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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > trailer lighting??
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Thread: trailer lighting?? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-13-2011 09:45 PM
robbieland well, thanks so much for the suggestions. i couldnt make anything happen, so i purchased the magnetic temp lights, which dont need the ground. plugged them in and still nothing. so, guess the tester was lying. so here i sit on land missing my trip and ready, somewhat, to begin tomorrow on car plug issue. thanks again.
11-12-2011 03:16 PM
LakeSuperiorGeezer
Sparks

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
Nah, Use a piece of wire with two bare ends and look for sparks. (just kidding)
In reality, I have done this, but the problem is the way I do it, I usually blow a fuse.
11-12-2011 01:07 PM
bubb2
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
What you need to do is test the continuity of the ground. You need a multimeter for this, on ohms range.

Check that you have around 0 ohms (might be 1 ohm, no higher) between the vehicle ground and that pin on the car's 4 way connector.

There's only so far you can go with a test light. A multimeter is a much more powerful tool.
Nah, Use a piece of wire with two bare ends and look for sparks. (just kidding)
11-12-2011 12:27 PM
MarkSF What you need to do is test the continuity of the ground. You need a multimeter for this, on ohms range.

Check that you have around 0 ohms (might be 1 ohm, no higher) between the vehicle ground and that pin on the car's 4 way connector.

Then check between the trailer's ground pin and anywhere on the trailer chassis where you can touch exposed metal.

There should be a wire from the trailer's ground pin, to the trailer's chassis. If this is broken (can be broken internally so it looks OK) or has a bad connection this will stop all the lights working.

These things age quickly from regular dipping in water!

There's only so far you can go with a test light. A multimeter is a much more powerful tool.
11-12-2011 10:54 AM
Squidd It may not hurt to check that the bulbs are "in place" and haven't rattled out of their sockets due to shipping, handeling etc...
11-12-2011 10:54 AM
LakeSuperiorGeezer Take an alligator clip, one of those clips with a long nose on it, and reach inside the trailer connector with a hot wire from a battery and also of course connect the ground. See if things light up. If this works and you have a good ground from vehicle to trailer then consider relays and be sure to fuse the circuits.
11-12-2011 10:37 AM
PaulfromNWOnt
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorvetteGuy View Post
are there bulbs in the fixtures,
You know, that was the first thing I thought as well, but I imagine those kits from Wally World are fairly complete.

It does sound like a ground issue unless some of the lights work in which case you'll have a little more rooting around to do.
11-12-2011 08:12 AM
CorvetteGuy are there bulbs in the fixtures,,,,sounds like a grounding issue
11-12-2011 01:26 AM
LakeSuperiorGeezer
Ground?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
Take a piece of wire, attach it to the ground at the trailer tongue. Then try to find a spot on the tow vehicle to ground it to (bare spot on vehicle frame) If you get lights then the plug on the vehicle side does not have a good ground.
This is the way to trouble shoot the problem. It is my experience that the ball and hitch do not make a good ground. That ground wire inside the 4 pin plug is needed for lights to work and the vehicle side has to go to a good ground while the trailer side also has to be grounded to the trailer frame. The other things I can think of are the turn signal flasher which might need to be changed for a heavy duty one, or if the tow vehicle uses a computer for controlling the lights, you will need relays for left, right, and tail lights. Check the owner's manual. Those computers will cause really strange things to happen, so go to Radio Shack and buy three 12 volt relays and wire them in. I had to do that on my 1995 Crown Victoria. If your vehicle has a trailer package, the relays should already be there. I have a 1995 F350 that has relays even for the backup lights.
11-11-2011 11:58 PM
bubb2 could be nothing more than corrosion on the ground post of the plug. Make sure that's good and shinny also.
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