Trailer Light Issue - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-03-2019, 01:37 PM   #1
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Name: Phyllis
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Trailer Light Issue

Hello allI have a 71 Havasu. It was removed from its frame and put on a utility trailer. My trailer lights are not working. I have power at the car and the trailer lights according to meter but none of the trailer lights work
Txs!
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:26 PM   #2
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Hello allI have a 71 Havasu. It was removed from its frame and put on a utility trailer. My trailer lights are not working. I have power at the car and the trailer lights according to meter but none of the trailer lights work
Txs!
NOT enough information to make a good diagnosis. Which trailer lights are not working, the interior or the brake/running/turn signal (they are two different systems). The lights that aren't working are they LED or incandescent?

From your initial description I think you're talking about the internal lights and probably they've been replaced with LED lights. Polarity is very important to LED light (Light Emitting DIODE) Diodes conduct current in one direction only.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:30 PM   #3
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It’s a 2012 utility trailer. Nothing is working. Stop lights, turn signals, brake lights. Everything original has been removed from camper. There is no battery. There is a box where the 110 wiring is
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:38 PM   #4
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Bad ground connection or corrosion most likely. Check your plug connection & wiring.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:40 PM   #5
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Bad ground connection or corrosion most likely. Check your plug connection & wiring.
Hi Dave you're showing your age. That old stuff and not applicable today.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:45 PM   #6
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Itís a 2012 utility trailer. Nothing is working. Stop lights, turn signals, brake lights. Everything original has been removed from camper. There is no battery. There is a box where the 110 wiring is
So, the brakes, turn signals, and running lights are directly related to the connection to your tow vehicle. The lack of battery and 110, is not relevent.

Since you said your connector had power on the tv, the most likely problem is the ground on the trailer side. Do your lights use the frame as the ground? While that will work, I prefer a wired ground to assure a good and reliable connection (it's probably the white wire).

The tail light system is not too complex. You just need to follow the wires and make sure colors are consistent for their purpose. I good circuit tester is a big help.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:53 PM   #7
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DaveIt looks like they used a white wire as a ground in one of the tail lights and that is loose- looks like the screw is stripped. The trailer light connector seems fine- we tested that with a meter. I’ll replace that screw where it looks like they attached ground
Txs
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:54 PM   #8
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Hi Dave you're showing your age. That old stuff and not applicable today.
, might be, party lines were still common when I learned that
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:13 PM   #9
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, might be, party lines were still common when I learned that



Yah, I remember party lines and no dials, just pick up the handset and tell the operator who you want to talk to.


Now for more current information. You don't want the trailer frame to be one of DC conductors. The negative connection is a wire that goes to each place. There seems to an exception, at least in my trailer that is the brakes. The negative side connects to the frame.


Ground refers to the 120VAC green wire "safety ground", not the trailer frame.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:19 AM   #10
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I remember party lines to!

I’m going to play with this thing today. Where will I find the ground wire and what will it be attached to. The lights seem to have a white wire as the ground to a screw in the light assembly
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:32 AM   #11
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Some utility trailer lights count on the frame to provide the ground. Without pictures, we are all guessing.

Remove a side marker light. Does it have one wire or two? Two wires one is a ground. One wire and the frame is the ground.

IF the frame is the ground, then an easy way to test is to use a jumper cable, attach one to the frame of the trailer, and one to the frame of your tow vehicle.

With any exterior light problem, the ground is the first place to look.


Yes, if it has a wire attached to a mounting screw, then that is frame ground. Jumper cable test time.
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Some utility trailer lights count on the frame to provide the ground. Without pictures, we are all guessing.

Remove a side marker light. Does it have one wire or two? Two wires one is a ground. One wire and the frame is the ground.

IF the frame is the ground, then an easy way to test is to use a jumper cable, attach one to the frame of the trailer, and one to the frame of your tow vehicle.

With any exterior light problem, the ground is the first place to look.


Yes, if it has a wire attached to a mounting screw, then that is frame ground. Jumper cable test time.


Took some pics but canít attach them
Iíll try the jumper cable thing once I can move again
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:42 AM   #13
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If you have a simple ohm or resistance tester/meter, place one probe tip on the pigtail's negative/ground blade and the other probe tip on the trailer frame. If the tester/meter shows any current flow, then your trailer is acting as the ground and you have an intact negative/ground side of things. I hope that makes sense....
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:04 PM   #14
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When I have a trailer come in with light issues I have a short and effective process for dealing with it:

Buy new LED lights; I prefer Optronics brand, as they seem to be of consistent quality. https://www.etrailer.com/faq-trailer...gulations.aspx links to a good explanation of required lighting.

Buy a new short 4-way trailer connector, white/brown/yellow/green wires, three bare pins.

Buy a spool of 16-Gauge 4-Conductor trailer wire, white/brown/yellow/green wires.

Run new wire to new lights, using correct color coding, and taking the white ground wire to all lights. https://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx links to a good set of wiring diagrams.

MOST IMPORTANT!!
Run the white ground wire to all light connections - DO NOT count on the trailer frame as a 12V ground plane, as it's quite prone to corrosion interrupting the ground connection, and causing various lights to fail.
Use heat shrink butt connectors or meltwall heat shrink tubing to protect your connections.

I have repaired saltwater boat trailer lighting for many years, and the lights don't come back for fixes once they're done right.
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