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#11272388 - 12/09/15 01:37 PM Trailer wiring problem
Ridintriton Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/06/11
Posts: 153
We are wiring the lights for an old trailer and are having a problem I was hoping someone would have the answer for. Both blinkers, hazards, and brakes are working, but can't get the running lights to work. Anyone ever had this problem or know what it could be?

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#11272467 - 12/09/15 02:14 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
ChuChu1 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2762
Loc: Gonzales, Tx
Here is a page with all the possibilities for wiring a trailer. Look at the chart and pick the plug you are using.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

As far as the running lights, it is usually a bad ground, but you say the brake lights work. Test for power at the vehicle plug. To put a stop to 90% of trailer light problems, get a wire lug and soldier it on the white wire of the trailer and screw it to a spot cleaned of all paint and rust. Trailers don't like grounding thru the ball.
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#11272497 - 12/09/15 02:38 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
kingdad101 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 20708
Loc: W.F. Texas
bad ground
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#11272764 - 12/09/15 05:11 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
joshua wendel Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 165
Loc: wylie,tx
If all the other lights are working it is not a ground it is a power issue with the running lights. Test for power at the truck likely to be blown fuse, if power is good coming from the truck there will be a break in the brown wire on the trailer.

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#11275246 - 12/10/15 07:59 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
Freeman Clark Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 1258
Loc: Temple, Texas
Tail lights will be feeding the brown wire.
If you have any other lights you can rule out a bad ground.

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#11275304 - 12/10/15 08:20 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
gary purdy Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 10530
Loc: Littlefield Tx & Lake A. H. US...
Trailer running light fuse
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“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” GOD IS GOOD

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#11275389 - 12/10/15 08:50 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: kingdad101]
kingdad101 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 20708
Loc: W.F. Texas
Originally Posted By: kingdad101
bad ground




https://www.etrailer.com/question-66823.html
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#11275922 - 12/11/15 08:15 AM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
BODA Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/10/14
Posts: 220
Loc: Eagle Mountain Lake
ground. 99.9% of electrical issues on a trailer are a ground, same as the boat

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#11276076 - 12/11/15 09:13 AM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
Bernie Lee Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/19/01
Posts: 868

Have you checked the power on the running lights comeing out of the truck connection? If you have power there then it is in your trailer wireing.Is the brown wire good on your trailer plug?
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Bernie Lee

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#11276287 - 12/11/15 11:09 AM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
gary purdy Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 10530
Loc: Littlefield Tx & Lake A. H. US...
Bad Ground all of the lights go haywire. Check it with a 12v manual battery charger. - to trailer and + to brown running lights wire at the trailer plug. That is what I use when re-wiring a trailer because of things just like this. Some of the new pickups do not have the trailer light fuse installed from the factory.
_________________________
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” GOD IS GOOD

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#11276836 - 12/11/15 04:25 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
Bob Landry Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 2037
Loc: Austin, Tx
Check the signal voltages at the truck plug using a volt meter and having someone operate the brakes and turn signals. That cuts the troubleshooting time in half by telling you if the problem is in the trailer or the truck. if it turns out to be in the trailer, I would run a new wiring harness(they're cheap and hardwire grounds to each of the lights. I wouldn't trust getting it through a screw in the frame or through the hitch ball.
If you have to do any connections, use heat shrink butt connectors with adhesive or heat shrink with adhesive to keep water out.
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#11276916 - 12/11/15 05:38 PM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Bob Landry]
ChuChu1 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2762
Loc: Gonzales, Tx
Originally Posted By: Bob Landry
Check the signal voltages at the truck plug using a volt meter and having someone operate the brakes and turn signals. That cuts the troubleshooting time in half by telling you if the problem is in the trailer or the truck. if it turns out to be in the trailer, I would run a new wiring harness(they're cheap and hardwire grounds to each of the lights. I wouldn't trust getting it through a screw in the frame or through the hitch ball.
If you have to do any connections, use heat shrink butt connectors with adhesive or heat shrink with adhesive to keep water out.


Why do you think they put a short white ground wire on new wiring harnesses? To attach it to the frame with a screw. Try reading the instructions with the harness.I have never seen a wiring harness that had hard wire grounds at each light. Can you give me a manufacturer and part number? Some lights have a ground made into the housing, but if you lose that ground it will then ground thru the bulb ahead of that light. That will make all lights dim and turn signals will dimly activate all the lights grounding thru that circuit.
_________________________
California. Well it's like breakfast cereal. You get rid of the fruits and nuts and all that's left are the flakes. Thank goodness there's a place called Texas.

Member:
Stephen F Austin's Old 300
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Sons of The Republic of Texas

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#11277663 - 12/12/15 07:54 AM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
Bob Landry Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 2037
Loc: Austin, Tx
It's not a reliable connection but the trailer manufacturers do it because it's cheap. The instructions are not going to tell you to do it, but a lot of people do and it resolves a lot of intermittent light problems. If it's not your thing, simply don't do it. Seems pretty simple to me.
_________________________
2015 Seaark 1872 MV CC Etec-90
Helix 12 CHIRP SI, HB 1199, MinnKota Riptide ST80/i-pilot Link, Bob's Hydraulic

Bitter Gun Owner
Bitter Clinger
Armed Infidel

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#11277751 - 12/12/15 09:06 AM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Ridintriton]
Gamblinman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 2019
Loc: Yantis, TX
the wire that runs the running lights is broken or is nicked and grounded on the trailer somewhere. Check that wire very carefully.
_________________________


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#11277816 - 12/12/15 09:48 AM Re: Trailer wiring problem [Re: Bob Landry]
ChuChu1 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2762
Loc: Gonzales, Tx
Originally Posted By: Bob Landry
It's not a reliable connection but the trailer manufacturers do it because it's cheap. The instructions are not going to tell you to do it, but a lot of people do and it resolves a lot of intermittent light problems. If it's not your thing, simply don't do it. Seems pretty simple to me.


How do you get a ground from the trailer and the vehicle if you don't connect the short white wire to the trailer frame? From 44 years experience in trailer repair, I have never found any other way to ground the trailer frame and the vehicle.
_________________________
California. Well it's like breakfast cereal. You get rid of the fruits and nuts and all that's left are the flakes. Thank goodness there's a place called Texas.

Member:
Stephen F Austin's Old 300
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Sons of The Republic of Texas

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