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post #11 of 16 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Trailer light genius needed

Your problem is very indicative of a bad ground. If you have jumper cables use them to make a ground and see if your problem goes away. If they are long enough to go from the ground on the vehicle to the trailer that is best. Just look for some good bare metal on both trailer and vehicle. Use both leads for a better chance of good ground. Greg
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-19-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Trailer light genius needed

rhr1956
I ordered a T-one wiring harness from etrailer.com that they said was specific for my pontiac vibe. Followed their video as they performed the setup on "my" vehicle. I went through it all again yesterday and there is absolutely no way to plug in any wires incorrectly as turn signal plugs are different sizes. Even though I didn't think it was necessary, I removed the in-car ground and sanded the car paint to bare metal and re-set the ground.

dabnis
Wasn't exactly sure what to do with the voltmeter once I get one this morning, that clarifies a lot. You seem to be saying that it is possible that the factory wire colors could be wrong???

"On some vehicles that use separate turn and brake light filaments, you may have to get an adapter to combine them into your trailer 3 wire plus ground plug."

I don't really understand this but it sounds like it may be the issue however, my trailer light plug has one green, one yellow, one white, and two brown wires that plug into the same, except the car side plug has one brown. I assume that the trailer side plug combines the two brown as there are just four plugs to match the car-side plug.

I hope I don't need an adapter though because I don't know what to look for and then, won't know how to hook it up!

captain_kelly, geehaw,
I am pretty much 100% sure that the wiring is all correct which is why I have painstakingly worked and re-worked the ground--with no results. I am going to try the jumper cable ground before going for new tools.

One thing though. If it is an insufficient ground, I'm not sure how I would add a heavier wire. Would I do that by cutting it off the car-side plug and attaching a heavier wire there and running it to the trailer?

A couple other thoughts on grounding.

The light kit I bought came with a very tiny O-ring thingy where the ground screw attached, would a heavier one help?

I don't know a lot about trailers so this could be normal but mine is adjustable/extendable and there appears to be quite a bit of rust in there. I'm wondering if my ground is insufficient because the the contact point between the main part of the trailer and that extendable tongue arm has built up rust???

Again, thanks for your help everyone
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Trailer light genius needed

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I don't know a lot about trailers so this could be normal but mine is adjustable/extendable and there appears to be quite a bit of rust in there. I'm wondering if my ground is insufficient because the the contact point between the main part of the trailer and that extendable tongue arm has built up rust???
Yes, That is highly suspicious. I think your closing in on the problem. Keep us informed.

"Keep the company of those who seek the truth- RUN from those who have found it" ― Václav Havel
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Re: Trailer light genius needed

Got it!
First, thanks everyone for the insight, especially you geehaw because your post sounded so sure, I decided to try the jumpers before headed out for more tools.

Well, connecting trailer to car frame did nothing so I decided to try one last thing. I connected the jumper cables my ground screw head on the trailer and ran it back to the main part of the trailer--BANG. Got all lights.

I think now that I have what is referred to as a tilt trailer. The tongue has a pin at the mid point which when released would allow the boat to tilt up while the rest of the trailer remains on the ground. I figure that not only does the tongue section have limited contact to the largest part of the trailer, mine surely has plenty of rust in there.

Headed for a long enough wire to reach the back--and barring any other unforeseen mishap, the Apollo will be taking her maiden voyage this weekend!
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Trailer light genius needed

Cool...those damn ground connections are usually the culprit.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Trailer light genius needed

Excellent! It is so very often the ground on trailers.

"Keep the company of those who seek the truth- RUN from those who have found it" ― Václav Havel
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