Scamp 5er brake wiring - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-01-2013, 11:05 AM   #1
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Name: David
Trailer: Escape Trailers
Massachusetts
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Scamp 5er brake wiring

I recently hooked up our Scamp 5th Wheel and realized that the brake controller lights weren't coming on. I saw some corrosion on the trailer side plug, tried to clean it, and got no light. I ordered and replaced the trailer side plug, still no light. Took the Frontier to the mechanic who had installed the brake controller and tv-side plug. He checked them out by connecting a headlight to the plug and got the brake controller lights to come on. Problem evidently with the Scamp, eh?

I checked the wiring coming into the Scamp and saw no problem, but noted that the blue wire changed to a different blue at this point. I crawled under the Scamp and noticed a small block attached to a red wire hanging down from a taped bundle which also contained the new blue colored wire. On further inspection, I saw where a screw that had been screwed into the frame had broken off. I also noted that the same had happened on the other side. I'm off to Lowes to get a tool to make threads and some stainless screws. It seems like this should solve my problem.

My question is, is this a common occurrence? We live in MA where rust is always a possibility.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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A poor ground of the trailer brakes can/will result in problems with functioning of the trailer brakes. I had an intermittent issue and found taking off and replacing all the connections on the trailer brakes and redoing the ground (wire to the frame) was the answer. Corrosion on the connections is a common issue over time. Using shrink tubing over any trailer wiring connections you can helps avoid future issues.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
Kansas
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I ditched those pieces you're talking about, and ran a ground straight to the brakes with uninsulated crimp connectors and marine adhesive heatshrink on the connections. I ran a separate one to the frame, and then rtv'd over it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Like Jared, I ran both wires (power and ground) to the plug, not depending on the frame... except that I didn't bother with also tying the ground side of the brake wiring to the frame. Going through the frame works, but almost guarantees those rust problems.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #5
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I didn't tie the brake wiring to the frame. The old brake wiring grounded to the frame and brakes with that screw type junction block. I ran a new dedicated ground to the brakes, and a dedicated one to the frame.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #6
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Name: David
Trailer: Escape Trailers
Massachusetts
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It worked

I tapped 1/4"x20 threads into the frame and bolted the blocks to the frame with a stainless bolts and lock washers, which should hold up longer than the #10 sheet metal screws that the factory used. The brake control lights are back so I should be safely back on the road. I'm electrically challenged so some of the suggested alternate solutions are a bit over my head.
Thanks for your responses,
David
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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Glad to hear the simple solution of fixing up the ground worked ;-)
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