Trailer sparks at hitch - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2014, 10:46 PM   #15
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Name: Khristy
Trailer: 1979 Trillium
California
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Byron, I hope you're wrong ... but I appreciate the realistic advice! It seems like a pretty simple system though the converter and the grounding seems more complicated than my old camper van.

-K
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:17 AM   #16
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Name: Frank
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Sparking at hitch

If it didn't spark with the 2.5 drop hitch try it again with the 2.5 drop hitch.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:56 AM   #17
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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A different hitch lift size wouldn't make any difference to the wiring unless going from one to the other put the connector wire in a short coupled situation and maybe caused a short in the line that shorted out. You may want to also look at your tugs plug connections before you go into the trailer for the problem. Always ground from the tug to the trailer, not through the ball. The company I retired from had 150 vehicles and 95 % of any electrical trailer problems was a ground problem. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:53 AM   #18
Raz
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Vermont
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Does your trailer have electric brakes? That's one circuit that is more likely to have a connection to the frame, intentional or otherwise. That said, bear in mind that every poor wiring job was done by someone who thought they knew what they were doing. Faults like this are difficult to find and can be dangerous. Consider getting some one knowledgable to help. Raz
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:32 AM   #19
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Everything 12 volts should be grounded to the frame simply because that's where the battery(s) are (supposed to be) grounded.

A different grounding question comes up if you are using a Inverter (12VDC to 120 VAC) about grounding it, but that wasn't mentioned earlier.

Also verify that your shore power cord is correctly connected. Easiest way to do this is to always have an outlet polarity checker on hand (<$10 at hardware stores)

BTW: If you still have the original, now 35 y.o., converter, it might be time for that to go as well..... a p.o. may have redone wiring to compensate for a short or ac leakage in that piece of antiquity.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:16 AM   #20
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I would take the trailer 7 pin apart to check if the cord cap strain relief has pinched through the wires' coating.
Dave & Paula
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #21
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Name: Frank
Trailer: Casita
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Sparking Hitch

Do you have an emergency switch that sets the trailer brakes when the trailer comes unhooked to the TV, sometimes called a break away switch, that possibly has been triggered? This switch is a DOT required switch I believe.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:33 PM   #22
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Name: Khristy
Trailer: 1979 Trillium
California
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Thanks Everybody for keeping us going!

I pulled the battery and cut out the positive and negative wires connected to the red and white wires at the power converter. They looked fine but wanted to make sure and really didn't like the connection point anyway.

We ran through it all again today. We hooked up the battery temporarily to the same locations at the power converter ... And no sparks!!

We're starting to wonder if we didn't have the plug into the tug tight and that caused the sparking?

We're still a little confused but everything (ac / dc / with tow vehicle only / with trailer battery only) seems to be working. We're going to re-wire the battery to a Blue Sea fuse box under the gaucho and clean up the wiring under there. We're going to replace the seven pin wiring from the hitch plug to the gaucho. I may play with a negative wire to the trailer frame from the Blue Sea box.

And hopefully we'll be ready to camp soon!

Thanks again for all of the assistance.

KG
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:18 AM   #23
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Name: Randy
Trailer: 1980Trillium 1300
Ontario
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Assorted electrical sources combination in trailer/tow vehicle system

..Things as I know of : green wire is for ground/chassis frame contacts, white is for common and should be float, black for positive 12VDC, red from trailer converter is for charging trailer battery. The whole system includes: trailer battery, shore power 120VAC, trailer converter(120VAC to 12VDC), 12VDC from towing vehicle( signals, stops, brake lights....), towing vehicle battery..and also solar power from trailer. Do not mistake green(common ground) for white(common bond). Not including ebrake or back up alarm/camera for trailer. That is came from my trailer I hooked it up ALL as diy project. It works perfectly...Just a share...
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:30 AM   #24
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Just a heads up.... While there are "Standard" color codes for wiring, 1) The rig in question was built 35 years ago when the color codes were different, if even followed at all and, 2) It's been through tons of owners who, like me, usually use the color of wire they have on hand, rather than going out and buying wire by color and length.....

In short NEVER trust color codes or, as a famous co-star to a chimp once said, "Trust, but verify".
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