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SUBJECT: # 13528: Ranger Trailer Brakes

Submitted by BobH from VIRGINIA on 4/30/2011 5:05:00 PM

Thursday a redlight runner took out the front of my tow vehicle (4Runner). Planned to fish on Saturday. My buddy used his Ford 150. We plugged in the cord and all the lights on the trailer worked. At the ramp he had a problem backing the boat into the water. The brakes locked a couple times but after pulling forward they released and allowed him to back the boat into the water. Later, trying to back the boat into the driveway; same problem. Brakes locked. We noticed that when backing down a slight hill the brakes were OK. Changed cords with same result. Finally had to pull the boat in forward and turn it around by hand. Gravel driveway didn't make it easy. Manual override didn't work in the street but after the boat was turned around and the manual backup setting was used the trailer rolled backward without a hesitation. What's happening with the trailer brakes? We used my cord to connect the trailer and the Ford. It should have worked OK. My tow vehicle will probably be laid up for a month or more but I'm afraid that I'll have the same problem when I do get it back. Any words or wisdom and better yet any advice that will fix the prolem. Thanks


  1. 4/30/2011 7:34:00 PM Submitted by billsp from NJ #10879 from NJ says Check
    the tow vehicle to ensure you had power from the backup lights, as that is the feed to the trailer brake solenoid release. I had very similar problems and after a couple hours of trouble shooting, found the wire feeding that signal to the trailer solenoid actually was parted inside the wire casing. Wala, no power to the solenoid. One of those 12v testers that has an alligator clip to ground and a lighted handle when 12 v is available is good for this kind of touble shooting. You could just jumper from the tow vehicle plug/wire directly to the trailer solenoid with a new wire and test it out. And, if the wire and connections are good, the solenoid could be bad - most trailer places can get a new one. I'd start by cleaning all the wiring connections and applying a little dielectric grease.


  2. 5/22/2011 9:04:00 AM Submitted by BobH #11015 from VA says Fixed Problem
    I found a frayed wire going into the acuator and put some solder on it and the trailer now backs up like new. I discovered the reason the manual override didn't work for me was that the tongue was not fully extended when I tried to go manual.


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