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Old 03-27-2011, 11:29 PM   #1
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Unified Tow Brake - Problems

I'm towing a Honda CRV with my 2000 Tradewinds. I have used this Unified Tow Brake system for 5 years now and it's a great braking system.

Recently I noticed a high pitched beeping coming from the brake controller on the motorhome dash. Normally there is a green power light on the controller and when I hear the beep this light flashes. The beep will come and go and sometimes the green light will go out all together. I can't do anything to get it to come back on but so far it has always come back on its own. When the unit is beeping and I apply the brakes I see 3 red lights next to the green light. During normal braking the number of these red lights will vary depending on how hard I am braking and how I have set the "gain" knob on the controller.

Ultimately when I have these problems, I stop the rig, unplug the 7-wire cable connecting the MH and the Honda. Then I reconnect the cable and hit the road. Things then work for varying periods of time until the problem begins again.

Any ideas as to where my problem lies? The controller? The cable? Somewhere else? Again, maybe someone out there has experienced the same problem and can
point me in the right direction.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-28-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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Sounds like you've found the problem (7 pin plug connection). In a recent thread a member had purchased a gun cleaning brush (.22 cal) and used it to clean the plugs. Electronic "contact cleaner" should also help.
If the problem continues, US Gear was very helpful when I installed ours.
Hal & Ginny Miller '04 Beaver Santiam PRT40
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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The BEEPING means that the TC-6000 (The small thing in your motor home with the LED's on it) has detected an error, There are two common errors.

Loss of voltage from the controller in the towed, and break-away set.

In the US-Gear system, unlike say, a Tekonsha Prodigy feeding trailer brakes, the voltage on the brake control line comes not from the Towing vehicle, but rather from the towed (ok, so the towing replenshises the power but hey that's a PLUS on this sytem)

If you, while disconnected, were to volt-meter wires from the US gear on the towed you'd find full towed battery voltage on red wire (WHich is the battery wire after all) and likely about 10 volts on the other wire (I think it's blue without looking)

IF you were to use a variable resistor to slowly "Load" this line you'd find that at around 9 volts (As I recall) the vacuum pump starts to pump on the towed, and as you lower the voltage even more the brakes apply.. It should NEVER get to zero less you pop the break-away (And I'm not sure than)

When the TC-6000 beeps, it means "The voltage is lower than 10.x and I'm not calling for brakes just now.. SOMETHING IS WRONG!.

IT's that simple.

By the way.. If you want my opinion of that system.. There is none better.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by H. Miller View Post
Sounds like you've found the problem (7 pin plug connection). In a recent thread a member had purchased a gun cleaning brush (.22 cal) and used it to clean the plugs. Electronic "contact cleaner" should also help.
If the problem continues, US Gear was very helpful when I installed ours.
When mine does the beeping it has been the plug connection. I spray both ends, car end and plug end with contact cleaner and it goes away. I have started using the contact cleaner more often and not waiting for the beeping to start and I haven't had the problem.

I love the braking system.
Linda, Robin & Buddee(Cavalier)
09 Fleetwood Fiesta 29', 08 Vue Demco/UBS
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
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Hi rvjimzhr,
I also have had the system for 5+ years. If you pull out the break away plug do you hear the pump? If no, you'll need a new "brain" that is located up under the dash of the toad. If the pump begins to operate, then the problem is found in the previous posts. For me, I've replaced the umbilical cord between the coach and toad on two occasions. The third time I made the conversion to use the single cable mentioned in the previous posts. Take the umbilical apart and tighten the small screws that hold the wires. Also, check the mating connector on the coach and toad. You'll need to dismount the connectors and make sure their wires are tightly connected.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:02 AM   #6
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I had the same thing happen a couple years ago. Take the connectors apart on both ends of your wiring cable and also on the motorhome and tow vehicle connectors. Check the wiring and screws that hold them to make sure they have a good contact. One of the wires was a little loose and I could see corrosion due to the loose wire. Cleaned it good and re-tightened. All's been well since then.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:26 AM   #7
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Better late than never. LOL. Shortly after I started this thread I parked my rig and, for health and and other reasons, didn't move it until just recently. And I forgot all about this issue. So a belated thanks to those of you who have contributed! I got what has been described to me as "conductive grease" and applied it to the male ends of the connection on the coach and the toad. VOILA! Just finished a pre-winter shakedown trip and NO BEEPING. So I'll cross my fingers and hope its a long while before I have to try other more involved cures. I do love this Unified system.
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