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Old 04-12-2022, 09:07 AM   #1
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On the side of the road...

Back story:
We were on our way back from boondocking in Central Oregon this last weekend when an early April snow storm hit. Not knowing that it was going to snow I didnít have chains for the trailer so we took a roundabout way home. About half way back the dash of my truck lit up like a Christmas tree. Saying ďService electronic brake controlĒ and ďService trailer brake moduleĒ. Also, the trailer brakes disconnected from the truck. If youíve ever driven through the Columbia River Gorge youíll know that the wind can easily gust over 40mph and almost constantly blows about 35mph, so to be on the safe side I called a friend who has a house out that way and he let us drop off the trailer till I could get the brake issues fixed. We unhooked the trailer and all the Service lights went away. Last night I went out and tried to check the wiring pin on the truck to see if there was an issue, but I'm not sure that I checked it correctly.

Here are a couple questions I have though:

1) Where we dropped the trailer there was no power to plug into and as we werenít staying there I didnít leave the furnace on. How concerned should I be about temps getting into the low 20ís? Both the black and the gray tank were about ⅔ full as we didnít have anywhere to dump.

2) Is there a way for me to check the brake control module thatís in my truck before I drive all the way back (well over 100 miles) to get the trailer? Itís not an aftermarket controller and is integrated into the truck.

3) If all else fails and I need to go get the trailer and canít get the brakes working, are there any tips for driving without trailer brakes that you guys have?

Thanks for the help, sorry if I rambled on this is the second time Iím posting this because the server dropped me out the first time before I could post.
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Old 04-12-2022, 09:59 AM   #2
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With your tanks 2/3 full you should be ok as far as temps...too much fluid in the tanks for them to freeze. Would be more concerned with any outside water lines and the freezing of any water in them.
As far as the brake control module, I'm familiar with Fords, and for the module to be tested the trailer has to be plugged in so the control module can "read" any codes. Not sure about Ram trucks, but possibly the same.
I'm sure Ram owners will chime in.
But in the meantime, google up "testing Ram brake control module" and see if you get any relevant info.
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Old 04-12-2022, 10:44 AM   #3
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Ram dealers may or may not have a faux trailer plug that will simulate a trailer being plugged in.
BTDT with a 12 Ram 2500 back in 2012. My TBC was really weak so I took it to the dealer and they had to order the faux plug.
After testing with the faux plug they ordered a new TBC. Still sucked so I installed a Prodigy P3.
Have you checked you fuse for the trailer plug? Not sure if there's a dedicated fuse but worth looking into.
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Old 04-12-2022, 10:54 AM   #4
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I checked the dedicated fuse last night, looked fine but I changed it anyway.

I thought about taking the truck to the dealership, but I trust those guys about as far as I can throw them. I called into them yesterday and told them what happened and they mentioned that "without a check engine light there's not much we can do". What a PITA
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Old 04-12-2022, 11:11 AM   #5
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Check underneath for broken brake wiring. We broke that three times on the 195 as Jayco ran the wiring above the axles and the flex of the body pinched the wires. Twice two different shops just spliced new wires in
The third shop was smarter and rerouted the wiring.

Its not fun not having brakes especially on hills. Trailer chains we have never had and every Jan run to Fl or out west involves snowstorms.. There is no propulsion on trailer wheels. They could prevent lateral movement a bit.. we had our trailer slide sideways in our driveway on sheer ice and punched a hole in it from hitting a boat trailer.
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Old 04-12-2022, 02:05 PM   #6
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I wonder if you just put a 7 pin plug tester in there if you could quickly isolate the problem to the truck/controller/or trailer. It sound to me as if there is a short or something loose in the TT. If the power to the brakes on your TT goes out, what happens? That may lead you quickly to the solution.
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Old 04-13-2022, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelingjw View Post
I wonder if you just put a 7 pin plug tester in there if you could quickly isolate the problem to the truck/controller/or trailer. It sound to me as if there is a short or something loose in the TT. If the power to the brakes on your TT goes out, what happens? That may lead you quickly to the solution.
Most cheap 7-pin testers will not work with a modern truck, at least not with my Ford. The truck's trailer control module needs to sense a real load from a real trailer to activate.

I would only drive without trailer brakes a short distance or very slow. I-84 would be scary as heck without them!

Re the freezing, I am in the same boat. We just returned to Bend and this freak cold weather is frustrating. Since our trailer is unwinterized also, I have plugged the trailer in and use a space heater at night. If where your trailer is parked, the day time temps are getting up to 40s or so, I think you will be fine. I would probably be fine without my space heater, but figured I'd use it to be safe. Bend is mid-20s at night, 40s during the day. I have to relocate my trailer to Portland next week. I hope the passes melt out by then.

Also, drain the plumbing via the low point drains.
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