then you need to be sure it is on before leaving, just as you do to be sure your hitch is properly connected and so on.
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Old 01-25-2022, 01:58 PM   #12
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I installed my disconnect switch in the battery compartment near the batteries and it disconnects all loads. And it is the rotary style. The factory installed disconnect switch with the key in the storage compartment does not disconnect all loads and the batteries drain while in storage.
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Old 01-25-2022, 01:59 PM   #13
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In my case, I am changing to a dial switch and moving it out of the main cargo area and installing it in the front compartment with the landing gear stuff. Less frequently used area and no key that can be inadvertently bumped to an on or off position.
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Old 01-26-2022, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
the breakaway witch really only needs power to it when it is being towed. its purpose is to activate the brakes should the trailer become disconnected while towing. having power to the switch while the trailer is stored allows for the possibility that the break away cable can get snagged and activate the brakes while the trailer is stored. there have been several posts where this has happened and the batteries get drained and the brake magnets destroyed. if it is stored you should have wheel chocks to prevent the trailer from moving.

many people, myself included, have installed our own battery disconnect switch that removes ALL loads from the batteries by disconnecting one of the battery cables. i disconnect the battery from all loads when i have the trailer in storage. this includes power to the break away switch. my concern was would i be able to hook up and tow the trailer with the batteries disconnected and thus an inoperable break away switch.
in my case i have a fail safe that keeps me from doing this. i need to operate the front landing gear to raise the trailer up to meet the 5th wheel hitch. to operate the landing gear i MUST connect the batteries and when i do this i then have power going to the break away switch. if you have a failsafe such as this there is no problem running the break away switch through a battery disconnect.

at least this is my thoughts.

^^^ AGREED 100% ^^^ what he said imho...


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