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Old 05-01-2016, 07:06 PM   #1
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Default Important information about the Breakaway switch - Please read

I just discovered that the only way the breakaway switch will function on my 2010 FF 189FBR, is if the electrical power for the entire camper is turned on. I would have never thought that turning power on to the interior of the camper was a prerequisite for towing. I've had several other campers from different manufactures, and all had their breakaway switches wired directly from the battery. Why would Cruser assume that we would want the power turned on in the camper when towing? I discover this when I was greasing the wheel hubs. While the trailer was still jacked up I decided to check breakaway switch. I pulled the pin, and nothing happened, the wheel still spun freely. Then when I turned on the main power switch on in the front cargo area, the brake was engaged. Turning off the power switch and the brake would disengaged again. Anyway, I'm not sure if all models are this way, but if you are towing and you have your power switched off in your the camper, you may have deactivated the breakaway function For me, I have decided to wire the breakaway switch directly from the battery, so I know it will engage whenever the pin is pulled regardless if the power in the camper is on or off.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:59 AM   #2
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What you stated above is true.....in my XT276 too.

I've never owned a camper before this one and it was NOT told to me when purchasing or during the walk thru but the dealer did leave the switch in the on or 'pulled out' position which I noticed when we got home.

When traveling, I usually leave the frig running to keep things cold so always having the switch on is no big deal. Plus, when parked at home or campsite and hooked to shore power, with the switch on allows the battery to take a full charge ~ so have always left the switch on.

Several years ago when reading posts on this site, it was stated turning the switch off would discontinue power to the brakes when traveling so my choice to leave the switch on was the correct one.
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
What you stated above is true.....in my XT276 too.

I've never owned a camper before this one and it was NOT told to me when purchasing or during the walk thru but the dealer did leave the switch in the on or 'pulled out' position which I noticed when we got home.

When traveling, I usually leave the frig running to keep things cold so always having the switch on is no big deal. Plus, when parked at home or campsite and hooked to shore power, with the switch on allows the battery to take a full charge ~ so have always left the switch on.

Several years ago when reading posts on this site, it was stated turning the switch off would discontinue power to the brakes when traveling so my choice to leave the switch on was the correct one.
Yep, Yep, same here Eagle... My trailer 12 volt power, and brakes work if connected to my TV and/or Battery switch is "ON". However, IF disconnected from the TV AND the battery switch is "OFF", the brakes will not work! Therefore, like you, I leave the battery switch "ON" for charging, refrigerator, AND to ensure trailer brakes work in the horrible event of a break-away... AN IMPORTANT NOTE: IF PARKED, TV DISCONNECTED, AND BATTERY SWITCH IS "ON", AND SOMEONE PULLS THE BREAKAWAY PIN, THE BRAKES WILL BE ENGAGED, AND THE BATTERY CAN BE DISCHARGED.

Happy camping... We hope to get out by late May... Remodeling projects at home...
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for confirmation guys. Anyway, as mentioned earlier, I think I'm going to wire the brakeaway switch directly from the battery. It a pretty easy fix by adding a 20 amp fuse from the battery to the switch, then to the wheels. For me, the chances of pulling the pin by accident are pretty remote, and I like the idea of knowing that it is always active, whether the power is on or off in the trailer.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:58 PM   #5
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For what its worth, I can confirm that my 2012 FF 214WSD is the same. The breakaway switch will NOT activate the brakes if the electrical system has been switched off inside the trailer. (and you loose power from the towing vehicle during a "breakaway" event)

Pretty dangerous that there is no mention of this in any manual, and never mentioned during any new owner orientation. In fact I seem to recall the dealer telling me it didn't matter what position the battery switch was in when plugged into the tow vehicle. Sort of true except during an (allbiet unlikely) event of a full breakaway.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:06 PM   #6
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We too always leave the power "on". Paul also made an aluminum angle to prevent the switch from being bumped by cargo shifting. Ours is in the front storage bay.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:10 PM   #7
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As mentioned earlier, I ended up by-passing the main switch and wired the brake away switch directly from the battery with a resetting 30 amp breaker.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:11 PM   #8
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Our T139 is the same, the battery disconnect has to be on for the brake switch to work.
Since the last thing you would want to do is hit the TV brakes hard during a hitch failure, the trailer should always power the breakaway system and the "breakaway" switch pull wire should be adjusted to be slightly shorter than the safety chains. That way the brakes will activate while the safety chains are still connected. It's not only safer but the best hope of maintaining control.
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:45 PM   #9
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newby here.... I just bought a used FF 18FB where is this 'power on' switch we are speaking of??? Is it indie the outside access side storage area? Or on the breaker panel inside the trailer.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:36 PM   #10
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newby here.... I just bought a used FF 18FB where is this 'power on' switch we are speaking of??? Is it indie the outside access side storage area? Or on the breaker panel inside the trailer.
Unsure on your unit but in the XT276 it is on the panel with the water pump, lights and fresh/black/gray water monitor just inside the door on the side of the sink cabinet.

Yours however, may be located in a storage area or ??

Someone with a FF18FB will be along to post soon, I'm sure. Or, call your selling dealer or previous owner if purchased from a PP.
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:32 PM   #11
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In my 189 FBR, the switch in located inside the front storage area and can be seen by lifting the passenger side outer door. The switch is on the floor sort of right in the middle and in our case it is a push off pull on type switch mounted horizontally with a bulky cover around the wiring. It is easy for something to jostle around and hit the switch thus killing the power so I rigged mine so that it can not be shut off with out a screwdriver.
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:37 PM   #12
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Here's the switch that is most common on travel trailers. (the one on the right)

Many are on the same panel as all the other switches such as lights, water pump, etc, but this is probably the one you are looking for, wherever it may be in your trailer.
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiverRick View Post
Here's the switch that is most common on travel trailers. (the one on the right)

Many are on the same panel as all the other switches such as lights, water pump, etc, but this is probably the one you are looking for, wherever it may be in your trailer.
THANKS!!!! I don't have one of those... I had to put a disconnect right on the battery terminal, so I'm good to go (I think!) I'm going to test it with my voltage tester to make sure it's getting power when it's hooked up and NOT getting it when I disconnect the battery.

Also, my interior propance detector is hooked up to the battery so that it still works when I am camping without electrical. Could this be a US/Can difference? (I'm required to have the propane detector hard wired to the battery here)
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:09 PM   #14
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I believe ours is too.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:29 AM   #15
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thanks! Chirpz, I will double check the passenger side storage as well. There is some electrical in there for sure -- I am trying to figure out why the lights over the bed don't work and thought they might be linked to that, so I'm bringing my voltage/amp/testers out to try and track down which fuse is tied to what...
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