Recently we were headed down a fairly steep grade outside Santa Fe, NM with the trailer in tow and had to pull over rather suddenly.
Hopefully we can tell you more about why sometime soon. However, without signing a non-disclosure agreement, you’ll just have to wait.
Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. And it really wasn’t this time, until I smelled the distinct odor of brake pads cooking.
Our Dodge Ram has great brakes. It should, considering we recently had them replaced. But I knew they were in really good shape when we brought all of our 17,000 pounds to an abrupt stop without a problem, using no trailer brakes.
The plug for our trailer brakes and lights had fallen out. And the crew that had been following us around, neglected to tell us that we had no brake lights! After coming to the stop I was curious about the brake smell because it didn’t feel like we had any trouble coming to a stop. But we obviously had. I got out to investigate, and took care of it immediately.
The receptacle for our trailer brake/light plug has a latch with a clip that holds the plug in place. Somewhere along the line the small spring that holds the latch down (securing the plug), went missing. I suppose I might have unhitched one time and pulled away without removing the plug, but I don’t see how that could be possible! 😉
Regardless of how it happened, here’s an easy fix. We now use a convenient little Velcro strap to secure the plug in place. By wrapping it tight around the plug and latch cover, the cord will not budge. Unless I suppose I was to drive off without unplugging it.
One good lesson to come of this, is to keep an eye on your trailer’s running lights. We always do a complete brake and light check before we leave anywhere with the trailer:
- Have your navigator visually confirm all signals, brake and reverse lights are working.
- Test the brake by using the manual slider to apply just the trailer brakes while slowly pulling away.
We now also make it a point to make sure the running lights are on everytime we look in the rearview mirrors. It helps if you drive with your headlights on. You know, for safety.
And the lesson for any of you who may be following a trailer? Tell them if their lights aren’t working!