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Old 02-04-2017, 07:53 AM   #1
captbanjo
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Problem With Braking System

We hooked up or brand-new truck and B&W hitch to our rig and we immediately heard a dragging noise coming from our four wheels of the RV. It was obvious that the brakes in the RV itself were activated. We drove less than a half a mile and had to return to the driveway, by then smelling the engine which seemed to have been straining while pulling the RV.

I triple checked the breakaway emergency plug and it seemed to have been inserted OK but if I were to guess, I would think that the problem is somewhere within that system.

The confusing thing is that we have the new Gmc 3500 HD truck but I don't see how the truck itself would cause the problem that we had? Any ideas?
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:51 AM   #2
twindman
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I am no experts on these brakes, but I would try to re-seat the breakaway plug a couple of times. Also, check if the battery has voltage. The breaks are activated by battery power. If no results, maybe look in the connection box on the pin box. I don't have my trailer handy, but isn't there a electrical box (small) where the wires from the trailer connect to the pigtail. After re-reading this, I guess you have battery power since the brakes are locked!!! Check the wiring. And good luck.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:25 AM   #3
BB_TX
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I assuming this is happening with the new truck, but not with your previous truck.

First thing I would do is do a short test pull with the cord not connected to the truck. If it still drags, you know it is the trailer. If it does not drag, you know it is the truck. If it is the truck, it may be the manual actuation switch function stuck on. Or maybe a bent pin in the connector.
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:05 PM   #4
captbanjo
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The battery power is fine. And when I was driving the truck with the problem, I tried pulling the RV to truck plug out of its socket and the problem persisted which makes me think it might be a problem with the breakaway plug. I did try to replug the breakaway plug several times with no results.

Is anybody aware of a way to circumvent the breakaway plug? That way, I could at least get it to the repair shop.
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Old 02-04-2017, 01:52 PM   #5
airboatart
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Try unhooking your batteries with no power the brakes can not activate,but you will have to have someone follow you because you can not hook your pigtail up.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:12 PM   #6
BB_TX
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Get a simple circuit tester and probe the two wires to the breakaway switch. With the plug inserted, you should have 12vdc to one wire and 0vdc to the other, referenced to battery ground or frame. Pull the plug and you should have 12vdc to both.

If both wires have 12vdc with plug in, you may have to cut one of the wires to tow.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:19 PM   #7
carl n susan
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by airboatart

Try unhooking your batteries with no power the brakes can not activate,but you will have to have someone follow you because you can not hook your pigtail up.
I would think that disconnecting the battery isolates the source of voltage to the brakes. Yes, there will not be brakes, but that should be OK to get to the repair place. You should be able to connect the pigtail which will provide running lights, taillights, and most importantly, brake lights. The 12V charge line should have no affect as the battery is disconnected. If in the rare case the 12V charge line does affect something, pull the fuse for it in the tow vehicle.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:43 PM   #8
captbanjo
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Thanks for the battery disconnect suggestions. I could have my wife follow me behind the rig.
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by carl n susan

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by airboatart

Try unhooking your batteries with no power the brakes can not activate,but you will have to have someone follow you because you can not hook your pigtail up.
[blue]I would think that disconnecting the battery isolates the source of voltage to the brakes. Yes, there will not be brakes, but that should be OK to get to the repair place. You should be able to connect the pigtail which will provide running lights, taillights, and most importantly, brake lights. The 12V charge line should have no affect as the battery is disconnected. If in the rare case the 12V charge line does affect something, pull the fuse for it in the tow vehicle. [/blue
Sounds like a perfect solution to me
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:29 AM   #10
padredw
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You might be surprised at how well your 3500 pickup handles that emergency situation without trailer brakes.

Last year we had an emergency develop in Brunswick, GA--all the way to the East Coast--and made it all the way home to East Texas with NO trailer brakes. Not one moment of panic with our present 34'fifth-wheel and our 2500 Duramax/Allison.

We tried to get service all along the way, but could not get help, so just drove carefully and were amazed at how well the pickup handled the situation.

Now, I am NOT recommending such a trip, but just saying it can be done.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:24 AM   #11
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Instead of unplugging and possibly cutting things to get to a dealer ... pop off the cover on the JBox behind your pin box. Trace which wire goes to your emergency brake and remove it from the wire nut connection. Tape the end to keep it from touching metal. If you do determine it's your emergency brake switch by using a mulitmeter ... they are way easy to change (one bolt ... two wires). Just get a new one and put it on saving yourself a tow to the dealer.
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