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Old 05-03-2021, 10:10 AM   #1
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Brake/signal light alternative in a pinch?

I realized yesterday that my rear lights don't work. The only light that works is the driver side turn signal. I called the dealer this morning and they gave me an appointment for 5/20. I have two weekend trips scheduled coming up so this through a huge wrench in my plans.

I was thinking of a temporary solution so that I can still go camping and tow truck lights came to mind. I've been searching online and I cannot find anything that is over 30 feet in length that would reach the rear of the trailer. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:25 AM   #2
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Try some contact cleaner on the 7 pin plug. Spray it on and connect and remove the plug several times.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:06 PM   #3
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I will buy some today and see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the advice. I hope that it helps because the dealer said that they are super backed up in RV warranty repairs. The rep even told me that they are not doing any non warranty jobs at all.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:31 PM   #4
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Hopefully that will correct the problem.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:24 PM   #5
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I will buy some today and see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the advice. I hope that it helps because the dealer said that they are super backed up in RV warranty repairs. The rep even told me that they are not doing any non warranty jobs at all.
I think someone, in another thread of yours, advised you to consider an independent RV shop or mobile RV tech, for warranty work.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:28 PM   #6
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Try some contact cleaner on the 7 pin plug. Spray it on and connect and remove the plug several times.
I bought contact cleaner at Lowes and gave it a shot. Nothing changed. It is definitely an electrical issue. This is very upsetting. I ordered a set of towing lights and an adapter from Amazon. I am going to splice the wires and extend them so that I can reach the rear of the Trailer. I could not find anything that was 35-40 ft in length. The earliest appointment I could get was 5/20. They said they can do electrical work the same day as opposed to anything that would require parts. Parts have to go through the warranty department at FR.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:31 PM   #7
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I think someone, in another thread of yours, advised you to consider an independent RV shop or mobile RV tech, for warranty work.
I don't think you read my original post above or the title to this thread. I have a camping trip this weekend and another the following week. I had the idea of using towing lights on the back of the rig so that I can safely drive on the road. I posted this thread in the general forum so that I can get general advice. What you are talking about is posted in the specific forum for Cherokee trailers.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:33 PM   #8
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I bought contact cleaner at Lowes and gave it a shot. Nothing changed. It is definitely an electrical issue. This is very upsetting. I ordered a set of towing lights and an adapter from Amazon. I am going to splice the wires and extend them so that I can reach the rear of the Trailer. I could not find anything that was 35-40 ft in length. The earliest appointment I could get was 5/20. They said they can do electrical work the same day as opposed to anything that would require parts. Parts have to go through the warranty department at FR.
Thank you for the update.
Dam, that is unfortunate it didn't work.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:40 PM   #9
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I don't think you read my original post above or the title to this thread. I have a camping trip this weekend and another the following week. I had the idea of using towing lights on the back of the rig so that I can safely drive on the road. I posted this thread in the general forum so that I can get general advice. What you are talking about is posted in the specific forum for Cherokee trailers.
Advise still applies. A mobile tech might be able to get to you before your camping trip if you explain it. Otherwise, any makeshift options you are considering will prove to be a PITA if even viable.
Another option is to use a multimeter to trace the problem down yourself.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:20 PM   #10
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I don't know what camper you have, but if you're having all these issues are you sure your brakes have power to work (if applicable)?
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:29 PM   #11
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Advise still applies. A mobile tech might be able to get to you before your camping trip if you explain it. Otherwise, any makeshift options you are considering will prove to be a PITA if even viable.
Another option is to use a multimeter to trace the problem down yourself.
Absolutely, at least check out your truck 7 pin connector with a multi-meter. It could be your vehicle and it is my guess that it is.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:37 PM   #12
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I don't know what camper you have, but if you're having all these issues are you sure your brakes have power to work (if applicable)?
That's a really good question. How would I know? I towed the trailer to my house and back to storage yesterday, about 40 minutes each way. It was up and down long hills most of the ride. My brake controller was on as far as I could tell. Whenever I pressed the brakes it would engage and the numbers would slowly go down as I slowed. I had to raise the level a little and then noticed a slight bounciness to the trailer as I drove. I didn't think much of it.

I recall being told to set my brake controller to the point that the trailer brakes engage so that I could determine the setting necessary to stop the brakes. I never got around to do that so I don't know what it feels like to have the trailers brakes fully engaged. I've manually dialed up the brake controller 2 times when I felt that I was not stopping with enough distance to the car in front of me.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:40 PM   #13
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Absolutely, at least check out your truck 7 pin connector with a multi-meter. It could be your vehicle and it is my guess that it is.
I towed a mini excavator without a problem. That was the last time I used the connector. If something was wrong with the connector could only one light turn on? My driver side light turns on when I press the brakes and when I turn on the signal.

Another noticing I just remembered. I had power in the trailer when connected to my Yukon. My batter was disconnected but I turned on the radio and a couple of lights.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:39 PM   #14
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Have you considered checking the fuses in the tow vehicle?

If you can't figure out how to do it, you can get a tester that plugs into the outlet on the tow vehicle, probably at the local auto parts store.

It would be pretty embarrassing to take the trailer in and found out that the problem was with the truck.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:54 PM   #15
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That's a really good question. How would I know? I towed the trailer to my house and back to storage yesterday, about 40 minutes each way. It was up and down long hills most of the ride. My brake controller was on as far as I could tell. Whenever I pressed the brakes it would engage and the numbers would slowly go down as I slowed. I had to raise the level a little and then noticed a slight bounciness to the trailer as I drove. I didn't think much of it.

I recall being told to set my brake controller to the point that the trailer brakes engage so that I could determine the setting necessary to stop the brakes. I never got around to do that so I don't know what it feels like to have the trailers brakes fully engaged. I've manually dialed up the brake controller 2 times when I felt that I was not stopping with enough distance to the car in front of me.
One way, there may be a way that is less work, but this would certainly tell you, would be to hook up your truck and trailer just like you were headed to a campground for a trip. Use the brake controller in your vehicle to apply the trailer brakes, and at the same time (with trailer brake controller engaged), try to drive forward. If the brakes are working, you'll just drag the tires without them spinning (at a minimum it will be a noticeable resistance). On dirt or gravel would be the easiest way to do this method.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:32 PM   #16
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Have you considered checking the fuses in the tow vehicle?

If you can't figure out how to do it, you can get a tester that plugs into the outlet on the tow vehicle, probably at the local auto parts store.

It would be pretty embarrassing to take the trailer in and found out that the problem was with the truck.
Based on what you just said I realized that I can hook the trailer up to my Honda Pilot and see if there is a difference with the connector. This will give me a better idea if it's the Yukon or confirm that it is an electrical issue.

On a side note, if the radio works and the lights inside of the trailer work when I am connected, doesn't that mean that the connector on the Yukon works too? The battery was disconnected during this time.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:34 PM   #17
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One way, there may be a way that is less work, but this would certainly tell you, would be to hook up your truck and trailer just like you were headed to a campground for a trip. Use the brake controller in your vehicle to apply the trailer brakes, and at the same time (with trailer brake controller engaged), try to drive forward. If the brakes are working, you'll just drag the tires without them spinning (at a minimum it will be a noticeable resistance). On dirt or gravel would be the easiest way to do this method.
Great idea. I will do just that. The lot where the trailer is stored has aged asphalt where the vehicles are parked but everything in front of the spots is a gravel/crumbled asphalt mix.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:44 AM   #18
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Absolutely, at least check out your truck 7 pin connector with a multi-meter. It could be your vehicle and it is my guess that it is.
Update:

I hooked the trailer up to my Honda Pilot's connector and all of the lights are in working order. I want to thank all of you that said it was the 7 pin connector. I am glad that it is not an electrical issue on the trailer.

Now what? Do I have to replace the connector on the Yukon or is there a way to fix the pins that are not working. When I hooked up the trailer only the driver side turn signal was working. It was also the only light that lit up when I pressed the brakes. None of the other rear lights turned on nor did the orange lights on the sides or front.
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:21 AM   #19
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It may not be the 7 pin trailer connector. IIRC, GM vehicles equipped with the 7 pin connector have separate fuses and relays for each function such as parking lights, turn signals, etc... Even if the turn signals are working on your vehicle, the feed for one of the 7 pin connectors could be blown. These fuses are separate from the main fuse block. They are located in the fuse/relay panel under the hood by the brake master cylinder. In order to find the fuse or relay involved, you may have to look in the owners manual.
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:39 AM   #20
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It may not be the 7 pin trailer connector. IIRC, GM vehicles equipped with the 7 pin connector have separate fuses and relays for each function such as parking lights, turn signals, etc... Even if the turn signals are working on your vehicle, the feed for one of the 7 pin connectors could be blown. These fuses are separate from the main fuse block. They are located in the fuse/relay panel under the hood by the brake master cylinder. In order to find the fuse or relay involved, you may have to look in the owners manual.
How do I know if a fuse is blown?

This is what happens when you have leased your vehicles all of your life and now you own one. I've never had to deal with any mechanical issues with my vehicles because I used to get a new one every 3 years. Now that I own the Yukon there is now warranty to use to get things fixed.
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