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Old 04-20-2016, 10:12 AM   #15
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From the folks at Etrailer.com

A breakaway system should engage if the vehicle becomes separated completely from the RV meaning the safety chains/cables have also failed and the toad or trailer is no longer tethered to the RV.

The issue is that if the chains or cables are still attached but the breakaway system engages you could be dragging the toad or trailer and not even realize it instead of it just coming to a stop on its own as if it were braking like normal (relatively normal would be more accurate).

With a trailer, depending on its size, it would be easier to realize if the brakes were engaged than it would be with a Class A diesel pusher and a toad.

That might be where the name breakaway came from: the trailer (or vehicle) has broken away for the tow vehicle and is on its own!

Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 DSDP 4320, Spartan MM IFS, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1, Samsung 197R Refer.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Blackey Cole View Post
My thoughts on activating the safety brake for a trailer that's going to did down with the tough of the two wheel trailers it needs to be ativated ASAP because if the younger dids in the trail it doing something bad. Imo

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Old 04-20-2016, 11:30 AM   #17
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WOW, great discussion.
I think what is still not completely known and probably different on each set-up is how hard are the brakes applied when the breakaway is activated?

AND the odds are that you would have a single arm failure before a complete detachment of both arms (I came close to losing one hitch pin).

If the toad is still attached via one arm or safety cables, then you probably still have the toad brakes connected to the coach brakes. (I need to do some measuring).

One thing I have never figured out is if my toad brakes are balanced with the coach brakes. With AF1, where you attach the air cylinder actuator determines how much leverage (brake force) gets applied. The toad could be trying to stop the coach, or the toad brakes could be too light and not have a big effect.


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Old 04-20-2016, 12:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Blackey Cole View Post
My thoughts on activating the safety brake for a trailer that's going to did down with the tough of the two wheel trailers it needs to be ativated ASAP because if the younger dids in the trail it doing something bad. Imo

Terry & Alice
2006 Bounder 38L DP
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:11 AM   #19
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My whole point for starting this thread was the simple premise that if you lost the toad and it were only connected to the coach by the safety cables, in a perfect world, you would feel or see what was occurring. In that situation, if the breakaway system was activated, the toad would stay at the end of the safety cables and you could come to a stop without the toad slamming into the back of the coach. Just in the specific case of tow bar failure. As for putting too much stress on the hitch, if it's rated for 5,000 lbs, it should be able to handle the strain of dragging the toad for a bit. We won't even get into not knowing what's going on back there. Having never had a DP, I can't speak from experience.
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:13 PM   #20
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Safety Cables and Breakaway Switch

IMO, the priorities are 1) prevent danger to a) those nearby or b) self; and 2) control of the toad. Also consider an item not yet mentioned-- the umbilical, which may or may not remain attached.

If you detach from the hitch but safeties remain, the toad is still attached, still under some control and may or may not have braking from the coach. But it can be stopped, albeit with some possible damage to coach and/toad. But you can prevent it from endangering those around you, which is the first priority.

If the toad detaches and the safeties break, then the toad is out of control and must be stopped immediately. So if the breakaway tether is 6-12 inches longer than the safeties, all the above requirements are met.

If the toad is tethered, stop the coach. If the toad is not tethered, lock the toad brakes.

John & Diane, fulltiming since '12
'02 DS, FL, Cat, '04 Element
John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:18 PM   #21
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Some very interesting thoughts here--shortly after getting my Blue Ox tow bar and Brake Buddy aux brake system, I wondered the same thing as the OP. Facts are: 1] the lanyard is coiled to provide max length for any application/tow bar. 2] the lanyard is not designed to be adjusted to a fixed length, and no instructions came from the manufacturer explaining how to do so. 3] In the unlikely event of a total separation, it is likely the toad's frame components failed [see pics on IRV2]. Therefore, it is also likely the pull tab on the toad will go with the front bumper--ie, no break away deployment.

Bottomline: manufacturers have designed these systems and provided detailed instructions on their installation and operation. If you see fit to alter the installation or operation of these products, you might be doing so so at your own risk.

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