Where to run the 7-pin wires? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-21-2015, 09:58 PM   #1
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Where to run the 7-pin wires?

Done a bit of searching but can't really find anything in this regard. Help!
I've got a 73 Compact II that I am rebuilding. This question is in regard to running the 7-pin wiring for trailer lights.
I have a trailer wire junction box (planning to mount on the tongue) and have added electric brakes to the trailer.

The current options are

1. Run the wires under the trailer attaching to the frame and come off as needed for the various lights (basically marker lights in the front and back and tail lights, brake lights, and/or back-up lights and maybe a third brake light). This option would entail using grommets, clips, and black flex wire conduit to run the wire through the frame.
OR
2. Bring the wires inside the trailer, run them down the interior of the trailer, and come off as needed for the various lights. The wires for the electric brakes would be run outside.

I would be interested in hearing pros and cons of both options.
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:45 AM   #2
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Most trailer wiring for the tail lights/brakes ect are run inside on TT's. But there is nothing written in stone if you want to run them along the frame. What ever is easiest for you and works will do.
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:01 AM   #3
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Almost all boat trailer brake and turn signal wires are run along the trailer's frame.

In my 1978 13' Scamp the wires are installed along the insides of the trailer. I doubt if I could get my fat body under the trailer to run wires along the frame!

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Old 11-22-2015, 08:34 AM   #4
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I would use a molded 7 pin pigtail and mount your junction box just inside the shell. All of your connections (except brakes) are protected from the weather. You usually drop the brake wire through the floor connect to one brake and run a wire over to the other brake.
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:14 AM   #5
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I agree with Eddie, put the junction box inside, under the front dinette seat(s). Then run all of the wires to the needed locations inside the trailer. Getting to the taillights can get a bit tricky, but what I did was cut the existing wires off where I could find them inside, attached a pull-wire to the old wire and pull that one out at the taillight opening, then thread in the new wires. If you have the bathroom it gets to be a real pain in the tush at the back wall on the right side. BTW: I always thread in at least 1 "Spare" wire for future needs/repairs.


Good Luck



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Old 11-22-2015, 11:36 AM   #6
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Almost all boat trailer brake and turn signal wires are run along the trailer's frame. Bill
I guess it beats running them through the boat unless, of course, they are real long...
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:50 AM   #7
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Option #2 for sure but with the junction box inside the trailer.
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #8
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no obstructions

As you can see, the interior is pretty empty, so it would be pretty easy, but then I'm concerned about trying to get to wires once I rebuild the interior--any hints?
And you can also see the new frame we built (my brother is a master welder,whoo!) and the old frame we are replacing.

On the other hand, like Bill, I don't relish having to shimmy around under the trailer to find that one place where there is something wrong with a wire. Not such a bad problem in the garage where I can jack it up, but out on the road or in a muddy campsite in the rain or snow?
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interior 3394 small.jpg   interior 3393 small.jpg  

CII new frame 011 small.jpg   axle 066.jpg  

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Old 11-22-2015, 09:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lora View Post
As you can see, the interior is pretty empty, so it would be pretty easy, but then I'm concerned about trying to get to wires once I rebuild the interior--any hints?
And you can also see the new frame we built (my brother is a master welder,whoo!) and the old frame we are replacing.

On the other hand, like Bill, I don't relish having to shimmy around under the trailer to find that one place where there is something wrong with a wire. Not such a bad problem in the garage where I can jack it up, but out on the road or in a muddy campsite in the rain or snow?
You're in a good spot to decide where you want and need any interior wires for lights and such. As long as your connections are good you shouldn't have any problem later. As far as any wire under the trailer, all I can say is I've never had a problem with any of them in 45 years of trailers other than at the plug in socket on the TV. I do like Bob's comment for an extra wire (or two stubbed out at an easy to access location) for possible later use since you have a blank slate to start with.
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
I do like Bob's comment for an extra wire (or two stubbed out at an easy to access location) for possible later use since you have a blank slate to start with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
BTW: I always thread in at least 1 "Spare" wire for future needs/repairs.
Good Luck
I'm not sure I understand the extra/spare wire concept as applied to the wires for the 7-pin. The only one I could think of would be the wire for the back-up lights because I'm not sure I will have them on the new lights. (Have to replace the original tail lights because of the strange modification that some po made and the plastic shrouds are pretty torn up and crumbly) but I will run the wire in case I do. Is there something I am missing?

Also, if I understand correctly, I will run the wiring for interior power separately from the 7-pin wiring although I may run them in the same locations. Any suggestions on marking to be able to tell them apart when they are tucked away in the back of a closet/cupboard? That might be an argument for running the 7-pin on the outside .
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lora View Post
I'm not sure I understand the extra/spare wire concept as applied to the wires for the 7-pin. The only one I could think of would be the wire for the back-up lights because I'm not sure I will have them on the new lights. (Have to replace the original tail lights because of the strange modification that some po made and the plastic shrouds are pretty torn up and crumbly) but I will run the wire in case I do. Is there something I am missing?

Also, if I understand correctly, I will run the wiring for interior power separately from the 7-pin wiring although I may run them in the same locations. Any suggestions on marking to be able to tell them apart when they are tucked away in the back of a closet/cupboard? That might be an argument for running the 7-pin on the outside .
Good questions Lora. The extra wire(s) and any interior uses would be from your power center not the 7 pin. Your tail/brake/clearance lights are fed from the 7 pin and are not connected to the power center. They run from the plug through the trailers interior to the bulbs. The brake power comes inside and then should be run through the floor and follow the frame to the brakes. When ever I have added extra wires to anything I have marked both ends with masking tape looped around the ends with 1, 2, 3 ect.
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Old 11-23-2015, 08:30 AM   #12
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Wires is wires, and the better protected they are the longer they will survive. The extra wire(s) I suggested is because you will be loosing sight and contact with some of those wires as you rebuild the interior. Wires break and accessories are added that weren't thought of originally. Wire is cheap, trying to thread a new wire behind walls and insulation can be a real time consumer. I completely rewired my Hunter with all of the original cabinets and wall coverings in place, it gets real tight in several; areas, especially inside the original partitions, around the kitchen alcove and at the rear lights.



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Old 11-23-2015, 08:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Wires is wires, and the better protected they are the longer they will survive. The extra wire(s) I suggested is because you will be loosing sight and contact with some of those wires as you rebuild the interior. Wires break and accessories are added that weren't thought of originally. Wire is cheap, trying to thread a new wire behind walls and insulation can be a real time consumer. I completely rewired my Hunter with all of the original cabinets and wall coverings in place, it gets real tight in several; areas, especially inside the original partitions, around the kitchen alcove and at the rear lights.
But those would be for interior power?
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:16 AM   #14
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I am a little lost here , are you not installing a converter ?
If you are then all the interior wiring will start at the converter.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:18 AM   #15
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Extra wire is a "Pull Wire" not necessarily for actual use. It is left loose running through the route you run your wires behind cabinets or under seats.


You use electrical tape to attach a new or replacement wire to the "pull wire", then pull the new wire through until you pull 2x the new wire length you need at the end location. Then you re-tape the pull wire on the new wire and use the new wire to pull the "pull wire" back through using the extra length of the of new wire.


You end up with a new wire at the location you are pulling to, and the original "Pull Wire" end back at your junction box for use next time you want to pull a wire behind the cabinets and under the seats all the way to the back.


Means if the blue wire to the breaks you use your pull wire to pull through a new blue wire. Need a new brown wire then pull a new brown wire. Use the extra of the new wire to draw your "fish" or "pull" wire back to the junction box so it is ready for next time.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:59 AM   #16
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Thank you for that excellent suggestion, RogerDat. It took me a couple of times of reading to get the picture, but I finally did! Very clever.

Bob in Mb, I will be putting in a converter. And, I will use it for the internal lighting. I can't imagine that there is any point at which the 7-pin is tied into this system, except maybe the 12V charging wire? I'd have to take another look at my notes which are currently at home. Please, correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 11-23-2015, 11:19 AM   #17
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OK... As an example, about a year after finishing the interior of my Hunter, I wanted to add a porch light to the left of the door. I just fished out the ends of 2 of 4 extra wires I have left in place between the left dinette seat area (where I installed a PD-4045 Power Center) and the back wall under the kitchen sink, and powered the light with those wires. A year later I added a second water pump under the sink for an outside fresh water supply, and I used one more of the 2 remaining wires for that and shared the ground with the porch light. Of course both were separately fused when attached to the converter/battery.



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Old 11-23-2015, 11:33 AM   #18
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Thank you, Bob. I will keep that in mind when I start working on the interior wiring.

Sometimes it is so confusing to keep this wiring information straight since there are basically two different systems in this one little trailer. And it sometimes takes me two or three readings to sort out which comments go with which. So, please bear with me if I ask clarifying questions.
All ya'll are such a mine of information and experience!
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:48 PM   #19
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Thank you, Bob. I will keep that in mind when I start working on the interior wiring.
Sometimes it is so confusing to keep this wiring information straight since there are basically two different systems in this one little trailer. And it sometimes takes me two or three readings to sort out which comments go with which. So, please bear with me if I ask clarifying questions.
All ya'll are such a mine of information and experience!
You got it, guess we should have said 2 systems before. The 7 pin powers the running/brake lights and power to the power center to charge the house battery while towing, that's it for that system. All interior lights and such are run off the house battery. The extra wires (?) are only inside.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:31 PM   #20
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Personally most issues with trailer wiring comes from faulty grounds.

For me I run individual ground wires from one junction point for each circuit. From your junction box I would run a ground wire to the right turn/brake light assembly. Another ground to the Left turn assembly. A separate ground to the 12 volt side of the fridge etc.

Every frustrating 12 volt DC issues were caused by wires spliced together like a tree branch or from everything running a ground to the frame using the frame as a common ground point. Things get old, exposed and corroded.

This costs more money but 10 years from now if you have issues you have a single wire run to sort out rather than 1 main branch circuit with 10 different splices and /or scotchlock connectors.

When I put my load center in for 12 volt dc I ran one pair of wires to each item. One ground and one power and one fuse. This way when the trailer goes to someone else and they blow a fuse its a simple easy fix effecting no other circuits.

Just remember to label both ends of the wire runs. I am not getting any younger and anything I can do now not to have to fight with later when my memory gets worse and life much more frustrating is a good investment.
Barring an accident this 30 year old trailer will out live me so a little extra effort will pay off for someone.
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