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Old 08-17-2020, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Trailer Brakes

Does anyone have the wiring diagram and instructions for troubleshooting trailer brakes that aren't working? We have a Hilo 2004 tour lite 22T.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:33 PM   #2
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Default Welcome to the forum.

Maybe Utube has a tutorial on trailer brakes. Possibly etrailer has some information that you can use.
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Old 08-17-2020, 11:43 PM   #3
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chicadee, when you say the trailer brakes aren't working, do you mean they don't engage when you step on the brakes in the tow vehicle or when you pull the safety pin that applies the trailer brakes if your tow hitch becomes disconnected, or both?

If the brakes don't apply when you pull the safety pin (disconnect) then the problem is in the trailer - possibly a bad wiring connection (maybe the ground, white wire).
The only other wire to the brakes is the hot, blue wire. Inspect those and all the connections you find. You'll have to try to move the trailer when you pull the safety pin, if the wheels don't turn, the brakes are applied. Reinsert the pin, because with it out, the trailer battery will drain quickly.

Now, if the trailer side is OK, then the problem is in the brake controller of your tow vehicle or in its wiring. Have you possibly accidentally turned the controller off? I did that once on an old tow vehicle and a controller with manual switches. Do you have a 7-blade plug tester that can tell you if the tow vehicle is sending a braking signal to the trailer when you step on the brakes? If not, you should get one. Here's a link to the kind I have: https://www.amazon.com/CURT-58270-Ve.../dp/B001EOWQY4 It also allows you to test your charging circuit, the turn signals and running lights circuit.

- Jack
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:30 AM   #4
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Thanks! That gave us some good leads, Jack.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:32 AM   #5
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Good idea! Thanks Sam!
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:47 AM   #6
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For anyone having brake issues/problems; here is what I found on my Hilo.

For the last 2 months I have been chasing an electrical brake problem on my 2589RD, or on my tow vehicle. I knew there was an electrical short somewhere but where exactly, was a confusing mystery to me. It appeared to be a random problem; the brakes would not work most of the time. I had previously replaced all 4 magnets because they appeared to be worn out a little, so I knew that the short was not caused by the magnets; they all energized ok when brake controller was activated. But it still shorted out my 1 year old brake controller. I rewired my t.v. and ordered another brake control unit. The problem still continued with the new brake controller. I then concentrated my diagnosing effort to the Hilo; With some research and help of YouTube videos, It turned out that the wires that run inside the axle tubes to the magnets were rubbing inside the tubes and wore the wires bare causing an electrical short overload!! I re-wired the magnet's wires on the outside of the axle tubes and woah-la!! brakes are working again!! It's a good effort from RV manufacturers at protecting the wires from road hazards by putting them inside the tubes, but believe me its a bear to diagnose and find a problem like the one I had. I think it's a poor design. YouTube it. Do yourself a favor and rewire the magnet wiring to exist outside of the axle tubes. I'm not saying that this is the problem on your Hilo, but its a possibility. Hopefully this will help someone with a mysterious brake problem. Sorry for the long explanation.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:39 AM   #7
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Angel, that's an interesting post, and I agree with you regarding how the wiring was done on your trailer. My wires are all external, so they are easy to check, but my wire joins were all done with household wire nuts. These devices are meant to be used indoors (inside walls, actually), not hanging out exposed to the elements underneath a trailer that rolls down the road through all sorts of mud and muck. I saw that as a potential source of trouble and replaced them all with weatherproof automotive connectors.

- Jack
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:02 AM   #8
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I had the same problem on my 2004 HILO 22T. While in Alaska camping in the woods, I found that I had lost the trailer brakes. Upon inspection later, I found that the single ground wire for the four electrical brakes had been torn loose by a stump therefore disabling all four brakes. The ground wire was external. I replaced the single (serially connected) ground wire with a network of four independent dedicated ground wires running radially to the connection plug as well as adding grounds locally to the frame. Now only one wheel's brake will be lost if I lose a ground to a brake.

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