Wiring problems with trailer lights - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-10-2011, 10:02 PM   #1
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Name: Rick
Trailer: scamp
Connecticut
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Wiring problems with trailer lights

Hello, I was helping my neighbor with his 13' scamp today with a lighting problem, the rear tail lights and left and right blinkers were having issues, when you put on the left blinker the left would blink but the right would blink dim and also the side running lights would blink, same with the right, or if you pressed the brake and turned on the blinkers all would flash, if we disconnected the trailer plug from the truck we could use a 12 volt power source and each light would work fine, problem would be when hooked up, we are using the 7 way plug, but we are only useing 4 wires running lights, L & R turn signals/Brake, and ground, I have the felling ther is a short in the rear with the turn and brake signal shorting to the running lights curcuit, let me know what you think, Thanks Rick.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:45 PM   #2
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 1989 Bigfoot
British Columbia
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It sounds like you have a bad ground . To test ran a wire up from the frame to the base of the light [metal] .Be sure your battery is well grounded to the also . Your lights are finding grounds through the elements of the other bulbs, that is why they are doing funny things

Hope this helps
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:14 AM   #3
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Name: Rick
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Thanks Ken I will try the ground, Rick.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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Name: andrew
Trailer: 1973 13' Trillium
British Columbia
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Question wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken h View Post
It sounds like you have a bad ground . To test ran a wire up from the frame to the base of the light [metal] .Be sure your battery is well grounded to the also . Your lights are finding grounds through the elements of the other bulbs, that is why they are doing funny things

Hope this helps
Newbee to Trilliums...we own a 1973 13' and I am having similar wiring problems as per this thread.....all lights work but when I turn the passenger side signal on my truck, the corresponding trailer light flashes BUT so do all of my other trailer lights. "run a wire up from the frame to the base of the light (metal). Be sure your battery (truck?) is well griunded." Can you please explain in more detail as wiring is not my forte.
Thanks and have a great day!
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 1989 Bigfoot
British Columbia
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When you turn your clearance lights on what happens , do they all work? Is the right turn brighter than the left? I would check for a good ground bring a wire from the frame to back of the light and ground it to the metal of the light . Check also the you have a double contact bulb 1157 and not a single

Hope that helps
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:31 PM   #6
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Rick I have no idea if my recent experence is of use here or not but last month all my trailer lights working well one day and the next some stopped working correctly - next day all would be worked fine but then the next day ones that were working before suddenly where not......then the car stopped charging the battery while driving. Took it in and turned out that two of the wires on the car side plug had some corrosion on them and was told that was the issue so had a new plug put on car side and all good for a few days. Then after a few days the brakes and turn signal lights failed on one side.... took it in yesterday and found out that the little box inside the car that the trailer harness is connected to had issues and needed replacing and may have according to the recent repair guy been the real issue all along ... I know the guy who changed the car plug never went in and looked at that little box - neither had I as I had forgotten all about it being there. The little box on my car harness has seperate lights showing if their is power on from the car to the right, left turns and brakes etc - might be worth looking at it as I was told that its not all that uncommon for them to start acting up just before they pack it in completely and if you get 4 years or more of use out of one that your doing well.
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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Name: andrew
Trailer: 1973 13' Trillium
British Columbia
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Question wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken h View Post
When you turn your clearance lights on what happens , do they all work? Is the right turn brighter than the left? I would check for a good ground bring a wire from the frame to back of the light and ground it to the metal of the light . Check also the you have a double contact bulb 1157 and not a single

Hope that helps
ok thanks.....will try your suggestions this evening. For clarification re bringing the ground wire back.......you mean access the water holding tank storage area in my Trillium and check the ground wire connection at the back of the light or just simply attach a "temporary" wire to the trailer frame and then to the metal of the light once I remove the light cover from the body of the trailer ie. do not access storage compartment. Sorry but electrical is confusing (to me) and not my thing.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:16 PM   #8
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 1989 Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Yes a temp wire is good to see if that is the problem first,Carol is right a good place to check for bad connections is in the plug..
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:28 PM   #9
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Name: andrew
Trailer: 1973 13' Trillium
British Columbia
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Question wiring cont'd

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Originally Posted by ken h View Post
Yes a temp wire is good to see if that is the problem first,Carol is right a good place to check for bad connections is in the plug..
thanks K for your patience. I have not solved the problem yet but also discovered that out of the main trailer wiring that runs along the frame and just before the 4 pin flat connector on the trailer tonque are a red and a white wire? What could these be for? Could they be for the 2 interior lights on either side of the cupboard above the sink/stove & if yes, can i hook them up to my deep cycle battery? I also just had an exterior light installed with a switch and the guy who installed it wired it so I needed to purchase a deep cycle RV battery. Thanks again-I am very pleased this site exists as it will be of great help to me as I try to figure out the "intricacies" of our Trillium!
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:24 AM   #10
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 1989 Bigfoot
British Columbia
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The red and white wires ,I would bet are for the battery are they bigger wires than the ones for the trailer lights [ turn signals ] check if the white goes to the frame somewhere should be ground, red + which should have a fuse on it

Hope this helps
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #11
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Name: George
Trailer: In the market
Florida
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I had similar problems with my trailer lights. It ended up being my ground circuit and I just needed to add a ground wire. Instead of going through all the trouble of finding the parts individually, I got a kit universal ground wire kit from Trailerandboat.com. Now I am back on the road!
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:12 PM   #12
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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The lights need good grounds. loose the ground and the lights search for ground through the running lights then there are too many lights for the converter boxes to handle and takes out the converter boxes. I had to replace mine last month for this very reason. Its a stupid system needing converter boxes for the last thirty years, its so dumb we can send and control cars on Mars but cant hook up a trailer without a seperate converter box.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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..... Its a stupid system needing converter boxes for the last thirty years, its so dumb we can send and control cars on Mars but cant hook up a trailer without a separate converter box.
Sure, but have you priced the trailer lights at NASA?
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #14
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No but I do know that when you turn on the vacuum and sit on the toilet seat make sure you can still reach the switch.
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