Tail light help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-09-2015, 04:56 PM   #1
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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Tail light help!

I have an issue with the tail lights on a used enclosed cargo trailer I recently purchased. I got it cheap(er) because his dog had chewed the plug off of the wires. There was plenty of wire left and I figured it would be no problem to hook them back up. It really wasn't, except for one aggravating thing, the right brake light does not work. This is very strange as everything else works including the right turn signal which according to the wiring diagram shares a wire and I believe a bulb filament with the brake light. The lights and sockets are sealed units and I swapped sides with them and that did not change anything so the bulb and/or socket is not the problem. It must be in the wiring, but then why does the turn signal on that side work? Anybody have a suggestion?
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:19 PM   #2
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The problem is in the tow vehicle not the trailer.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob in Mb View Post
The problem is in the tow vehicle not the trailer.
I had thought of that. Another truck belonging to a bud hooked up did the same thing. I am going to hook my truck up to my Scamp and see if it has any issues, I have not checked the lights on the Scamp in a while but have had no issues.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:51 PM   #4
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Tim, take a 12V battery and test it from the plug itself. May also be a broken wire somewhere down the line for that bulb.
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:24 PM   #5
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With a fairly simple trailer like that as well as simple wiring, just tear out all the existing wiring, get some new flat 4 cable and rewire the lights. Will save time and grief in the short and long run
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
With a fairly simple trailer like that as well as simple wiring, just tear out all the existing wiring, get some new flat 4 cable and rewire the lights. Will save time and grief in the short and long run
That is "Plan B". All of the wiring is VERY accessible underneath, not so much up towards the lights. I did just take my truck and hooked it up to the Scamp and am proud to report that everything worked so am pretty sure the truck is not the problem. Guess I will just go camping and forget about hauling cargo. I do have a loose battery and one cool evening I will sit out there with some short pieces of jumper wire and play with it some more.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:58 AM   #7
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It's usually a grounding issue when their are problems like that.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:38 PM   #8
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UPDATE...........SUCCESS! As John indicated, I had a nagging thought in my mind about the grounding. Specifically the thought that kept coming to mind was "backfeed". I would like to say that I used my superior intellect to devise a direct solution, but twas' not the case. First, I disconnected the electric brake wires in case some weird thing with the brake controller was at fault, nope. Then, I swapped (what I thought was) the ground (yellow) wire with the green wire (right brake and right turn). Nope, although the right brake light did work BUT not the left. And the turn signals worked backwards too. Ahhh, about then the light bulb starts to glow less dim in the old noggin. I swapped the yellow with the RED and everything worked as it should.

So, just in case I lost you or it is really hard to follow all this without actually being here and seeing it I will distill it all down in the takeaway: TRUST NOBODY'S OLD WIRING, AND ASSUME NOTHING IN TERMS OF COLOR CODE OF WIRES.

What was throwing me was the problem was not in the side that did NOT work. It was wires swapped over on the side that DID work!
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