HELP! Wires ALL over the place!!! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:12 PM   #1
Name: Janet - Jan - jj
Trailer: U-Haul 13 ft 1985
Posts: 63

I am So in LOVE with my new to me U-haul, named "Little Darlin'" , 13', '85. I set her up in preperation for our first trip, cleaned & explored & discovered that under the seats there are electric wires running every "witch" way - a couple are the heavy gage ones like the main connect, some thinner, one ends with bare wire, one ends with little hook-up U things. I was relunctant to plug her in but did after tapeing off the ends. Wonders of the modern world everything works! Fridge & A/C do their things & the lights work abounds. I would like to know where the other wires may have gone in the past? I have what I need, but am curious. The first run was supposed to be a short local trip to the Kokosing River, 1 of Oh scenic rivers, to see how this was going to go with me towing it for the first time & 2 of my dogs going camping for the first time but I ran into many problems it took too long to work out to do that. I had made reservations at Kelly's Island for 3 days around my birthday next week so the first trip is going to be a long one & far from home. As a matter of fact this sounds like one of those stories that is waiting to happen! I am very excited to be almost leaving...what a wonderful thing these little light weight campers are. Come to think of it the top running lights don't work - maybe that is one issue? Anyone have any ideas? Jan

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Old 07-11-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
Gina D.'s Avatar
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,010
Hi Jan,

Without having the thing "in hand" it's hard to say just exactly where they may go, but you are onto my first suspicion... the running lights and other outside ones that are important! Do all your lights required for driving work?

You also have (Or HAD) a solar panel on the roof, uhaul did that, and maybe some of the wiring is for that.

They could be just about anything.. especially if there have been many owners who did and removed their own mods.


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Old 07-12-2009, 08:15 AM   #3
Marty Smiltneek's Avatar
Name: Marty
Trailer: 1972 Boler American
Posts: 41
You neglected to tell us how many "systems" you have in your camper.

One system would be the outside lighting - - Stop/Turn-Clearance/Tail - - On a 4 wire system the "normal" convention for these lights is

Brown wire to the tail or parking lights
Green wire to right turn signal/stoplight
Yellow wire to the left turn signal/stoplight
White wire to common or chassis ground

A second system would be trailer brakes

3rd system would be interior low voltage lighting (12 volts). Usually a battery with a current limiting device. Examples would be a circuit breaker or fuse. At a minimum you will need a "hot" wire and a ground wire for the return path. The battery is probably connected to the same ground as the trailer lights. You may have a wire from the tug to the trailer for charging the battery.

4th 120 volt house lighting with an external cord to a campsite supply. (shore power in boating parlance)

Many times people have installed spare wires for future use or abandoned wires from removed equipment. It is usually a good idea to mark the orphan wires and tape them on the ends even when they are not used. I use white electricians tape and a fine point sharpie pen to mark wires as I identify them. Not because I can't figure it out but because my memory is shot.

I think you get the idea. You have to separate systems - Then the identity of the wires in the camper start making sense. If you have any questions after you identify what you have we can sort it out.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:42 AM   #4
Name: Janet - Jan - jj
Trailer: U-Haul 13 ft 1985
Posts: 63
I don't think I am replying properly to the two of you who so graciously responded to my "many wires" post - but here goes: Yes, all the lights necessary to run are working except amber ones. I need to get someone to be behind it so i can get an exact list of what isn't working. The dogs just can't do that for me! I was going to try to hook the wires up to something that looked obvious but, actually, nothing looked obvious so I just taped them off. I won't mess with it too much as it is not a good thing to do when camped for the first trip far from home but wiil do soon. I leave tomorrow after work...can hardly wait! So U Hauls had a solar panel! Great, Gina, as I have that on my list of things to do/get. I too mark wires as my memory has gone where your went - Marty. I appreciate your color system for the wires and will try to trace mine. My camper doensn't have breaks, there is only the low voltage lighting, refrigerator and the a/c. The exterior lighting all seems to be working except some amber lights. I am not going to be removing anything until I know possilble uses, etc, & really appreciate your help. Jan
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1984 U-Haul 13 ft
Upstate New York (near Albany)
Posts: 108
Jan, Congratulations. I, too have a U-Haul. I can't help you with your wiring, but go to the Document Center on the left side of the screen & you will find U-haul manuals which show inside diagrams. Make sure that you use the proper bulb size for the top lights. Previous owner had incorrect bulbs & lights would not work.

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Old 09-11-2012, 12:27 AM   #6
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SnappleofDiscord's Avatar
Name: Cat
Trailer: Uhaul CT
Posts: 25
Congrats on your new Uhaul!
I too am struggling with mysterious wiring, although the opposite. Mine has a lack of wires while yours seems to have a surplus.
So many Uhauls seem to have come previously from battered homes.
Have you tried connecting any of them to a voltmeter or a circuit probe? These are pretty cheap at hardware stores, and can let you know if these wires are even still connected to something!
Check for dead ends too. I've previously lived in trailer with wires connected to the breakers and basically nothing else and have lost a few blankets in the discovery process.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:10 AM   #7
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 3,699
Jan: did this light issue get resolved. The Uhauls had different color than standard wires, and two separate circuits for the marker lights. I did a complete rewire except for those that were in the walls. Bob

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