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Old 07-17-2020, 04:44 AM   #1
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Help, mid-trip brake light issue

Weíre on the road and just noticed the passenger brake light is stuck in the lighted position. Will not change condition if brake pressed, turn signal indicated, or hazard put on.

It will also still stay illuminated if connection to tow vehicle is disconnected. Only if the house battery is shut off does it go out.

We just got to one of our destinations and I pulled the bulb in the mean time. Called 3 different mobile repair services and all said at least 3 weeks! That doesnít help us, I.N 3 days we start heading home with a 9 hour drive that I sure would rather have a working turn signal.

Iím not great with electrical trouble shooting. Any ideas? Where to start?
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:47 AM   #2
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Brakes & brake lights only connection to house power is via the breakaway, otherwise there shouldn't be any power to it unless connected to your truck so I'd start there.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:42 AM   #3
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Some confusion here as something is "off" as both brake lights should work at the same time unless one bulb is out.Also the brake lights should never use the house battery but the start battery power. So suggest some checking on what is actually happening.
But that depends on how the tow wiring was installed and some do different things. I normally think of the coach and the normal vehicle items as not connected except at specific charging connections.
One wild guess at the confusion might be that there is a mistake on what is burning and it is actually the turn signal portion of that bulb rather than the stop portion. That would allow a stuck turn signal relay to keep the bulb burning.
Perhaps try the turn signal to the other side to see if it clicks the relay and then pull the relay to see if ti clears the problem. I think of simple plug and play relay but often hard to find under the dash. I have to chase the clicking noise.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:59 AM   #4
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<snip> Perhaps try the turn signal to the other side to see if it clicks the relay and then pull the relay to see if ti clears the problem. I think of simple plug and play relay but often hard to find under the dash. I have to chase the clicking noise.

OP stated that it stays lit when not connected to the tow vehicle, so we can eliminate anything related to their truck



What confuses me is that it goes out if he turns off the main battery disconnect. The breakaway switch should be connected to the same + & - lugs that the battery connects to and should have power no matter what state the main battery switch is in.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:24 AM   #5
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OP stated that it stays lit when not connected to the tow vehicle, so we can eliminate anything related to their truck



What confuses me is that it goes out if he turns off the main battery disconnect. The breakaway switch should be connected to the same + & - lugs that the battery connects to and should have power no matter what state the main battery switch is in.
Way too much confusion, way too little information at this point. For instance I see no mention of a truck being involved?
With the mention of coach battery, I assumed it was a motorhome towing a car!
The devil really is in the details.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:05 AM   #6
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My guess would be an improperly wired rear camera.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:45 AM   #7
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It’s a travel trailer. When tow vehicle is NOT connected the right brake light is lit up like the brake is pressed. If connected to tow vehicle and hazard enabled it does not blink. It turns off if hose battery switch is turned off.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:37 PM   #8
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OP, did you do a light check before you departed and confirmed that all were working as designed and this happened while driving?


Backup camera is powered by tail lights, so I don't think it would get power from house battery.


Have you checked (pulled and re-inserted) the breakaway? I lean toward either a faulty breakaway switch or the cable getting tangled in the jack or chains and partially pulling out the plastic toggle.


It seems more plausible to me that maybe the driver's side brake light may be out and the breakaway has been actuated. You'd be surprised how fast a fully actuated breakaway can suck dry 2 group 27 batteries, even on 20amp at the time shore power. I know from experience...
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:44 PM   #9
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Backup camera is powered by tail lights, so I don't think it would get power from house battery.
That's why I suggested an improperly wired camera. Perhaps someone wanted it always on, for use when they are camped, and are backfeeding power to a tail light? Just a guess.


Quote:
It seems more plausible to me that maybe the driver's side brake light may be out and the breakaway has been actuated. You'd be surprised how fast a fully actuated breakaway can suck dry 2 group 27 batteries, even on 20amp at the time shore power. I know from experience...
But wouldn't that make the trailer impossible to tow--assuming the brakes function? One way to check the brake function (not the breakaway switch) would be to tow at slow speed and manually operate the controller.

BTW, I think the Winnebago manual says to pull and lubricate the breakaway switch every 30 days, or some such thing. I really doubt many people do that, but I think it's more to make sure it functions when pulled rather than functioning when not pulled.
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:15 PM   #10
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Not knowing how long the OP has owned the trailer nor what type of tow vehicle, it's difficult to determine if the breakaway is fully actuated or if the brakes fully apply when it is actuated.



Our old 2011 Keystone Summerland 2560RL has self-adjusting brakes and they lock up tight with even the slightest twitch of the breakaway. Knowing that our new 2701RBS doesn't have automatic adjusting brakes makes me wonder if OP's 2015 has the same brake setup and if they're towing with a rig with torque if it would be noticeable if the brakes were sloppy or loose


I don't know the inside workings of a breakaway switch, I do know that on our 2011 Summerland, the brake lights lit before the brakes fully actuated when pulling the toggle and I could easily tow it with the brake lights lit with either gas or our other diesel truck and not know that the breakaway had been partially or sometimes fully actuated.


If I stuck exclusively to pull through sites and hadn't backed the setup in quite a while (adjusting the self-adjusting brakes...) and had purchased the trailer used, there's no telling if I'd notice the trailer brakes were applying fully or not until I went down a significant grade. Luckily, in MT we have a few significant grades and I'm usually fairly aware of when I have trailer brakes or not.


That it goes out when turning the main battery switch off still bugs me. That's not how a breakaway is supposed to be connected, so I may be off on a completely different tangent but the breakaway is the point where vehicular signal lights get on-board power, so that's still where I'd start
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:43 PM   #11
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We are 3/4 away through our two week trip. Everything was working fine before we left. On up to the Smokies everything was good. Coming down from the Smokies is when I noticed this issue. I do actuate the brakes manually several times to heat them up when I start a day of travel. Not sure if that would do anything.

When I get back to the campsite I’m definitely going to check that breakaway switch. I have never in three years of ownership played with it at all except to connect to the car. I would assume if the actuator was triggered that the break will be locking up but I do not feel anything of that nature. Seems fine. I only noticed the light on at a rest stop.
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:18 PM   #12
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<snip> I would assume if the actuator was triggered that the break will be locking up but I do not feel anything of that nature. Seems fine. I only noticed the light on at a rest stop.

This/that is where the automatically adjusting brakes (or lack thereof) come in to play. On our new 2701RBS, if they're not manually adjusted, they don't grab like you'd think. If not manually adjusted to have optimal grip, they just slide right by. Simply backing the trailer and hitting the brakes in the process doesn't do it any more and even my gutless gasser can pull the whole shebang up & down in MO, IN, TN easily, it took a significant downgrade like Bozeman pass or 27th Street down to Rimrock in Billings for me to realize that the trailer wasn't helping with braking and that I'm driving Big Iron for this setup for a reason, and this is it.
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:56 PM   #13
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I’m not aware of automatically adjusting brakes to be honest. Any adjustments I do and the testing the brakes I do through the brake controller in the truck. I feel the brakes grab on the trailer and I manually adjust to make sure that they are at the right position to be to not too little or not too much.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:19 PM   #14
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question 1: i the trailer new or not


#2, are you new to towing and do you know the difference between auto and manually adjusting brakes


#3 what is your tow vehicle?




I'm still leaning toward something being wrong with your breakaway
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:00 PM   #15
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question 1: i the trailer new or not


#2, are you new to towing and do you know the difference between auto and manually adjusting brakes


#3 what is your tow vehicle?




I'm still leaning toward something being wrong with your breakaway
Trailer is 2015 model, bought 2.5 years ago and used quite often.

Not new to towing, but new to towing something this big. Many boats with surge breaks and a pop up with no brakes. Just not familiar with auto versus manually adjusted brakes. My 27RBDS was loaded on options, so whatever the best option brakes were available Iím sure it has it. Brakes were serviced a month ago and 2 prior trips post brake service no issues.

Tow vehicle is Ford Expedition with added Prodigy P2 brake controller.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:31 PM   #16
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I was hoping for an easy fix with that breakaway switch being slightly loose but unfortunately that’s not the case. I sprayed some CRC electrical cleaner in the plug and seated it in back well but no change.

I was hoping for an easy fix with that breakaway switch being slightly loose but unfortunately that’s not the case. I sprayed some CRC electrical cleaner in the plug and seeded it in back well but no change.

Only thing I can think to do is check the junction box right out front of the trailer where the 12 V line goes in and see if the yellow line from the break socket has any issues in there.

It’s not like a boat trailer where you can easily follow the line from the light to the front of the trailer, in this case the line leaves a light socket and goes into the body of the trailer not to be seen again.

We leave on Sunday, I’ll check things out tomorrow otherwise I guess I’m driving with one light.
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:43 AM   #17
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Have you considered getting a magnetic trailer light kit like this?

https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...sclient=psy-ab

You could disable your built-in trailer lights and temporarily wire the above to your tow vehicle. You may need to extend the wiring harness. It won't fix the underlying problem but would be enough for your trip.
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:54 AM   #18
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We leave on Sunday, Iíll check things out tomorrow otherwise I guess Iím driving with one light.
I'm skeptical this just started, as opposed to being something you just noticed. But assuming that's the case it would be some sort of short from one circuit to the one brake light circuit. Perhaps you damaged something in a storage compartment moving stuff in and out?

I still like the idea of a mis-wired camera--but that assumes you have a camera. The short idea, as opposed to a wiring error, seems rather low probability.
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Old 07-22-2020, 02:12 PM   #19
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I'm skeptical this just started, as opposed to being something you just noticed. But assuming that's the case it would be some sort of short from one circuit to the one brake light circuit. Perhaps you damaged something in a storage compartment moving stuff in and out?

I still like the idea of a mis-wired camera--but that assumes you have a camera. The short idea, as opposed to a wiring error, seems rather low probability.

It definitely just started. We have been dry camping in the Smokies and I would have noticed the lit up brake light. It was only after we left and were heading to our next destination that I noticed it on. Something transpired from leaving that campground and heading down the mountains.



Having the light-bulb removed caused me issue the next day when we hooked up and I had zero rear lights coming on. After checking that I didn't cause more harm in the junction box and checking the tow-vehicle connection I realized it was probably the absence of the light bulb that caused the rest of the lights to stop working. I put the bulb back in and the drivers side light started working again with the passenger light still lit up. By the time we made our 9 hour drive to our next stop all lights were off. I assume the bulb has blown.



We made it home yesterday with no tail lights at all. A little nerve racking knowing we had no lights, but drove as safe as I could on the highway. Repair shops and services are swamped. 2-week lead time from the local mobile repair guy, 4-weeks from local shops. Guess I get to play the waiting game.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:02 PM   #20
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Please let us know what it was when they figure it out!
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