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Old 10-27-2013, 05:37 PM   #1
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Hi all

A fellow 5th wheel owner (not a Redwood) encountered a problem while having repairs done to his hitch. I've included parts of his email.

When XXX RV Center replaced the pin box they had a ‘small’ problem. Unbeknownst to the nice fellow who did the install, he accidently pinched the power wire that runs from the emergency brake box on the pin box to the brake system. It’s a mid-sized wire which...did pinch through, created a direct short to ground from the buss where the battery connects. Because there was no fuse or circuit breaker (as required by federal law to be within 4 feet of the buss) it proceeded to burn all of the insulation off (see the attached photo), melted through the insulation on several other wires in the adjacent harness shorting them out, and finally burned itself in half, halting further damage or a major fire.</span>
I confess I don't fully understand the circuitry here, and my 2014 36 RL is in storage for a bit so I can't go out and look at the wiring to try to get a better understanding. I thought I would pass this message along for discussion. Do any of you know about this "federal law"? Would a Redwood be be vulnerable to this type of failure?

Dave and Karen
(insert picture/description of vehicles here)
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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I don't know about federal law, but every electrical circuit, whether 12v. or 110, should have a fuse or circuit breaker with the amperage compatable with the size of wire used. No picture but can imagine white it looked like. Hopefully, the shop paid for the repair.Edited by: rcflame
Roger & Cheryl Full Time since 2002, RVing since 1975 2008 Chevy 3500 Crew Cab Dually, 2012 RW 36RL
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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I believe the breakaway switch does not have a breaker or fuse which could cause it not to work. My travel trailer didn't.
Elliott & Vicky, and Sadie the GSD copilot
2014 36RE, Onan, Titan disc brakes, 17.5 inch Sailun H tires, lots of other options
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
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I don't believe there's a fuse in there either
SOB "The RV Wiseguy"
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:22 AM   #5
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Sounds like it was just one of those bummer things.

The wire that feeds the battery from the truck charge is also hot. Be careful where you stuff that plug when you unhook. I caught a spark once stuffing it up in the pin box on my last rig.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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There is no breaker or fuse that I know of for the break away switch, but there should be a fuse or breaker for the charge wire at the truck not the trailer. I have seen trailers burn to the ground because someone jumped from the charge wire to the marker light wire on the pigtail. The marker lights draw to many amps on some trailers with a lot lights, so the unprotected charge wire gets hot and melts the insulation off and into other wires with the end result being fried wires or worse a big fire.

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Old 10-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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Yep thats what I'm saying. The charge wire is protected at the truck, but when disconnected, the charge wire in thatpigtail is backfed from the batteries and it is not fused.

Hence - also leads to your discussion that you can jumper the running lights or brake lights at the pigtail using that backfeed from the chargewire.
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