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Electric Trailer Brake Control


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#1 Louise

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 02:55 PM

It is me, Louise, again with another problem. We have always had an electric trailer brake control on our 13-ft Casita. I don't know if everyone uses one or not, but for some reason (because of someone else's horror story with a large trailer), we put one on. Today when we were testing out the lights on the trailer, the brake controller started smoking -- a short somewhere. So it's dead! We are going to put another one on, but I wanted to ask first whether you 13-foot Casita people find it to be something which is needed. We also have a sway bar so never have any whipping around action. And we're not sure where the short is coming from. As some of you probably remember, we just put an new AGM battery in. I can't believe that that would cause a short in the brake control. It could have been just time for the controller to die (it is 10 yrs old) and perhaps it's a perfect storm. As always, any ideas or advice would be appreciated.
Regards, Louise
Louise & Rich
Petaluma, CA
13' Lolita Casita Patriot
2006 Toyota Highlander

#2 Wally Z

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 03:21 PM

I would check out the brakes and brake wiring before installing new controller. Sounds like there was an abnormal load put on the controller. Here's how you test the brakes electrically. If you can't do it yourself have someone do it for you.

Every trailer coach or camp trailer with a GVW of 1,500 lbs. or more must be equipped with brakes on at least 2 wheels in Ca. Check second link below.

 

 

https://www.etrailer...r-function.aspx

 

http://drivinglaws.a...trailer-brakes/


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2014 17' Casita SD


#3 Louise

Louise
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  • Casita Model/Size:13' Patriot (1998)
  • Gender:Female
  • Trailer Name:Lolita Casita

Posted 28 September 2016 - 09:23 PM

Unbelievably, I was able to find the GVW on our old 1998 non-deluxe Patriot (no bathroom and no holding tank) and it is 1000#. I knew in the back of memory that it was a very lightweight Casita and that's why we're able to tow it with our 4 cyclinder Highlander. Loaded up with our food, etc., I doubt if it's even 1500 because we do put some things into our car. We've been told by local garage that we wouldn't need a brake controller. So now we're thinking of trying to put the old standard battery back in our trailer to see if it works well enough so that we can get on the road this weekend, as planned.

One additional thing happened which I didn't write about before because I was mainly concerned about the brake controller. When we hooked the trailer electric cord to the car to check the running lights, there was a click sound coming from the engine compartment of the car, then the lights on the trailer went off for a second, then back on, then a minute later the click again, then lights off and then on, probably it would go on forever like that. We have not figured out why that is happening. Which is why we're going to try the old battery again. Maybe the AGM and the car battery just can't talk to one another. Do you need to have AGM to AGM batteries (trailer to car)? Or perhaps it's the converter box.

Thanks Wally for your input. Always appreciated.
Louise
Louise & Rich
Petaluma, CA
13' Lolita Casita Patriot
2006 Toyota Highlander

#4 CC-John

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 02:51 AM

Unbelievably, I was able to find the GVW on our old 1998 non-deluxe Patriot (no bathroom and no holding tank) and it is 1000#. I knew in the back of memory that it was a very lightweight Casita and that's why we're able to tow it with our 4 cyclinder Highlander. Loaded up with our food, etc., I doubt if it's even 1500 because we do put some things into our car. We've been told by local garage that we wouldn't need a brake controller. So now we're thinking of trying to put the old standard battery back in our trailer to see if it works well enough so that we can get on the road this weekend, as planned.

One additional thing happened which I didn't write about before because I was mainly concerned about the brake controller. When we hooked the trailer electric cord to the car to check the running lights, there was a click sound coming from the engine compartment of the car, then the lights on the trailer went off for a second, then back on, then a minute later the click again, then lights off and then on, probably it would go on forever like that. We have not figured out why that is happening. Which is why we're going to try the old battery again. Maybe the AGM and the car battery just can't talk to one another. Do you need to have AGM to AGM batteries (trailer to car)? Or perhaps it's the converter box.

Thanks Wally for your input. Always appreciated.
Louise

 

It sounds like you trailer battery has been hooked up with the cables reversed..

 

On Casitas the BLACK battery cable is connected to the battery's POSITIVE terminal, the WHITE & GREEN cables are connected to the battery's NEGATIVE terminal..


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#5 Wally Z

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 07:51 AM

I'm thinking maybe the clicking you're hearing may be an auto reset circuit breaker. Sounds like you have a short or loose connection somewhere. Check the polarity of your battery as CCJohn suggested also. Does the clicking only occur when hooked up to trailer? Do all of your lights work on the tow vehicle?  If it only does it when hooked to trailer the problem is more than likely something with the trailer wiring. Start with checking battery wiring and go from there to the 7 pin connector.  Connect it to the tow vehicle and while the clicking is happening jiggle and push on the 7-pin connector to see if that makes any difference. If you don't plan on using the brakes (not recommended) disconnect them and check the clicking noise again.


2014 17' Casita SD


#6 Louise

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 09:34 AM

That is awfully confusing with regard to the battery hookup. We installed the battery exactly the way the previous battery had been installed. Are you saying that an AGM battery is hooked up differently in a Casita, even an old Casita?

Since we're totally inept in this regard, we are taking it in to a local RV repair shop and have them figure it all out. I'll let you guys know the outcome. Thanks for your input.
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Louise & Rich
Petaluma, CA
13' Lolita Casita Patriot
2006 Toyota Highlander

#7 Wally Z

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 08:14 PM

No difference in how you hook up an AGM battery. Myself and CCJohn just mentioned it as a possibility for your issue and something to check.  Sounds like you've already done that. Look forward to what you find out.


2014 17' Casita SD