Basic Camper Towing Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-12-2010, 10:05 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1977 Trillium 4500
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Hello all. I'm getting ready to go pick up my (new to me) Trillium 4500 and have a few towing questions - here's my deal:

My Vehicle: 1988 Toyota Landcruiser
Stock Connector: Flat four, 3 Female, 1 Male
Want to tow: Vintage camper AND occasionally a standard boat trailer

I understand that campers have a special connector and I want to be prepared to bring it back safely - any suggestions? Do I need to
splice in a 7 pin connector on my Toyota?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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Over the years, campers have come with a variety of 6 and 7 pin connectors. These days, they've mostly settled on the 7 bladed connection. Older trailers may have something else. If you want to use the trailer brakes then I suggest than you're going to want to splice in a new connector.

I'd suggest the 7 bladed (flat) connection because they make a variety of adapters that convert from that to almost any other plug you'll run across.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:11 AM   #3
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Just so we are clear: Splicing in a 7 blade connect will give you lights but will not give you brakes unless you have or install a brake controller.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:58 AM   #4
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Name: Laura & Rick
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Here's a 4-way and 7-way combination plug that works without the need for an adapter,
http://www.etrailer.com/p-37185.htm
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
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Name: Steve and Rosemary
Trailer: 89 Scamp 16 ft side toilet
Utah
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I have a "related" question about towing our new '89 Scamp. This is a long post, so feel free to just read the red text to get a general idea. I hate to waste other's time! Our Explorer came with a tow package but we're getting a bigger hitch -- no problem. Also, it came rigged with a flat four plug and the Scamp has a flat 7 point (6 around 1 I think). So at the trailer place, we got what I think is a "T One" converter to go from four on the Explorer to seven on the trailer. It's pretty obvious how it works -- the trailer plugs into one end that will be mounted on the hitch; and the Explorer's flat four goes into the piece on the adapter that it will fit.

It's at this point that we have questions. There are four additional wires coming out of the "vehicle" end of the adapter. The colors are white, black, yellow, and blue. As I understand it, the white is a ground, the black is for batter power, the blue is for brakes, and I'm GUESSING that the yellow is like purple -- for auxiliary. Question One: Am I right about my colors on the four extra wires on the adapter? white-ground, blue-brakes, black-battery power, yellow-auxilliary like purple.

So we're not going to do the brake controller yet, but we will eventually. The ground is pretty self explanatory. I doubt we'll use the yellow. But we DO want to use the black so we can "charge" the trailer while we're in transit (i.e., keep the 3-way fridge running off of DC power to keep food cold). So far, I have read that you have to run the black wire up to the battery. At this point, things get foggy again. Question Two: Does the black wire from the adapter need to be connected to the positive or negative post of the Explorer's battery? This seems like a big deal to me, but there seems to be some confusion!

Also, my mechanic wants to put a fuse in and I'm sure that's a good idea. The guy at the trailer place mentioned that, so no problem there. But I've also heard talk about "isolators" and I can't really figure out if I need one or not, or if the Scamp already has one built in, or where to put one. I haven't asked my mechanic, so he may know but I figure I've written this much.... Question Three: Do we need an isolator, does the Scamp '89 16' already have one, where do we put it?

And with that, I think my questions will be answered. If you have a website or photos that can explain this well or ANY suggestions, we'd both be very thankful!

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Old 03-05-2010, 05:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
[b]Question One: Am I right about my colors on the four extra wires on the adapter? white-ground, blue-brakes, black-battery power, yellow-auxilliary like purple.

[b]Question Two: Does the black wire from the adapter need to be connected to the positive or negative post of the Explorer's battery?

[b]Question Three: Do we need an isolator, does the Scamp '89 16' already have one, where do we put it?

See my answers in this link.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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Name: Phil
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 4500 (previously a 1978 Trillium 4500, Rpod 171 and Surveyor SV251)
Nova Scotia
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I think you would be better to splice in a 4pin connector about a foot back of the 7pin connector on the trailer end (giving you the option of attaching your trailer to either a 4 or 7 pin equipped tow vehicle) than splicing in a 7 pin connector on your Toyota tow vehicle which has no brake controller. Its cheaper and simpler this way.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
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I bought the combination 7 blade and 4 blade connector that Laura and Rick pictured for my Subaru. That way when I pull my trailers, I use the 7 way, and if I have to rent a trailer from U-Haul they always want a 4 way plug to connect to.
The 7/4 way adapter has the 4 way that connects directly to your present 4 way (make sure you use that dielectric grease to prevent corrosion at that connection) and then you hard wire the other 4 loose wires (black to positive battery, blue to trailer brakes if you have them, white to a ground, and yellow to backup lights (at least on my Scamp).
Keep in mind that not all trailers are wired the same way. Most are, and you can go to the Scamp webpage to download a manual that shows how "most" Scamps are wired, but you should test each of your trailer wires at the connector before you hook it up to the tow vehicle to make sure it's standard wiring.

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Old 03-06-2010, 07:00 AM   #9
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When we got our Boler it had a 6 way connector and I made up a`Y` cord with both a 6 pin and a 4 pin so that i could change to the other when hauling the boat. When i upgraded the tow I changed to a 7 way as I could not find a compatible 6 way at the time.The reason for the larger connector is so that you can add more options like a live 12V connection from the tow battery for your interior lights. Saw a brand new Dodge PU that had both a 7 waw AND a four way as a stock item. All this means is, the choice is yours to make.
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