View Full Version : breakaway switch

04-26-2011, 07:11 PM
So, I am still very new to trailer life and last winter I had to hire an RV repair man to move my 5th wheel and put it into storage for 2 months.
Even though I had a hitch lock the repair man didn't want to use it and taught me how to pull out the pin on the breakaway switch, which he said was good theft prevention. He then pulled out the switch before leaving it in storage for 2 months. When I came back the battery was fried and he made me purchase a new battery. He blamed it on some interior light on the stereo and I tried to explain that I expected him to disconnect the battery when putting it in storage. Thats what I would do to my car if I were going to leave it sitting for that long.
Then (after purchasing a truck with a hitch) I just drove it over 1,000 miles to California. When I finally arrived here I noticed that the switch box was melted, so I had actually driven all that way with a dangerous, illegal trailer.
I asked some people and began reading the owners manual and searching online and find out that you should never pull the pin, and that it damages your battery, the switch box, and the brake shoe magnets. I have tried to explain this to the Rv repair man that taught me how to do it and pulled the pin before it going into storage for 2 months and he has
only gotten very pissed off at me, chewed me out, and told me that I am crazy. Because I am new to this, I would like to ask you guys if I am the crazy one? Please correct me if I am wrong

04-26-2011, 09:50 PM
The break away switch is for emergency use only. It applies full power to the brakes. I suppose that if left on full it could quite easily melt the switch but I know first hand that it will run a battery dead in a matter of 1 - 2 hours. If the camper was plugged into shore power, I can see where constant power through the converter to the brakes and component could cause damage. You are not the crazy one, get another RV tech.

04-26-2011, 10:57 PM
Thankyou Rick and Janice!

04-27-2011, 08:58 AM
Never, ever, go back to that "RV tech" He either is extremely dumb or a scam artist.

What brand/size of RV do you have?

And welcome to the 5th Wheel Forums.


04-27-2011, 10:52 AM
Thanks! I'm not sure what his deal is. I don't think he's a scam artist. I think he just smokes a lot of pot and doesn't listen well. He was the only RV guy in West TX where I was.

I'm in a Forest River Wildcat that's 28'.


04-27-2011, 11:13 AM
If he is the only RV "tech" there you are better off getting a couple books about RV maintenance and doing it yourself. Seriously. The guy has already cost you a battery and maybe more with his lack of understanding about a basic RV system. Dump him before you lose more money.

04-27-2011, 02:27 PM
Thanks. He is dumped!