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Expert Answers about Trailer Breakaway Kit


  • How Long Will Battery of Bright Way Trailer Breakaway Kit Last
  • The battery that comes with the Bright Way Trailer Breakaway Kit with Switch, 12V, 5-Amp-Hour Battery, and Charger # 3802339 is a 12 volt sealed lead-acid battery and these batteries have a life cycle that can vary quite a bit, but typically it has quite a long life of 3-5 years, which is what you should expect with this kit. The battery, for which the replacement is part # 3801250 will constantly be charged when you install it on the trailer. This kit has a charger and connects to your...
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  • Recommended Trailer Breakaway Battery Braking System with Integrated Charger
  • The Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit w/ Built-In Charger - Side Load - 7" Wire # 20099 is the most popular option by far followed by the top loading version # 20400. This is my recommendation for the best option. Many trailer manufacturers utilize this breakaway kit because of its function and ease of use. I've attached a photo to assist with the installation.
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  • Can Trailer Breakaway Kit Be Installed Into Junction Box for Cleaner Connections
  • Sure, if you want to install the breakaway kit through the junction box, you would just need to make the connections that would normally run to the wiring harness, into the respective terminals inside the junction box. While we don't have a video to show how this is done, you can use the attached diagram that I've put together for you. For a junction box, I recommend part # 38656 and for a breakaway kit, I recommend the Curt Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit with Built-In Battery Charger...
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  • What Battery Comes with Bright Way Push-to-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 3802311
  • The Bright Way Push-to-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 3802311 that you referenced comes with a 10 amp hour battery. I attached a picture of the battery outside of the box for you to check out as well. I attached a review video for this kit for you to check out as well.
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  • What is the Difference in Hopkins Engager Breakaway Systems 20099 and 20400
  • Hopkins Engager breakaway systems # 20099 and # 20400 function the same way and have the same features. The main difference is in how they mount. Engager # 20099 is meant to be mounted on top of the frame with the LED indicator and test button facing up. Engager # 20400 was meant to be mounted to the side of the trailer frame so that its LED indicator and test button are also facing up. You will want to make sure the battery in the system you use is protected. That is why breakaway systems...
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  • Wiring Directions for Hopkins Engager Push-to-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit
  • The wiring directions for the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 20099 referenced in your question are as follows: 1. Splice one blue wire of the Break-Away Switch to the electric brake wire coming from the trailer side connector. 2. Connect other blue wire of Break-Away Switch to the blue wire (labeled Brake) from the Break-Away box (Note: Blue wires are interchangeable on the Break-Away Switch.) 3. Splice white wire from Break-Away box to existing ground wire on...
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  • Electric Trailer Brakes Engaging
  • Thanks for the nice words and all that information! It certainly isn't normal that your trailer brakes are engaging without a brake controller though there are a couple of reasons why this can happen. My guess is a wiring issue on the trailer where the wires are making contact and 12 volt power is getting through to the brakes. So I recommend going over the wiring from your brakes and tracing it to see if there is an issue there. If need be you can replace with 10 gauge wire # 10-1-1. Or...
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  • Breakaway Switch is Not Working After Pulling Pin
  • There are many, many reasons why your breakaway switch may not be operating after pulling the pin, and of course it's really important to get that remedied. Start by going over your wiring to ensure there are no wires that are damaged, nicked, or broken. Also be sure that the battery is fully charged, and you have a good ground. Also check out the linked help article on breakaway switch wiring and compare yours to see if yours is wired correctly (I'm not sure if this is a new system...
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Breakaway Wire That Didnt Activate Trailer Brakes
  • It sounds like you had not just a breakaway pin pulled but a wiring issue. If not, the breakaway wasn't connected to your trailer correctly as the brakes should be activated but the trailer tail lights wouldn't be. To me it sounds like the pin is connected to the brake lights and not the brake magnets. I've attached an article to help with the connections and have also attached a couple videos and a diagram. It sounds like you may need the Hopkins Replacement Break-Away Switch, 7"...
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  • Replacement Breakaway Switch for Gel Cell Breakaway Kit
  • The switch for breakaway kits like the Gel Cell Breakaway Kit # T4822100 are universal so you can mix parts from different manufacturers. So for this kit I recommend the reliable Bargman Replacement Breakaway Switch with Cable and Pin # 54-85-007. I have added a link to a video review for you to check out as well.
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  • Can I Install the Bright Way Breakaway Kit with a Charge Line for the Breakaway Battery
  • The Bright Way Trailer Breakaway Kit # 3802354 can be installed in a manner that either does or does not take a charge from the tow vehicle while it is running; the best way to complete an installation where it does take a maintenance charge from your tow vehicle's 7 way connection is using the Bright Way Trailer Breakaway Charger # 3802349. Installing this charger in the manner shown in the review and installation video linked to this answer is going to be the best way to make sure that...
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  • How To Wire the Curt Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit
  • In regards to the Curt Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit part # C52042, the blue wire on the breakaway switch will be run to the brake output circuit and the black wire to a constant 12 volt power source. The blue wire on the battery box will also will be run brake output circuit, the red wire to a 12 volt power source, and the white wire to a ground.
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  • Can Breakaway Switch By Itself Be Used If Trailer Already Had Battery
  • If you have a battery already on your trailer that's getting a charge and would be adequate to hold the brakes of your trailer in the event of a breakaway you could wire just a switch from it to your brake output circuit and you'd be fine. For that you'd only need a switch like the # FA80-00-2040 for a kit with a coiled cable or part # 2005-P for a kit with a straight cable. The battery setups like the part # 20099 would only be needed if you also needed a battery to power the system.
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  • Troubleshooting Door of Bright Way Trailer Breakaway Kit Not Able to Fully Open
  • The front cover of the Bright Way Push-to-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 3802346 is supposed to swing out like you mentioned. I attached pictures that show the door open. I'd be willing to bet the hinge on the left side of the door isn't fully seated which is causing the issue. Check to see if you can pop the hinge back onto the posts of the section of the hinge that is attached to the housing. I also attached an install video for this for you to check out as well.
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  • What Does 5 Amp Hour Rating of Bright Way Trailer Breakaway Kit Mean
  • A 5 amp hour battery like what comes with the # 3802354 is a battery that could provide 5 amps for one hour before being discharged. Without the pin pulled it would easily stay charged 10 hours. We also have the charger kit part # 3802349 which will keep it topped off.
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  • Easy Solution for Lost Pin for Trailer Breakaway System
  • The TAP Engager brakeaway kit you have on your trailer is a standard style of breakaway very similar to the Hopkins Engager part # 20099. For a replacement pin setup that would work well we have the # HM20010 which gives you a new switch, pin and cable. This is the easiest way to replace a breakaway pin is replacing the switch and pin all together as the switches themselves are all universal but matching the pins can be a bit harder. For just the pin of this system we have the # HM20051...
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  • Distance Between Mounting Holes of Brightway Breakaway Battery Box # 3802311
  • From left to right the mounting holes of the Brightway Breakaway Battery Box # 3802311 is 8-1/4 inches. Vertically they are separated by 1-3/16 inches.
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  • Installation of Breakaway Kit Switch for Electric Trailer Brakes on Gooseneck Trailer
  • Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit with Built-In Battery Charger - Top Load # 20400 can have the pin mounted on the coupler. The angle should be as aligned as possible with the point you are connecting to and be slightly shorter distance than your safety chains. The pin will pull with force so the pin is designed to withstand that without breaking as is the cable. The length and angle are important because you want the trailer brakes to activate when the trailer becomes...
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  • Yellow Charge Light On Hopkins Engager Stays On with Trailer Disconnected
  • In regards to the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit part # 20099, the first issue that you described of the yellow charge light being on even while disconnected from the tow vehicle could either be a short in the circuit board or if the trailer has an auxiliary battery this is then feeding the breakaway battery and in which case you would need to install a diode part # RM-690 to prevent this. The issue with the yellow charge light illuminating when the battery test button...
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  • How do You Test a Trailer Breakaway Kit After Installatiion
  • To test a trailer breakaway kit like Tekonsha Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit part # 50-85-313 you will simply lift your tires off of the ground one at a time and pull the plunger out of the brake away switch. When installed properly the tire off of the ground should not spin if you try to turn it. Repeat this for each wheel and that will ensure that the breakaway kit is working and also confirm your brakes are working properly. Let's say you did this and one wheel would turn while the...
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  • Does the Charging Light On The Hopkins Engager Breakaway System Stay on When Trailer is Pluged In?
  • Yes. With the Hopkins Engager Trailer Breakaway System # 20099 , when the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle through the 7 way connector the yellow charging light will always be lit up.
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  • Will Trailer Breakaway Battery Charge Auxiliary Battery
  • So it sounds like you are trying to use the Curt Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit with Built-In Battery Charger # C52044 to charge an auxiliary battery on your enclosed trailer to power lights, and it makes sense that this would not work. This kit is only designed for breakaway batteries, and has a small 5-amp hour battery capacity, which is probably dead, as I'm guessing you are not seeing any LED indicators (either red or green) illuminated. For everybody's safety, breakaway kits -...
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  • Dimensions of Bright Way Push-to-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit 3802307
  • The main battery box included in the Bright Way Push-to-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 3802308 is 6-1/2 inches wide by 4-3/4 inches deep by 4-7/8 inches tall. The mounting hole centers are 5.9 inches apart. The wire leads on the breakaway switch are approximately 36 inches long. If you forward to about the 2:50 mark on the video I attached, it will show these measurements, but I've also attached a photo for reference.
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  • Mounting the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit on Horse Trailer
  • It's pretty easy to mount the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit with Built-In Battery Charger # 20400 on your horse trailer; the kit actually comes with self-tapping screws so you simply need to use those to mount it on an available space on your trailer. If you are having trouble finding an area to mount the kit you can also use the Weld-on Trailer Frame Mounting Plate for Hopkins Engager Breakaway Kit # HM20407 which you can weld onto your trailer frame to mount the...
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  • Replacement Breakaway Cable for Trailer with Dexter Brakes
  • I do have options for you but just because the trailer has Dexter brakes does not mean it will also have a Dexter breakaway kit. If you want to replace just cable and pin then I will need to know the brand and model of your breakaway kit which can be found on the top of the switch. That said, breakaway kits are universal so it would be easiest to just replace both the switch and cable/pin with the Replacement Breakaway Switch with Cable and Pin part # K71-691. There are only two wires that...
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  • Can a Trailer Break Away System be Tested with Trailer Connected to Tow Vehicle
  • You should always disconnect the trailer before testing a break away system, including # 50-85-313. Testing the system in this case means pulling the break away pin from the switch. The resulting charge from the break away battery could lead to back feeding on the brake output circuit back to the controller. Some controllers have built in circuit protection to prevent damage to the controller. I would need to know the make and model of the controller to determine if it has that feature. You...
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  • Installing The Brake Rite EHB System With The Hopkins Break-Away Battery Kit
  • For the Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit with Charger and Tester # 20099 from the break-away battery, the white goes to ground, the black goes to the violet wire on yourTitan BrakeRite EHB Electric-Hydraulic Actuator for Disc Brakes # T4813100 for the positive 12V battery charge, and the blue wire goes to the blue wire on the breakaway pin. On the other side of the pin, the black wire will connect to the brown wire of your Brake Rite unit.
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  • Testing Vehicle 7-Way for 12V Power Signal for Charging Breakaway Battery
  • Some vehicle's 7-way will have a 12V power circuit that remains active at all times (even with the key off) while others will have this circuit off unless the key is in the accessory position or the engine is running. This is not consistent between auto makers nor vehicle models. If an aftermarket 7-way was added to a vehicle it could have been set up either way. If you have a circuit tester like # PTW2992 you can test your specific vehicle to see under what conditions that 12V auxiliary...
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  • Should Trailer Brakes Hum While the Breakaway Pin Is Pulled
  • Yes, when the pin on a breakaway system like the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit part # 20099 is pulled that then sends full 12 volt power to the trailer brakes. When power is sent to an electric braking assembly you may very well hear sort of a humming noise and this is not uncommon at all nor it is an indication that a problem is present.
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  • How Long Will Battery Last for Tekonsha Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit
  • Without being used the 12V battery included with the Tekonsha Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 50-85-313 will start to lose charge at around 6 to 8 months. At the year mark it will fall below nominal charge and at 1-1/2 to 2 years it will be completely dead and would need to be jumped. When installing the breakaway kit you will want to run the black power wire to the 12V circuit coming from the trailer's 7-Way so that the battery can maintain its charge during travel. I have attached...
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  • Will The Breakaway Switch Draw Power When Disconnected From Tow Vehicle
  • When you unhook the trailer from the SUV you are not going to pull the pin of the breakaway switch to activate the trailer brakes. The only time the breakaway switch is going to pull power is if the pin is pulled from the breakaway switch which activates the brakes. The other side of your breakaway switch has a cable that attaches to the vehicle's frame or hitch while towing. Most people use a clip to attach the loop at the end of the cable to the vehicle's frame or loop it through the...
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  • Can Breakaway Battery Be Submerged on Boat Trailer
  • The battery/battery box for the Pro Series Breakaway Kit # 50-85-315 that you referenced (along with most other units) is weatherproof meaning it's designed to be mounted outside and can handle exposure to rain and splashes but it's not waterproof. Because of this I don't recommend actually submerging this or any other breakaway battery for even a short period of time. I know it will mean moving it to a less convenient location but I highly recommend mounting the battery in a higher...
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  • Trailer Breakaway System Operation And Troubleshooting
  • The brakes shouldn't necessarily lock up, but the brakes should quickly bring the trailer to a safe stop. The weight of the trailer shouldn't matter if the breakaway kit and the trailer brakes are working properly. All trailer from utility to RV with a much larger weight capacity than the 5,000 lbs you mentioned use breakaways like the Hopkins # 20400. If it isn't functioning to a safe level, there is a need to fix something. It may be a ground, it may be a brake magnet, it may...
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  • What is the Purpose of the Black Connection on the Dexter Trailer Breakaway Kit # 34-285
  • The black piece on the Dexter Trailer Breakaway Kit # 34-285 is simply a place where the power wires connect to. It is more of a housing than a connection point really. This kit can be used with trailers that just have electric brakes and not electric-over-hydraulic. If you check out the attached photo you can see how this will install.
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  • Trailer Breakaway Kit Recommendation with 9 amp Hour Battery
  • We don't have a 9 amp hour battery to swap into the battery box of the Engager but I do have a great solution for you. The Dexter Breakaway Kit part # 34-285 is a kit that comes with a 9 amp hour batter and a box large enough to fit the battery size.
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  • Comparing Tekonsha Trailer Breakaway Systems
  • Tekonsha breakaway kit # 50-85-313 is an all-in-one type of set up in which the charger is integrated into the lid of the battery box. Kits # 2028 and # 20020 both have a separate external charger that is, to put it bluntly, better than the one integrated into the lid of the other kit. They are all good options though and I am certain you would be happy with any of the 3. I have included links to videos for all 3 kits for you.
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  • Wiring Diagrams for Installing Bright Way Trailer Breakaway ICU Kit # BW94FR
  • The lid of the Bright Way Trailer Breakaway ICU Kit with 12V, 5-Amp-Hour Battery, Charger, and Wire Loom # BW94FR that you referenced has a wiring diagram shown that details how it wires. Not seen is there is a single wire that runs up to running light circuit for the alarm. This a standard style of breakaway kit that would install like any other similar option. I also attached a second picture that shows a more detailed wiring diagram plus a review video for the kit and a link to a...
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  • Trailer Battery Not Charging While Towing with 2016 Ford F-150
  • The 12 volt trailer battery charge circuit is not active on certain models when in park or during gear shifting so if you were trying to test this via the pins on the trailer connector this would be why it is not active. Also, the 12 volt trailer battery charge circuit must first be activated via the in-dash screen. If you need help with doing this you can refer to the owner's manual. If the 12 volt trailer battery charge circuit is still not active after addressing the above then you...
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  • Power Draw On Tow Vehicle Battery to Charge Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Battery
  • The Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit with Built-In Battery Charger part # 20400 has a maximum power amp draw of 2 amps to charge the breakaway battery. The power draw is so low is will not drain the tow vehicle's battery. It will also only charge when the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle and the 12V circuit is active. On some vehicle's that does require the ignition to be turned on.
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  • How to Wire Trailer Breakaway Switch to Trailer
  • A trailer breakaway kit like # 20099 needs to be connected to the vehicle's 12V auxiliary power circuit so that it receives a maintenance charge at all times you are driving, not just when the lights are on. The wiring and mounting requirements, as well as the procedure for testing your breakaway system, are covered in the two articles I linked for you. Your best bet is to re-wire the trailer to match your Suburban's 7-way setup. This takes only a junction box like # 277-000141 and...
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  • Comparing Trailer Breakaway Switch Kits
  • Some different brand names of trailer breakaway kits do originate from a common source, and this is also true for items like jacks, landing gear and steps. There really is not a lot to distinguish one from another, since their component parts are virtually identical: a battery, a box, a charger and a switch. The one part that can make a difference is the battery itself. A higher output battery can power brakes on more axles. Hopkins Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit # 20400 can handle 1 or...
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  • Troubleshooting Hopkins Engager Break Away Kit That Wont Recharge Battery
  • The Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit with Charger and Tester # 20099 will charge if the black wire from the breakaway box is receiving 12 volts from the 7-way on your tow vehicle. You will want to use a circuit tester like part # PTW2993 to test this wire for 12 volts when the vehicle is connected and running. If there is no voltage there then you will need to trace this wire back to where it connects to your vehicle wiring and make sure it is connected securely to the 12 volt circuit...
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  • Do Trailer Brakes Lock Up When Brakeaway Kit is Activated
  • When the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit w/ Built-In Charger # 20099 gets activated, your trailer brakes will immediately lock up. It sends the full 12 volts to your brakes to stop the trailer as soon as possible. This is assuming, of course, that the breakaway battery is fully charged, which should not be an issue with this kit due to its built-in battery charger. I have added a link to a video review of this kit for you to take a look at as well as a couple help...
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  • Does Tekonsha Breakaway Kit with Integrated Charger Meet DOT Requirements
  • I just verified with Tekonsha that the Breakaway Kit with the Integrated Charger # 50-85-313 does meet all DOT requirements.
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  • Comparing Hopkins Engager Breakaway Kits 20400 and 20099
  • Pretty much the only difference between the Engager breakaway systems # 20099 and # 20400 are the designs of the battery boxes. Both function the same and have the same features. Engager # 20400 is meant to be mounted to the side of the trailer frame whereas # 20099 is designed more from the top of a frame. But ultimately you could install them anywhere there is space so I wouldn't say one is better than the other for you trailer.
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  • How To Wire the Curt Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit C52042
  • In regards to the Curt Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit part # C52042 (52042), the blue wire on the breakaway switch will be run to the brake output circuit and the black wire to a constant 12 volt power source. The blue wire on the battery box will also will be run brake output circuit, the red wire to a 12 volt power source, and the white wire to a ground. Unfortunately, we do not create any of the wiring diagrams for Curt as they are the manufacturers.
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  • Is a Breakaway Kit Required on an Old Trailer
  • In order to determine if a breakaway system is required on your trailer you will need to contact your local DMV. This will vary from state to state. However, it is a good ideal to add a breakaway system regardless of your state's regulations as they will help to protect others on the road and your trailer in the event of an accident. Breakaway systems are relatively inexpensive and can easily be installed with minimal effort. I recommend the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway...
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  • Troubleshooting Flashing Yellow Light on Hopkins Engager Breakaway Kit
  • I spoke with my contact at Hopkins and he said that the yellow light on the Engager Breakaway Kit # 20099 should not be flashing. It is designed to stay constantly lit when hooked up to the tow vehicle and charging. He said if the light is flashing on your it then it's possible that it's getting pulses of 12V power for some reason instead of a constant input when hooked up. I recommend first testing the 12V wire coming from the back of the trailer's 7-Way when it's hooked up with a...
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  • Comparing Trailer Breakaway Battery Kits Side Load from Hopkins and Tekonsha
  • The tow vehicle brake controller
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Breakaway System that Says its Not Chargin
  • Test the 12 volt power wire that feeds the charging circuit for the breakaway kit part # 50-85-315 that you have installed on your trailer with a circuit tester like part # PTW2993. You should be getting 12 volts running into the battery box that will be providing the battery with a maintenance charge. You can also test the wiring leading to the battery from the lid with it disconnected from the battery to see if there is voltage there. If so, then the lid of the box must be defective...
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  • How to Remove Trailer Break Away System Cable From Vehicle When Unhitching Trailer
  • You won't want to remove the break away pin from the switch, as this would activate the trailer brakes and run down the break away system's battery. You'll want to remove the cable from the safety chain loop on the vehicle. The easiest way to do that would be to remove and discard the existing break away cable like # 34-285 and install the # FA80-01-2140 Fastway Zip Coiled Trailer Breakaway Cable. Attach the split ring to the break away pin and the carabiner to the safety chain loop...
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  • Can a Diode be Used to Prevent Back Feeding from a Trailer Breakaway Battery to a Brake Controller
  • You could install parking light diode # RM-690 to allow power to only flow in one direction and that would prevent accidental back feeding. The diode is rated for 85 amps on a 12 volt system.
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  • Installation Instructions for Breakaway Kit Part # 50-85-313 and Trailer Wiring Junction Box # 38656
  • The wiring for the Tekonsha breakaway kit # 50-85-313 and trailer wiring junction box # 38656 is listed below. You can also view the picture to the right. The breakaway kit will have 3 wires to hook up where as the breakaway switch will have 2 wires. Take either brake switch wire and connect to the blue wire from the battery box. The other switch wire is output to the trailer brakes. White is ground and black will connect to the 12 volt circuit from the 7-way connector. The trailer...
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  • How to Wire Up a Breakaway Battery and an Auxiliary Battery on a Trailer without Backfeeding
  • It sounds like the tilt battery is backfeeding onto the breakaway battery charge line so as long as the ground is connecting it is taking a charge from the tilt battery and that is why your charge light is staying on. I have a solution for you, you will need a single function diode part # RM-690. You will need to wire it in between the breakaway battery and the tilt battery and it will stop the backfeeding from your tilt battery to the rest of the 12 volt circuit wiring of your trailer. Check...
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  • Correct Wiring Installation for aTrailer Breakaway Kit
  • If you are installing a trailer breakaway kit like # C52041, then you can use the 12-volt auxiliary power wire to help provide a maintenance charge on your breakaway kit's battery. A breakaway kit that does not have an onboard charger will have to use 3 wires to operate. One red or black wire (12-volt power) that will come off the 12 volt auxiliary circuit. This wire will keep a maintenance charge on the battery when connected to your vehicle. A white wire that will be the ground and...
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  • Installation Instructions For Hopkins Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit
  • I have attached the installation instructions for the Hopkins Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit, part # 20099. This kit includes a charger and an LED tester and will work with single and tandem axle trailers. I have also attached a link to an installation video for this kit you can check out. I attached a link to a drawing that shows how the wiring is run when you install the breakaway kit.
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  • Can a Parking Brake or E-Brake Be Added to Dexter Electric Brake Assemblies
  • A parking brake system, also known as an e-brake, can only be used if the brake assemblies are already equipped with a parking brake. Dexter does offer electric brake assemblies with a parking brake, but their standard electric brakes assemblies cannot have a parking brake added to them if they were not already properly equipped. You can tell if your brakes are equipped with a parking brake by looking at the backing plate. There will be an actuating lever at the top of the brake assembly...
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  • How to Tell If Your Breakaway Switch Is Powered By Trailer Battery or Auxiliary Battery
  • If you already have a breakaway switch and trying to find its power source, It is possible that someone could have wired the breakaway switch directly to the main battery on the trailer but it does not come like that from the factory. The breakaway switch should be wired to a separate battery. Most Breakaway switches come with their own battery and some come with a battery charger. The breakaway box is essentially a plastic box with a battery in it that powers the breakaway switch. When...
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Brakes that Are Activating but Not Stopping Trailer
  • Sounds like you installed new brakes and they aren't wanting to grab and stop your trailer. Most likely you just need to adjust the assemblies so that they will actually grab. If they are self-adjusting brakes all you would need to do is make several brake applications with the trailer moving and they will set themselves. To see how to manually adjust trailer brake assemblies check out the video I attached, fast-forward to the 4:35 mark of the video. I also attached a help article...
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  • Can Trailer Breakaway Switch be Used as Parking Brake
  • I do not recommend using a breakaway switch like the Hopkins Engager # 20099 that you referenced as a parking brake to hold the trailer in place. When pulling the pin out of the switch full 12V power will be sent to the trailer brakes and it won't release them until the pin is re-inserted or the battery dies. Locking the brakes up like this for longer periods of time may actually cause damage to the assemblies themselves. A better option to keep your trailer in place when it's parked...
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  • How to Prolong Life of Breakaway Battery During Winter Storage
  • You could potentially store the Hopkins Engager Breakaway Kit # 20099 battery inside but that would only protect it from the colder temperatures, so you would still need a solution to re-charge it, and there really isn't an easy way to remove it without having to cut some wires or unscrewing it from the trailer frame. A better and simpler solution is to use a battery charger/maintainer, like the NOCO Genius UltraSafe Battery Charger and Maintainer # 329-GENIUS1. It will work great to...
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  • Availability of Replacement Battery for Hopkins/TAP Engager Trailer Break Away System
  • We do indeed offer a 12-Volt, 5 aH replacement battery for your Hopkins/TAP Engager trailer break away system. The battery is part # HM20008.
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  • Can Breakaway Battery be Overcharged By 12V Circuit From Tow Vehicle 7-Way
  • You can definitely use the 12V power from the tow vehicle's 7-Way connector to maintain the charge of your trailer breakaway battery. This circuit from the 7-Way carries enough power to maintain a battery but not enough to actually charge up a depleted one. With this in mind you do not need to worry about overcharging the battery as it will really only get a trickle-type charge during travel.
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  • What do you Recommend as a Cost Effective Trailer Breakaway Kit for my 1973 Trailblazer Camper
  • There is not a thing in the world wrong with the Bright Way Trailer Breakaway Kit with Switch part # 3802339. It offers the functionality as any other break away system and is cost effective. There is a small hole where the wires run through the box that I would dab a bit of silicone on but outside of that it will be just fine. Check out the linked video my buddy Adam did on it that I linked for you.
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  • Guide to Use to Test Trailer Brake Magnets
  • Sounds like your brakes aren't working when you use the breakaway kit or when your tow vehicle applies the brakes which leads me to believe the problem isn't the breakaway and it's most likely electrical. I attached a link to a page that details how to test to see if the brake magnets are bad for you to check out. Try that and let me know what you find.
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  • Do Trailer Breakaway Systems Usually Power from Separate Trailer Battery
  • Typically breakaway systems on trailers like yours will be powered from a separate smaller battery than the two larger ones you have on your trailer. You can trace the wiring of the switch back to see where it ends, but typically the breakaway system is in a box that is somewhat near the nose of the trailer. I attached a chart that shows how a breakaway system usually wires up as well. I also attached a help article on trailer breakaway systems for you to check out as well.
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  • How to Reset the Hopkins Trailer Break-Away Kit with Charger # HM20001
  • You are correct. The system does not have to be reset electrically to allow for normal trailer operation. Instead, like you said, the pin, or what separates the contacts, needs to be put back into place. What happens is, if the trailer detaches from the tow vehicle, the mechanism separating the pins is pulled out. This allows the contacts to touch which in turn engages the break away system to stop the trailer.
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  • Can Dexter Breakaway Kit for Electric Over Hydraulic Actuators be Used with Regular Electric Brakes
  • Not to worry because you can use breakaway kit # 34-285 with regular electric brakes too. I called Dexter and they confirmed this. So you are good to go you would just omit the electric over hydraulic actuator part of the diagram for installation.
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  • Recommendation for Breakaway Kit to Replace my Tekonsha Shur-Set III Breaking System
  • The Tekonsha Lockable Breakaway Kit, # 20005, is going to be the closest replacement that we have for your Tekonsha Shur-Set III Braking System. This breakaway kit features a rechargeable, sealed, maintenance free battery. I am also including a link which includes all of the Tekonsha breakaway kits that we have available.
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  • Will the Hopkins Engager Trailer Breakaway Kit Keep Charging the Battery with the Truck Turned Off
  • First it is important to know that the battery on the Engager break away kit # 20099 will only be charging as long as the 12 volt circuit is providing power. If you shut off the vehicle and disconnect the trailer it will not be charging. When there is power it will continue to provide a maintenance charger to the battery to keep it at or near full power. You would want to disconnect the trailer from the vehicle if you do not want it to draw power from the vehicle battery when the truck...
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  • Is There a Curt Soft Trac Breakaway Kit that Has Battery Charge Indicator
  • If you are looking for a similar trailer breakaway kit that has a built in charger and tester we have the Curt part # C52042 which will show you when it's charging and charged but the part # C52040 that you referenced does not have this feature.
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  • Where to Attach Cable for Curt Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit
  • The most common method for attaching the cable for a breakaway kit like the Curt Push-To-Test # C52042 that you referenced is feeding it through the safety chain loop on the trailer hitch. The warning message that you mentioned on the instructions manual caught me a little off guard so I called my contact at Curt and he actually said that "mounting hooks" in that statement refer to the hooks on the safety chains themselves. He said that the cable can absolutely be connected to the tow...
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  • Wiring Instructions for the Curt Soft Trac Charger
  • You are correct that the Red wire from the Charger for Curt Soft Trac I and II Trailer Breakaway Kits # C52025 is connected to the Battery, the White is connected to Ground, the Blue is connected to the Breakaway Switch. The Black wire that you are asking about will be spliced into the 12V Power wire on your trailer. This should be the wire connected to the pin in the 11 O'clock position on your trailer's 7-Way connector (see attached picture). You can test this out by connecting your trailer...
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  • When Would a Trailer Break Away Kit Be Required By Law
  • Many states in the U.S. and provinces in Canada require break away kit. In order to determine the specifics for where you live and where you plan to travel, you can check with the state and federal departments of transportation for the area. Specific weights or trailer types may change from state to state, so it is important to check for every state in which you plan to be towing. A break away kit is just a good idea in general, whether it is required or not. It is a fairly simple system....
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  • Installation of Hopkins Engager Breakaway Kit
  • Installing the Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 20099 is a pretty easy process; I've linked the installation instructions for you and the diagram I added is from those instructions. First you need to mount it on a flat surface on your trailer; if you can't find one I recommend using the Weld-on Trailer Frame Mounting Plate for Hopkins Engager Breakaway Kit # HM20107. After that you will wire one of the wires from the breakaway switch to the trailer brake wire for...
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  • Troubleshooting Melted Wires On Breakaway Switch
  • Typically, any melted wires are an indication of a short in the wiring. You will need to check the wiring of your breakaway system, and look specifically at the wiring that connects to the battery. Look for any signs of damage or pinched or cut wires and fix as needed. You may find that the wiring between the battery and the switch shorted out on the frame of your trailer causing the problem.
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  • Are Trailer Breakaway Kits Universal in How they Install
  • Yes, our trailer breakaway kits like the Tekonsha Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit with Built-In Battery Charger # 50-85-313 are universal. They wire to all trailers in the same way and are not model specific at all. If you check out the install diagram I attached you'll see how they wire in and you'll be able to see what I mean by the kits being universal.
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  • Breakaway Kit Recommendation for a Triple Axle Trailer with 6 Brakes
  • We do have a breakaway kit available for your triple axle trailer with 6 brakes. For your trailer, I recommend the Tekonsha Breakaway Kit, # 20020. This kit will work with 1, 2, 3 or 4 axle trailers. Like the Hopkins kit, this kit includes a sealed, rechargeable 12 volt battery and it also includes a battery charger.
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  • Trailer Breakaway System Recommendation for a Tri-Axle Trailer
  • If all 3 of the trailer axles have brakes you will need one with enough amperage to be able to apply the trailer brakes on full for at least 15 minutes. The Tekonsha system, # 50-85-313 will work with 1 to 3 axles. I have included a link to a video review for you. Another option is # 2028. I have also included a link to an FAQ article on installing a breakaway kit.
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  • Could Trailer Breakaway System be Used as Parking Brake
  • Breakaway systems should not be used as a parking brake. Typically they only hold the brakes of the trailer for about 10 minutes at max application. Since you have electric brakes you'd want to look into a wheel chock type setup to keep the trailer from moving when parked like the Buyers Products Wheel Chock Set # 337WC24483. This would be the safest way to prevent the trailer from moving. Check out the review video link I attached for more info as well.
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  • Trailer Breakaway Kit Recommendation for Gooseneck Trailer
  • I would go with the Pro Series kit part # 50-85-315 as it has the best price, has a built in charger and battery tester, and because of it's many great reviews. I attached an install video for this for you to check out as well.
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  • Troubleshooting Engager BreakAway Kit # 20099 When Battery Is Overheating
  • I spoke with my contact at Hopkins about the Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit, part # 20099 you are using on your Airstream. They told me that the battery being so hot is an indication that either the battery is bad, or there may be an issue with the circuitry on the breakaway unit. You will want to make sure the installation to your 12 volt power source has been completed as the instructions state. The white wire should be grounded to a clean bare metal surface on your trailer. The black...
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  • How to Install the Gel Cell Breakaway Kit for Titan BrakeRite Systems # T4822100
  • If you have the Titan BrakeRite II # T4835700 then the battery cable would have been included with your kit. If you check out the diagram I attached you can see how the battery cable installs into the BrakeRite II system. I have also attached a video of this whole kit being installed on a trailer that you can use as a reference. If you jump to the 17:00 mark you can see our installer connecting the breakaway batteries. The breakaway batteries in the Gel Cell Breakaway Kit # T4822100...
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  • The Correct Breakaway Kit Battery Size to Use on a Trailer
  • Using the house battery on your trailer will provide a 12-volt power to a breakaway kit, but is not recommended. A Breakaway Kit, like # 50-85-313, is designed to stop a trailer that has come uncoupled from a tow vehicle. This kit relies on the power of the battery to activate if a trailer is comes uncoupled. Manufacturers recommend that you use a dedicated power source on the breakaway switch to make sure that there can be no outside draw or interference on the breakaway circuit. There...
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  • Wiring Diagram for Trailer Breakaway Kit
  • On this page (typically below the product links) there is a helpful link section that will have the install instructions fo the Hopkins Breakaway kit part # 20400 that you referenced. I also attached an install video that shows the kit installed as well as a diagram for trailer breakaway wiring as well. The white wire is the ground wire.
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  • How to Recharge the Battery on Hopkins Engager Breakaway Kit With Built-In Charge
  • Since the red light comes on with your Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit w/ Built-In Charger # 20099 it means the battery does not have the proper charge, and thankfully this is very easy to remedy. All you have to do, as evidenced by the cut out of the linked instructions I added, is connect your trailer plug to your tow vehicle. After about 20 minutes or so the battery on the Engager will be charged and you'll be set.
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  • Can Trailer Be Towed if Battery in Breakaway Kit is Dead
  • Your trailer's brakes will not lock up from the battery in a breakaway kit, like the Hopkins Brake Master # HM20001 being dead. If the breakaway battery is dead there won't be any power supplied from the system and it wouldn't have any impact on your brakes. Your breakaway battery should be tested before towing. If it's dead then it will not be able to do it's job of engaging your trailer's brakes in the event your trailer is separated from your tow vehicle.
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  • Troubleshooting Shorted Out Brake Controller Connected to Breakaway System
  • I'm sorry that this happened to your brake controller. I am happy to do research to help get this issues resolved. If when testing the breakaway system and the pin was pulled with the battery connected backwards. This would compromise the brake controller. When reaching out to my contact at Tekonsha we agreed that there may be a wiring issue someplace in the breakaway system. The combination of the wiring issue, combined with pulling the pin would certainly cause frying of the brake...
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  • Will Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 20400 Get Damaged from Sun Exposure
  • We have not heard complaints from customers regarding Hopkins Engager Push-To-Test Trailer Breakaway Kit # 20400 like what happened with your old system. You could limit direct exposure to the sun somewhat by using # 20099 which is designed to mount with the panel facing to the side rather than up (though it doesn't have to be mounted that way).
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  • What is the Expected Life of a Trailer Breakaway Battery During Winter Months
  • Typically, if your trailer is exposed to the elements, the breakaway battery should last at least a full season. There are many variables that can affect a batteries life expectancy. The Engager trailer breakaway # 20099 includes a built in battery charger as is stored inside a weather resistant battery box. The LED tester, when depressed, will advise you if the battery is fully charged and/or needs charging. Most instances the battery can be fully charged in 20 minutes. Another thing...
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  • Troubleshooting Confusing LED Lights on a Hopkins Engager Trailer Breakaway Kit
  • It sounds like you might have one or two situations going on there. First, use the installation instructions, linked here for you, and make sure the breakaway kit is wired correctly. Also, check to be sure the plastic breakaway switch pin is correctly inserted into the breakaway switch housing. Next, make sure that the ground wire from the breakaway kit, # 20401, is attached to the trailer frame and not wired into the trailer connector. My contact at Hopkins indicated that this could...
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  • Pulling Breakaway Switch Pin Causes Battery Box to Burn and Melt and Running Lights Stay On
  • If things start to melt when you pull the breakaway pin from the switch then that indicates a bad short that we have to track down. It also sounds like somehow the trailer running light circuit is being tied into the brake and breakaway system wiring which it should not be; or that there was additional damage in the trailer side connector causing a short between the running light circuit and another circuit. A breakaway system has to be wired up a certain way. I have included a diagram...
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  • What Gauge Wire is Used In Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit with Charger and Tester
  • Per my contact at Hopkins, the wires used with the Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit with Charger and Tester, part # 20099 are all 16-ga wire except the battery wire which is 14-gauge. The wire form the breakaway switch to the box is 16-gauge.
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  • Installation Instructions for the Tekonsha Breakaway Kit with Charger # 20020
  • Check out the link I attached that has the installation instructions for the Tekonsha Breakaway Kit with Charger # 20020 that you referenced. Scroll down to the section on wiring a Tekonsha breakaway kit to see what it would take to install this kit on your trailer.
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  • Where on Tow Vehicle to Install Trailer Breakaway Cable
  • The cable on a trailer breakaway kit such as the Hopkins Engager # 20099 should not be attached to the trailer safety chains but rather it should be connected to the vehicle bumper or frame. Please refer to the linked articles for more on breakaway systems and their installation.
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  • How to Wire the Engager Breakaway Kit to Charge the Breakaway Battery
  • The black wire on the Engager breakaway system # 20099 will be connected to a 12v auxiliary power wire coming off of the trailer connector. This wire is typically the number 4 black terminal in the 7-way connector, but you will need to test to determine if your plug is wired this way, as the auxiliary function can also be located on the center pin. Installing the black wire from the breakaway system to the 12 volt power source will allow the battery to charge when you have the trailer...
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  • Troubleshooting Electric Trailer Brakes that Do Not Engage with Brake Pedal
  • Are you getting power on the pin in the 5 O'clock position on the 7-way at the rear of your 2016 Ram 3500? This is the brake output circuit. That's the first thing you need to check to find if the problem is with the truck or the trailer. If there's not power on the brake circuit the problem is likely a blown fuse. You said you already replaced the 7-way. Was this on the truck or trailer? Whichever it was inspect the other one for corrosion and clean it if need be. If the truck...
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  • Can or Should a Breakaway System be Used to Prevent Trailer Theft
  • To activate a breakaway system such as # 20099 you would just pull the pin out of the switch. With the pin removed the metal contacts inside can touch completing the circuit and supply 12 volt power from the breakaway battery to the trailer brakes. It will not release the brakes until the pin is reinserted or the battery dies. I do not recommend this as a method of theft prevention or to keep the trailer from rolling. What I do recommend is a lock such as # RA-25. The trailer wheel cannot...
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  • Recommended Trailer Breakaway Kit for 5th Wheel Trailer
  • The trailer breakaway kits we currently offer are very similar to each other and differ only in a few available features and the location to which they are designed to mount. I recommend going with a kit that includes a charger, like the Hopkins Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit # 20099. This is currently our most popular trailer breakaway kit. Along with the built-in battery charger, this kit also features a nice push button tester that lets you know your break away system is ready to go....
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  • Breakaway Pin Melted When Reed Into Breakaway Switch
  • It depends on how long the trailer was sitting there before you reinserted the pin. On a system like the Hopkins Engager # 20099 the battery has a 5 amp-hours capacity so if you were within the 5 hour time limit that would explain why the pin melted. If it melted the whole switch then you can replace it with part # HM20010. Otherwise the replacement cable and pin is part # HM20051. If your trailer had been sitting there for a day or so and your pin was melted then I really am not sure...
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