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Old 03-03-2014, 03:00 AM   #1
jfaberna
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New way to screw up.

Just when I thought I had all the hitching up and disconnecting down pat, I had a new screw up. When I disconnected in Jacksonville, FL recently, I did my usual; extend the front jacks, release the hitch jaws, disconnect the cables and lower the tailgate. I always drop the umbilical cord over the tailgate so there is no way it gets caught on something in the truck bed. So as I pulled the truck away, I snap the cord and junction box off the 5W. Turns out the cable had looped around the ball hitch I had in the receiver. I never thought of that possibility. New procedure is to stuff all cables into the back of the pin assembly where I normally do, but now I do it first before moving the truck.

Luckily the campground knew a good mobile tech. I was concerned they'd take advantage of the situation of me being stuck, but they were quick to respond, very professional and tested all electrical functions including brakes on the trailer before calling it complete.

If you are ever in the Jacksonville area, I recommend Campers Choice Mobile RV Service. They are RVDA Master Certified. It only cost me $50 for the service call and the rest of the charges were the same as an RV dealer; $75/hr plus CW pricing on the parts.
 
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:10 AM   #2
bncinwv
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by jfaberna

New procedure is to stuff all cables into the back of the pin assembly where I normally do, but now I do it first before moving the truck.
Which is the exact way we do it, hate that learning usually comes from bad experiences! I also hang the emergency brake cable up by attaching it to the pinbox as well, by threading it around the cables.

Bingo
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:28 AM   #3
Fire5er
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Just remember that the 7 pin connector is still hot (12v) and if it hits metal in the pin box when you stuff all cables into the back of the pin box it can short out. I coil the cable and leave the connector sticking out of the pin box. Some people use a tennis ball to cover the connector.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:49 AM   #4
1retired06
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Not a real fifth wheel owner unless you mess up once in a while! Thanks for sharing
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:00 AM   #5
randye
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Hi This post reminded me,The last pull one and ahalf weeks ago. I forgot for the first time to unhook the emg brake cable. I put it back in the unit on the Airborne. My question is do I have to reset the brakes or do anything when I hook up to pull the next time??
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:09 AM   #6
jfaberna
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by randye

Hi This post reminded me,The last pull one and ahalf weeks ago. I forgot for the first time to unhook the emg brake cable. I put it back in the unit on the Airborne. My question is do I have to reset the brakes or do anything when I hook up to pull the next time??
I was curious about the emergency brake (break away) cable myself, so while the mobile tech was fixing and testing my electrical cord, I asked about it. He said it's just a mechanical switch that switches on the 12v to the electric brakes when it's yanked out. With one of the tires off the ground to test the electric brake connection in the cable, he spun the tire by hand and yanked the emg brake cable. It stopped. He reinserted the emg cable and it was free again. then he tested the electrical cable by connecting the truck and stopping the spinning wheel with the truck brake.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tip on the mobile repair service. As you may know, I keep an Excel spreadsheet of repair options, both good and bad, based on the experiences of our members and then email it out to folks who ask. Very important if you full time, since you never know when or where you'll need help.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:52 AM   #8
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I installed this years ago. NO worries about sparking the system or hangups.
http://www.plugguardstore.com/
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:11 AM   #9
twindman
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Isn't the cable a female connector?? Mine is. If you are talking about the cable to the truck.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Fire5er

Just remember that the 7 pin connector is still hot (12v) and if it hits metal in the pin box when you stuff all cables into the back of the pin box it can short out. I coil the cable and leave the connector sticking out of the pin box. Some people use a tennis ball to cover the connector.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:18 AM   #10
bncinwv
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The connector is female, but it can contact the metal frame of the pinbox which has been reported on the forum before. We do like mentioned previously and make sure the connector protrudes from the pinbox where it cannot make contact with any of the metal sides.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:57 AM   #11
rohrmann
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I used to coil up the cord and stuff it into the pin box.....until one time, getting ready to hook up, pulled the cord out and I guess the plug caught on the edge of the pin box and smacked me just below my eye. At least I had fun harassing my DW, as she posted a photo of my black eye on Facebook and all her friends were teasing her about hitting me in the eye Now I just wrap it around the outside of the pin box. I am beginning to think a bump hat, safety glasses, and gloves are the minimum gear to wear around these rigs. I have cut my hands, tore gashes in my bald head, and the incident with the cord plug and my eye enough times that I have gotten extremely careful working on the outside of the rig, but still end up bleeding somewhere.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:18 AM   #12
DonandBonnie
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We curl it up and store it in the pin box too. When it's time to plug in, we make sure we pick up the entire coil until it's fully out of the box.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:59 PM   #13
davidaf
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Wow talk about luck! At least you didn't bust up that new truck. That would have been heartbreaking. I know the Good Book says I can't covet a mans Ox, can I take that literally and get away with coveting a Ram?
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:03 PM   #14
jfaberna
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Some how I did manage to get some minor dents and scratches on the tailgate. Not exactly sure how, but I think I can buff/polish out some of them.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:41 PM   #15
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I also coil mine up and put it in the back of the pinbox, but I had no idea that the 12VDC lead was still hot. So the question would be, why not put an isolator on it? I had to make one up with a pair of heavy duty diodes for my father-in-law's tow behind car because it kept his RV dash powered up when he shut the coach down. It would be very easy to make and install. Heck, I bet they're already out there and would just go inside the J-Box where the pigtail joins the Monty. Has anyone tried that?

On edit - I believe it's called a blocking diode.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:45 PM   #16
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As others, I am having a hard time understanding why there would be power in the cord from the trailer, once it is disconnected from the tow vehicle. The tow vehicle supplies power to the trailer when connected, not the reverse. The tow vehicle supplies power to the brakes of the tow vehicle when the brakes are applied during normal operation. If the trailer separates from the tow vehicle while towing, obviously the cord will break loose and the breakaway switch will operate and if the trailer's battery is functioning, the brakes of the trailer will be set independent of the tow vehicle. Where is the power in the cord coming from when not connected to the tow vehicle?
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:00 PM   #17
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That's a great question, and without a wiring diagram I can only guess that they have a direct connection to the 12VDC buss, possibly from a fuse in the panel. I would hope they don't have a direct link to the battery. It makes sense that they take 12VDC from the truck and put it into the 12VDC system on the coach to keep the battery topped up while towing. The battery provides the power for the breakaway switch, so keeping it topped it a really good idea.

With that said, I'm not sure how the trailer would do while towing at freeway speeds if it really did break away and the brakes were automatically applied. I would suspect it wouldn't be a pleasant experience for anyone near the rig.

Since I don't have my Monty quite yet, I bet someone can go out with a VOM and check to see if there is power on the 12VDC line at the connector with shore power removed. Maybe we'll find that there are several different results (yes, no, maybe? LOL). If there is power, then I will install a blocking diode to keep from shorting that line against the pin box. Just my 2 cents worth.

On edit - I forgot to mention that the electric break line is completely separate from the 12VDC line on the tow vehicle. It's my understanding the 12VDC line is there to keep the coach battery topped off. Others with more experience can certainly correct me. If you scroll down about 1/2 way you'll see a 7 pin wiring diagram that shows the breakout. http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:23 PM   #18
Artemus Gordon
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My remarks are directed at the event! It happens, no better education than a close call. It reminds us, educates us, and scares the Cr.p out of us! Sharing is what makes all of us better when practicing our RV skills. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:38 AM   #19
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jfaberna, that stinks, especially when the Monty and truck are brand new. Well I like to say, you just christened both vehicles and should be smooth sailing from here on in! LOL

Scott

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Old 03-04-2014, 02:41 AM   #20
jfaberna
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Well, I know there is a 12v source from the trailer to the connector because when the mobile tech was testing the trailer lights after replacing the cord, he just connected the individual pins on the plug to the 12v pin on the plug. I'm guessing the 12v from the truck charges the battery when connected, but the trailer battery can also supply the 12v for the emergency brake.
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