New Tail Lights - Help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-21-2006, 02:48 PM   #1
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Hey Gang,

I'm installing new taillights on our camper. The old ones consisted of two lenses on each side (see avatar), with one lense functioning solely as the brake/turn light and the other as the running light. Too many wires in there!

The new tail lights are one for each side with two wires and a ground. Now, can I splice the stop and turn wires into the one wire for that purpose on the new taillight? I can think of no other way to do it. I have a six-pin connector on the hitch, with separate wires for stop/turn/running. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated!

Thanks

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Old 06-21-2006, 05:17 PM   #2
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Depends on how your tow vehicle is set up.
in theory, the answer is yes.
the marker light wire should connect to the marker light wire on the new light.
the brake /turn should be able to connect to the brake turn wire on the new fixture.
just make sure that the brake and turn lights on you tow vehicle are one and the same.( no orange turn signal)
if so, you should be all set
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:23 PM   #3
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I agree with Joe. You said you had 6 wire connector on your tow then you should be able to use the new tail lights ( with a bulb for turn/ stop and one for running lights)
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Old 06-21-2006, 06:39 PM   #4
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I agree with Joe. You said you had 6 wire connector on your tow then you should be able to use the new tail lights ( with a bulb for turn/ stop and one for running lights)

Thanks for the information. The new tail lights have [b]ONE bulb with two wires (excluding the ground). So, my original suggestion is splicing the turn and stop wires together before connecting to that wire on the new tail light. The marker light has its own wire. If that doesn't work, what could I do?
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Old 06-21-2006, 07:14 PM   #5
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If your tow vehicle has seperate bulbs for stop and turn lights then you will need an adapter to connect these 2 circuits together to run the single bulbs for turn/stop on new light fixtures. Most trailer or auto parts stores have them, some plug right into the factory harness. Mike
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Old 06-21-2006, 09:21 PM   #6
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...The old ones consisted of two lenses on each side (see avatar), with one lense functioning solely as the brake/turn light and the other as the running light. Too many wires in there!

The new tail lights are one for each side with two wires and a ground. Now, can I splice the stop and turn wires into the one wire for that purpose on the new taillight? I can think of no other way to do it. I have a six-pin connector on the hitch, with separate wires for stop/turn/running...
I'm not clear on what you have, Chris. In the original setup, one pair of lights are used only for running (also known as "tail") - that's clear. In the other lights, does each one have a ground plus two more wires - one for stop (only) and one for turn (only), or is it just one wire per light, used for both stop and turn? The first option is [b]separate signals and stop, the second option is the more common [b]combined stop/turn system. The right wiring depends on which system you have.

In conventional trailer wiring, a dedicated stop-only wire is yellow, connected to the auxiliary connector of a 7-pin RV connector, but you have a 6-pin. If you check for power (with a meter or tester) at the connector, is one pin on only with the brakes, and does not flash with either turn signal, that's the stop line of a separate system.

If you have the separate-stop system, two typical tail light assemblies will not be enough, because they don't have separate stop and turn lights in them. If you just connect a separate stop signal with one of the turn signals, then you won't have turn signals any more - both sides will flash with whichever turn direction you combined with.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:18 AM   #7
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I'm not clear on what you have, Chris. In the original setup, one pair of lights are used only for running (also known as "tail") - that's clear. In the other lights, does each one have a ground plus two more wires - one for stop (only) and one for turn (only), or is it just one wire per light, used for both stop and turn? The first option is [b]separate signals and stop, the second option is the more common [b]combined stop/turn system. The right wiring depends on which system you have.

In conventional trailer wiring, a dedicated stop-only wire is yellow, connected to the auxiliary connector of a 7-pin RV connector, but you have a 6-pin. If you check for power (with a meter or tester) at the connector, is one pin on only with the brakes, and does not flash with either turn signal, that's the stop line of a separate system.

If you have the separate-stop system, two typical tail light assemblies will not be enough, because they don't have separate stop and turn lights in them. If you just connect a separate stop signal with one of the turn signals, then you won't have turn signals any more - both sides will flash with whichever turn direction you combined with.

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The original tail lights have a separate wire for each function. The running lights were on the outside (see pic); the stop & turn lights were on the inside. With this, can't I attach an adapter that will allow the separate turn and stop wires to be combined? I thought I was making things simpler, because there were so many wires and grounds connected to those lights. Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:21 PM   #8
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Attachment 3618


The original tail lights have a separate wire for each function. The running lights were on the outside (see pic); the stop & turn lights were on the inside. With this, can't I attach an adapter that will allow the separate turn and stop wires to be combined? I thought I was making things simpler, because there were so many wires and grounds connected to those lights. Thanks.
So what I get from this is that the existing inside lamps have two inputs each (plus the ground): one for turn, and a separate one for stop. The stop wires of the left and right lamps would be connected together.

Personally, there's no way I would give up the clarity of the completely separate turn signals if I already had the wiring from end to end to support it. I would make the turn signals amber, instead of red. But both of those are my preference.

As Mike mentioned, converters are both available and very widely used - my Sienna has one installed in it, so although it has separate stop and turn signals (three inputs: left, right, and stop), combined signals (2 outputs: left stop/turn and right stop/turn) are supplied to the trailer. The converter is normally in the tow vehicle, not installed on the trailer, although that could be done, too.
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:07 PM   #9
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Hello again Chris

Well the key to how rewire your lights is to see what wiring your tow vehicle has. You can then determine how to wire the trailer. The new lights have dual filiment bulbs which combine the running lights and stop turn lights into one bulb. If you have a tow vehicle with a combined stop and turn light (dual Filiment) you will be able to mount the new lights without a problem.

The previous owner of the trailer may have had separate turn and stop lights which could explain why the four lights were installed.

I think we can coach you through the problem but need a little more information on your tow vehicle lighting.

Let us know

Darrel
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Old 06-23-2006, 07:22 AM   #10
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To All,

Thanks for your suggestions on this topic. First, you must realize that the wiring in my camper is comparable to that of C-3PO's digestive tract. I don't know whose idea it was to stuff a ton of wires in there, but it's confusing! The good news is that my tow vehicle has ONE wire for the stop/turn signals. The extra wire for the stop light is there for what reason? Anyway, I have installed the new lights and attached the wires to the left light, but it doesn't work. I figure I need to ground it properly, because there is juice in those wires. I'm getting there! When I'm finished, I'll post before/after pics. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:27 AM   #11
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Ok Chris73

Electrical wiring can be a nightmare. Just take your time and trace each wire from the tow using a 12 volt circut tester and you should be alright.

Your trailer may have been towed by a vehicle that had separate turn and stop wiring which may account for the extra wires.

Good Luck

Darrel
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:28 AM   #12
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Ok Chris73

Electrical wiring can be a nightmare. Just take your time and trace each wire from the tow using a 12 volt circut tester and you should be alright.

Your trailer may have been towed by a vehicle that had separate turn and stop wiring which may account for the extra wires.

Good Luck

Darrel

Definitely tricky stuff! I have all lights working properly. I think the extra stop light wiring in there was for an extra center/rear light on the rear when we first bought the trailer... it never worked. I spent a lot of time unwrapping black tape from wire clumps and removing the needless wire, but I got 'er done! One ground was loose, so I rewired it, and everything is great! Thanks again for the help. I'll be posting some pics in the "Modifications" section in the next few days.
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Old 06-24-2006, 10:25 AM   #13
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When I'm finished, I'll post before/after pics.
That would be awesome.
If you installed completely new fixtures, you might even be able to sell your old ones here. Those lenses are valueable!
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:43 AM   #14
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I finally tackeled the wireing mess. Installed new LED tail light modules, fuse box, etc. I had the tow wired for the 4 wire system so stayed with that. The tail light sockets were corroded so replaced them because the new LED modules just plug in to them. The moduel fit perfectly inside the Boler red plastic tail light cover so finsihed it looks the same but the lights are bright enough to keep me safe! Here are photos from my blog...

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