UHaul Tailight Wiring - How is it supposed to be? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-07-2011, 03:16 PM   #1
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UHaul Tailight Wiring - How is it supposed to be?

OK, I've searched and not answered my question, so here goes.

On the CT13, are the rear amber lights for the turn signals and the red lights for brake and running lights? If so, how do they accomplish that with a 4 way connector?

I'm adding an additional wire for charging so I need to understand how many wires in total I will need to make it work correctly.

Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
OK, I've searched and not answered my question, so here goes.

On the CT13, are the rear amber lights for the turn signals and the red lights for brake and running lights? If so, how do they accomplish that with a 4 way connector?

I'm adding an additional wire for charging so I need to understand how many wires in total I will need to make it work correctly.

Thanks.
you cant...the uhauls were made when alot of cars had amber turn signals in the rear and would require at least a 6way to pull that off and thats what they came with. you can do it with the modern 7way and napa makes an adapter to convert to the 6 on the trailer..i towed my home with one a few years ago. Currently we use just the reds and have not wired in the ambers up at the hitch......so just a 4way........Bruce
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:01 PM   #3
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you cant...the uhauls were made when alot of cars had amber turn signals in the rear and would require at least a 6way to pull that off and thats what they came with. you can do it with the modern 7way and napa makes an adapter to convert to the 6 on the trailer..i towed my home with one a few years ago. Currently we use just the reds and have not wired in the ambers up at the hitch......so just a 4way........Bruce
Thanks. It looks like I can solve this problem for $20 with this adapter that adapts a 2 wire input into a 3 wire output, giving back the amber turn signals, which is my preference.

http://www.amazon.com/Curt-56196-Man...3306011&sr=8-1

I recall now that 25 years ago when I rented this trailer they installed bulbs in the TV with two wire lead wires and the trailer had bullet connectors that were plugged into the bulb lead wires.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Converter

Tom, You are correct about having to install a converter to get back to the 3 way. I also installed a junction box underneath the propane tank up front and put the converter (two way to 3 way) inside the housing that holds the propane tank to keep it out of the weather. I use the round 7 spade connector plug as I wanted the battery to have charging from the tow vehicle and there is an extra two circuits for electric brakes and backup lights if you should desire. The converter was easy to install and has worked faultlessly so far! Happy Trails,
don '85 Ct-13
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:09 AM   #5
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......... I also installed a junction box underneath the propane tank up front and put the converter (two way to 3 way) inside the housing that holds the propane tank to keep it out of the weather ............
I like this plan. Any tips on which junction box to purchase, i.e. did you use a 110v exterior grade box or something smaller?
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Junction box

Tom,
The junction box I used is a common RV box that has a number of openings with rubber grommets to allow various configurations. I like it because it really is a clean installation and weatherproof. I mounted it on the left side of the propane pedestal with the converter box mounted inside the pedestal underneath the propane tank. I drilled a hole in the pedestal just above the junction box to allow the converter and ground wires to pass through. I will try to take a pic and send it to you as soon as I get a chance but been really busy lately. I also need to get some other pics soon as CindlyL has reminded me!
Happy Trails,
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Follow Up:

It was a beautiful day in SE Michigan so I tackled my tail lights.

I replaced all clinched connectors with soldered connections covered by shrink tubing. I even soldered my grounds to the trailer frame. Not too hard with a propane torch and low temperature solder.

Oddly, the UHaul has twin filiament bulbs in both the upper amber (turn) and lower red (tail / brake) light positions. The PO was evidently confused having 5 wires on the light and 4 connectors from the trailer, so he decided the ground was not needed. I connected the two upper filaments together to give me slightly brighter turn signals and ran a new, secondary ground to improve reliability.

Also of interest was a dead short in my brake light circuit. I tracked it down to the bulb socket. There are two little 1/2 round balls in the bottom of the socket which connect to the two 1/2 round nubs in the bulb base. On the back of the 1/2 round balls in the socket are the wires which power the socket. I found those wires had a few loose strands that were able to touch the side and ground themselves out. I slid shrink tubing down tightly on them.

I still need to attack the license plate light, the clearance lights and add an electronic adapter to allow for the amber turn signals.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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So what is the purpose of a double filament bulb in the amber section. I did have mine wired so that both amber and red were stop / turn lights, but another member here pointed out that setup may be confusing to other drivers, so now the amber is disconnected. I have a bike rack on the rear that has red tail / turn lights on it so that should provide enough lights. I also put some conspicuity tape on the bumper and the bike rack so there's no excuse for anyone to rear-end me. I had thought of covering the amber part of the lens with that red lens repair tape, but it looks cheesy. I have a set of the adapters to convert to a round tail light but don't like the looks of them. Wonder what ever happened to the guy who was trying to make new lenses?
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:06 AM   #9
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So what is the purpose of a double filament bulb in the amber section...........
My guess was to make all bulbs the same to minimize error by UHaul personnel.

That said, leaving an extra unplugged terminal causes an opportunity for a mess up, as I witnessed.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:56 AM   #10
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What kind of mess up have you seen????
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:27 AM   #11
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What kind of mess up have you seen????
My tail light assemblies were ungrounded except the grounding wire was hooked to one filament of the bottom bulb.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Thanks. It looks like I can solve this problem for $20 with this adapter that adapts a 2 wire input into a 3 wire output, giving back the amber turn signals, which is my preference.

Curt Manufacturing 56196 Converter : Amazon.com : Automotive

I recall now that 25 years ago when I rented this trailer they installed bulbs in the TV with two wire lead wires and the trailer had bullet connectors that were plugged into the bulb lead wires.
Up till about 2005 we used the Tap A Lights you are talking about and still used the bullet connectors until then as well. That's when the massive change over to the 4 Flat we all use now.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Thanks. It looks like I can solve this problem for $20 with this adapter that adapts a 2 wire input into a 3 wire output, giving back the amber turn signals, which is my preference.

Curt Manufacturing 56196 Converter : Amazon.com : Automotive
Tom, how did this work out for you? were you able to wire the amber lights to work? PO put a 5-wire plug on mine. I'm still not sure what the 5th wire does yet. The amber turn signals on my trailer appear to not be connected (or maybe they're the fifth wire). All the other lights work and my red tail/brake lights work as turn signals right now too. I'd like swap back to using the amber signals if possible.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #14
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Tom, how did this work out for you? were you able to wire the amber lights to work? PO put a 5-wire plug on mine. I'm still not sure what the 5th wire does yet. The amber turn signals on my trailer appear to not be connected (or maybe they're the fifth wire). All the other lights work and my red tail/brake lights work as turn signals right now too. I'd like swap back to using the amber signals if possible.
It worked out great. I combined the two hot wires on the amber socket so my turn signals are extra bright. (It energizes both the low and high filaments).

You could use the 5th connector to charge your battery when you drive. If you do it, use 10 gauge wire as a minimum.
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