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Old 08-26-2015, 07:39 AM   #1
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Trailer Brakes

I tow a 24 ft enclosed trailer behind my AC Tradition motorhome and would like to have the electric brakes work on the trailer. However, hooking up the sender unit has me stumped. The bottom of the RV is completely covered and smooth and there is no obvious way to get wires from the dash to the back end for the brake signal to the trailer as well as getting a brake light signal to the sender unit.I am told that there are extra wires in the loom for that purpose but no one can tell me which wires they are, so wringing out every wire to find them is near impossible.

I am the second owner and have found what looks like a pneumatic or hydraulic quick-disconnect back by the electrical connector to the trailer. Could this be something that is normally used to brake a toad? Some kind of device that applies a force to the brake pedal on a towed car? Can it be converted to an electrical signal to operate electric brakes in a trailer?

If not, then I have to hook up the electrical system. With air brakes, where do you get the brake light signal? Is there a transducer in the air line that gives a brake signal? Any idea where it would be located?

Has anyone tried the wireless sending units for this purpose? Are they reliable and worth the extra money for them?

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:50 AM   #2
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First I would call American Coach as I've never seen one that wasn't pre-wired for trailer brakes. 800-435-7345 and have your vin # handy.
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NHRA225 View Post
First I would call American Coach as I've never seen one that wasn't pre-wired for trailer brakes. 800-435-7345 and have your vin # handy.
I started there, but it was a while ago. Are you thinking that it is pre-wired for an adapter that would plug in like most pick-ups? That would be great.
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:53 PM   #4
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Yes that would be it , like I said I have never seen an A/C that wasn't pre-wired .
That line you have was probably for an auxiliary air brake for a toad .
Let me know what you find out !


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Old 08-26-2015, 11:31 PM   #5
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One question -- are you at all mechanical?? Ever worked on any other vehicle? You're asking some simple questions, that's why I ask.


THe connector in the back, there should be two. One for air in to operate your brakes when the tow truck is hauling your dead mh away (there's one of these in the front, too), and one for air out to power the air brakes in whatever you tow. I don't know any way to convert that air signal to a electric signal.


The brake lights on the mh are activated by a simple switch in the brake pedal itself, usually just a few inches below the pivot point. Should be a hot wire in with 12vdc, and a cold wire out running, probably thru some wonderful electric queep, to your brake lights. Use a test light to find the cold side -- the side that does not illuminate the test light unless the brake pedalis depressed. This will signal your trailer brake controller to do its thing.


Now you need a wire running from the brake controller all the way back to your trailer plug. Look at your plug, use your tester to map the plug -- figure out what each post is for. You'll have a Right Turn, a Left Turn, a Running Light, a Ground (meed an ohmmeter for this), a Hot wire for your breakaway battery on your trailer (Suprise!!) and a Brake Power, usually the center post on a 7 post connector. Your trailer's brake lights are off the Left and Right Turn signals, Brake Power applies the trailer's brakes. Now, open the plug and look at the Brake Power wire. Is it blue with a red stripe?? Whatever color it is in the plug is probably the same as the color under the dash (except motorhomes are designed by engineers and assembled by bugger eating, window licking, can't walk alone or they's wander off, helmet wearing, inbred f*&%$& MORONS.) But go look under the dash for that color wire just hanging there, maybe in a plug with a ground, maybe with your brake signal wire there too!! I know, there's a boat load of useless wires all over these stoopid things, but that's how I'd look for it. Take about a 12 pack and your sweetie will be so proud.


Oh, and don't hook your breakaway cable to anything on your hitch -- common student error. Happy Hunting!
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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One question -- are you at all mechanical?? Ever worked on any other vehicle? You're asking some simple questions, that's why I ask.
I'm kinda mechanical. I have raced a British sports car for over forty years and have done all my own work including motors and racing gearboxes. This is my third RV and I have hooked up the brakes on the previous ones, but this is the first with air brakes.

I saw the quick disconnect for air on the front of the RV but it didn't occur to me that you would need two of them, but that makes sense. By the way, how many towed vehicles have air brakes? Not many I would think.

The trailer lights are all hooked up. I just need the brakes. I have gotten under the dash a couple of times and specifically looked at the brake pedal to see if the light switch operated off of its position, but either I missed it or it doesn't have one. My diesel mechanic may have put me in the wrong direction because he thought the lights operated off of the air system with a transducer. I must not have looked hard enough.

Anyway, thank you for the information. I will check it out when I get back to the motorhome.
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