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Thread: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

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    Moderator jimtoo's Avatar
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    Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    HI folks,

    I would like to suggest that everyone test the "Emergency Break Away Switch" that is mounted on the pin box of the 5ers or frame of TT's. I don't mean hook up and tow, just go out and try to pull the pin out. If you can pull it out, chances are everything is OK. But if it has been a long time, like forever, you may not get the pin to release. Don't forget to put the pin back in, as your brakes are energized and will run battery down with the pin out.

    I was going to check mine last week... just because I had not checked it before. Guess what... I cannot pull the pin out. Bought a new one at TSC ($15) and just installed it. The new one has an extra wire (ground) for an LED that will tell you it is working if you pull the pin. I may be getting on in years, but I can still lift 100# or better, and I have not been able to get the pin to release from the old switch yet. So guess I will cut it open and take a look inside.

    Jim M

    UPDATE..I took the old one apart, it was clean inside, contacts looked as thou they had never been used, not even a scratch on them. Pin that pulls out has perfect 90* corners that are mated against almost same on the contact metals. I put it back together and hooked cable to hitch on truck, I had almost my entire body weight, 200#+, on the cable before it let the pin pull out. After pulling it one time it then became easier to remove... aprox 75-100# pull I am guessing. So it might take a lot more weight the first time to knock the corners off the pin.

    If you test it, be careful pulling the first time... it might let you fall down when it releases.
    Jim M
    Last edited by jimtoo; 08-01-2014 at 01:55 PM. Reason: added more info.
    Jim and Bette
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    Senior Member pegmikef's Avatar
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    Hey Jim, thanks for the tip. I didn't have that problem because while this dummy was doing backing practice, it hung up, pulled out and locked the brakes. It has worked fairly easy ever since (and I have changed where I hook the cable).
    Peg and Mike Finnegan, Faithful Traveling Companion Cameo (RIP), adopted furry friend Molly, San Angelo, TX
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    I'm not saying not to check and test, but I guarantee that if it is ever needed the pin will come out or the cable will break. LOL Its a funny visual right now, but i'm sure its not funny if it happens. I intend to look at this during my next rig prep. That would be he# if your trailer was chasing you down the road.
    Jim and Amy
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    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    Hey Jim,

    What's the date on your RV's inspection sticker. I'm wondering if you got your money's worth.


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  5. Print this Post   #5
    Moderator jimtoo's Avatar
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by danemayer View Post
    Hey Jim,

    What's the date on your RV's inspection sticker. I'm wondering if you got your money's worth.
    Not yet.. not due till April 2015... I keep track of those. I was licensed for about 34 years. It's a good thing.. or it used to be... but now ?? Depends on where you go I guess as to whether you get inspected or just buy a sticker. It will be embedded with license plate renewal starting sometime in 2015 I understand. Get your inspection, get special form to take to get license renewal or it will be put on the records of VIN on line by inspector.

    Jim M
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  6. Print this Post   #6
    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    I was under the impression that one of the tests for the RV inspection is to pull the break-away switch. I wonder if they pulled yours last time.


    Dan and Ann Mayer & fur baby Callie the Rally Dog
    2011 Landmark Rushmore
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    August 29, 2018 porthole's Avatar
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    The brake control is one of the few spare parts I carry in the trailer. They just go bad as Jim found out, they can go bad if the pin is pulled for any length of time or they can just fall apart from age.

    I tested mine last year in a Walmart parking lot, on a very busy morning ....................
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  8. Print this Post   #8
    Moderator jimtoo's Avatar
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by danemayer View Post
    I was under the impression that one of the tests for the RV inspection is to pull the break-away switch. I wonder if they pulled yours last time.
    I'm not sure if it is part of the inspection or not. I can assure you he did not pull it on mine,, don't know what he does for others. I have known him a long time and he looks at lights and I show him they work.
    Jim and Bette
    04 GMC CC Dually D/A, MaxBrake, Riderights
    09 Bighorn 3670RL #9E011439
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  9. Print this Post   #9

    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    I tested mine last month at Indian Springs state park . When you pull into the park to register ,there is a sharp turn and then a hill...when I made the turn ,the breakaway must have gotten stuck and pulled out. the truck was having a hard time pulling the rig up the hill. The led on the break control was flashing so I got out and saw the pulled pin.

    Wayne

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    Senior Member teasac69's Avatar
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    Re: Test Your Emergency Break Away Switch

    I tested mine inadvertently. I have it on a backpack loop ring on the cable. I hooked it to the tie down ring in the back of my truck, avoiding the hitch completely, as you should. The problem was I was making a routine right turn and the cable was obviously too short and bam, it pulled and locked her up. Works !!!
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