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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Releasing the Magnets on my Breakaway Switch

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Animal Planet

St. Croix River Valley

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just finished putting the travel trailer away for the season and pulled the truck away - not realizing the breakaway cable was still attached - rookie mistake I understand...





I tried to simply re-insert the plastic "key" into the unit only to realize that the magnets within the breakaway system were blocking the path - which simply tells me the breakaway switch actually worked.



Now, how do I release those magnets so I can re-insert the key? Simply sliding the key back in does not work. Have tried many things, disconnected the battery, etc. but to little avail. The magnets are still as shown in the picture above.



Thanks!

Darren


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imadtchmn

Macon, GA

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

try disconnecting the battery. That should release any magnets I would think.


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ernestfortier

Palmdale, Calif.

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Spray some WD40 into the opening. The plunger should be removed every so often to lube the unit. After spraying the plunger should go in with some pressure. It won't go in or come out easy, if it did it would activate when you didn't want it to.


Ernie Fortier
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safeman

McKinney TX

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Push harder, it will go in. Those are not magnets, they are part of the connection that holds them in.

webslave

Clearville, PA

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The brakes will not release until you separate the contacts in the break-away switch; that's what the "key" on the end of the cable does. The key is plastic and is not a conductor of electricity, what your are calling "magnets" are merely spring loaded contacts that connect the power from your battery to your electric trailer brakes.

You need to insert the "key" until the round end on the key (where that cable attaches) is within the round socket end of the break-away housing to completely separate the contacts. I would spray the inside of the break-away switch with silicone spray, and if necessary, use a small hammer (a tack hammer) to tap the key back into the switch until it is all the way in. That should drive the contacts apart and when the round end of the "key" is mated to the round entry of the switch will serve as a "seal" to keep dirt out of the switch.


My 2 cents, your mileage may vary...

Don
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Wills250psd

walnutcove NC

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

push it it will go.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 12/21/11 09:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Animal,

You may need to charge the batteries.

Animal Planet wrote:

Uhhh...

That was unexpectedly easy. Just went back out there and simply pushed a bit harder and in it went... I pushed like a steer last week but it wouldn't go, and this morning, it slipped right in.

Almost too easy...

Thanks guys!

Paranoid follow-up question: Any reason why leaving it sit for a week would have somehow damaged the switch? If brakes are still applied when I pull the rig out in spring I guess I'll know for sure... I'm sure this is over-thinking the functionality of a $15 switch, but just curious...



Regards, Don
Full Time in a Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, Magnum 3000 watt PSW inverter.

Animal Planet

St. Croix River Valley

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Uhhh...

That was unexpectedly easy. Just went back out there and simply pushed a bit harder and in it went... I pushed like a steer last week but it wouldn't go, and this morning, it slipped right in.

Almost too easy...

Thanks guys!

Paranoid follow-up question: Any reason why leaving it sit for a week would have somehow damaged the switch? If brakes are still applied when I pull the rig out in spring I guess I'll know for sure... I'm sure this is over-thinking the functionality of a $15 switch, but just curious...

Bonefish

Midland, TX

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Posted: 12/21/11 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Spray with silicon lube.
Line up the pin because it only goes into the switch if inserted correctly.
If you have left it pulled out the battery is probably discharged by now.
If left out and had camper plugged in with the converter running. The magnets could be cooked by now. They get hot when energized for a long period.

Bonefish





gijoecam

Midwest

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Posted: 12/21/11 09:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ditto... It's just a tight (spring-loaded) fit. It takes a fair amount of force to get it back in (I know several people that have broken theirs trying to reinsert it).

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