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Old 03-28-2010, 10:54 PM   #11
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Re: Reset Breakaway switch

Most new brake contollers have warnings not to pull the break-away pin while the electrical plug is still hooked to the vehicle. Not sure what happens as I have not tried this....but you might want to make sure your controller is still functioning properly.

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Old 03-28-2010, 11:46 PM   #12
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Re: Reset Breakaway switch

Reace:

The instruction for Tekonsha Prodigy says: " Disconnect trailer plug from the tow vehicle prior to testing a breakaway switch or you may destroy the Prodigy."

This sounds like a pretty good reason to disconnect.

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Old 03-29-2010, 12:56 AM   #13
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Re: Reset Breakaway switch

I've read the whole thread and I still don't understand how one tests the breakaway switch.

I was hoping to just depend on faith that it will work if it is ever required.

But, I gather, with the power from the tow vehicle to the trailer disconnected, I would then pull the pin and then what? How do I know if it's working or not? Do I have to try to tow the trailer and see if the wheels are locked?

And, if the trailer does come off the hitch and the breakaway switch puts the brakes on, what good will that do? A trailer with nobody steering it, with the wheels locked, careering towards the cliff. Maybe somebody can explain the testing procedure and the overall concept.

Cause, I don't get it.

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Old 03-29-2010, 06:51 AM   #14
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Re: Reset Breakaway switch

Glenn:

I found this explanation in the University of Tennessee link of this article http://www.title-3.com/BreakAway.htm

A typical electric breakaway controller has a sealed 12-volt gel cell battery and switch that are mounted on the trailer and wired into the brake circuit. The switch is connected to the towing vehicle by a small wire rope (the cable must be secured to the towing vehicle, not to the safety chain nor any part of the hitch ball or ball mount). If the hitch separates or fails, the cable pulls the “key” from the switch, allowing the contacts to close and 12 volts will be applied to the brakes. Adjust the length of the cable or lanyard from the key to the tow vehicle frame so that the brakes are applied before the safety chains break. Regulations do not state whether the brakes must apply before the safety chains break. However, if the brakes are applied and the safety chains hold, the emergency braking keeps the trailer directly behind the towing vehicle so you can stop under control. This also keeps the trailer from slamming into the rear of the tow vehicle, minimizing damage.

Should the safety chains fail before the brakes are applied (meaning your safety chains were not the right size or were improperly attached), the trailer ought to at least stop somewhere nearby, but it may collide with other vehicles before it stops.

Keep in mind that the safety chain must be of sufficient strength and properly attached to “maintain the attachment.”
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:58 AM   #15
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Re: Reset Breakaway switch

Hi: bvansnell...Thanks for the theory lesson. What I know for fact is on our first day out with our 5.0 and during a particulary crude angle of reversing into a campsite the rig stopped. My wife is yelling encouragements from somewhere just off mirror view...but the rig won't budge!!! I get out to see if I'm up against a tree or stump when I notice a plastic pin attached to a wire in the truck box By the light of the setting sun I uncoiled some more wire and plugged the pin back in!!! Alf
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:20 AM   #16
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Re: Reset Breakaway switch

Glenn, what I do is to disconnect the plug to the tow, pull the pin and then try to drive slowly. The brakes should be locked up, and if not it is a definite indication of adjustment needed.

The idea (as I see it) is to stop the trailer as quick as possible should it ever come disconnected from the tow vehicle to lessen the chances of it causing an accident with another vehicle, and minimize the damage done to the trailer.
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