Help with wiring to tail lights and side signals - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-22-2015, 09:42 PM   #1
Posts: 31
Help with wiring to tail lights and side signals

Was wondering if anyone knows.....
Assuming the 7 colors from the receptacle on the trailer stay the same color throughout the trailer , what color wires should go to :

1) The four side market signals ( they have two black wires on them to the bulb

2) The tail lights ( each has green, black and white wires)

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Old 06-22-2015, 11:18 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
Posts: 3,739
You don't tell the age of your trailer. If it's older there is no telling what some other owner has wired up and with what color. I'm guilty of doing that too on occasion . Best bet, IMO would be to use a test light to trace out the right power for what you're looking for.

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Old 06-23-2015, 06:21 AM   #3
Posts: 31
I have run a new harness so all is good from that aspect.

I think I understand this :

Each wire and subsequent connection in the receptacle has a purpose and they get sent to each applicable process

Where I am confused is that I had to buy modern lights for this 1975 Trailer.

The side signal lights have 2 same color wires . So the corresponding signal wire will have to be wired to each light but that takes care of 1 wire on each light but what about the other wire ?

Unless each light is a circuit in which the wire gets cut and connected to both ends ?
In which case the question would be what is done with the final wire in the circuit ?

On the tail lights there are three wires (Green , White, Black)

Not sure what to do here

Any help would be appreciated

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Old 06-23-2015, 06:56 AM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
Posts: 1,887
As you note, each light needs to be in a circuit (aptly named). In a fiberglass vehicle (i.e. boats, my Lotus Europa, Corvettes, our trailers) the “ground” is usually carried out and back to the battery. My old Fiat Spyder grounded things to the body which was in turn grounded to the engine block. The Fiat rusted so doggedly that I often had to run supplemental ground wires to get lights to work properly because the body was too rusted to provide a good path to ground. Ah... those Italian cars. So too can circuits be grounded to the trailer frame which is in turn grounded to the battery. Given a solid frame and good connections all through the system you can limit the wire needed to have a “round trip”. However, it is generally not recommended to to use the frame as a common ground. Instead, "round tripping" the circuit to a common ground near the source and then have the common connection grounded to the frame seems a better practice.

Normal incandescent light bulbs pass current through them in either direction so the wire color doesn’t matter. LED “bulbs” are diodes which have a direction (unless other wiring arrangements are made in the “bulb”) and so they do have a positive and a negative side so the wires are color coded.

How you string the lights together matters. You don’t want to just daisy chain them on to another as that would mean that if on bulb burned out, the circuit would be interrupted and none of the other bulbs would light. So you wire them in parallel (like rungs in a ladder) so even if a bulb burns out the others still light. In essence you need to run both plus and minus to each bulb.

It occurs to me as I type this that while not rocket science (i.e. hard), it is somewhat complicated and I would suggest some reading up on the process unless someone wants to run a wiring course on the forum. There are a number of 12v wiring books (frequently marine oriented) that might be a good start.
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:26 AM   #5
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Name: Frank
Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
Posts: 2,271
Current trailer light wiring is as follows: brown for stop and tail, green for right, yellow for left and white for ground. I run grounds to every electrical component no matter what. In my experience, bad grounds are usually the reason brake/tail/marker/signal lights do not work (or work very strangely).

2012 ParkLiner #006
2013 4wd 4 door F150 3.5L Ecoboost with 9200# tow package
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:59 AM   #6
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
Posts: 1,667
Most older travel trailers and some current mfg. use the Bargman wiring color code. If you buy a 7 Pin plug pigtail it is wired to the Bargman color code. The white, brown, green, yellow is used mosty on utility trailers also E-trailer pushes this wiring code.
Do a web search for the Bargman wiring color code and have on hand if working on a camping trailer..
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:31 AM   #7
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Surf-Side
Posts: 271
Brown - running lights i.e. side markers and tail lights
Yellow - left turn
Green - right turn
White - ground
Since both wires on side markers are black it does not matter which is connected to the brown or white i.e they are not LED so polarity is not an issue.
One thing to consider is that - at your vehicle connection not all makes have the same color scheme - the above colors are most common but not for all makes.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:59 AM   #8
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,848
Perhaps the wiring diagram would help:
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - trillium 1300 wiring diagram
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:26 AM   #9
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 125
Hello; I was reading your post about wiring your trillium. Go to forum on this site and print out the wiring diagram for Trillium trailers. Follow the colors shown and you will be on the right track to connect the lights correctly. White wires were used as grounds everywhere due to the fiberglass body. connect all the whites together and run a wire to ground on the frame in several places with a screw in a drilled hole. Your tow vehicle grounds via the hitch ball to the trailer. A test light is a great help also to find which circuit is a live feed for each bulb involved. A helper would be a good idea too and save you a lot of running to and fro checking things. Good luck with this project and if you are in doubt ask questions here on this site. You will find lots of advice and support .
Cheers, Duane
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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Name: Gilles
Trailer: Bigfoot 25B21RB, 2004
Posts: 664
I find these pictures wiring... :
Attached Thumbnails
trailer-wiring-diagram.jpg   7-way10.jpg  

Bigfoot 25B21RB.
Towed with Dodge RAM 1500 Echo-Diesel, 3.0 L., 8 speeds.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:57 PM   #11
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
Posts: 1,667
It looks like the trillium 1300 wiring diagram that Dave posted that the trailer uses the Bargman wiring color code. This wiring color code is also used in the Scamps.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:05 PM   #12
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 125
Smile help with wiring to tail lights and side signals

The easiest way to wire these is to attach the plug in at the hitch and use a test light to find each lamp function and tag them with masking tape. Turn on the park lamps and label the live wire as "t " do the same with each turn signal , "l turn, & "r turn" . With regard to the side marker lamps they are part of the tail lamp circuit one black wire must go to ground and the other goes to the "hot feed " wire of for the tail lights. Note I would remove the lens and check the wires seems odd to me they are both black. These marker lights do not flash with the turn signals at all, and are not part of that wiring system(circuit). Finish each system separately and move on to the next one. I prefer to solder each splice to avoid future trouble. A bump while driving or corroded wire will spell trouble on the road. This will drive you crazy trying to find the right place to repair the issue. Take your time and check each step as you work. Be careful not to short any live wiring to ground. Follow the help lead and look at the document section to get the Trillium wiring diagram. It is in color and correct for all 1300 Trilliums.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:07 PM   #13
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Name: Jeremy
Trailer: Compact Jr and Teardrop Trailer
Posts: 93
I just put new tail lights on my 1972 Compact Jr. If my memory is correct on the tail lights, white is ground, green is running lights (connect to brown in wire harness) and black is turn signal/brake (connect to green or yellow in wire harness).

On the running light I belive you connect one side to ground and the other to the running lights (brown in wire harness).

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Old 06-23-2015, 08:04 PM   #14
Posts: 31
Thank you for all the help.
So I started going through with volt meter and after banging my head against the wall I found that our truck is not sending 12 volts to every wire.
The trucks 7 pin female connection interface has some minor corrosion.
It does not seem like it can be disassembled and cleaned :-(
I hope I can find the replacement part and not have to buy the whole harness .
The part is marked DELPHI PA68
and is original to the truck (2004 Chev Silverado)

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