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Old 07-27-2020, 06:06 PM   #1
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One Outta Four Are Poor Odds...

... when you are referring to trailer brakes in working condition.

I am heading out for a few days camping tomorrow and had noticed one of the brake lines to the passenger side that crossed along the front axle laying on the ground. I planned to do a quick fix, and would do a permanent solder of all four later, when I could put the trailer up on blocks.

Well, I checked out all the other brake lines, found the other passenger side with two separated lines, and one line on another brake on the driver side separated. I tugged at the other connection on that brake and it broke easily. On the fourth brake they were still connected, and even a strong pull left them intact.

I did just crimp the severed lines using an insulated butt joint and will fix all with solder later.

The cables were all broken right at the metal of the crimp connector. Four were the smaller break lines, and on the larger (#16) line feeding them.

It has been a month since I used the trailer, and I do now remember the brakes not being good at all, and had planned to look at them. I had forgotten but fortunately did remember.

At Quartzsite 1 1/2 years ago I adjusted the brakes, finding one with no connectivity then. I fixed that and it was the only one still intact today.

Anyway, off to pick up my brother's dog and my wee grandson tomorrow morning, then off to enjoy the hot weather we are having, and will likely have a few nice swims in the river. Lisa will be out Wednesday after a physio appointment she did not want to cancel. Just another brother and SIL out there, so a small group, but still will be lots of fun.

Check your brakes folks, a very important safety feature of your trailer.
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:37 PM   #2
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Maybe I'll wait till it cools a bit. Those crimps do seem to be an issue, for all years.
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:47 PM   #3
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I've never had a wire connection that had the strands twisted together, soldered, then heat shrinked fail. Crimp connectors - I've seen plenty that have failed.

Well, under the trailer I go - seems I missed those particular ones on my mission to get rid of all the crimp connectors on my trailer.

Thanks Jim!
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Check your brakes folks, a very important safety feature of your trailer.
Keep up on your tow vehicle brakes, too. We went camping with my sister-in-law and her husband (Tom) last week, and just after I got home, I got a call from Tom, who was on the side of the road, waiting for his driver's side front brake to cool after catching on fire. He said said was on the long downgrade into his home town (15 miles past me) when he felt his truck pulling left, jerking, and smelling of smoke. He pulled over, jumped out, looked under the truck, and saw flames from the front wheel. He used his fire extinguisher to put out the flames, and called me.

My son, James, had just pulled up to pick up his girls. He is a service advisor for a local Ford dealership, and told Tom that his caliper piston probably had seized. James says he sees that probably every other week of the camping season. Tom's truck is a 1993 Ford F250 diesel, with a lot of towing miles on it, and probably with the original calipers - he inherited it from his late father, so there is no knowing for sure. Anyways, check your tow vehicle brakes also.

For those wondering, Tom told us to stay home, that he only called us to pass the time. When his brakes cooled, he was able to get his rig the remaining 5 miles to his place. Needs a brake job, though.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:23 PM   #5
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We have some gravel by our trailer and Marilyn checks each side to see that the trailer wheels lock when I manually apply them via the brake controller. Just as...or maybe more important that the light check.
Thanks for the heads up Jim...I will do them up right this fall.
(The connections on my cargo trailer brakes were a joke and so was the ground to frame connection)
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:19 AM   #6
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Question

Some good cautions here. A slight tangent for a non-yet Escape owner .... the troublesome connectors (or wire-failure at the connector) y'all are referring to are "crimp", as in this pic:

Not 'scotchlok-type' as in this pic:

Is that correct?

IME as troublesome as crimp connectors can sometimes be, scotchloks are infinitely worse ... Does ETI use 'scotchloks' anywhere in their trailers?
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Some good cautions here. A slight tangent for a non-yet Escape owner .... the troublesome connectors (or wire-failure at the connector) y'all are referring to are "crimp", as in this pic:

Not 'scotchlok-type' as in this pic:

Is that correct?

IME as troublesome as crimp connectors can sometimes be, scotchloks are infinitely worse ... Does ETI use 'scotchloks' anywhere in their trailers?
One of the issues with these type of discussions is the use of “ Scotchlok “ for every style of 3M electrical connector made
If you asked an electrician for a Scotchlok he would hand you a blue , grey , red or yellow wirenut .
What you show in your second photo is a 3M #568 or a # 562 or #567
3M electrical tape is also identified by the mfg’s # such as 33+ , 88 , 130C , 13 , 35

The 3M wire connector you show in photo #2 is not used in wet locations or in applications subject to high vibration . It is normally used in long rows of fluorescent fixtures .
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:00 PM   #8
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I posted photos etc. of this situation several years ago on my 19. It was only a few months old and one wire was exposed and hanging by a thread at the crimp connector. That's when I did proper soldered connections as well as improved the brake ground connections.

Good to have working brakes. Just came down a steep mountain road above Logan Lake and my 21 brakes are working great.

Ron
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:01 PM   #9
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I use weatherproof Posi-lock connectors. Never had a failure.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
One of the issues with these type of discussions is the use of “ Scotchlok “ for every style of 3M electrical connector made
If you asked an electrician for a Scotchlok he would hand you a blue , grey , red or yellow wirenut .
What you show in your second photo is a 3M #568 or a # 562 or #567
3M electrical tape is also identified by the mfg’s # such as 33+ , 88 , 130C , 13 , 35

The 3M wire connector you show in photo #2 is not used in wet locations or in applications subject to high vibration . It is normally used in long rows of fluorescent fixtures .
Thanks for all of that, please note I used the term 'scotchlok-type' and included a pic seeking to avoid any confusion.

Regardless of where they are 'normally' used, my question stands about ETI's use of them? Personally, I'm not in favor of the use of those wire-strand-cutting things anywhere, but fact is I do see them used in some trailer wiring, including weather-exposed and vibration-prone locations.

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I use weatherproof Posi-lock connectors. Never had a failure.
I share your enthusiasm for Posi-Lock and Posi-Tap connectors, but note that they are not inherently "weatherproof", though the addition of sealant can help. Water can penetrate a Posi-xxx connector allowing corrosion of the base wire. Having said that, I've not ever experienced a failure of the connection or wire with them, in 'dry' or 'weather exposed' applications where vibration is an issue (e.g. motorcycle harness tap applications).
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:12 PM   #11
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Soldered connections improperly done such as heating the solder instead of the wire ( cold solder joint ) are inferior to a good crimp splice IMHO
If you subject a soldered splice to vibration the stranded wires will often break right at the solder joint.
Workmanship is often more important than the products used .
The electrical problems I have encountered with my trailer can be directly attributed to poor workmanship and not following best trade practices
( Loose terminations , improper crimps , wires not installed properly on receptacles , multiple wires under a single wire leg , improper strain relief , etc )
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:18 PM   #12
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Can someone go thru the best way to redo these connections where they are exposed to the elements? I picked up some heat shrink crimp ons that are supposed to be waterproof, as well as some that you heat to melt internal solder. The crimp ons seemed to work okay but I could not get the solder ones hot enough to melt the solder without melting the wire insulation first.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Soldered connections improperly done such as heating the solder instead of the wire
( cold solder joint ) are inferior to a good crimp splice IMHO
If you subject a soldered splice to vibration the stranded wires will often break right at the solder joint.
Workmanship is often more important than the product used .
No disagreement with any of that.

Does ETI use 'scotchlok-type' connectors, as pictured above, in any of their wiring?
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Centex View Post
No disagreement with any of that.

Does ETI use 'scotchlok-type' connectors, as pictured above, in any of their wiring?
In our 19 all over the trailer Pat
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:28 PM   #15
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Their weatherproof connector is called Posi-tite.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
In our 19 all over the trailer Pat
Not the hoped for answer, but the answer nonetheless (and not unique to ETI IME). I do recognize that the 'darned things' (IMO) lend to rapid and cheap (pardon, 'cost-effective') production processes.

Thank You, Pat.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:42 PM   #17
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Same thing here. I was filling the trailer with water this morning and noticed two wires hanging down. Fixed with new crimp on connector for today and will come up with a permanent fix when we return.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
...
I am heading out for a few days camping tomorrow and had noticed one of the brake lines to the passenger side that crossed along the front axle laying on the ground. I planned to do a quick fix, and would do a permanent solder of all four later, when I could put the trailer up on blocks.
Hey Jim, this seems like a very important thread. Is there any chance, when you get back, you could document this in your usual great way?

I think a lot of us, myself included, would benefit from a little tutelage here.

Have a great trip, get some soul time in.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:43 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Can someone go thru the best way to redo these connections where they are exposed to the elements? I picked up some heat shrink crimp ons that are supposed to be waterproof, as well as some that you heat to melt internal solder. The crimp ons seemed to work okay but I could not get the solder ones hot enough to melt the solder without melting the wire insulation first.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-28-2020, 03:06 PM   #20
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E17 brake wiring connections

For reference: On our E17 (single axle), constructed in Aug. & Sept. 2015, we have crimped conductor connections, covered by split corrugated loom polyethylene. The only ground connection was a screw to the frame on the left side. All connections are currently tight and functional @ 4 yrs 11 months.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg left brake wiring.jpg (136.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg right brake wiring.jpg (227.8 KB, 26 views)
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