Break away cables - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-24-2016, 08:30 PM   #1
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Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
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Break away cables

I'm just wondering. When Scamp installs brakes on a 13 foot trailer, do they include a break away system?

I'm finally going to have my new axle with brakes installed this coming Monday, but I haven't talked to them about a break away cable. Is this absolutely standard? Or optional? I know it's a good idea, but assume it can be added at any time?

Already want to add in having them take a close look at the frame where the A bend is, since my understanding is that is where stress fractures often develop. I haven't seen any, but I did not have the trailer on a hoist and I'm no metal expert.

Just wondering if the break away is considered standard when brakes are added?
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:59 PM   #2
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Trailer: Uhaul
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Laws concerning a trailer breakaway system can vary State to State. YOUR States laws will dictate what equipment you must have. Most States require a trailer breakaway system for trailers equipped with brakes. I doubt there are significant differences between the States concerning trailer safety requirements. As is always the case check the laws regarding registration and safety requirements in your state of residence.

Here is an example using the laws in the State of Tennessee with regard to trailer brake requirements and trailer breakaway system requirements:

DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY
TENNESSEE HIGHWAY PATROL
TRAILER INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS
BRAKES: (TCA 55-9-204) (FMCSR 393.42;393.43)
1.)
Trailers with a gross weight of 3,000 lbs. or more are required to have brakes on ALL WHEELS.
2.)
Trailer with a gross weight of 1,500 to 3,000 lbs. are required to have brakes on ONE axle.
3.)
Trailers with a gross weight of less than 1,500 lbs. need NOT be equipped with brakes.
BRAKE LININGS: (FMCSR 393.47)
1.) Brake lining shall be replaced if thickness is 5/16 inches or less at center of shoe.
2.) Check linings or pads to be firmly attached to the shoe and not saturated with oil, grease or brake fluid.
3.)
Linings or pads saturated with oil, grease or brake fluid that can not be cleaned must be replaced.
BRAKE DRUMS: (FMCSR 393.47)
1.)
Drums will be rejected if there are cracks other than short hairline heat cracks.
BREAK-AWAY EMERGENTY BRAKING SYSTEM:
(TCA 55-9-204) (FMCSR 393.207)
1)
Trailers equipped with brakes are required to have an emergency break-away braking device.
SPRING ASSEMBLY: (FMCSR 393.207)
1.)
Spring assemblies shall not have any broken leaves.
2.)
Spring hangers shall not be broken or loose.
AXLE ASSEMBLY: (FMCSR 393.207)
1.)
U-bolts shall not be cracked, broken or loose.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:01 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Many states require a breakaway switch and cable activation. A breakaway switch is easy to install and very inexpensive. I would recommend that find one with the coil cable.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:46 PM   #4
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Uhaul
Tennessee
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Yes the states honor the laws concerning registration in your state of residence. Some states do impose their laws rules concerning safety requirements on out of state visitors.

California is bad about this practice. Example is towing a 15K GVRW rated trailer with a 10K GVRW truck. They will shut you down in a minute as the trailer capacity cannot exceed the tow vehicle GVRW.

Another interesting California law is their trailer weight ratings for Semi Motorsports trailers. Ever wonder about the spread axle arrangement on Semi NASCAR trailers? Has to do with the weight loading of the trailer. California didn't like em and barred them from entering the state. They then realized the monetary impact Motorsports has in their state and made an exception for Motorsports Semi trailers with the spread axle arrangement.

One simple thing a lot of troopers look for on trailers are safety chains. For the trooper it's easy to see when passing a trailer and a good reason to stop you for a look and chat. Safety chains should be on any trailer regardless of requirements.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:26 PM   #5
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 16' Scamp
Washington (dry side)
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Not standard 16' 2014 Scamp

Scamp did not include a breakaway switch for the electric brakes on my 2014 16' bought new from scamp. It appears it is not required in Minnesota. It is required in Washington state so I added one. It is easy to add and does make the system safer.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:57 PM   #6
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
I'm just wondering. When Scamp installs brakes on a 13 foot trailer, do they include a break away system?

I'm finally going to have my new axle with brakes installed this coming Monday, but I haven't talked to them about a break away cable. Is this absolutely standard? Or optional? I know it's a good idea, but assume it can be added at any time?

Already want to add in having them take a close look at the frame where the A bend is, since my understanding is that is where stress fractures often develop. I haven't seen any, but I did not have the trailer on a hoist and I'm no metal expert.

Just wondering if the break away is considered standard when brakes are added?
Breakaway switches are not supplied on the Scamp13. Of course one can be added for under $10 if desired.

Stress fractures are the result of stress over time, of course look the whole trailer over when you pick it up anyway.
Older trailers had a thinner gauge steel frame tubing, and only a few developed frame cracks over decades of use.
Modern Scamps have a heavier gauge tubing and are not commonly subject to cracking.

Of course with determination over time anything can be broken...
Whoops there goes .....Dam!

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Old 03-25-2016, 07:54 AM   #7
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Name: Lyle
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Floyd,

Mine is a 1999. Does that qualify as an "older" or "modern" in regard to the frame? Do you know when they beefed up the frame? Same time as the new molds after the fire?

Just wondering.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:55 AM   #8
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Hi Floyd,

Regarding the breakaway switch, might you recommend one? Is power supplied from the house battery or do you need a separate battery? How is it installed?

Cheers!


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:16 AM   #9
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Since Autozone is everywhere and easy to access here is a link to Autozone and their trailer breakaway kits.

Break Away Kit at AutoZone.com - Best Break Away Kit Products for Cars, Trucks & SUVS
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:05 AM   #10
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Here's what I use. I like the coiled cable. A few years ago there was a trailer car crash caused by a dragging breakaway switch cable. This keeps the cable off the ground. Search for "Zip breakaway switch"
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
Floyd,

Mine is a 1999. Does that qualify as an "older" or "modern" in regard to the frame? Do you know when they beefed up the frame? Same time as the new molds after the fire?

Just wondering.
I was using vague generalities for a reason...
I can't say for sure, but I'd say it was much earlier,probably about the time when they switched from the 1200# axle to the 2200# axle. I think it is safe to say that all preratfur trailers had the lighter gauge steel.
There is no documentation or records on the subject, so the exact year would be hard to ascertain. The frame shop was off campus at the time of the fire and thus unaffected.
My guess is that your trailer would have both the heavier gauge steel and the bigger axle.
BTW, does your trailer have a leading or trailing arm axle? I have seen leading arms as late as 2001 and I suspect that was not a clean transition either.
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:38 AM   #12
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
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I installed the same switch Byron listed. I was told they were required in California, but didn't verify that.
Whether or not the switch is beneficial is a matter of luck when the trailer becomes unattached, and where other cars are situated.
A trailer suddenly stopping will wake up the following drivers in a hurry with no brake lights.
Likewise a trailer zigzagging across the interstate at full speed would not be the best thing either.
The best medicine is to keep your coupler in good shape, adjusted and double check your actions when hooking up.
If the whole front A frame breaks off the trailer the battery will likely be disabled and the brakes won't function. Periodic inspection for cracks in that area would be a good idea. Look for rust lines on the painted surface.
Some manufacturers use a simple butt welded miter joint at the A frame junction with no fish plate reinforcement. Pretty iffy....

Russ
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
Hi Floyd,

Regarding the breakaway switch, might you recommend one? Is power supplied from the house battery or do you need a separate battery? How is it installed?

Cheers!


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
If you have a house battery it can be used to supply the power. If I were to recommend one, it would be to buy the cheapest one on E-bay.
Simple instructions come with the switch. It is simply a switch which breaks a wire coming from the house battery to the brake power supply wire. The switch is connected to the TV via a cable which would close the switch when it is pulled, presumably by the accidental disconnect of the trailer while it is being towed.

It could also be activated manually if you were moving the trailer around by hand it started to get away from you.
It also might be activated by road debris or negligent cable routing.
Care must be taken in this regard.

Disclosure...
I don't have one on my trailer, but it might be worth the the cost and the additional tongue weight. You decide!



This ain't the best but it wasn't hard to find...
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:08 AM   #14
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Name: Lyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Here's what I use. I like the coiled cable. A few years ago there was a trailer car crash caused by a dragging breakaway switch cable. This keeps the cable off the ground. Search for "Zip breakaway switch"
I have one ordered from Amazon. Thanks
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