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Old 05-17-2024, 06:55 PM   #1
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Peculiar tail-light behavior after replacing 7 pin trailer connector

Hey all - background - 2018/2019 Gray Wolf 20RDSE travel trailer - I was having issues with inconsistent behavior with my marker lights and sometimes the directional lights - so I replaced the 7 pin trailer side connector & pig tail. I carefully took pictures and noted which connectors went where. All my lights work now and I purchased the Hopkins connector that has lights showing if it is getting power from the TV.


This past weekend, I didn't have the battery connected and plugged up to the TV - and the second light on the right turn signal light stayed lit... until i connected the trailer battery. It also would light up if I connected to shore power without the battery conneted.



I was a little confused why one of the tail lights had a third wire connected...



Has anyone seen this before and is it 'normal'?


Thanks


Rick
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Old 05-17-2024, 07:56 PM   #2
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This sure is a puzzle. The trailer lights don't tie into the trailer battery or shore power at all. I would work a 12V power wire around the connector to each wire and determine which lights are on (don't jump to the ground).

What is the second light on the right turn signal?
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Old 05-17-2024, 09:53 PM   #3
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A weak or missing ground can cause really, really strange things to happen with trailer lights. I would suggest you start with checking all of the grounds, particularly at the light that is acting strange.
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Old 05-18-2024, 08:00 AM   #4
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Only hint I can offer is connected grounds with separate battery systems.

(1) trailer battery is grounded to the frame, (2) the trailer lights are grounded to the frame, (3) the truck battery is grounded to the truck frame, and finally (4) the truck and trailer frames are grounded together via the trailer hitch and ball. Is this only happens with connected together that's a clue.

And non-OEM LED bulbs in the system?

Good luck. Please follow up with us. A few but still too many folks don't. We're a community not a data source.

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Old 05-18-2024, 08:56 AM   #5
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i'm just guessing on this. first the trailer lights are not connected to the trailer battery so having a battery or not should make no difference. but you say it does. also when you say the second light i'm guessing that one light is the brake light and the other is the turn signal.

i'm also guessing that there is an error in how you connected the new 7-pin cable. also check to see if the break away switch is connected to the the 7 pin cable junction box. if it is miswired it might be providing a circuit path that you are not expecting.

i have not done this but you can test the trailer light wiring by using a short jumper wire that you plug into the 7-pin connector. put one end of the jumper into the 12 volt aux lead. this will get you 12 volt power from the trailer batteries. now you have 6 remaining connections to test. plug the other end of the jumper into one of those connections and that should light the trailer lights associated with that connection. there are pictures of what each of these 6 connections should power. test them one at a time and make sure they are wired to the correct lights. by doing this you can test each circuit independently to verify that the 7 pin is wired properly.
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Old 05-18-2024, 11:13 AM   #6
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If the 7-pin connector or the cable was replaced, that is where the issue exists. If it worked before and now it doesn't.

The trailer battery or converter has nothing to do with the running or brake lights. If it does as stated, there is a wiring error related to the new or recent attempt at repairs.

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Old 05-18-2024, 11:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
i'm just guessing on this. first the trailer lights are not connected to the trailer battery so having a battery or not should make no difference. but you say it does. also when you say the second light i'm guessing that one light is the brake light and the other is the turn signal.

i'm also guessing that there is an error in how you connected the new 7-pin cable. also check to see if the break away switch is connected to the the 7 pin cable junction box. if it is miswired it might be providing a circuit path that you are not expecting.

i have not done this but you can test the trailer light wiring by using a short jumper wire that you plug into the 7-pin connector. put one end of the jumper into the 12 volt aux lead. this will get you 12 volt power from the trailer batteries. now you have 6 remaining connections to test. plug the other end of the jumper into one of those connections and that should light the trailer lights associated with that connection. there are pictures of what each of these 6 connections should power. test them one at a time and make sure they are wired to the correct lights. by doing this you can test each circuit independently to verify that the 7 pin is wired properly.


Br VERY careful if you do this, one of those pins is the ground and connecting directly from the battery pin to the ground pin will likely cause some sparks and will overheat the wiring if left on for mor then just a split second.
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Old 05-18-2024, 02:18 PM   #8
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Here is the standard 7-pin wiring diagram and colors for both male and female connectors.

Bob
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Old 05-19-2024, 08:55 AM   #9
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Br VERY careful if you do this, one of those pins is the ground and connecting directly from the battery pin to the ground pin will likely cause some sparks and will overheat the wiring if left on for mor then just a split second.
very very good point!!!!!!
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Old 06-09-2024, 05:16 PM   #10
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Follow-up...



Thank you for all your questions/suggestions - a little more detail I didn't consider mentioning in my first post.



The tail lights are not factory - I replaced the factory incandescent tail lights with Bargman LED Double Tail light, 4 function - several years ago.





Also - an Anderson 120amp connector is in line on the battery - similar to what is used on a forklift battery - to make moving the battery easier in the winter and spring.



When adding the new 7 pin harness - the blue wire for the right turn light also had a black wire that runs to the tongue somewhere in the crimp - so when replacing the harness, I put it in the same place - I can't tell if this is running to the break away switch or something with the tongue jack.





On the trip where the behavior started, I had started with the battery disconnected (doh!) - when I plugged the battery in, the problem went away.



I tried to re-create the problem today by disconnecting the battery and hooking up to shore power. No dice... I wonder if the system thinks the battery is okay even if disconnected... There wasn't any voltage running from the black wire to the ground when testing with a multimeter.



I'll try again when it's not so wet outside.



Thank you for your consideration and help. I'm marking this up to the dreaded intermittent category for now.
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Old 06-10-2024, 07:47 AM   #11
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I thought the blue wire was trailer brakes.

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