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RVing message boards => Trailers & Fifthwheels => Topic started by: dbFL on September 21, 2017, 10:09:28 AM

Title: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: dbFL on September 21, 2017, 10:09:28 AM
Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin and pulled away after docking. Pin pulled out when I drove away and I heard it pop out. I stuck it back in. Will it still work as designed or is it a one time use?
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: lone_star_dsl on September 21, 2017, 10:19:19 AM
It should still work as designed. You're supposed to pull the pin occasionally to make sure that it's working anyway.
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: glen54737 on September 21, 2017, 10:20:06 AM
It will be ok this happens to a lot of us at 1 time or another just don't leave it out for a long time as the brakes are applied with full force.
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: Rene T on September 21, 2017, 10:27:42 AM
X2.  All it does is that it separates 2 contacts inside the box. When the pin is pulled, the contacts touch each other and makes continuity to send power to the brakes. You're good to go.
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: Arch Hoagland on September 21, 2017, 11:43:28 AM
My toad front has the same type pin in case it gets away from the coach. It locks up all four brakes.

You put a dummy plug in it for normal driving.

Well I was in a car wash with it and the brushes pulled the pin out and threw it somewhere. Guess what. That baby was locked up tighter than a drum and three cars behind me waiting to get washed.

I carry a spare pin in the glove compartment so got out and installed it so I could get out of the wash.  Went back in after everybody was done and found my original pin. Changed the attaching part so it couldn't get pulled out again!

You should be fine.
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: Roy M on September 21, 2017, 01:58:35 PM
I did that turning around on a highway, the cable caught in the fifth wheel. Nothing damaged except my pride. Just don't leave it out for an extended period of time with the battery hooked up, the brake electro magnets will overheat.
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: dbFL on September 21, 2017, 04:05:43 PM
Some funny stories here :) thanks guys!!
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: grashley on September 21, 2017, 05:26:10 PM
One thing implied in several threads, but never stated is WHY it is important put it back relatively quickly.  There are threads where the pin was left out for several minutes to an hour.  The box housing that pin literally melted from the heat from the connection.  It can do the same for the brake wiring if left at full power for too long (minutes, not seconds).
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: Arch Hoagland on September 22, 2017, 02:23:18 AM
Some funny stories here :) thanks guys!!

There are more, believe me.

Show me someone who never makes mistakes and I'll show you someone who never does anything. 

I'm a very busy guy!!!
Title: Re: Forgot to Unhook the Trailer Safety Brake Pin
Post by: RVfixer on September 22, 2017, 07:50:49 AM
You don't have to "hurry" to put the emergency brake pin back in, it takes more than a few minutes to overheat and possible damage the magnets.  Also, pulling the pin does not apply the brakes at all.  What it does is apply full battery power (voltage and current) to the magnets.  That causes the magnets to pull themselves out against the vertical face of the hubs...you could say "at full force."  The brake shoes stay where they are, off the hubs.  There must be wheel rotation, forward or reverse to move the magnets and the arm they are attached to, to cause the brake shoes to move out to the drums and apply braking.  After you pull the pin the trailer has to move a few inches before brakes are applied. 

When when you use a compass to check brakes what you are actually checking is the wiring and that the magnets move.  The braking is not checked and it doesn't tell you if a magnet has worn unevenly and will result weak braking or about other problems with the brake shoes, hubs and other brake components.  I am not saying not to use the compass check, I am just saying... know what you are checking and what is not being checked.

Yes, I have my own story about an embarrassing inadvertent pulling of the emergency brake pin!