Tow Vehicle Tail Light Issue - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:23 PM   #1
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Massachusetts
Posts: 211
Tow Vehicle Tail Light Issue

This is a real mystery. I took my car (2016 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T) in for an inspection sticker renewal and it failed. The rear brake lights were flashing every time the mechanic activated my left or right signal indicator. It looked like hazard lights were activated. Lots of flashing lights. Obviously, not a normal situation.

I have a Scamp 13" with standard factory brake lights. I also have trailers brakes. Everything has been functioning normally for five years (I think). Suddenly, a royal light show! Evidently, the Hyundai has a four tail light system and the Scamp has a two tail light system? At least, that is the way I understood it from my mechanic.

I had a fully functioning after-market wiring harness to a seven way plug. Now I have no trailer wiring harness at all - but I have my state inspection sticker.

Where do I go from here? Do I need the $160 Hyundai wiring harness? Is there anything "special" about the Hyundai facotroy part? Or do I have a problem with one of the computer modules, instead?

Is it a fault in the trailer brake wiring? Or do I stand at the mercy of unscrupulous Hyundai dealerships to muck up a simple repair or fix? I can't tow or camp until this is resolved.

Any and all opinions welcome.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:09 PM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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I think what you need is a 2 wire to 3 wire converter. Curt 56196 is one that might work for you. EDIT: etrailer.com is a good source for parts and directions, possibly even a video.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:27 PM   #3
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Name: Alan
Trailer: Scamp
Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by herons View Post
I had a fully functioning after-market wiring harness to a seven way plug. Now I have no trailer wiring harness at all - but I have my state inspection sticker.
Do I understand you correctly that you had tail light issues, and your mechanic removed the aftermarket wiring harness and the problems went away?


If so, I think you found the issue. Something must have gotten buggered-up with your wiring after the install over the years. Maybe some corrosion in a connector or some insulation wore through due vibration or something.


If it worked for years, I think getting a new aftermarket wiring harness should get you running again.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:37 AM   #4
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Massachusetts
Posts: 211
The mechanic installed a new after-market wiring harness and the problem did not go away.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:38 AM   #5
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
I think what you need is a 2 wire to 3 wire converter. Curt 56196 is one that might work for you. EDIT: etrailer.com is a good source for parts and directions, possibly even a video.

Bob - would the converter work with a 7-pin layout? Reading the descriptions makes me think it is for a 4-pin installation.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:50 AM   #6
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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There is no difference in the 4 and 7 pin circuit other than the power to the trailer and the brake hookup (not to forget the center auxiliary contact that can be hooked up for back up lights or extra 12 v to the trailer (switched or unswitched etc).
So 4 + 3 = 7
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:40 AM   #7
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Name: Bonnie
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Bob - would the converter work with a 7-pin layout? Reading the descriptions makes me think it is for a 4-pin installation.
Yes, The converter's four output wires to the trailer will be used to provide four of the inputs to the 7 pin connection.
Jon MB
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:25 AM   #8
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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As for the converter wiring, I assume it has a ground wire but I would think it won't be heavy enough as the only ground considering Peg's trailer has electric brakes. Maybe the converter ground attached to the car body, and another ground wire through the 7 pin plug. I'll have to think about that, other opinions please.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:44 AM   #9
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Name: Darwin
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A bad ground will do things like that. Had that situation on a 1962 Chevy tail lights.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:05 AM   #10
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Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
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Originally Posted by herons View Post
Where do I go from here? Do I need the $160 Hyundai wiring harness? Is there anything "special" about the Hyundai facotroy part? Or do I have a problem with one of the computer modules, instead?
I suggest asking this question at eTrailer. As you can see on this web page, they regularly deal with Hyundais and "known issues" for many different applications.

https://www.etrailer.com/answers.asp...hicle%20wiring

Since they regularly consult with the manufacturers of the aftermarket wiring systems, I suspect eTrailer might be able to tell you what the issue is, and how to resolve it.
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:27 PM   #11
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
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I had a similar problem some years ago. Trailer lights worked well for years and them they went haywire, flashing like a Christmas tree. I tracked the problem to a faulty ground between the tug and the trailer.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:41 PM   #12
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Ontario
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Does your Hyundai have orange rear signals? If so there’s probably a converter somewhere in the wiring, a shorted diode in that unit causes exactly what you are describing
Had it happen on my stepsons Celica supra many years ago
Joe
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:34 PM   #13
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
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Has it ever worked properly? If it has, I suspect a dirty and / or corroded trailer connector on the tug. Check both sides; where you plug the trailer into the socket and the back side where the wires are attached from the tug.



Keep us posted.



--Dan Meyer
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:03 AM   #14
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Massachusetts
Posts: 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
As for the converter wiring, I assume it has a ground wire but I would think it won't be heavy enough as the only ground considering Peg's trailer has electric brakes. Maybe the converter ground attached to the car body, and another ground wire through the 7 pin plug. I'll have to think about that, other opinions please.
Back to the drawing board. The mechanic said I already had a converter and he swapped it out but that did not fix the problem. He thinks it is a problem in the Hyundai module that controls the brake lights and signals.

I'll make a few calls and report back.
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Old 03-10-2021, 12:43 PM   #15
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Tennessee
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You might haver a shorted bulb.
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Old 03-10-2021, 02:10 PM   #16
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Former Scamp 13, Former Airstream 16
Connecticut
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@herons

Making sure the ground wires are clean and tight is a good start. Because it affected the brake lights, it could be a bad trailer wiring module or a bad brake controller. Wiring module or brake controller could be good but have poor connections. Get the lights working properly first, then add the brake controller back in and see where you are.

Draw-Tite makes a plug and play trailer wiring module for your Santa Fe

https://www.towuniverse.com/Tekonsha...EaApuQEALw_wcB
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Old 03-10-2021, 04:05 PM   #17
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Scamp
Florida
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CCal the Etrailer.com folks for a wiring harness that you just clip into your existing harness. I have used them for several tow vehicles. Sure beats do it yourself wiring when I can just unclip existing factory harness and click a setup into the middle;
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