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Jan 23rd, 2013
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5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit #13568939 05/23/20 05:23 PM
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learnin to fish Offline OP
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I have a 2002 Skeeter Fish and ski 21’ with a 5 pole light setup. I am looking for a kit that comes with the 5 pole wire setup and lights. All I can find is 4 pole kits. Does anyone know where I can get a kit vs buying all of the parts independently? Also the lights I have found are 3 wire lights and I can only find 5 pole wires that run 2 wires to the lights.

Please let me know if you know a good place to get my lights. They started acting up and I the wire insulation is all cracked up etc and in need of a complete redo.

Thanks for any help y’all can give me.

Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: learnin to fish] #13568995 05/23/20 06:43 PM
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Lamps are only 2 conductor - a positive and a negative. Any "3 wire" lamp is really 2 lamps in one housing. This means that each of two lights have a positive, and both lamps share the same negative (Ground) conductor., for a total of 3 conductors.

The best place to get lamps depends on what style lamp housings you have.

Lighting is the same for a 4 pole flat connector and 5 pole flat connector - unless you also have reverse lamps on the trailer.
The 5th wire is for a brake solenoid lockout. This is present on trailers with disc brakes; otherwise the disc brakes will bind and be damaged. The solenoid activates when the vehicle is in reverse, preventing hydraulic pressure from going to the disc brake cylinders.
If you don't have back-up lamps on the trailer, you can use a 4 wire kit, but cut off the 4 wire connector and splice on a 5 wire male plug.
Do you have any experience at crimping solderless connections? The nature of your questions leads me to believe you are in uncharted territory. If you do not have experience with crimping connections, you make introduce more problem than you are trying to correct. BTW, there are good crimping tools, and there are cheap crimping tools. Guess which one you shouldn't use.....

Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: learnin to fish] #13569055 05/23/20 08:20 PM
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Flippin-Out, thanks for the reply. I might not have asked my question clearly. I am quite handy and completely understand trailer wiring. I don’t use crimping tools as the connections come lose eventually no matter how good the crimping tool and cause all kinds of trouble, I solder all of my connections. The basis of my question was basically if y’all knew a good place to buy the setup I need. I can’t find the type wiring I need. I need a wiring harness like 18 year old original one still on the trailer. It has 3 white wires, one for the trailer ground, and one for each the right and left side to ground the lights to the vehicle vs the trailer frame and a blue wire in addition to the standard green, yellow and brown wires. The three wire lamps that are currently on the trailer have a ground incorporated vs grounding to the frame a green or yellow for right or left and a brown for running lights for a total of three wires. I really would like to keep that same setup but all of the light kits don’t have the ground wire incorporated into the full length of the wiring harness and make you ground the lights to the frame. I have surge brakes so the blue wire is needed to bypass the solenoid so the brakes will release when in neutral. Etrailer and Amazon seem to have the best selection but would like to know if there are other options out there.

Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: learnin to fish] #13569113 05/23/20 09:43 PM
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Surge (hydraulic brakes) with solenoid lockout likely the blue wire. Electric brakes have more complex wiring setup and a controller. easiest thing to do is look at ETrailer.com and they can help if need be....fast shipping if you find something to buy.


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Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: Beak47] #13569167 05/23/20 10:34 PM
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Sounds like you already have a good handle on it. All the trailers I have wired and rewired had the taillights getting a ground through one of the mounting bolts through the mounting bracket-assuming it is well attached to the frame. ground to the trailer via the white wire and from the vehicle-or sometime just through the hitch and trailer ball lol.

Last edited by Beak47; 05/23/20 10:35 PM.

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Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: Beak47] #13569196 05/23/20 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Beak47
Surge (hydraulic brakes) with solenoid lockout likely the blue wire. Electric brakes have more complex wiring setup and a controller. easiest thing to do is look at ETrailer.com and they can help if need be....fast shipping if you find something to buy.


Electric brakes are one circuit - a positive lead and a negative (Ground, which is "common" among all circuits). The complexity is in the brake controller on or in the vehicle - it pulses the brakes based on decelleration of the tow vehicle. I'm baffled why you would say electric brake wiring on a trailer is more complex.

Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: Beak47] #13569203 05/23/20 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Beak47
Sounds like you already have a good handle on it. All the trailers I have wired and rewired had the taillights getting a ground through one of the mounting bolts through the mounting bracket-assuming it is well attached to the frame. ground to the trailer via the white wire and from the vehicle-or sometime just through the hitch and trailer ball lol.


NEVER "get Ground" through a trailer hitch ball; that's creating a problem waiting to happen. If that was a great idea, trailer harness connectors wouldn't bother having a Ground connection designated on the connector. The white wire on either side of the connector should be attached to the frame in electrical continuity. (This means on a tiny spot where the paint or other coating has been removed. Use a ring terminal on the wire, and a self tapping screw or nut & bolt. Proper tow vehicle harness installations will have done this, and it SHOULD be done on the trailer side also.

Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: learnin to fish] #13569217 05/23/20 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by learnin to fish
Flippin-Out, thanks for the reply. I might not have asked my question clearly. I am quite handy and completely understand trailer wiring. I don’t use crimping tools as the connections come lose eventually no matter how good the crimping tool and cause all kinds of trouble, I solder all of my connections. The basis of my question was basically if y’all knew a good place to buy the setup I need. I can’t find the type wiring I need. I need a wiring harness like 18 year old original one still on the trailer. It has 3 white wires, one for the trailer ground, and one for each the right and left side to ground the lights to the vehicle vs the trailer frame and a blue wire in addition to the standard green, yellow and brown wires. The three wire lamps that are currently on the trailer have a ground incorporated vs grounding to the frame a green or yellow for right or left and a brown for running lights for a total of three wires. I really would like to keep that same setup but all of the light kits don’t have the ground wire incorporated into the full length of the wiring harness and make you ground the lights to the frame. I have surge brakes so the blue wire is needed to bypass the solenoid so the brakes will release when in neutral. Etrailer and Amazon seem to have the best selection but would like to know if there are other options out there.


Your reply about crimped connections borders on comical. Clearly, you do not understand crimped connections. I've got them on a boat I've had over 20 years, and haven't touched them. Same for the trailer that boat sits on. Solder can be good for some things, but it requires even more skill to do correctly, and insulation from future shorts becomes paramount. A little tidbit for you if you want to ponder reliability of crimped connections: Every aviation maintenance/repair/build specification I've seen calls for CRIMPED connections. I'll let them know that those are unreliable. (I've read studies that showed the soldered connections are more problematic than crimped ones, but I guess you found a different study?)

Ground is Ground is Ground. You don't have 3 Grounds. The vehicle's 12V system has a common reference point; we call that GROUND, and you it common to the trailer with a white wire on the frame as described. Your trailer is Ground once the white wire is properly attached to the frame. Any point on the frame at bare metal is then, well, GROUND once again! Unless you have a tilt-frame trailer, there is no need to run dedicated wires to the rear lamp housings. If it's a tilt frame, one bonding wire near the pivot point will insure both parts are also in electrical continuity as Ground. Unless a person was thinking they would avoid issues (that don't exist in a proper installation), I see no reason whatsoever for a wired Ground when a frame is available.

Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: learnin to fish] #13570036 05/24/20 08:57 PM
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I wasnt trying to “get ground through the trailer ball.” You took it wrong.


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Re: 5 Pole Boat Trailer Light Kit [Re: learnin to fish] #13570116 05/24/20 10:41 PM
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Very good. You'd be surprised how many think that's fine. It is what usually causes flicker as they drive down the road....until it goes high resistance, and lights dim, etc.

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