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#10859908 - 05/20/15 10:16 PM Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights.
trt08 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/25/14
Posts: 37
Loc: Lewisville, TX
So, I picked up a Harbor Freight 600lb boat trailer for $150.00, and I'm customizing it to carry two kayaks. Problem with the lights - the brake/blinker lights are pretty self explanatory; however, the running lights on the side of the trailer have about a 2 inch wire, and there's nowhere to run it - anyone have experience with trailer light installs or these Harbor Freight trailers?

I understand they aren't the best made, but hey, for 150 I couldn't say no...so I have to take these issues in stride.

This is the trailer, not sure you can see the running lights to the front of it. Any help appreciated, thanks!
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#10860224 - 05/21/15 06:29 AM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
NekidTackle Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 2342
Loc: Lewisville, TX
The running lights hook into the wire used for the headlight. I think it is the brown wire since that wire is usually connected to both lights. If you don't have brown, it will be the same colored wire connected to both lights.
Ron

ps great deal, this is a very decent trailer!
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#10860235 - 05/21/15 06:41 AM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
jailletjr Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/18/15
Posts: 9
That is correct the brown wire is your running lights. And the white one is your ground

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#10860303 - 05/21/15 07:22 AM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
pelican Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 2399
Loc: Grapevine
The wire for the running lights is usually the wire next to the ground wire if you're running a 4 wire flat plug, and yes white is normally your ground but always good to verify.
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#10860934 - 05/21/15 10:52 AM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
MtnDew Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 907
Loc: Irving, TX
On my harbor freight trailer, the side lights had a short brown wire and I spliced it to the brown wire running back from the tail light. I don't remember if my trailer kit came with it, but I used a plastic square clip designed to connect 1 wire to another.

simialar to the blue clips on this kit http://www.walmart.com/ip/25354825?wmlsp...071&veh=sem


so far it has been a good trailer, not sure why everyone dogs them.
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#10861057 - 05/21/15 11:37 AM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
PowerLizard Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1757
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Keep an eye on the nuts and bolts. My brother has a Harbor Freight trailer for his Jon boat and several of the bolts have rattled lose and have been lost. Since you are carrying kayaks, it will be easier to check them as you won't have to crawl under the trailer. At least keep a couple of crescent wrenches when you travel with it.

The other thing to keep in mind is the small tires will be doing a lot more RPMs than you car/truck tires so don't pull the trailer at high speed. You should also consider synthetic grease instead of the standard stuff for the wheel bearings.

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#10861710 - 05/21/15 02:40 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
trt08 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/25/14
Posts: 37
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Thanks for the input/help! I plan on keeping my full ratchet set in my vehicle when I'll be pulling the trailer.

And MtnDew, did you run your wires through the side frames? I had mine running through, but in order to have all the wires running correctly I may need to pull it out and just zip-tie them to the frame. I haven't run the ground, either. I saw a bunch of people recommending extending that wire and running it back to the tail lights. And my wiring kit did come with that little connector piece. I guess I'll be re-working all the wiring here this weekend. I'm far from good with electrics.
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#10861870 - 05/21/15 03:28 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1202
Loc: Texas
Buy a pack of rubber grommets and run the wires through the holes in the frame crossmembers. And don't use those vampire clips they give you to splice the wires; solder them in and seal the joints.

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#10862770 - 05/21/15 10:06 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
MtnDew Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 907
Loc: Irving, TX
Yes, I ran them just down the side frame. I did wrap the blue splice thingie in tape. I don't submerge my trailer, so I am not to worried about the splice. Looking at it, I think all my nuts are lock washer. I may have put a dab of locktite on, but wouldn't hurt to check them every now and then. I only use my trailer localy, so it doesn't have a ton of miles on it. I never seemed worried about going down the highway at 70. I am sure you get what you pay for, but lots of people on the net have put tons miles on these trailers, so I wasn't to worried. Keep the hubs greased and check the nuts.

I use it for my 18' row boat, that only cost me $400, so maybe if I had just put $3,500 into a hobie PA I would be more concerned. Everybody has their own budget and their own risk tolerance.

-rob
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#10862793 - 05/21/15 10:12 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
trt08 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/25/14
Posts: 37
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I finished getting all the wiring done after work tonight. Unfortunately - I can't run a test until I get the wiring harness on my Jeep fixed. I used a dremel to sand off the paint to mount the ground up front, and did manage to get all the wires to run inside the frame - it'll be a hassle if I have to trouble shoot it. I'll get some pictures up sometime once I get it completely finished. Grabbed new bolts for the Malone roof rack mounts that I put on there, but they were too long. It was a cheap way out that has a bunch of speed bumps.
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#10862817 - 05/21/15 10:22 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
pelican Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 2399
Loc: Grapevine
Originally Posted By: trt08
I finished getting all the wiring done after work tonight. Unfortunately - I can't run a test until I get the wiring harness on my Jeep fixed. I used a dremel to sand off the paint to mount the ground up front, and did manage to get all the wires to run inside the frame - it'll be a hassle if I have to trouble shoot it. I'll get some pictures up sometime once I get it completely finished. Grabbed new bolts for the Malone roof rack mounts that I put on there, but they were too long. It was a cheap way out that has a bunch of speed bumps.


It's best to run your ground wire all the way to the light. You'll have less trouble getting your lights to
always work.
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I've never been good, But I've been Lucky!
I don't Lie or Exaggerate, but sometimes I remember BIG!

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#10862859 - 05/21/15 10:41 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: pelican]
trt08 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/25/14
Posts: 37
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: pelican

It's best to run your ground wire all the way to the light. You'll have less trouble getting your lights to
always work.


I may do that. I'm going to have to make a run back to the store for the bolts to mount the racks. Whatever gets it done right the first time, really. I did see a video where a guy just got generic yellow (even though this trailer has white ground) and ran it back to the bolt on those high quality (sarcasm) tail lights. My ultimate goal is to get my Jeep fixed, and fingers crossed my wiring works, and get the kayaks out this weekend...if the monsoon season decides to stop.
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#10862889 - 05/21/15 11:01 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: pelican]
japacejr Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 8
Loc: McKinney, TX
Originally Posted By: pelican

It's best to run your ground wire all the way to the light. You'll have less trouble getting your lights to
always work.


+1

I have the 1,720 lb capacity Harbor Freight trailer and that is what I did. Has worked well for me.

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#10863215 - 05/22/15 07:40 AM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
Palovik Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 1361
Loc: Murphy, TX
You can test the lights with a battery charger. Brown is running lights, green and yellow are right and left stop and turn.

I have had one of these trailers for about a year and have had no issues. You really need to extend the tongue as the one on the trailer is way to short.
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#10864099 - 05/22/15 01:48 PM Re: Help with Harbor Freight trailer running lights. [Re: trt08]
Todd™ Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 3359
Loc: On my kayak
Was that used or a special? Online the boat trailer is $399 but the small 870# utility trailer is $179 plus you can get 20% off. I'm thinking of getting the utility trailer and modify it.
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