Breakaway Kit Installation for Single and Dual Brake Axle Trailers

Breakaway kits are designed to bring trailers safely to a stop by activating the electric brakes should a trailer disconnect from the tow vehicle during transit. Ideally, the safety chains will prevent a trailer from disconnecting if the coupler comes off the ball. However, if the safety chains fail, the breakaway kit acts as a last line of defense against a runaway trailer. This type of safety system is required in most states for trailers weighing more than 3,000 lbs.


The following article will describe how to:





The battery box has been mounted to the inside of the trailer frame, adjacent to the trailer connector plug.

Before the breakaway kit installation begins, you will need:


Breakaway Kit Components:





The breakaway switch has been mounted towards the front of the trailer frame, between the rear of the vehicle and the battery box.

Mounting the Breakaway Kit





Hopkins Diagram

Wiring a Breakaway Kit


Breakaway Kit without a Built-in Charger



The first switch wire has been spliced into the blue trailer feed wire.

Hopkins Breakaway Kit with a Built-in Charger

The white wire from the battery charger has been grounded to the trailer frame.



Wiring a Tekonsha or Tow Ready Breakaway Kit with a Built-in Charger


The Six Required Connections:

The first switch wire has been spliced into the blue trailer feed wire.

1. Splice one of the two wires coming out of the breakaway switch into the trailer brake wire running from the trailer connector to the brakes.


The second switch wire has been connected to the positive red post on the battery.

2. Open the battery box and connect the second wire coming out of the switch to the positive post (red) on the battery.


The red and black wires from the charger have been connected to battery.

3. Connect the red wire on the charger to the positive post (red) on the battery.


The white wire from the battery charger has been grounded to the trailer frame.

4. Splice the white wire on the charger into the existing ground wire (usually white) running from the trailer connector to the trailer, or screw the white wire directly to the trailer frame.


The 12 volt hot lead wire from the charger has been spliced into the trailer 12 volt hot lead.

5. Splice or run the 12 volt hot lead (black for Tekonsha, yellow for Tow Ready) on the charger into the 12 volt hot lead running from the trailer connector to the trailer.





Attaching the Cable to the Tow Vehicle

The breakaway switch cable needs to be secured to the vehicle bumper or frame. The cable can be attached in many different ways. The two most common methods are:

The cable pin has been pulled out of the breakaway switch, activating the trailer brakes. The cable pin is passing through the safety chain pocket and the cable loop on its way back to the switch.

Route the pin through the safety chain loops on the hitch or bumper, then through the cable loop


or


Route the pin through a tow hook, then through the cable loop


Notes:







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