LED Tail Light Blues - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-27-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
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LED Tail Light Blues

We installed one of the Curt receiver hitches and its supposedly Subaru appropriate wiring harness in our 2010 Forester.
Then we replaced our old trailer lights with all LED Tail/brake/signal and clearance lights. Now we find that the trailer tail lights glow dimly whenever the trailer is plugged into the car.
All the time. Whether the car is running or the lights are on or off and even when the key is removed.
As long as the trailer is coupled to the car the LEDs glow. To the tune of 0.1 Amps thru each tail light wire and 0.2 amps thru each brake light. Or 14 Amp hours per day.

Obviously, we would not be wanting to leave the trailer coupled while camping when it is like this!

Our question is :

Has anyone else had this happen?
and
What did you do?

Thanks for any help

Denece and Rob V
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:40 PM   #2
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Denece & Rob V,
Have you checked your ground system. Taillights need to be grounded to the frame. Make sure you wires on the tongue are grounded.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:40 AM   #3
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Sounds like an electrical feedback, Like Deb & Chuck say possibly a bad ground, or I would look to be sure the correct wire on the lights is grounded, if there is a separate ground wire on them. Something is not wired right so that when the trailer is connected to the car it completes a ground circuit through the ball & coupler. A bad ground circuit can cause all kinds of weird problems.
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Old 01-28-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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In addition to the above, should you have a MODULE in the wiring of the tow vehicle, it may be doing it.

MODULE: On cars that have a separate (Yellow) turn signal and a red stop lite, the wiring to the egg has an electronic module in the wiring to change the wiring so the turn and brake lite use the same bulb on the egg.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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Good thought Darwin, I've heard of those modules being defective or going bad.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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It was OK with regular lights. It was when we went to the nice new LEDs that we got the problem. I guess regular bulbs wont light on very low voltage and these LEDs on the tail lights do, just a little. The clearance lights don't. They must really need closer to a full 12V to light up.

Thanks for the suggestions. We'll try and see what we discover.

We found the two old old original bumper mount tail lights in a closet. Round metal jobbies on little stalks. Wish we had seen them before we did all this other. Might have been able to just stick in LED "bulbs". The old lights were real cute.

Denece
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:49 PM   #7
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I have a friend that had somewhat of a short in his utility trailer wiring and the bulbs did not lite. He put LEDs on and they did.

If you go back to the old bulbs then do an amp check.
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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Disconnect your 12v feed from the TV to the trailer. Do they still glow? If not, you may just have a bad connector in the TV plug. You could also plug your trailer into someone elses tow vehicle and see if it does the same. That will isolate your problem to either the TV or trailer wiring.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #9
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No glow when we unplug.
We called the supplier of the hitch and wiring harness and they said, "oh yeah, you get feedback when you use LED's" but he said it should be a few millivolts and it looks like way more significant amount on our meter.
Looks like we can either live with it or replace the provided wiring harness module with a 'no feedback' module for another $100!! Sort of feel like that should have been the one sent in the first place!

Ahh Rosanna Rosana Danna was right: "It's always something!"
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
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He needs to remove his wiring harness from your vehicle and give you a refund for the wiring and labor because that is unacceptable.

Go and see if Walmart has the wiring / adapter you need. Or Advance Auto or J.C.Whitney JC Whitney Auto Parts & Auto Accessories - Car, Truck, Jeep, Motorcycle, VW, RV & ATV - Aftermarket Parts & Accessories.

If they have the adapter it is plug and play, anyone can do it.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:29 PM   #11
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Look at this site 2 C what the kit looks like.

tap wiring kit from Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:33 PM   #12
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Here's one for your car.

2011 Subaru Forester Trailer Wiring Harness | etrailer.com
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring
Yep. I think thats the one we just installed! Hubby bought the Curt hitch and wiring harness just a few weeks ago. Installed last week just in time to find our egg. Now find it won't play with our new LED tail lights. Very frustrating and no help from good ol Curt
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:56 PM   #14
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If the problem is that the electronic tail light converter don't like the low current draw of the LED lights, it seems like you could just install a 4 way extension that has resistors soldered from each connection to the ground wire. Choose the resistors to be the same resistance as a light bulb filament. Use 10 watt resistors. This would fool the electronic converter into thinking it had the old incandescent bulbs.
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