UHaul 13'er - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2006, 10:39 PM   #1
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Trailer: U-Haul 13 ft
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Well, at the risk of sounding really simple-minded, I pose this question....the tail lights on our '85 UHaul work in what appears to be opposite than normal; that is, the red lens are for brake and turn signals and the amber lens above it are the running lights. When we questioned the previous owner, he swore that that configuration was the one that came with the unit (he was original owner). Is it possible that these lens are wired "backward"? We have never seen a vehicle with amber running lights and question the legality of it. Has anyone else encountered this before or do the lights on the UHaul operate in this manner??
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:56 AM   #2
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What kind of wiring harness is on it? I believe the stock UHaul plug was a 6-way round connector with separate wires for the brake and turn signals. After purchasing mine, I replaced the 6-way round with a 7-way to match the plug on my truck. Mine now works the way you described, with the lower red lens acting as both the brake and turn signals, and the upper amber lens acting as a running light. As far as I know, there is nothing illegal about it (at least in TN, you may check your local DMV).
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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I don't know about Tennesee, but I would be surprised if amber running lights were legal anywhere in the world, and astonished if they were legal in North America. This sounds like a configuration which was originally designed for separate turn signals (the amber lights), plus and brake/running lights (red) which are not used for signals. With the combined brake/turn system, the lights are wrong, and I can see how using the amber lenses for the running lights might be seen as a way to make the conversion. I would change the lenses to the right colour.

From ALBERTA REGULATION 322/2002, Traffic Safety Act, VEHICLE EQUIPMENT REGULATION, Section 13:
Quote:
(4) A [b]tail lamp must be capable of emitting a [b]red light that is visible from at least 150 metres to the rear.
...
(1) A self‑propelled implement of husbandry, a trailer, the last vehicle of a train of vehicles and a motor vehicle, other than a motor cycle or moped, must have at least 2 tail lamps mounted at the rear.
... and section 17 - Colour
Quote:
17(1) A lamp on the rear of a vehicle [b]must emit red light unless this Regulation permits another colour.

(2) Back‑up lamps that are lit only when a vehicle is backing up may emit white light.
... and section 23 - Signal Lamp Standards
Quote:
(3) One set of [b]turn signal lamps on a vehicle that has turn signal lamps must comply with the following:
( a ) they must be located at or near the rear of the vehicle;
( b ) they must be on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable;
( c ) when lit, they must emit [b]red or amber light that is plainly visible from at least 250 metres to the rear.
I added the bold highlights to the official text, and of course I may have missed some relevant reference to colour.

For a more general reference, ttmatson provided this one in the topic [b]new running lights
http://www.redneck-trailer.com/2004/J/PagesJ-2-J-4.pdf
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:53 PM   #4
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Trailer: U-Haul 13 ft
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Thanks, Guys, for the info. My round wiring harness has beren converted to a flat, square plus (from a 7 point to a 5) thus the problem. Rather than getting into the front wiring mess, I'm gonna try simply changing the wiring at the taile light assembly; it does not appear as though I can reverse the lens, turning them upside-down and from left to right. Apparently in the coversion process they lost the running (overhead) lights and the battery charging wiring as well, none of which is too big of a deal considering the 15 amp/watt solar charger and the Catapillar D-9 battery that I have installed . Just moved here from NM and having SERIOUS problems finding a decent mechanic in the area.....could tell ya some real horror stories here.....as I guess we all can .Thanks again!
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:11 PM   #5
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Brian, after I read your post, I realized my first post was in error. My recommendation, Lance, is to fix the wiring at the harness (and replace the harness, if needed, to match your tow vehicle's). As soon as I got home, I went out to the UHaul, connected the pigtail to the truck, and turned on the lights and turn signals. Mine operates as follows: the lower (red) lens is the brake signal, while the upper (amber) lens is the turn signal. In addition to these, there are three running lights above the rear window and four running lights on the sides (one on each side, fore and aft). These have red lenses, but they appear fairly clear (they are a distinctly different shade than the stop signal). When I brought the UHaul home, I took the 6 wires UHaul installed at the harness and traced each one to determine its function. I then matched those wires to the standard 4-wire system used today. FWIW, UHaul did not install a wire running from the harness to the battery. It appears that a previous owner rewired the harness to match his/her vehicle's, and that doesn't match yours.
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:43 PM   #6
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Brian, after I read your post, I realized my first post was in error. My recommendation, Lance, is to fix the wiring at the harness (and replace the harness, if needed, to match your tow vehicle's). As soon as I got home, I went out to the UHaul, connected the pigtail to the truck, and turned on the lights and turn signals. Mine operates as follows: the lower (red) lens is the brake signal, while the upper (amber) lens is the turn signal. In addition to these, there are three running lights above the rear window and four running lights on the sides (one on each side, fore and aft). These have red lenses, but they appear fairly clear (they are a distinctly different shade than the stop signal). When I brought the UHaul home, I took the 6 wires UHaul installed at the harness and traced each one to determine its function. I then matched those wires to the standard 4-wire system used today. FWIW, UHaul did not install a wire running from the harness to the battery. It appears that a previous owner rewired the harness to match his/her vehicle's, and that doesn't match yours.
I am wondering if I could simply exchange the two wire system (reverse them) from top to bottom as they both appear to have double filiment bulbs We are thinking of selling this unit for a bigger one thus the new owner(s) can tackle this. This seems to be the only quirk to this camper
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:45 PM   #7
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If both lights are dual filament, I would consider leaving the orange as turn signal and marker light, and the red as marker and brake light.
as long as the wiring goes back to the front of the trailer. It simply means using an extra wire from your main harness and connecting it to the high mounted centre brakelight wire on your tow vehicle. If your tow already has euro style red and orange lighting even simpler.
I always find having both lights more visible than just one.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:02 PM   #8
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If both lights are dual filament, I would consider leaving the orange as turn signal and marker light, and the red as marker and brake light.
as long as the wiring goes back to the front of the trailer. It simply means using an extra wire from your main harness and connecting it to the high mounted centre brakelight wire on your tow vehicle. If your tow already has euro style red and orange lighting even simpler.
I always find having both lights more visible than just one.

Isn't that kind of hard to do with 4 wires?

1. 12 volt negative (sometimes called "ground")
2. left turn/brake
3. Right turn/brake
4. Tail or running lights.
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:06 AM   #9
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with only 4 yes, it would be the kind of task my supervisor usually wants, yesterday.
however with a 7 conductor cable (standard rv type)
it can be done by using the auxilliary wire as a single brakelight rather than, an igniton controlled feed source.

the urgent is done right away, the impossible may take a bit longer.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:36 AM   #10
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On mine the ambers are disconnected. The red is running,turn and brake light with 2 eliment bulbs and the 3 upper running as wel as the red marker lights on the rear and amber markers on the front. Thats with a simple standard flat four plug trailer plug that is patched into the left rear tail light on most any truck or suv.

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail....874&ptset=A
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