Brake Short - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hewitt
Posts: 270
New Jersey
Brake Short

I was tooling down I95 in Georgia and see something flash out of the corner of my eye. The brake controller is reading brakes shorted, NO BRAKES. I ease over onto the shoulder, and try to figure out what the problem is. Trailer is a Voltage V 3105 5th wheel toy hauler.

I crawl around under the trailer with traffic going by at 70 MPH +. Now that was scary! I don't see anything cut, worn or shorted. Pull the plug from the trailer, and controller no longer shows shorted, so assume fault is in trailer, not truck.

I reconnect the trailer and check all around again. I hear a faint ticking from one wheel, can barely hear with the traffic whizzing by. It seems to stop when I unplug the trailer from the truck, so I guess that there's something up with that one wheel. Having nothing to lose, I cut the white power wire to that brake. Viola, short gone. I assume the ticking was the electronic brake cycling on an off. We were able to make it to the campground in FL with 3 of the 4 trailer brakes working.

We'll be here for a few weeks. I don't want to have to pack up and move the trailer to a service center, even though it is under warranty. I assume it's either a wire that got pinched and shorted, or a defective electronic brake unit. Anyone have any ideas what the problem is likely to be? Are all electronic brake units the same? I may have a spare from my old travel trailer.

Thankfully, this didn't happen in the mountain where we live, or on our last trip up and down the mountains in Maine. I'm also glad I replaced the old Prodigy P2 controller with the newest P3 model, that has diagnostics which made it easier to figure out what the problem was.

This is our first 5th wheel. I've pulled tires on travel trailers. Can I just jack up that one wheel with the 5th wheel sitting on it's landing gear? Is there anything special to do? Pull up the rear stabilizers, or do I need to hook up to the truck and pull up the landing gear?

Appreciate any guidance.


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Old 11-07-2013, 11:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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New Jersey
Had the local mobile RV service guy come by to look at the brake problem. He took a spare brake magnet I had, connected it in place of the suspected bad wheel, no short. He took a reading across the bad wheel, and got a short on one wire. After pulling the wheel and hub, the problem was obvious. Both brake wires were cut, and one was shorting on the brake lever. Not sure how long the wires were cut, and if they only recently shorted, showing the problem. I could have been without one wheel's brake for awhile.

He picked up a replacement magnet as the spare I had was a used one. All tests out good, brake is working on that wheel. So we should be good for the trip home next week.

Now to see if Dutchmen will cover the cost of the repair. I didn't want to chance towing the trailer any further than I had too, nor did I want to have to find another place to stay while it sat at a dealer.

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Old 11-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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Glad to hear it was something simple, Paul. Of course, I'm sure the on-site service call wasn't cheap. I hope Dutchmen covers it for you.
2013 VOLTAGE 3200 (EPIC I & II)
2014 Ford F-450 PLATINUM
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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Thanks Tom,

Parts and labor $250. I could have done it myself, but really didn't want to crawl around in the sand, nor did I have the time as I'm working from the RV, long days. I try to relax on the weekends.
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