Brake Controller sees a Wire Short - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-07-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
Member
 
Name: Anne
Trailer: (SOLD)1981 13 ft Burro (Sunny side UP!)
California
Posts: 74
Registry
Now that I finally have the trailer registered I am towing around town to get used to it. On the first day, the brake controller (Tekonsha Prodigy) read .nc., which according to the manual means no trailer connection is seen by the controller. Next day there were no brakes AND no turn signal/running lights. I took the trailer to the shop that installed the new brakes and repaired the trailer wiring. They found no shorts in the trailer wiring. Next took the truck to the UHaul dealer that installed the brake controller. He found a 15amp fuse burnt out in the trailer turn slot under the hood. Now I have lights but still no connection from the brake controller. He didn't have the fuse to replace the relay containing the electric brake fuse, so on to the Nissan dealer. They checked the elecric brake fuse (a 30amp) and it checked out fine. I hooked up again yesterday. I have lights but when I applied brakes while idling I got SH4 from the brake controller. That supposedly means the controller detects a brake wire short while idling. I drove the trailer a few miles and sometimes when I braked I got numbers (presumably showing proportional braking occurring), sometimes a nc code, sometimes SH4. It appears I have a short!

I described the problem to the UHaul guy and I am taking it back this morning to have him check the wiring he installed. If that checks out OK, I will take it to Nissan and have them check the factory wiring (now I find out how good Nissan warranty is). If that checks out OK, I'm stumped! I would take it to a trailer place, but don't have time now before I head out next week. Camping world has a 3 week backlog in their service department! (I thought with the season and the economy, they would be hurting for work!)

Questions:
Any suggestions as to possible causes?

If I can't get the wiring fixed, is it OK to drive to Arizona with the plug in (for lights) but no brake connection? I mean, the trailer stops OK without brakes, but will I be damaging or risking anything if I have no or intermittant connections?
__________________

__________________
Anne Badgley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
Junior Member
 
Trailer: Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 21
Quote:
Now that I finally have the trailer registered I am towing around town to get used to it. On the first day, the brake controller (Tekonsha Prodigy) read .nc., which according to the manual means no trailer connection is seen by the controller. Next day there were no brakes AND no turn signal/running lights. I took the trailer to the shop that installed the new brakes and repaired the trailer wiring. They found no shorts in the trailer wiring. Next took the truck to the UHaul dealer that installed the brake controller. He found a 15amp fuse burnt out in the trailer turn slot under the hood. Now I have lights but still no connection from the brake controller. He didn't have the fuse to replace the relay containing the electric brake fuse, so on to the Nissan dealer. They checked the elecric brake fuse (a 30amp) and it checked out fine. I hooked up again yesterday. I have lights but when I applied brakes while idling I got SH4 from the brake controller. That supposedly means the controller detects a brake wire short while idling. I drove the trailer a few miles and sometimes when I braked I got numbers (presumably showing proportional braking occurring), sometimes a nc code, sometimes SH4. It appears I have a short!

I described the problem to the UHaul guy and I am taking it back this morning to have him check the wiring he installed. If that checks out OK, I will take it to Nissan and have them check the factory wiring (now I find out how good Nissan warranty is). If that checks out OK, I'm stumped! I would take it to a trailer place, but don't have time now before I head out next week. Camping world has a 3 week backlog in their service department! (I thought with the season and the economy, they would be hurting for work!)

Questions:
Any suggestions as to possible causes?

If I can't get the wiring fixed, is it OK to drive to Arizona with the plug in (for lights) but no brake connection? I mean, the trailer stops OK without brakes, but will I be damaging or risking anything if I have no or intermittant connections?
Hello Anne, I feel your pain.
I don't know anything about electrical issues, so I am not able to offer any suggestions or insight to you. These electrical shorts are never easy to deal with. And you are trying to do everything correctly.
Hopefully today will be your lucky day and the cause of the fuse burn etc. will be located.
Good luck and please post how you made out.
Mike
__________________

__________________
Michael W A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Phil Underwood's Avatar
 
Name: Phil
Trailer: Bigfoot 21ft (25B21RB)
Odem,Texas
Posts: 647
Send a message via AIM to Phil Underwood
Here is what you do.. Take your truck and trailer into the dealership and tell them when i plug into this trailer it blows a fuse on my truck. A good tech should be able to find it in a few mins whether the short is on the truck or trailer. We do this all the time at the Ford dealership i work at..
__________________
Phil & Denise Underwood
1997 Bigfoot 21 RB
2002 F-250
Phil Underwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2009, 06:15 AM   #4
Member
 
Name: Anne
Trailer: (SOLD)1981 13 ft Burro (Sunny side UP!)
California
Posts: 74
Registry
Worser and worser!! The installer at UHaul checked the wiring he installed (also showed me, it was very simple, just plugged in OEM Nissan harness that I bought and supplied to factory installed plug) and checked the power with brakes on/off at the outlet on the TV. Everything checked out good. I still had all lights working and no more blown fuses, but still no brakes.
Since I hadn't heard a negative on this, I decided to take off for AZ without brakes. Stopped at a rest stop about 1.5 hours into Illinois, checked connections and felt the trailer wheel hubs. The right hub was warm, but the left was hot. Now, I was driving with the left side of the trailer in the sun, so hmmm... Mind you, I had the bearings and hubs replaced two months before the trip and since then it has been sitting in the driveway. So I drove another hour and felt the hubs again. The left one was too hot to keep my hand on for more than 1-2 seconds. I called nearby Crossroads RV and arranged to tow there after an hour (their techs were out on a call).
When I got there (about 2 miles), they said the hub was no longer hot! But they checked the bearings (well greased), jacked up and turned wheel (freely) and looked at the brake shoes (little wear and properly seated). But with the wheel turning freely there was no response when I touched the truck brakes or used the manual lever on the brake controller. Same results when they hooked up to their truck with a good Prodigy brake controller.
SOOO, I left the trailer with them to replace the Bargman plug and wires back to the brakes on the trailer and came back home for the night.
New problem: the . or .. or .nc(when I pull the manual lever) lights on the controller were green but now are red. I can't find any reference to color in the manual. Today I will call Tekonsha tech support to see if they have any word.
EDIT- I just played the video for the Prodigy and it shows the numbers in red, so either I imagined the green, or it is supposed to be green when not connected. The video shows changing the power from 1 to above 7, but my controller will not go below 6.1 when I try to set the power. I am starting to suspect a bad controller (one of the options listed in the FAQ at Tekonsha website). I think I will unplug the controller and continue on after the rewire.

Another question: what ELSE could cause the hub to heat up besides loss of bearing grease or dragging brakes?
__________________
Anne Badgley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2009, 06:26 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
John Hussey's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 2000 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
Florida
Posts: 169
Anne:
It sure sounds like you have the gremlin from hell hitching a ride in your RV setup. It will likely turn out to be just a simple fix and I do hope you find it soon. Were it me, I'd be pulling my short hair out by now, one at the time!
__________________
John Hussey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2009, 02:49 PM   #6
Member
 
Name: Anne
Trailer: (SOLD)1981 13 ft Burro (Sunny side UP!)
California
Posts: 74
Registry
Since I couldn't get any satisfaction from the checks that I had in Indy, I decided to go to Arizona as is. In Effingham, IL I took the trailer to Crossroads RV to have the bearings checked (post in owners helping owners forum) and had them check the brake wiring while I was there. They felt that the Bargman plug on the trailer side was bad, so replaced it with new plug and cord. They also replaced the wiring back to the brakes, where they found the black ground wire was attached at the brake end, but when they traced it to the front it was not attached to anything. After replacing the ground, cord and plug, I finally got a connected message and brake response from the controller!
However, after driving for two days I started noticing alternating codes indicating, sometimes an overload (that's what the owner's manual says, I don't know what is meant by an overload); sometimes SH meaning wire short; sometimes nc for no connection; and most of the time a c for connection and proportional numbers during braking. So I still haven't fixed the whole problem. Next is to call Prodigy.
At least I am now safely in my driveway at my Arizona house. I had a GREAT time sleeping in my Burro on the way! Now I have all winter to repair and modify.
__________________
Anne Badgley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
DonDeutsch's Avatar
 
Trailer: Cloud 13 ft and Compact Jr
Minnesota
Posts: 328
In and emergency, if that hub gets hot again disconnect the trailer wiring. You are energizing the brakes and draging them causing the hub to heat up. It will cool quickly whilte towing. Please be aware that you don't have trailer lights at this point and don't do it at night!
__________________
DonDeutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
pjanits's Avatar
 
Name: Pete
Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
Tennessee
Posts: 881
I pulled my 13' Burro without the brakes hooked up for about 4 years, went out to Yellowstone and back. Unless you have a panic stop situation you will be fine. Of course I had an Astro van which is a bit heavier than the Burro.
You can just disconnect the brake controller until you find the short.
I would examine the wires where they come out of the brake drum and go around the axle arm first.
That's where my wires were sheared off when I got the trailer.
In your situation I would just run new wires.
__________________
pjanits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 06:18 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Myron Leski's Avatar
 
Name: Myron
Trailer: 19' Escape
NM
Posts: 664
Registry
Ditto that. My 1981 Burro has brakes but they have never been used, since the previous owner cut the wires and I have no brake controller in my tow. I noticed this when I first replaced the bearings. Have never had a problem stopping. Never been an issue.
__________________

__________________
Myron Leski is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brake Controller Bill Reilly Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 6 03-13-2010 10:54 AM
Brake Controller Gary Seronik Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 10 05-06-2008 04:13 PM
Brake controller Dan Simon Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 8 07-30-2006 03:57 PM
Brake Controller JOHN PAUL EVANS General Chat 0 05-03-2006 12:52 PM
Brake Controller Legacy Posts Modifications, Alterations and Updates 0 02-13-2003 05:20 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.