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Old 12-24-2008, 11:44 PM   #1
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Electric brakes

The electric brakes on our little Sunline don't work.... any idea what's involved in fixing them?
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:44 AM   #2
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I can only give you a few quick things to check for, the guys will have to do the "technical" explaining.

You MUST have a charged battery on the coach. Trailer brakes are electric. Also, you need to check to make sure the wires for the brakes are connected. The wires are usually visable on the backside of the hub.

Hopefully, some of the guys will pop in today even though it is Christmas.

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Old 12-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #3
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Wanda

Need some more info and what does not work. I’m “assuming” you plugged the 7 wire cord into the back of the TV and nothing is working on the TT.

Starting from that occurrence we have to back into, is it the TV not sending the signal or in the TT itself? Answer these questions and we can better go from here.

1. Did the brakes ever work on this camper of yours with this TV? We know you just got this TT a short while ago.

2. Explain not working. Meaning no brakes at all or brakes are working but very weak holding power?

3. What brand brake controller do you have in the TV? Reason for asking is “some” have an indicator on the brake controller telling you that the TT is hooked up. If yours has this, does it indicate the TT is hooked up? The leads us down one path of trouble shooting trying to make sure the TV itself is at least able to put out power to the 7 wire receptacle on the back of the TV. Corrosion some times can get in the pins and not make the connection.

4, With the TV and TT hooked up, turn on the TV head lights. Do all TT body lights work? Check the turn signals, AND check the brake lights on the TT. If you have brake lights on the TT and no physical brakes this leads us down another path of trouble shooting.

5. This next step will help tell a lot about the brakes themselves on the TT, or at least a 1st big picture look at them to eliminate a number of things that can go wrong. With the TV and TT hooked up, pull out the 7 wire plug from the back of the TV. Ensure you have a battery on the TT that is charged enough to work some lights inside. Then pull out the emergency breakaway cable switch. MAKE SURE your 7 wire cable is pulled out of the back of the TV or else! Some brake controllers do not like the back feed of power and can hurt them.

Once the emergency break away switch is pulled, full power go to the brakes. You might hear a click or some humming at the brakes. This is normal to a point. The brakes should be full on. Slowly try to move the TV. You only need to roll about 1 foot, even less and the brakes should be locked on and trying to hold the TV back. Do they? The answer to this question yes or no sends us into another trouble shooting mission. If the brakes are on and holding the TV back, then you know the physical brakes at the wheels are at least working to some level of holding power. If they do nothing then this could mean a wiring problem at the actual brakes themselves or worn out components.

Once done testing number 5, put the breakaway switch plug back in to turn off the full power to the brakes.

If we can get some answers to these 5 areas we can help pin point you closer on where to go looking.

Does hubby have a volt meter? This very well could be used in the next wave of troubleshooting pending what answers you give us.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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Hi Wanda,

On my one coach with the Hayes axle (which all the '80's ones had), I never could get them to lock up. My grandpa spent like a week trying to trace the wiring. They didn't really work at all when I got it, and the most I could do was get them to stop normally, but they wouldn't be much good in a panic stop. I was told this is the way they worked, and even with new magnets, they wouldn't be much better. As a result, many people were upgrading these to either surge brakes or replacing with a new Dexter axle.

I knew it wasn't a controller problem because we used the same controller on our other trailers and it worked fine.

Jon
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:43 PM   #5
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Brakes

Wanda,

We have a 1982 Sunline 15.5 SB and the brakes work well. I jack up one side of the trailer and take the tire off so I can visually check the brake and see them activate. When my trailer brakes are turned on they are locked.

When I'm testing something I try to eliminate as many variables as possible. To simplify things I jump the positive side of my trailer's battery to the brake wire in the trailer's connector. With this connected I than look to see if the brake activates. If it does not it means there is probably a wire break.

To accomplish this I stick a nail or screw into the trailer's connector and run a clip lead to the Battry's plus side.

This is what the break away switch should do when pulled.

Good luck,

Norm Milliard
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:54 AM   #6
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To all: My husband does have a volt meter. On the way home with the Sunline, the rear lights and brakes didn't work. Due the lousy weather here and the holidays, he hasn't gotten back to it to trouble-shoot. The bettery is fully charged. He keeps it charged. Let me get more information from him tomorrow. I don't want to post the wrong info. We dragged it home with the Dodge Xplorer conversion van. I'm sure glad that vehicle has good barkes.

Also, I'm concerned because the large A/C on the roof has the roof sagging and it acts like a pool. The rain sits there around the suken A/C. The inside celiling is also sinking a little but we don't see any water stains on the ceiling. It appears the A/C is too heavy for the roof to support and wonder what will happen on a long trip with it bouncing up and down. Will it finally crash through the roof?
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:11 PM   #7
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Since the lights didn't work either, I'm thinking it's a wiring issue between the TV and TT. It may be just a loose plug, loose connection inside either plug end, or loose connection anywhere inside the TT or TV.

I don't think it would be brake controller issue because you don't have lights too, which should still work regardless of having a brake controller or not.

Jon
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan
Since the lights didn't work either, I'm thinking it's a wiring issue between the TV and TT. It may be just a loose plug, loose connection inside either plug end, or loose connection anywhere inside the TT or TV.

I don't think it would be brake controller issue because you don't have lights too, which should still work regardless of having a brake controller or not.

Jon
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It appears to be a broken wire and not a big deal to fix. I wish we'd get some decent weather here so he can get out there and take care of it. We also have to start lookin for a TV as our regular van isn't quite powerful enough. We'll be selling the Dodge Xplorer in the spring and most likely the small van also.
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