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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Trailer Brakes Disconnected message

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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 05/18/22 06:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

Logically since this problem is showing up on RAM and Ford trucks and we all have different RV's thus the problem is most likely in the truck connections and/or plug. Especially since it goes away for a time after cleaning the connectors.


Ford and RAM controllers may be a bit more "sensitive" to wiring faults on the trailer which would explain the reason they appear to show a fault more readily. I know when Ford first brought out their own TBC there where lots of complaints about random disconnect events posted here and other forums. That has diminished over time.

The fault is generally found with the trailer side of things as trailer manufacturers use the lowest quality materials they can get away with. This means they typically use the lightest, cheapest pigtail (smaller ga wires) and connector as possible (single sided prongs), the lightest wire gauge possible (mine was 16 ga) and non weather proof crimps on the connections.

As a preemptive measure I replaced the light duty pigtail with a heavy duty pigtail which has double sided prongs in the molded on plug. Additionally, I ran all new 10 ga wire (x2 runs) back to the axles (replacing the factory 16 ga wire which had multiple factory splices). Bypassed (disconnected the internal wire in the axle tubes and ran the wire across the trailer frame)the internal light ga wire running though the axle tubes with external heavier ga wire and weather proof splice connectors.

The result has been zero disconnect messages with a 2013, 2019 and 2020 F250..

ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 05/18/22 02:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

Logically since this problem is showing up on RAM and Ford trucks and we all have different RV's thus the problem is most likely in the truck connections and/or plug. Especially since it goes away for a time after cleaning the connectors.


We did that too. Cleaned the connector and it "went away" or so we thought. There was just something differently wrong. It was just coincidental that the cleaning seemed to help.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 05/18/22 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG wrote:

agesilaus wrote:

Logically since this problem is showing up on RAM and Ford trucks and we all have different RV's thus the problem is most likely in the truck connections and/or plug. Especially since it goes away for a time after cleaning the connectors.


We did that too. Cleaned the connector and it "went away" or so we thought. There was just something differently wrong. It was just coincidental that the cleaning seemed to help.


If one person reports 'cleaning' gives temporarily relief then maybe coincidence. If multiple people report that is the case, as it is here, then it is not coincidence. That is not to say that other problems might occur but the most likely is a bad connector on the truck.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 05/18/22 08:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

ReneeG wrote:

agesilaus wrote:

Logically since this problem is showing up on RAM and Ford trucks and we all have different RV's thus the problem is most likely in the truck connections and/or plug. Especially since it goes away for a time after cleaning the connectors.


We did that too. Cleaned the connector and it "went away" or so we thought. There was just something differently wrong. It was just coincidental that the cleaning seemed to help.


If one person reports 'cleaning' gives temporarily relief then maybe coincidence. If multiple people report that is the case, as it is here, then it is not coincidence. That is not to say that other problems might occur but the most likely is a bad connector on the truck.


I will have to disagree with the thought that all of the problems are from the connector on the truck end.

The socket on the truck is believe it or not, fairly protected from weather since it has a spring loaded cover that snaps closed when the plug is removed. That cover while is not sealed with a gasket stops a lot of moisture from getting to the contacts. So those sockets tend to have a very long life even in the most severe climates.

I have as of yet never ever needed to clean nor replace the 7 pin socket on any of my trucks and I live and drive them in the rust belt with tons of heavily salted winter roads. 97 F250 had 150K miles and had that for 6 yrs, 2003 F250, had 250K miles and owned it 13 yrs (the bed was rusting out but the 7 pin socket was still fine), 2006 F250 140K miles owned it up to 2019 and the bed was rotting off but yet the 7 pin socket was fine, 2013 F250 135K on the clock so far and the 7 pin socket is fine, have 2019 and 2020 F250s and they are fine also..

The problem child tends to be the 7 pin PLUG on the trailer tether cord.. The plug stays out in all weather unprotected.. I tuck mine under the propane tank cover to keep it dry and out of the weather..

Barring a problem with the PLUG, the rest of the problems tends to be the wiring on the TRAILER..

No need to scare folks into attacking the vehicles socket and wiring unless all else fails, most of the problems will be found and corrected on the trailer side..

Nv Guy

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Posted: 05/18/22 09:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a combination problem. Both the truck being overly sensitive and the trailer being wired poorly.
As been mentioned, the early controllers were overly sensitive. Even now they are not very tolerant of the lousy wiring the RV industry use. Specifically those scotch lock connectors and tiny gauge wiring. And let's not forget the known issue of the wiring wearing thru the insulation inside the axles creating all sorts of intermittent faults.
Once all the poor wiring is corrected, then you can start looking at the truck.





Gdetrailer

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Posted: 05/19/22 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nv Guy wrote:

This is a combination problem. Both the truck being overly sensitive and the trailer being wired poorly.
As been mentioned, the early controllers were overly sensitive. Even now they are not very tolerant of the lousy wiring the RV industry use. Specifically those scotch lock connectors and tiny gauge wiring. And let's not forget the known issue of the wiring wearing thru the insulation inside the axles creating all sorts of intermittent faults.
Once all the poor wiring is corrected, then you can start looking at the truck.


I will take the oversensitive to wiring faults controller any day..

Much better to know upfront the trailer brakes may not be working or up to standards well before you really need them in a crisis.. The early alert gives you a chance to find and correct the problem(s) before you get on the road.

Many old vintage controllers from the past often never had any wiring fault indicator.. Basically you plugged in and hoped that all was well, until it wasn't.. And when it wasn't, you were descending a steep grade or clamping the irons to avoid an accident.

ReneeG

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Posted: 06/01/22 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been watching this thread to see if the OP comes back with the cause of the problem, but nothing.

morvac

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Posted: 06/01/22 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry was away for a bit. We did get things sorted out eventually. We tested things one more time on the trailer and found no faults. I ended up taking the truck back to the dealer a second time and they went through the wire harness with dielectric grease on all the connections but said they found no issues. Well, I ended up going back to the storage facility where I keep the trailer and was set on making a day out of it trouble shooting what I could on my own but when I connected it up everything worked as it should. My guess is something was not quite connected on the truck and the dealer fixed it and didn’t know it or just dumb luck. Either way I have tested it several times afterwards and seems fine now.

ReneeG

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Posted: 06/01/22 02:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Morvac - you changed your user name from wvu_traveler?

Thanks for the feedback. I hope it is fixed and still not just a fluke with an existing underlying problem.

morvac

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Posted: 06/01/22 03:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmm. Good eye. I just clicked on the reply within the email notification.

So far so good. I hope it stays that way.

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