Running Lights - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-25-2006, 07:30 PM   #1
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OK....I must have done something stuipid again!!!

When I plug into my trailers...(both of them)...I do not have running lights or tail lights when the light knob is twisted to the on position in the Toyota Tacoma. Turn signals work fine, as do the brake and backup lights. The running lights just don't light up and the tail lights do not turn on. The taillights work fine on the truck.

Since this is the case on both of the trailers I'm thinking the problem is a fuse in the truck, but I can't find a bad one...Any ideas???

Earlier this week I had a turn signal problem in the Foot, but fixed it by tweaking the plug connection. The other trailer never had a problem until today.

Paul
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:50 PM   #2
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The converter/isolator which connects the truck wiring to the trailer likely has its own fuses for the output circuits; in my case (a Sienna with the Toyota wiring kit) the fuses are in in-line holders right beside the converter box, which is in the compartment with the jack. The Tacoma, of course, will have a different location, but still likely has the fuses. Mine has separate fuses for the "tail" circuit (running lights) and the signals, which would match what is being observed here.

My tail circuit fuse was only 5A, which isn't much given the eleven clearance and identification lights, in addition to the tail lights. That Bigfoot looks tall and wide enough to need all those lights as well, so the circuit may have been overloaded.

I have to admit here that I "fixed" the problem with a larger capacity fuse. This violates a basic rule of electrical safety, and I cannot recommend it. The wiring is all more than capable of handling 10 amps, but I have no idea if all my lights (the factory original configuration) are overloading the relay or other internal components of the converter. At least I have not changed the fuse in the supply to the converter (I have not even looked to see where that is), so I know I am not overloading that side.

In hindsight, instead of staying with equivalent-to-stock clearance lights when replacing the corroded old stuff, I should have gone with LED lamps. They would look almost stock, last longer, work more reliably, and draw much less power. Live and learn...
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:35 PM   #3
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Earlier this week I had a turn signal problem in the Foot, but fixed it by tweaking the plug connection. The other trailer never had a problem until today.
Paul
I have an 05 Tacoma. It did not come with a factory wiring harness and I had to add a taillite convertor. The convertor may be bad but I doubt it. My last small Toyota was 29 years old and had the original convertor.
Take you trailer to truck connectors, male and female, apart and check the wiring where it connects to the connector. The wires are usually held in the plug with a screw. These are prone to corrosion.
If they are corroded cut them back to clean wire, strip to correct length and silver solder the end of the wire before you place it back in the cleaned connector. This will not only be more corrosion resistant but it will give you a much better connection.
Hope this helps,
John
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Old 09-25-2006, 09:14 PM   #4
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Paul:
The original car-to-trailer connector on mine had those round pin-style connectors which are actually split pins. One or more went out on the road and I pried the split pins apart for better contact. It worked. Later as I noted the corrosion on them I replaced the connectors with the Pollak/Bargman spring-loaded flat connectors. Much better. Just in case this applies to your setup.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:58 PM   #5
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I would check the wire connections in the Bargman connector at the tow vehicle....seems that`s where your problem may be.......I had a similar problem on the road one time and it was when I put on a class IV hitch instead of the bumper hitch....the stinger was a bit too long and when I turned the trailer too sharp, it pulled out a wire connection in the connector because the cable became too short......after reconnecting the cable in the connector, I borrowed a drill bit at a shop to redrill another hole in my stinger for the pin and that shortened the hitch length and gave me the extra cable that I needed for it to stay connected....problem was solved! .....possibly in your case, when it was wired one of the set screws either wasn`t tightened or the wire wasn`t in properly when it was tightened and now isn`t making a connection....Benny
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:55 AM   #6
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I just had the exact same thing happen to me almost two weeks ago when I was heading out on a trip. It was a fuse inside my vehicle. Frustrating thing was that I knew to start with the fuse but I couldn't find it. Finally located it after delaying my trip for several hours. I thought I was going to have to locate the cause of the short, but it's still working fine so I don't think it was a short. I think it was just time for the fuse to go.

FWIW, I have two fuse boxes. It wasn't in the one it should have been, and I would have never tought that running lights would have been labeled "TRLR PRK". I even had one service rep tell me that it had to be in the trailer. I asked him where the fuse was for that wire. He said that if the .... Oh, you don't want to hear about it. Just know this: People who are supposed to know, don't always know.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:39 AM   #7
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Paul,
I suspect Brian and Suz are on the right track since the problem affects both trailers.
You might try checking with the parts dep't at your closest Toyota dealer.
They'll have the location of the rear fuse as close as their finger tips.
That said, I think I'll check where our's is hidden on our Tundra
Please keep us posted on your progress.
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:48 PM   #8
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Paul,

I think everyone's on the right track... but first... I presume you have a Volt-ohm-meter or test light? Do you have taillight power at the female "truck end" pins of the Bargman connector? If so, then you probably have ground issues with the trailers. 99% of all trailer lighting problems (particularly the wierd ones) involve a transient ground.

If you don't have power to the taillight pin, then continue back into the connector and wiring until you do. More than likely it will just be corrosion on the wiring connector side of the female Bargman connector.

If there's no power at all on that line, then it's likely a fuse issue somewhere in the Tacoma.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Roger
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:49 AM   #9
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Glad you mentioned the test light thingy, Roger. I meant to, but splicing out the major part of my story, I forgot to mention it. I'm not an expert with those doodads, but I knew that when all of the other slots were showing power (with the engine on) and that one wasn't ... well, that my my first clue.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:42 AM   #10
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found this doing a quick search on google:

Toyota Tacoma's came with a separate harness and fuse block just for the trailer lights/harness (this is separate from the under dash (#1) and under hood (#2). On a 2004 Tacoma Pre-Runner, it located underneath the driver's side rear jump seat next to the factory tire jack.

hope it helps
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:53 PM   #11
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Thanks y'all...It was in the truck under the jump seat behind the drivers seat. I blew out a 5a fuse...one of those little mini fuses.

Now, next question.

I'd like to hook up a new 12v rear view camera to the running lights...Mount it in the rear window (center, top) and patch the wiring into the top center running light wires. I don't think it will blow this fuse, but if it does, can I just take out the 5amp fuse and put in a 10amp fuse...The wires are the same thickness for the 5,10 and 15 amp circuits in my truck and trailer so I assume the wire will handle the extra draw without over heating.

What do y'all think???? And will I have to be concerned with which wire is positive and which is ground going to the camera since it will just complete the circuit no matter which way I hook it up???


Paul (not a genius when it comes to wiring) in Portland
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Old 09-30-2006, 02:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
And will I have to be concerned with which wire is positive and which is ground going to the camera since it will just complete the circuit no matter which way I hook it up???
I think proper operation of the camera needs actual polarity to be correct.
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Old 09-30-2006, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'd like to hook up a new 12v rear view camera to the running lights...

What do y'all think????
So... you'll [b]HAVE TO turn on the running lights in order to get the camera to work. Is this limitation worth the ease of wire installation?

Do you normally use your running lights during the day?
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Old 10-01-2006, 01:13 AM   #14
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You don't want anything on the light system except the lights -- Power the camera from a 12VDC fuse in your converter's fuse panel.

There have been numerous discussions of rear camera installations on Yahoo Scampers if you care to search the archives there (You'll have to be a Yahoo member, but it's free) -- There might also be some discussions in one of the tech forums on RV.NET
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