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Old 09-27-2015, 10:43 PM   #1
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Trailer Brakes Disconnected message on Tow Vehicle?

Hi,

I completed a 980km trip today in my 2013 Jay Flight 26BH. As I was pulling in to my storage, my dash chimed on my truck with a message that said "trailer brake disconnected". Odd, as I've logged almost 2000 kms this summer with no issues at all, this is a first.

When this error message appeared, I no longer had electric brakes on my trailer - but everything else (lighting, signals) worked.

I disconnected, reconnected the cable a number of times, and my truck (2014 Ram 1500) doesn't recognize that the trailer is even connected (despite all the lights working). It says "no trailer connected".

Any ideas as to where to start on this problem???

I'm lucky this happened when and where it did as I just completed a pretty burly trip that involved a fire road I wouldn't ever attempt without trailer brakes! Not to mention the Coquihalla highway portion of my trip.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:54 AM   #2
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I would check that you have resistance through the brake magnets at the trailer cord. Then, since the truck is under warranty, I would head to the dealer to let them check the truck out.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:05 AM   #3
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Could be a simple fix. First use a plug in light at your truck plug to determine if the problem is in the truck or in the trailer. Check fuses in the truck.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:57 AM   #4
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Thanks for this - how do I check for resistance? I have an ohm meter, what am I looking for and how/where?

Cheers.
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:52 PM   #5
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First thing I would check would be the fuses in the truck...
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:30 PM   #6
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Yep. Blown fuse for the brake controller is my guess. Mine is under the hood in the engine compartment.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:12 PM   #7
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I wouldn't waste any time on the trailer until you verify you have voltage from the truck.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:42 PM   #8
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Brief update - I have ruled out the truck as the culprit. I plugged in to my neighbour's 5th wheel and my truck recognized it right away.

So, I am thinking (hoping) it's a bad connection on the trailer cable socket that I can clean up, or worst case, a bad ground somewhere. That will likely require me to bring it in for service (sucks!) but such is life.
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:02 PM   #9
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Verify grounds and all wiring for a broken wire underneath. Brake magnets should be 3.2 to 3.5 ohms each. The contacts in your wiring connectore should also be inspected and tested.

Here is a troubleshooting guide from etrailer:
https://www.etrailer.com/question-15680.html
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:58 AM   #10
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I've done some more digging around, and have found a few threads about the factory "Bargman" 7-pin connector being problematic. I am now wondering if there is not a broken or damaged connection inside it. It would make sense...the message about no brakes came immediately following a 90 degree turn and I wonder if the previous owner made a habit of disconnecting the cable by tugging on it and not the actual plug itself.

Unfortunately, the Bargman plug does not appear to be user serviceable.

I found a Pollack 7-pin plug on Amazon for cheap ($8). I am contemplating cutting off the Bargman plug and wiring this new (and user serviceable) plug on in it's place. I have plenty of slack left on the cable to allow me to remove a few inches to accommodate the required splicing.

Anyone see any issues with this that I am not thinking of?

I do have an extended warranty on the trailer so I could always bring it in to the dealer - but that is a pain in the *&@! and will cost me a $100 deductible. I am trying to eliminate the easy options first. Oh, and I am stubborn! ha.
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