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Old 06-17-2014, 02:42 PM   #1
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Blue Ox Apollo Break Away not working

Hi all,

HAs anyone had issues with their Apollo Brake system break away not working? After I have the unit charged up with air and all things in place. I can now pull the break away plugs out of the unit without the car brakes being engaged.

I first noticed this failure when I had stopped and the BA cable had disconnected sometime after I made a few sharp turns into an RV resort. The Brake system still works, but not the break away feature.

Thanks
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:11 PM   #2
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The breakaway switch is pretty simple. A plastic plug is between two contacts. When the plug is pulled out by the cable connected to the back of the tow vehicle, the contacts close and a circuit is completed to the brake box and brakes are applied.

With the plug pulled, check that the contacts are closed with a multimeter set on ohms at the plugs. Dirt, corrosion, etc. can cause the contacts to fail to close and the breakaway switch to malfunction. Check that the two wires from the switch to the plugs that go into your Apollo Brake System are whole and complete. Check that connecting the two plug sockets at the Apollo applies the brakes. If it checks out, then replace the breakaway switch.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
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the unit was completely rusted out...replaced it. Works great now.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:09 AM   #4
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This is a good reminder to all of us that it's a good idea to test our breakaway switch from time to time. We check lights and brake function every time we tow, but I can't remember the last time I checked the breakaway. That is now on my list to do before the next time we tow.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:41 AM   #5
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I know its the "law" in most states and Canada but I still shake my head over the BA concept. Because the coiled cable for the BA is much longer than the safety cables or chains by design, your tow could become detached from your coach, for whatever reason, and it would bang against the rear of your coach like a battering ram on a slinky. The only time the BA will engage is if the coiled cable somehow gets intangled prematurely in the broken hitch, or the tow actually broke the safety cables.
Recently on IRV2, I have seen some face plates torn completely away from the towed frame, leaving the tow bar, the safety cables, and the BA intacted on the face plate. Agree, spend some time making sure the BA is working but spend more time inspecting the tow bar, face plate and frame for any cracks or fatique....
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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If your safety cables are still intact, then the towed vehicle hasn't really broken away. It's still being controlled by the tow vehicle. Yes, there will be damage to the back of the tow vehicle, but not as bad as if the trailer had broken away completely. I hope your not suggesting the break away system isn't better than none at all.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:08 AM   #7
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Hope has nothing to do with it--I was simply commenting on my surprise when I learned that "break away" really meant break away. I was simply wondering out loud what would happen if the BA was designed to activate after the hitch failed BUT before the safety cables broke loose. After experiencing a hitch failure at low speed, I can tell you that once the hitch fails, you are not in "control" of the towed vehicle, except in the simplest of terms.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:41 AM   #8
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A much more complicated break away system would be needed to detect hitch failure. Making the cable shorter wouldn't do it.
I hooked up my toad in front of my son's house, pulled away and had to go over a speed bump, a deep gutter at the end of the street, and a right turn. Suddenly my dash indicator for toad brakes started blinking red, the brakes were on. I stopped and found the BA line had been caught and pulled by the movements of the vehicles in less than a block. I reset the switch and got much more careful in the routing of the safety cables, power umbilical, and BA cable, all of which are coiled to keep off the road. Loops must have tangled and pulled the break away cable.
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