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Old 05-04-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
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Tail and break light problem 03 Rockwood 1640

The brake lights and turn signals are bright and work fine on the pop up until I cut the lights on the truck. With the lights on and either turn signal on all the lights on the camper blink.
With just the lights on all running lights and tail lights are bright and work until I use a turn signal or brake light, then all running and tail lights go very dim.
When those lights go dim my reverse lights on my truck light up also. I tested the pig tail on the truck and the 4 prong plug is wired right. All lights work like they should until I tail/running lights when I cut the headlights on. I noticed that when I have the tail lights on the refrigerator is on on also.
I will check any ground wires tomorrow but I don't think that's the problem. Any help would be great. Thanks Alan
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:44 AM   #2
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Benn there, done that, and have a "T" shirt to prove it. You have a bad ground in one of the trailer lights. Which one, don't know. They use steel screws in to aluminum siding. to make the ground. These rust over time. I would start with the tail lights. then the marker lights. Turn on the parking lights, and closely look for brightness variation. This may be a clue.

Good Luck.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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thanks for the info, I ran all the grounds down on the lighting and made sure they were tight and a had a good connection.
Here's what I found out today. The turn signals and brake lights work fine, its the tail lights that have a problem. with tail lights off I get 12 volts to the turn signals and brake lights. But with tail lights on I get 8 volts to the tail lights and -4 volts brake lights.
I checked this by taking out the 1157 bulb and checking both positives on the bulb holder one at a time while i had the tail lights and brake lights on at the same time.
Why would I get 8 volts on one and -4 on the other?
With just the tail lights on (cutting the headlights on on the truck) I only have around 8 volts of power to the tail lights.
Any more thoughts?
With the tail lights on the refrigerator is on, is there something I am suppose to do with convertor? Sorry if thats a dumb question I bought this camper during the winter and this is the first time I am using it. It's
also the first camper I have ever had. Thanks Again for the help
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:38 PM   #4
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If you only have a four pin plug the refrigerator should not have power going to it. If the trailer came with a six pin plug and someone rewired to a four pin then you could have power going to the reffer when the lights are turned on. A four pin plug is only for the lights.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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Does the trailer have clearance/marker/side lights? If so, get all the bulbs out. Now go and check the voltage at each socket, making sure you use the socket ground. If you can with the lights on, install one bulb at a time, and keep checking voltage. Hopefully something will show up. Lao look closely at the 1157 bulbs. I have seen a brake light filament break and short to a parking light filament. If you have trouble seeing, as a lot of us do, replace them. One last question, are you connecting the hitch, or just the pigtail for the wiring? May have a bad ground on the truck or trailer pigtail. Might try connecting and taking for a short drive, and rechecking. The post above mentioned 4 wire or 6 wire, I'm assuming 4 wire on both, I could be wrong.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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Sorry for the delay, I went camping this weekend!!!
Ok it is a 4 pin at the truck but a few feet inside the tongue of the camper its connected to a 6 pin connection(looks like only 5 pins are used though).
Any new thoughts of best thing to do? Remember the brake/turn signal lights work as long as the lights are off. the running/tail lights work as long as no brake/turn signal is used but it only has 8 volts.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:44 PM   #7
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the 8volts has more to do with a bad ground. the ground is floating.
off the top of my head, i would say the one ur getting the -4 volts on is being back fed. (just a stab...i'm having problems following it in my mind to be certain).
i would suspect ur using the + and - at the socket for ur reference. i would try using the + at the light and an alternate point as a ref.
better yet, check the voltage between the ground at the light and an alternate point. if u get a voltage doing this, i would suspect that socket wasn't making a ground to the trailer.

the other suggestions are saying the same thing i am. current is making it back to the vehicle thru the ground. somewhere one of the lights is making back thru another light to ground.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:45 AM   #8
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Ok thanks, I pulled the tail lights off and followed the ground wire best I could and found one ground and it is securely screwed into the frame. It has probably 10 side/front/rear marker lights that I haven't checked yet. There is only 3 ground wires screwed into the frame and one is bigger and under the converter, the other 2 or in front and back of the camper, I took then off and made sure they were tight and no paint was in the way of the washer.

The reason for my last post was because it was mentioned in an earlier post that the fridge should not have power but it does when the tail/side marker lights or on and I had just noticed the 6 pin connector.

The thing I don't like about the ground wire was the factory used those blue squeeze on connectors(quick connectors), not crimped. I have had bad luck in the past using them.

Thanks again for all the good information and I will get back on this as soon as work let's me. Alan
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:59 PM   #9
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If you have a six pin connector some one might have connected a wire to the reffer to the lights. If this is the problem then you are putting too much strain on the wires. The reffer if a 12 volt will put a high amp draw on the wiring. This could be part of the drop in voltage to the lights. If you don't know how to rewire the TT and TV I would have someone who knows how to look at it. It sound like you have more then a bad ground. It sound like you have wires crossed. A six pin connector will have 4 wires for the trailer lights and a hot wire that will connect to a battery on the trailer and also allow you to run the reffer on 12 volt while traveling. I would not recommend running the reffer on 12 volts while traveling because if you stop for a longer period and the TV does not have a battery issolator then you could drain the TV battery to a point you could not start your TV. The six pin is almost the same as a 7 pin except you would not have the brake wire for the pup. Is there a location for a battery of the pup?
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:25 PM   #10
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Yea I have a new battery sitting in the box waiting on me to wire it up. I think you are right about the wires crossed. The Extension wire on TT with the 6 pin on one side and 4 pin on truck side has been cut and has a lot of black tape rapped so 1 of the previous owners has rewired it.
I have several options but 1st i'm going to rewire it with just the 4 trailer wires and if that works then I don't have to worry about a ground problem.
Then I also have a big 7 pin female plug on the back of my truck so I should be able to use it.
The way I understand it all I need is a ground 3 trailer wires for the lights and a constant hot( i have no trailer brakes). I think I can run the constant hot and ground to the camper battery also (I have a battery disconnect on ground post to easily bypass TT battery) so it will keep it charged up with the truck alt.
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