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Old 09-04-2018, 07:59 AM   #1
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Travel Trailer- no brakes

I have a 2016 Dutchman Aerolite 174e. It's been kind of a nightmare, something seems to be always broken.

This year, the brakes stopped working on a trip cross country. If I pull the brake controller to full brakes, absolutely nothing happens. I know my vehicle is fine because I've towed my sister's trailer with no issues. (And, I've towed this with another vehicle.)

I don't see any fuses related to the brakes and my googling has struck out.

Any basic tips on some simple fixes on would be super appreciated!
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:02 AM   #2
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There is a fuse in your tow vehicle for the brake line, but if it was blown then they wouldn't work with the other trailer.

The problem is in the wiring for your trailer. Get your multimeter out and start tracing. Do your trailer brakes actuate when you pull the disconnect cable pin out?
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response! Since it is in storage, I will have to go test and report back in a few days, but pulling the pin seems like a good test to see if it's the wiring between the trailer and vehicle.

I'm good with a multimeter but not really clear on how these brakes work? Where is the device that triggers the brakes electronically? I'm much more familiar with hydraulic brakes.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Thanks for the response! Since it is in storage, I will have to go test and report back in a few days, but pulling the pin seems like a good test to see if it's the wiring between the trailer and vehicle.

I'm good with a multimeter but not really clear on how these brakes work? Where is the device that triggers the brakes electronically? I'm much more familiar with hydraulic brakes.
That device should be mounted close to the driver, where the manual apply can be grabbed if the trailer starts to sway.
The first thing I would check is be sure the ground on the TV plug is in fact grounded. Then I would check that the voltage at the brake plug increase as a helper moves the manual lever.
Once I was sure the TV was good I would hunt for the open between brake and ground on light cord...
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:53 AM   #5
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Probably a broken wire at the plug. Locate the wire for the brakes, you can google the wireing diagram, check for voltage while stepping on the brakes. Work from there.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1115 View Post
I have a 2016 Dutchman Aerolite 174e. It's been kind of a nightmare, something seems to be always broken.

This year, the brakes stopped working on a trip cross country. If I pull the brake controller to full brakes, absolutely nothing happens. I know my vehicle is fine because I've towed my sister's trailer with no issues. (And, I've towed this with another vehicle.)

I don't see any fuses related to the brakes and my googling has struck out.

Any basic tips on some simple fixes on would be super appreciated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1115 View Post
Thanks for the response! Since it is in storage, I will have to go test and report back in a few days, but pulling the pin seems like a good test to see if it's the wiring between the trailer and vehicle.

I'm good with a multimeter but not really clear on how these brakes work? Where is the device that triggers the brakes electronically? I'm much more familiar with hydraulic brakes.
What were you pulling on? That should be the brake controller. Once your brake lights come on the controller uses inertia to determine how much voltage/current to send to the trailer brakes, unless you activate the trailer brakes manually with a lever or slide which you should do as a check every time you hook up and start to tow.
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:40 PM   #7
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What were you pulling on? That should be the brake controller. Once your brake lights come on the controller uses inertia to determine how much voltage/current to send to the trailer brakes, unless you activate the trailer brakes manually with a lever or slide which you should do as a check every time you hook up and start to tow.
I would guess the pull in storage would be the pin for breakaway. The "This year, the brakes stopped working on a trip cross country", and now the trailer is in storage, indicates to me, that like a large percentage of RVers, the OP does not waste much time on pre-trip inspections...
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Old 09-04-2018, 03:54 PM   #8
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The brake controller and vehicle are both fine, there is no reason to test that. I pull another camper and everything works perfectly with that. I also pulled the camper with another vehicle (2017 Ford Expedition with integrated brake controller that works fine) and have no brakes with that vehicle either.

I meant, I don't know where to start looking for voltage on the trailer itself.
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:38 PM   #9
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Take the cover off the trailer plug so you can see the individual wires. If the problem is not obvious, plug it into the truck. Use a test light or volt meter to locate the wire that goes to the wheels. Note the color. Follow the wire checking for power along the way. They use really crappy connectors for splicing the wires. The brake wire should be on pin 2. Usually blue.
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:53 PM   #10
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Great advice, thank you!
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:57 PM   #11
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If that trailer frame is made by Lippert, you should check to see if the brake shoes are contaminated with grease. It has been a frequent problem with their units. The grease blows past the seals and gets imbedded on the shoes. They cannot be cleaned, they need to be replaced. If it is grease, they have been doing reimbursements in many situations.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:55 PM   #12
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The brakes are actuated by an electromagnet inside your hubs. The wires come into the back side of the hub by the axle. Check to see if you have voltage there while someone presses on the brakes. There will be wires going into each hub.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:12 PM   #13
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Got as far as verifying the brakes are getting power and making a 'clank' sound when the brakes were engaged. I took it out this weekend and the leaf spring snapped.

My luck sucks.

I'm going to have the suspension 'beefed up'.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:56 PM   #14
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Got as far as verifying the brakes are getting power and making a 'clank' sound when the brakes were engaged. I took it out this weekend and the leaf spring snapped.

My luck sucks.

I'm going to have the suspension 'beefed up'.
Clank? Maybe just need to WAIT A MINUTE! You took it out again with the brakes not working? Grab the fork, I'm done...
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