EZ way to check lights - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-29-2016, 10:42 PM   #1
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EZ way to check lights

Got tired of hooking/unhooking the trailer while doing some light mods. I had the extra 7 pin, only wired it for the tail, brakes and running lights. It's not a big deal but it sure is easier than hooking up.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:09 PM   #2
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one more tool for the kit, great idea.
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
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Name: Larry H
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Light Tests

Hi,

I use the big battery on the tongue of the
trailer to test all the lights sometimes. 12 VDC
is available on the plug and the lights can be
tested with one test lead. Also, each time I
hook up to pull the rig I turn on the running
lights to test them and then turn on the
emergency flashers to test the brake lights/
turn indicators. On the Trillium that covers all
lights.

Larry H
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:38 AM   #4
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One of my over-winter projects some years back was to take a Radio Shack project box and embed a 7 blade receptacle, some toggle switches, LED's, a 12v accessory socket and a flasher module to make a box that I could plug the trailer into and either test the lights/brakes, power a 12v accessory or flash the trailer clearance lights in the rare occurrence I might have to leave the trailer at the side of the road. (Technically, I'm not supposed to tow a trailer if I've had to install the minispare tire.) I even put a 10a breaker in there. All of it powered by the trailer's on-board battery. I've posted pictures of it here in the past so won't again.


I did another box a few years later and added a digital voltmeter/ammeter function just to show how little charging goes on from the tow vehicle. Both boxes are along the same principle as what Dave and Larry have done if a little more complicated. Well, I was looking for a project after all
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:48 AM   #5
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That is how I charge the brake battery on my boat trailer.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
One of my over-winter projects some years back was to take a Radio Shack project box and embed a 7 blade receptacle, some toggle switches, LED's, a 12v accessory socket and a flasher module to make a box that I could plug the trailer into and either test the lights/brakes, power a 12v accessory or flash the trailer clearance lights in the rare occurrence I might have to leave the trailer at the side of the road. (Technically, I'm not supposed to tow a trailer if I've had to install the minispare tire.) I even put a 10a breaker in there. All of it powered by the trailer's on-board battery. I've posted pictures of it here in the past so won't again.


I did another box a few years later and added a digital voltmeter/ammeter function just to show how little charging goes on from the tow vehicle. Both boxes are along the same principle as what Dave and Larry have done if a little more complicated. Well, I was looking for a project after all
Steve, where do you pull the power for this box?
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:05 PM   #7
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I use a mirror
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:29 PM   #8
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Like Larry, I use a wire with alligator clips and a couple of pieces of metal or PC board on the 7 pin. Works fine as long as you know which slot is the ground. Dave's solution is safer. Raz
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:13 AM   #9
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Steve, where do you pull the power for this box?
As others noted, the "charge" pin (pin 4) on the connector is normally connected to the battery and thus is "hot". I use it and the ground pin to drive the LEDs and the 12v accessory socket.

Connecting an external battery is not necessary if you have an onboard battery and the connector is wired in the "normal" fashion.

Elsewhere on the site are the pin assignments for various connectors including a 7 blade connector. (Document Center, Electrical, etc.)
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:51 AM   #10
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All interesting ways to check to see if the lights work on your trailer and that can come in handy sometimes such as trouble shooting some bad wiring on the trailer.

But what you really need to know is, do the trailer's running lights work when hooked up to, and powered by, the tug? So there is no substitute for making a light check part of your routine when getting ready to depart.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Got tired of hooking/unhooking the trailer while doing some light mods. I had the extra 7 pin, only wired it for the tail, brakes and running lights. It's not a big deal but it sure is easier than hooking up.
Hi: Borrego Dave... If your trailer is plugged into 110V... just insert a 15A fuse into the pigtail. Make sure it straddles the ridge of the plug. I have a fuse with the prongs slightly bent... just for this purpose. It will light all exterior lights!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Alf S. View Post
Hi: Borrego Dave... If your trailer is plugged into 110V... just insert a 15A fuse into the pigtail. Make sure it straddles the ridge of the plug. I have a fuse with the prongs slightly bent... just for this purpose. It will light all exterior lights!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
This method will light all the lights while unplugged from 120v also, as long as you have a battery in your unit.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:44 AM   #13
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Steve.... can you post a link to your box? That's funny because I'm building one myself as we speak. I found a fairly cheap rheostat to add on the braking side. (There's a story/agenda behind that one.) I ordered 100% of the parts off of Amazon so I've got very little in the box. I too got tired of backing in the truck where the trailer is located just to test all my lights as I'm preparing for a trip. This test is to not not only make sure the 7-pin cord is working but test each individual light- including backup, turn/brake, tail/park lights and brakes. I'd much rather do it a week or so earlier than to be hooked up in the drive about to pull out and realize I have a shot bulb or bulbs!

And yes to who ever posted- I STILL have on my checklist before leaving the driveway to make sure I do a lights/brake check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
One of my over-winter projects some years back was to take a Radio Shack project box and embed a 7 blade receptacle, some toggle switches, LED's, a 12v accessory socket and a flasher module to make a box that I could plug the trailer into and either test the lights/brakes, power a 12v accessory or flash the trailer clearance lights in the rare occurrence I might have to leave the trailer at the side of the road. (Technically, I'm not supposed to tow a trailer if I've had to install the minispare tire.) I even put a 10a breaker in there. All of it powered by the trailer's on-board battery. I've posted pictures of it here in the past so won't again.


I did another box a few years later and added a digital voltmeter/ammeter function just to show how little charging goes on from the tow vehicle. Both boxes are along the same principle as what Dave and Larry have done if a little more complicated. Well, I was looking for a project after all
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:56 PM   #14
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I can't find a post with a picture of what I refer to as the switch box in a previous post so here it is again.

Since this picture I added a red aircraft-type toggle switch cover over the 2 way (on-off) brake switch to prevent accidentally activating the brakes. Mostly I was goofing around, had the cover, and thought it might increase the nerd coolness(?) The other toggles are on-off-on.

Covered accessory outlet (Marinco) and a 10a pushbutton breaker on the end. The flasher flashes the running lights any time I select "run" (i.e. running lights).
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