Using side marker lights as turn signals - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-17-2006, 11:06 PM   #15
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Trailer: 1980 Boler 17 ft
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Hi I installed new running lights on my 13 foot boler and on the 17 foot as well.As only the 17 has clearance lights mounted high up on the corners. The new lights were mounted beside the reflectors front and rear.I used the 2 bulb double bulleye style with old style bulbs with brass bases not led's. The mounting holes are used as grounding points.As our glass eggs require wiring ground to all lights I used the hot side of the lights for ground and connected the running or tail wiring to one mounting bolt on the inside and the stop/turn to the other mounting bolt.I used shrink wrap to insulate the bolts.In operation the front bulleye light in each unit are on with the running lights and the rear bulleye lamp works with the turn/brake light. Yes the rear bulleye does light when only the brakes are used but I can pick up the lights with the side mirrors and see that the tail/brake/turn lights are working while driving.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:39 PM   #16
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...I installed an additional LED turn/brake yellow lite up towards the front of the egg (5th wheel) where it transitions up from the egg to the truck. [b]It comes on when I brake and flashes when I turn and I don't care about the state dot crap. You see turn signals on the sides of mirors, the sides of pickups, small cars, big trucks, the sides of tractor/trailers all blinking so I went ahead and put the lite where it will be visable to the person in the blind spot next to the egg when I either need to stop or notify of a turn.
(I added the bolding for emphasis)

My only concern with this is that the additional lamp comes with the brake lights, even if it is only the brake lights, which seems entirely inappropriate.

For someone driving in the lane beside the trailer, far enough up that they cannot see the trailer's real brake lights, every time you touch the brakes these side lamps would flash on; if it were me in that lane, I would be quite concerned that the driver pulling the trailer was about to lane-change into me. That could earn a horn blast and maybe evasive braking from me, and I would be really annoyed when I realized that it was brake lights mounted on the side of a vehicle!

I agree that there are lots of precedents for side-mounted turn signals, and that they are a good thing. I would be very surprised if they were against the rules anywhere in the world. The practice of using combined brake and turn signals for trailers really does make the noble goal of side-mounted separate turn signals much more difficult to achieve.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:53 PM   #17
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A quick and I quick internet search seems to indicate that side marker lights with auxiliery turn signals something that's done on truck trailers. I've seen cars with auxiliery turn signals in side markers that operate oposite of the turn signal light. That is the side marker is bright when the parking light is off or the tail light is dim. I believe that in these cases the side marker lights have two elements in them. One for marker lights and one for turn signals.
I could be wrong, but I would still want to check it with the local DMV. Some laws are pretty wierd. PA had a law that allowed only one parking/turn light. The 1958 Chevrolet had to have one of the two parking/turn lights blocked rendered unusable before they could be sold in PA. Strange, eh, but real. The moral is check with local DMV before proceeding.
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:32 AM   #18
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I agree with everyone....check with DMV. We can only give you what we hope are honest appraisals and/or opinions, but Al you're the one to pay the fine if we give you wrong information!

Talk about weird laws...in Oregon, motor vehicles are required to have windshield wipers...but not windshields
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:25 PM   #19
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A quick and I quick internet search seems to indicate that side marker lights with auxiliery turn signals something that's done on truck trailers.
I've also seen the plug & socket for Semi-Trailers... They use a [b]7-pin arangement and they have separate brake and turn circuits.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:03 PM   #20
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The plug and socket which I have seen for commercial trucks is a round-bodied 7-pin design (commonly made by Cole Hersee, e.g. their part 12061); it is different from the RV or "Bargman" style (which also has a round body) in that it is smaller and has all round pins. The normal use of this design accommodates separate brake and turn signals - and even a separate line for clearance lights (separate from the running or tail lights) - in only 7 pins because it does not use any for battery-charging power or for electric brakes. In no particular order...
  • ground
  • tail
  • stop
  • left turn
  • right turn
  • clearance
  • auxiliary
Someone must need a lot of connections to their trailers, because Cole Hersee also sells 12-pole and 13-pole connectors; I don't know what they're used for.

The separated signals are readily accommodated in the RV style connector by assigning the auxiliary connector (the centre round pin with the yellow wire) for the stop (brake) light, and reassigning the left and right pins to be for the turn signals only, not combined brake and turn.

I guess the point is that commercial trailers routinely have separate brake and turn signals available, so they can run those side-mounted turn signals properly.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:59 PM   #21
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The separated signals are readily accommodated in the RV style connector by assigning the auxiliary connector (the centre round pin with the yellow wire) for the stop (brake) light, and reassigning the left and right pins to be for the turn signals only, not combined brake and turn.
If I was to use the center yellow wire for brake lights I'd loose my back up lights.
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:19 PM   #22
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If I was to use the center yellow wire for brake lights I'd loose my back up lights.
True. The auxiliary pin can be used for whatever you want, and a separate stop (usually to allow separate turn signals as well) is only the most common use. Boler (at least around the time of my 1979) ran a yellow wire from this pin to the back of the trailer in the factory, intending it to be used for a stop light, but that installation works just as well for reverse lights.

I'm sure someone has found other uses besides these two for an extra circuit; the never-ending need for more may be why there is a 9-pin Bargman-style connector, shown in the Dexter trailer wiring diagram, up to 14 pins from Cole Hersee, and even more in connectors used in specialty applications such as military vehicles. It is nice to stay with the nearest-to-standard connection, which means only 7 pins.

I think separated stop and signal lights are more valuable (than a reverse light driven by the tow vehicle), especially if side-mounted repeaters are fitted, and I think I would be willing to go to a manual switch for the reverse lights (mounted in the tongue area at the wiring junction box) as a compromise; the reverse lights could just stay on for the whole maneuvering period, as long I remembered to turn them off before driving away. A small reminder light - mounted on the front of the trailer, visible in a rear-view mirror, wired to the trailer's reverse circuit, and probably white - might help with that.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:07 PM   #23
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I think separated stop and signal lights are more valuable (than a reverse light driven by the tow vehicle), especially if side-mounted repeaters are fitted, and I think I would be willing to go to a manual switch for the reverse lights (mounted in the tongue area at the wiring junction box) as a compromise; the reverse lights could just stay on for the whole maneuvering period, as long I remembered to turn them off before driving away. A small reminder light - mounted on the front of the trailer, visible in a rear-view mirror, wired to the trailer's reverse circuit, and probably white - might help with that.
I really like my back-up lights. The trailer came wired from the Scamp factory for back-up lights and the instructions for the tow vehicle indicated the back-up light wiring. I was actually surprised how well they work.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
The plug and socket which I have seen for commercial trucks is a [b]round-bodied 7-pin design (commonly made by Cole Hersee, e.g. their part 12061); it is different from the RV or "Bargman" style (which also has a round body) in that it is smaller and has all round pins. The normal use of this design accommodates separate brake and turn signals - and even a separate line for clearance lights (separate from the running or tail lights) - in only 7 pins because it does not use any for battery-charging power or for electric brakes. In no particular order...
  • ground
  • tail
  • stop
  • left turn
  • right turn
  • clearance
  • auxiliary
I guess the point is that commercial trailers routinely have separate brake and turn signals available, so they can run those side-mounted turn signals properly.
Thank you Brian. Of course, this is what I was thinking of.
Quote:
I really like my back-up lights.
So do I. I am not ready to give them up for side mounted turn signals.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:22 AM   #25
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Many people have Receiver cover / Brake Light units installed when they're not towing. However, these also flash with the turn signals since they use the 4-pin flat trailer connecter for power. Somehow, this is OK, while brake light effects on the side are not...
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Old 12-22-2006, 02:18 PM   #26
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Many people have Receiver cover / Brake Light units installed when they're not towing...
Somehow, this is OK, while brake light effects on the side are not...
This is OK because it is a red light on the back of the vehicle, not a light on the side; there's a huge difference. Even if someone mistakes a turn signal for brake action, the consequences seem much less than those of indicating that a vehicle is about to change lanes into another vehicle.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:48 PM   #27
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[*]use one relay per side to invert the side markers with the turn signal
  • they are on whenever the taillights are on, except that they cycle off during each turn flash
  • they are off when the taillights are off, except that they cycle on during each turn signal flash
  • this could be wired with one input from the taillight circuit and the other from a power passed on by a normally-closed relay which opened by the tail circuit (a logical "not" function); the output to the side turn signals is from the common terminal of the relay
  • this is basically how the combined brake/turn lamps are managed in the wiring of the tow vehicle or converter

Maybe I missed it, and all arguments about the wisdom/legality of blinking the side markers aside, but there is another, in some ways simpler way to do the same thing.

The 12V positive for the parking lights is run to the positive side of the side marker and the other wire, usually connected to ground, is instead tied to the positive side of the directional signal on the same side of the trailer. That way, when the directional is not on, the side marker grounds through the turn signal bulb's filament and the side marker, having less current draw than the directional, lights up. When the turn signal turns on, the side marker now has 12V positive on both sides of the bulb and it goes out.

Many cars use this arrangement on the front. Of course, it won't work if you're using LEDs for directionals, either...
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:10 PM   #28
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I don't think you've missed anything Lee - that does sound like a workable alternative to me. Yes, as you mentioned it won't work with LED rear turn indicators (because the current can't flow backwards to the normal direction of those rear lights if they are diodes). The other condition (that the side markers have higher resistance than the turn indicators) may be more of a problem, depending on the number of side marker lights - maybe okay on our short trailers which would presumably only have two, and maybe only one (the front) set up to flash this way.
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