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Old 11-29-2020, 08:28 PM   #1
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Brake away switch added

I have a 2017 Deluxe 16’ and would like to add a breakaway switch. Two questions.
Where have others made the electrical connection to keep it weather proof, and how is Scamp doing it on the 2021s. (I will be using the house battery.)
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:59 PM   #2
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It is weather proof.
The best ones come with its own battery. The battery charges when connected to the tow vehicle and one that costs just a little more has a charger with it that you plug in to AC voltage. This works if your camper onboard battery is dead.
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Old 11-29-2020, 11:29 PM   #3
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the other end

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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
It is weather proof.
The best ones come with its own battery. The battery charges when connected to the tow vehicle and one that costs just a little more has a charger with it that you plug in to AC voltage. This works if your camper onboard battery is dead.
Where the wires hook up. I already have a battery, no RV adds yet another battery.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:18 AM   #4
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The trouble with using a separate battery for the breakaway is that you may have no way of knowing if it is charged up or not. Or if it is charging from its separate charger, or not. Those little chargers burn out and then do nothing. You will very likely know if your house battery is charged or not, because it is constantly being used when the trailer is used. We all try hard to keep our batteries in good shape and charged. You know if it is charged because things work in the trailer. Also, having a dedicated breakaway battery means more equipment, more expense, and more possible failures, and testing to check on it.

On my new trailer, I disconnected and removed the dedicated breakaway battery and its charger to increase reliability and reduce complication. On some trailers people don't know if they have breakaway batteries because they are mounted in such hidden spots. That means they have no idea if the system is charged up.

Use the house battery for your breakaway power.

On so many trailers, the house batteries are right there on the tongue. Connecting could not be more convenient.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:54 AM   #5
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Wire the positive directly to the battery post. Most even say no fuse.. its the one exception the always fuse rule, although you could use a auto-reset 12 VDC circuit breaker. But the idea of no fuse is that you dont want anything to prevent your last ditch effort (the break-away switch) from saving you from disaster if the trailer separates.

Wire the brake power to the brake-power post in the junction box where the umbilical cord from the tug connects all the trailer's wiring. If you don't have a junction box then you might want to consider one. Scamp builds em with wire nuts connecting the cord to the trailer wiring. A sealed junction box with posts and ring terminals is better (either inside the camper or on the tongue). See https://www.amazon.com/MICTUNING-Way.../dp/B07QDQRX7P

If wire nuts and no junction box then connecting the switch power lead to the brake power wires at the wire nuts will work (as long as you use the right size wire nut for the number of wires).

Wire the ground (if you have one for an indicator light) wherever it is convenient. Even the frame if its grounded. If the ground connection fails the break-away switch still works, its only the little light that wont show the switch was pulled.

And I agree that using a separate battery when you have a house battery that you maintain and don't allow to get discharged is preferable and it eliminates potential failures and expense with the separate battery.
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:33 AM   #6
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I know there will be disagreement over this comment, but those junction boxes are not easy to keep totally weatherproof. The wire entry points are the problem. I have used them and like them, but you are better off if it can be mounted inside or under cover. If outside mounted, wait a year and pull the cover to check it.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:20 AM   #7
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Rats nest

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
I know there will be disagreement over this comment, but those junction boxes are not easy to keep totally weatherproof. The wire entry points are the problem. I have used them and like them, but you are better off if it can be mounted inside or under cover. If outside mounted, wait a year and pull the cover to check it.
Scamp has no junction box, just a rats nest, As for fuses, I would never fun with out a fuse. My brakes draw 7+ amps, so I will fuse at double and the fuse should open before the wire burns. I may also run all NEW wire because the Scamp wires are a small gauge and I'm worried about voltage drop and using the frame clamps for ground. Bare wire can not be used in road salt and last.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
Scamp has no junction box...
Mine does.. I added it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
..but you are better off if it [junction box] can be mounted inside ...
Of course.. I put mine inside, under the front bench. Tis the best option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
I may also run all NEW wire because the Scamp wires are a small gauge and I'm worried about voltage drop and using the frame clamps for ground. ..
Yes the frame connections are failure prone. Thats why in addition to the junction box, I also added ground (neg) wire from the box to the brakes. I like to make my brakes as dependable as possible.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:15 PM   #9
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I have added several breakaway switches to Scamps. I add a 7 pin junction box to clean up the rats nest of wires where the 7 pigtail just enters into the shell. I add the break away switch wires between the black 12V wire and the blue brake wire.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:03 PM   #10
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Might I add that installing a breakaway switch is only part of the job. Testing it. How many out there with 15 year old trailers have actually pulled the wire and checked that both brakes engage? I was towing a trailer for 10 years before it occurred to me to test it - and yup it didn't work. Learned my lesson and now I check it twice a season. My wife drives and we idle down a gravel road. I walk along side the hitch and pull the wire. It either works or it doesn't!
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:59 PM   #11
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This setup lets you know the charge level.
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bre...rt/C52042.html
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:15 PM   #12
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Sadly it doesn't tell you if ALL the contacts are clean. That was my problem. The contacts inside the little activator box we're not exactly squeaky clean - exposed to rain, salt and dirt! Pull the pin and the contacts close. As long as the contacts are clean it's all good. My unit uses the trailer's battery for power.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burrorojo View Post
Sadly it doesn't tell you if ALL the contacts are clean. That was my problem. The contacts inside the little activator box we're not exactly squeaky clean - exposed to rain, salt and dirt! Pull the pin and the contacts close. As long as the contacts are clean it's all good. My unit uses the trailer's battery for power.
This is a example where dielectric grease should be used on all outside contacts. Including bulbs and the camper to tow connections.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:45 PM   #14
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BREAK AWAY SWITCH

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
I have a 2017 Deluxe 16’ and would like to add a breakaway switch. Two questions.
Where have others made the electrical connection to keep it weather proof, and how is Scamp doing it on the 2021s. (I will be using the house battery.)
Thanks for the help, I now have a plan thanks to this group and a discussion on a ham radio group last night. Note also that I covered ALL spellings of break/brake away in my post. Thanks for not pointing it out.
I think I will run all new wire and solder/weather proof all connections.
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