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Old 08-08-2017, 05:58 PM   #1
maldet001
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Talking No Travel Trailer Brakes?

Hello:

I hoping to find an answer... Upon returning from a 10 day trip to the U.P. of Michigan, our TT brakes quit working intermittently. Our 2014 RAM 3500 gave us a notification that the trailer was disconnected. I stopped a few times to clean the plug. It would work for awhile, but then the same message came on. And when this message came on, the TT had no brakes at all. But for some reason the brakes would start working again. SO...

Once we were home, my husband found some corrosion in the individual brake wires and replaced the connectors on all four wheels. We thought it was fixed... We went on a weekend warrior fishing trip and the same thing happened. My husband now thinks it is the brake wire that is spliced somewhere from the front to the axle. Any answers or advice on what to look at or check next?

Give me a brake! lol
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:16 PM   #2
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Had a similar issue with mine. It was the connection between the TT and TV. I cleaned the connections and filled them with dielectric grease. Have not had a problem on the last several trips. Someone said it's caused by a slight mismatch between manufacturers of the plug and receptacle on the truck. Hope you figure it out.


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Old 08-08-2017, 06:48 PM   #3
Ken / Claudia
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Grounding wire problem. But, where? Start at the front of the trailer at the plug and work your way back.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:22 PM   #4
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If you do a search on the internet you will find this happens a lot on different brands too. Lots of ideas about what causes it and how to fix. I fixed mine by getting a new truck. Problem solved.

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Old 08-08-2017, 08:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ken / Claudia View Post
Grounding wire problem.
Easy to tell. Do the running lights and signal/brake lamps work on the travel trailer when the brakes are not working. If not check ground wire connection at trailer. It's usually a self tapping screw/bolt at the front of trailer frame.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:03 PM   #6
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If you have a bed plug disconnect it and plug into the stock plug by the bumper. That was my issue. Replacing the bed plug loop resolved it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:13 AM   #7
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If I go that route, it would be ME getting a new camper- lol!
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:15 AM   #8
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This is a good thought! It is probably the easiest idea to try. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:32 AM   #9
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It could just be corroding contacts on the plug interface between the bed plug loop and the OEM plug by the bumper. Either way clean, apply dielectric grease and reuse or replace the bed plug loop and use dielectric grease on the connection.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:21 PM   #10
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I posted about this last Nov. A friends TT was showing brakes lights as I followed. His TV had a injector problem. I then pulled the trailer and had working trailer brakes for a few miles then none. Hours of looking and checking it was a wire on the e break away system. Shorted out into the frame. Ended up being a 12 buck fix.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:28 PM   #11
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The trailer lights work with no brakes... forgot to mention! The breakaway system is another thought for us to check out! Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:37 PM   #12
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If all braking is out, the problem is probably either the brake controller itself, or the trailer grounding. If it's intermittent, I'd bet on bad common grounding between the units. The controller is easy enough to check, they either work or they don't. Test it at the bumper jack, but you need two people. Use an amp meter, between the Trailer Brake and Ground. Have your helper apply braking power while you are on the pins at the bumper jack. You should see increasing amps, as the more brakes are applied. If this checks out... move to the trailer.

Most of the braking / ICC Light issues I've had over the last 50 years have been grounding issues. An easy way to check a frame grounding bond between TV and TT is to "hook up" and check for ZERO ohms between "truck frame and trailer" at truck bumper and trailer frame. If you get any reading other than ZERO, your truck and trailer are not electrically bonded, and you will have issues with exterior lights, brakes, and TT battery charging while "en route".

Good Luck,
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:04 PM   #13
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Replace the 7 pin plug on the trailer side. There are different brands so you may have to shop. You should feel a slight snap when it's inserted into the truck's socket. If you don't feel that, it's not a good match. Maybe your truck dealer can give you the manufacturer of what's on the truck.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:50 PM   #14
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Angry

I had the same problem on my last trailer, turned out to be a wire that was rubbing on a propane line and was shorting out, but it had not worn completely through the plastic but it was so thin in one spot that it was still shorting, it was very difficult to find but When fixed and shielding cover put on was problem free, too bad it happened halfway down the Baja
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by maldet001 View Post
The trailer lights work with no brakes... forgot to mention! The breakaway system is another thought for us to check out! Thanks!
Ok just one more ground to look at before looking into the positive + side of things. Ground wire to the brakes themselves. Find that connecting point and inspect.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:59 PM   #16
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Found the Problem to No Trailer Brakes!

Hi All!

So my husband checked the ground wire and used the dielectric grease. Trailer still showed disconnected.

He then checked the breakaway. Still not connected.

The husband then got under the trailer and checked all of the splitter connections to the brakes, replaced them with better ones... still showing disconnected.

We replaced the main camper plug & wire that connects us to the truck. Still not connected.

He needed to get a recall taken care of on the RAM and happened to remember to ask about the plug-in receiver for the travel trailer. The repair man let him know they have seen a few go bad. He did order one for us... just in case. We are waiting for it to arrive.

So on a camping outing this past weekend, it started acting up again. My husband decided to pry the one prong in the Dodge's plug receiver that appeared to not be making a connection, and guess what? He solved the mystery! Silly plug on the Dodge!!!

Thanks for all of your thoughts and ideas... As you can see, we tried some of them out!!!

Happy Camping Again!!! Jerry and Brian
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:29 AM   #17
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Glad you figured it out. Happy camping.


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Old 08-30-2017, 01:47 AM   #18
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And many thanks for keeping us in the loop!
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:34 PM   #19
maldet001
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No Trailer Brakes... Unsolved Mystery Solved, but still a Mystery

Hello All!

The story continues...

Turns out we thought it was the Dodge truck plug. So my husband bent the prong and it worked for a while... It started acting up again.

We were actually headed to Pymatuning State Park and my husband had purchased a new plug for the Dodge (just in case). He changed it out at the rest stop and the dinging continued. When we got to the campground, he hooked the old truck plug back up. Ugh!

After our arrival home, my husband started working on it again. (If you all recall, the ground wire was checked, the trailer cord was replaced, dielectric grease was put on connections and the electrical distribution box on the camper was gone over.)

He talked to a local garage and they told him to check out the brakes themselves. The wheels have the drums and the "pucks". He said the brakes were like new and he adjusted them and used the air compressor to "blow out" the excess dust. He also grounded a new lead negative wire at the axle to the frame. (We never did find a grounding problem.) Fortunately he did this: he discovered CLOUDS OF BRAKE DUST in all 4 wheels and that the shackle bushings and bolts needed to be replaced - nice catch!

And I am pleased to say we were back to Pyme this weekend and no dinging! Whatever cause the brakes to quit- we may never know!

Yes, it was lots of work, but we now know we have good brakes and good wiring, not to mention new bushings and bolts!

Thanks again for all your thoughts and tips!!!
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:02 PM   #20
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He also grounded a new lead negative wire at the axle to the frame. (We never did find a grounding problem.) Whatever cause the brakes to quit- we may never know!
Grounds are funny and full of surprises that love to fool. Your mechanic knew this all to well and didn't trust the springs and shackles to deliver the ground. https://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/g...043_ww_500.jpg
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