Intermittent Trailer Brakes Tip

December 30, 2012
Filed under Trailer Q&A

Q: In the Oct. 2012 issue, Dave Arrasmith of Warsaw, Mo., talked about having intermittent trailer brakes. I had a similar problem with my 2002 Montana fifth-wheel. After lengthy troubleshooting I found the problem to be in the brake wiring that goes through the axles from one side to the other. After traveling in excess of 50,000 miles the insulation on the wire inside the axles had been shaved bare in several spots. Depending on how the wire ended up, I either had brakes or did not. The fix was to run new wires on the outside of the axle housing and secure it with plastic wire ties. End of problem. I hope this will help Dave fix his trouble.
Falk Breitmann, Augusta, Ga.

A: Thanks for writing. Surprisingly, many trailers have brake wires running through the axle tubes with no provision to prevent chafing through the insulation. This often leads to intermittent short circuits to ground.
— Ken Freund

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