7 pin connector - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-16-2014, 10:33 AM   #1
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7 pin connector

Hello, have a 2013 21 foot Bigfoot a 2014 ram 1500. Problem is the BF 7 PIN connector doesn't sit securely in the truck 7 pin receiver. Connector wobbles and seems not to go all the way in. Can't force it anyway more into the truck connector contact seems to be good but right turn signal on BF seems weak with truck headlights on. Clear as mud I imagine. Any thoughts? Thanks.

David
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:43 AM   #2
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The connector on the truck or the trailer may be damaged, and need replacing.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:47 AM   #3
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Bent spade pin or receptacle. Also, Clean all connectors then wash out with something like WD40, and try again. If that fixes it then apply dielectric grease to both the plug and receptacle to seal out moisture.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:57 AM   #4
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Is the connection on the truck side a factory install or an aftermarket?

I had the wiring done on my last tug at a shop that installed a rather flimsy connection with a hinged cover. It did not hold the plug firm and had to use small bungee cord for a time to keep it securely connected. Replaced it with one that had a much sturdier hinged covered (also a little pricer) and the trailer plug connected tighter and the hinged plug cover was much stronger and as a result it helped a lot to keep the plug in place. When I switched tugs the factory install plug on the new tug was an even better/tighter fit than the previous.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:03 AM   #5
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Another thing to be aware of is that the vehicle side has a dust cover that flips out of the way and it has a projection that engages with the plug to keep the plug in. This projection needs the plug to be all the way in to engage the plug. Sometimes when I push my trailer plug in it the projection will interfere with the plug and keep it from seating properly. The cover is supposed to ride up and out of the way but sometimes it keeps the plug from seating properly. When I push the plug in, I hold the cover out of the way.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:06 AM   #6
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I would look carefully at both the TV contacts and the BF connector and look for any debris, mud, or whatever that may have become lodged in the contacts. The trailer side could easily trap some stuff in the contacts and the blade contacts on the TV may not mate properly. Or one of them could be bent (scooped, as it is known in the multi point connector world). When you look at them, one or two might look different. You can certainly do the cleaning if that is required, and also some careful straightening. The connection should be easy to make and the TV connector cover should hook the TT connector in place so it cannot be pulled out inadvertently.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Bent spade pin or receptacle. Also, Clean all connectors then wash out with something like WD40, and try again. If that fixes it then apply dielectric grease to both the plug and receptacle to seal out moisture.
Just don't get the grease on the electrical contacts. This is from Wiki:

Quote

Another common use of dielectric grease is on the rubber mating surfaces or gaskets of multi-pin electrical connectors used in automotive and marine engines. The grease again acts as a lubricant and a sealant on the nonconductive mating surfaces of the connector. It is not recommended to be applied to the actual electrical conductive contacts of the connector because it could interfere with the electrical signals passing through the connector in cases where the contact pressure is very low.

End quote.

I know this from personal experience, having to clean the stuff off bulb and receptacle to get my left tail light to work.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:07 PM   #8
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Different people have different opinions on how to use this stuff. I have always applied dielectric-grease directly to the electrical connections per the instructions that came with the stuff. The following is from this web site:

How to Apply Dielectric Grease | eHow

Instructions
1
Unplug the connector or remove the bulb from the socket (depending upon the type of component you're working with). Be careful not to break the connector removing it or you will have to replace it before reconnection.

2
Clean away any corrosion on the connector using a small wire brush and a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply pressure gently. This may require several applications to get the connector completely clean.

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3
Scrape any stubborn particles from the connector using a small screwdriver or pick tool. Be sure to only scrape off the debris and not part of the connector.

4
Open the tube of dielectric grease and apply a small amount to the surfaces of the connectors where they meet. The grease will help stop future corrosion while allowing the electricity to make contact through it.

5
Reassemble the connector or plug in the bulb carefully. If any grease squeezes out during reassembly, wipe it off with a rag .
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:18 PM   #9
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While it is true that dielectric grease will cause loose connections to not conduct at all, this is probably preferable to the heat caused by a high resistance connection. If the contact is loose, or low pressure, then it may be a good idea to either bend a contact, to increase the pressure, or replace the offending connector.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:19 PM   #10
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This site spends a lot of time and pixels arguing for dielectric grease and dispelling web myths: Dielectric Grease vs Conductive Grease

For all that, I got my trailer lights working by cleaning all the contacts of all corrosion and debris, including the grease.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #11
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There is Pros and Cons and individual opinions to every issue. I follow the instruction that come with the product. The vehicle bulbs that I reticently purchased at Track Auto came with a one time use packet of this grease.

The grease is used to prevent corrosion in the first place.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:09 PM   #12
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I have effectively reduced corrosion issues with 7-pin connectors with the use a a thin film of dielectric grease, and maintenance of the contacts. As others have said, if the pressure is too low, dielectric grease might be a problem, but it is a problem that needs remedying regardless.

To each their own, but I have effectively used dielectric grease on connections with great success. WAY more so than not using it.

What I have done with the 7-pin cable, is to mount a holder for it, that protects it from the elements when not connected to the tow vehicle, and really like it. I have put one on all my trailers now.

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Old 12-16-2014, 01:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
The grease is used to prevent corrosion in the first place.
An excellent point. It is not to correct an already poor connection.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:28 PM   #14
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Is this the first time you have towed the 2013 Bigfoot? On my 2014 Ram you have to lift the hinge receptacle cover up and over the male connector trailer pin and then down to lock it. I really like the built in brake controller.
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