LED compatibility OK? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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LED compatibility OK?

I read in the manual for our 2008 VW Golf that I should not connect a trailer with LED lights to my car - that it could damage the wiring system in my Golf. I can't imagine this is unique to the VW Golf. Anyone else read or hear such a thing???

Melanie
(Hoping to buy a 13' Boler this weekend!)
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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There is a fix for trailers with LED's that are inoperable, that continue to pulsate, drain the battery, and cause improper brake light function.
Here is a brief summary as to why this happens:

Apparently the trailer wiring is checked by the OBD system when a complete circuit is detected, and is also checked for proper operation of the lights. The LED trailer lights do not provide enough draw on the electrical system to where they realize they are in fact operating correctly.

One of the features found a while back is that while your trailer is plugged in and your alarm is active, if there is a change in power draw in/on your trailer (example unplugging it or turning on a light,) the alarm system will recognize this and activate.
To overcome this condition, electrical resistors need to be installed in the wiring circuits to create a sufficient "load" on these LED circuits for them to work properly (i.e. not throw your car's on-board computer into having a hissy fit).

If you want to make your own adapter, I would suggest you use 100 Ohm / 2 watt resistors, or greater, and this is due to the fact that: Volts = Current (x) Resistance, (and in your case, when running, the voltage is pretty close to 14V. So the current would be 14v / 100 ohms = .14 amp). Power (Watts) = current (x) voltage, and in your case this would be: Watt = .14A X 14V = 1.96 Watts.

While a 1 watt resistor may work, as normally brake lights are on a short period, and there may be a voltage drop due to the wire run, which can result in less current flow – in either, (or both,) cases, allowing the 1 watt resistor a chance to cool before getting hot enough to burn up - I would suggest that if you want be safe use a 2 watt or greater resistor.

Remember that these resistors need to be metal oxide, and from what the engineers at VWoA say, these should be rated at 3 watts.

Please keep in mind that you have to identify what wires are what on your harness! They may vary depending on the manufacturer of the harness adaptor. I would assume that any LED lights would need to be modified to allow for correct operation.

You will need to create a new “ adaptor pig tail" to fit between the car’s RV plug and the trailer’s umbilical, and not in the wiring of either the car or trailer themselves. This is so that the trailer would still work properly when towed by another vehicle, and also that if you use another trailer with regular lights with your VW, that it will also work properly.

I’ve heard that U-Haul sells an adapter that is claimed to overcome this problem.
Hope this helps.
Greg
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
There is a fix for trailers with LED's that are inoperable, that continue to pulsate, drain the battery, and cause improper brake light function.
Here is a brief summary as to why this happens:

Apparently the trailer wiring is checked by the OBD system when a complete circuit is detected, and is also checked for proper operation of the lights. The LED trailer lights do not provide enough draw on the electrical system to where they realize they are in fact operating correctly.

One of the features found a while back is that while your trailer is plugged in and your alarm is active, if there is a change in power draw in/on your trailer (example unplugging it or turning on a light,) the alarm system will recognize this and activate.
To overcome this condition, electrical resistors need to be installed in the wiring circuits to create a sufficient "load" on these LED circuits for them to work properly (i.e. not throw your car's on-board computer into having a hissy fit).

If you want to make your own adapter, I would suggest you use 100 Ohm / 2 watt resistors, or greater, and this is due to the fact that: Volts = Current (x) Resistance, (and in your case, when running, the voltage is pretty close to 14V. So the current would be 14v / 100 ohms = .14 amp). Power (Watts) = current (x) voltage, and in your case this would be: Watt = .14A X 14V = 1.96 Watts.

While a 1 watt resistor may work, as normally brake lights are on a short period, and there may be a voltage drop due to the wire run, which can result in less current flow Ė in either, (or both,) cases, allowing the 1 watt resistor a chance to cool before getting hot enough to burn up - I would suggest that if you want be safe use a 2 watt or greater resistor.

Remember that these resistors need to be metal oxide, and from what the engineers at VWoA say, these should be rated at 3 watts.

Please keep in mind that you have to identify what wires are what on your harness! They may vary depending on the manufacturer of the harness adaptor. I would assume that any LED lights would need to be modified to allow for correct operation.

You will need to create a new ď adaptor pig tail" to fit between the carís RV plug and the trailerís umbilical, and not in the wiring of either the car or trailer themselves. This is so that the trailer would still work properly when towed by another vehicle, and also that if you use another trailer with regular lights with your VW, that it will also work properly.

Iíve heard that U-Haul sells an adapter that is claimed to overcome this problem.
Hope this helps.
Greg
Thank you Greg!
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
Thank you Greg!
One more thing, if you build your own adapter or put resistors in make sure they are not in contact with things that will melt easily. A 2 or 3 Watt resistor dissipating that much power will get hot. It needs to cool down before touching.
If there's an adapter available I really recommend that that be purchased rather than attempting your own unless you know what you're doing, think you know doesn't work, be sure.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:00 AM   #5
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Deleted, thanks P. Raz.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:48 AM   #6
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Deleted. You're welcome.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
I read in the manual for our 2008 VW Golf that I should not connect a trailer with LED lights to my car - that it could damage the wiring system in my Golf. I can't imagine this is unique to the VW Golf. Anyone else read or hear such a thing???

Melanie
(Hoping to buy a 13' Boler this weekend!)
The first thing I would do is call the service dept. at the local VW dealership. If they say absolutely don't do it and you still want to, I suspect the local Uhaul or RV place will have a fix. Electronically it's not hard to sense the light signals without the car systems "knowing" it and if there is a need, someone has made a box to do it. If so. Etrailer probably sells it. You might look there.

I recall at least one member pulling a 13 ft rig with either a Golf or a Jetta and I have to believe there electrical systems are similar if not the same. Good luck and please keep us posted. Raz
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