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Old 02-20-2016, 08:49 PM   #1
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Esco breakaway switch melted

Suggestions needed please. I had my trailer sitting in the driveway, waiting for the weekend. It was plugged into my truck for testing and i forgot to unplug. About two days later i realized but noticed one of the wires was hanging from the break away switch. I then noticed the wire insulation and the switch box was melted. Can I simply replace the breakaway switch or is there a bigger issue?
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:11 PM   #2
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Could be the breakaway switch is shorting inside. If the wire has detached close to the switch I'd cut the rest of the wires and remove and cut it open to see if something is wrong inside. Has the coach batt gone dead or even the truck batts while connected?
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleeb7204 View Post
Suggestions needed please. I had my trailer sitting in the driveway, waiting for the weekend. It was plugged into my truck for testing and i forgot to unplug. About two days later i realized but noticed one of the wires was hanging from the break away switch. I then noticed the wire insulation and the switch box was melted. Can I simply replace the breakaway switch or is there a bigger issue?
Very Odd... Normally there shouldn't be any current flow through your breakaway switch unless 'the pin' has been pulled to set the trailer brakes. The pin wasn't pulled, was it?

You should check your trailer brakes on each wheel if the pin was pulled or not. If high current went through the breakaway switch for long periods, I've heard that the electric trailer brakes can burn out.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:32 PM   #4
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Battery on camper and truck is strong so they did not go dead while it was plugged into the truck. From looking at the wire that is hanging, it certainly appears that something went wrong inside the switch box. There is about an inch or so bare wire that looks like it was connected to something in the box before it melted and came out. The switch bix itself where the wire went into the box is melted and disfigured aswell.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:47 PM   #5
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After further investigation, it appears my 10 year old "accidentally" pulled to pin out last weekend while camping. It stayed out for three days before he put it back in. I did use drive home after but dont specificaly recall adjusting the breaks. Im sure i would have noticed if the brakes were NOT working on the drive home. And i did not notice the wire hanging while packing up. Anything is possible though.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:02 PM   #6
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When he pulled the pin you got full voltage to the trailer brakes. You might have gotten lucky and the wire burned up before you brake magnets fried. Your normal trailer brakes would work just fine if that's what happened.

If the wire hadn't burned before any further damage you'd probably be replacing all the magnets.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:06 AM   #7
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Each brake magnet will draw 3AMPs each when 12VDC is applied. One axle means 6AMPS two axles means 12AMPs.

Depending where the wire burned off has either just killed the trailer battery connection to your trailer brakes magnets allowing the 7-way Connection to continue to operate your brakes or worse case the burned out wire has disconnected all of your tralier brake magnets from the brake controller. Once all is hooked up correctly again be sure to check your trailer brakes for proper functioning. You may have a burned out your brake magnets as they are not designed for long term use with 12VDC applied.

It sounds like to me it has just severed the wire going to your trailer battery connection. If your trailer brakes had 12VDC applied to your brakes you would not have been able to pull your trailer with the trailer wheels locked up.

This is something for you to check out before moving the trailer again as DOT requires you to have an operational break away function in case your trailer becomes disconnect while being pulled. This could go against you for damages Insurance wise if it is not functional. It is also a DOT law so that might get you a ticket as well...

Depending how long the battery was being drained may have also done damage to your battery. You will need to get all of that functional as well before pulling your trailer over public DOT roads...

You indeed may have dodged some expense here and made a safe and uneventful trip getting back home.

We always test our trailer brakes before getting on the public roads. I will use the brake controller manual lever to stop my truck and trailer with me NOT touching the truck brake pedal just a short ways down the back access road road after hooking up. Been doing this for years - this way I always know the trailer brakes are working... This also heats up the wet drums pads as well from sitting over night in case some moisture has accumulated.

Not an expert here just passing along my experiences... If you can't find a DISCONNECT SWITCH ASSY locally ETRAILER.COM or AMAZON will have what you need... Probably best price from AMAZON and we get two and three day delivery from them...

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Old 02-21-2016, 05:57 PM   #8
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Just remember that the battery on the trailer only supplies power to the trailer brakes during a break away. During normal operation the trailer brakes get their power from the tow vehicle via the brake controller.
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