Trailer Lights - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-20-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp
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Trailer Lights

When hooking up my new to me Scamp for the first time to our TV, I found that the tail and marker lights weren't working. I had left and right turn as well as brakes, but no running lights.

Looking at the plug on the trailer it looked to have been drug on the ground for some time and was also dirty and corroded. So I figured I would just wire in a new one, the colors where on a piece of paper in the new plug so I would be good to go. Stupid me didn't make a diagram of how the existing plug was wired in.

So after wiring it up for the first time and getting crazy results with the trailer lights, I came here read many threads and looked at the documents to get an idea of how the plug should be wired. I also made a diagram of the colors for the TV plug and matched them up with the colors and actions of the lights on the trailer. I wired it up again, but this time I get nothing, no lights at all on the trailer.

To note, I didn't have the trailer on the ball, just plugged it in.

So now my questions. Is there a fuse some where on the trailer that I might have blown with my first bad wiring job for the trailer tow lights? Would it have made a difference if it had been on the ball hooked to the TV?

I am getting a tester today to test the TV hookup, as well as a new battery for the trailer. Would I be able to hook the white wire from the trailer hookup to negative and the colored wires for each light to the positive on the new battery and see the lights light up, or should I use a smaller battery for that or is that just a bad idea?
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcassady View Post
To note, I didn't have the trailer on the ball, just plugged it in.
  1. Is there a fuse some where on the trailer that I might have blown with my first bad wiring job for the trailer tow lights?
  2. Would it have made a difference if it had been on the ball hooked to the TV?
  1. There should not be a fuse in the Vehicle Lighting circuits in the trailer. Are the all corresponding lights in the tow vehicle still working?
  2. Sometimes the ball and metal frame is used as a "ground" or negative return path. A missing ground could cause your problem
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
  1. There should not be a fuse in the Vehicle Lighting circuits in the trailer. Are the all corresponding lights in the tow vehicle still working?
  2. Sometimes the ball and metal frame is used as a "ground" or negative return path. A missing ground could cause your problem
1) Yes the lights were still working on the TV during our last test.

2) Tonight I will hook the trailer up completely for another test.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jcassady View Post
1) Yes the lights were still working on the TV during our last test.

2) Tonight I will hook the trailer up completely for another test.

Double check, triple check, etc. etc. that you the trailer plug wired correctly.
I tried to help a guy with a Lexus in Death Valley a few years ago. He was wiring the plug on his popup. I told he was 180 off. He wouldn't believe me until the wiring smoked and he killed a $400.00 alternator.
In his case the drawing that came with the replacement plug confused him a bit. So be careful.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:25 PM   #5
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Your vehicle might have a fuse for trailer lighting. As stated above, make sure the wiring is right before hooking up again.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #6
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Just wanted to get back and report my findings. What I found out is I'm dumb. I had the plug upside down, so I had each pin off by 180 degrees. Turned it over, wired it up and the lights worked.

I did have to replace a couple bulbs in the marker lights, as well as brush at the wire contacts for the marker lights. I'm not too fond of the marker lights since just jiggling the the wire to them seems to shut them off.

Are there nicer direct replacement lights that I could use that wouldn't require me to dig out the wires from the inside?

As you have probably noticed, this is the first camper I have personally owned. In my younger years I spent quite a bit of time in a stick camper during the summer, but all of this was taken care of by my father.

Also, from reading here I have learned some new things. First night we stayed in the camper bringing it home only one of our 12V lights worked, and it was very dim. We plugged into shore power, but the light was still very dim, at least we had the 120V light behind the sink. Anyway, new battery and bulbs and we have bright lights, but from this forum I learned that I should have had a much brighter light when on shore power. Sure enough opened the drivers side bench, checked the converter fuses, and both of them were blown. I put in new fuses and getting 13.6V out of it now.

The person we bought it from only had it 2 months and never used it, and I have no idea how long it sat from the person before him. I'll keep checking the fuses for a while to ensure they don't go again.

Just wanted to say thanks to all of the people on this forum who share their info.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jcassady View Post
Just wanted to get back and report my findings. What I found out is I'm dumb. I had the plug upside down, so I had each pin off by 180 degrees. Turned it over, wired it up and the lights worked.

.......
There is supposed to be a key and key way in the two halves to prevent this. I use a paint marker to mark plugs like this so I don't have to hesitate and figure it out each time.
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