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Old 06-28-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
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Fried trailer wires

Long story short - trailer plug fell out of truck, drug on ground, unrecognizable which wires go to which blades. Bought new 7 prong connector but didn't disconnect the wires from the trailer while trying to fix it and almost caused a fire (smoke and bad electrical smell) somewhere along these wires to the battery/running lights/brake system.

It appears these wires run under the trailer (based on where the smoke came from). Where can you best access the wires - by opening up the sides or underbelly?

1972 Airstream Safari 23'
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Monicaro View Post
Long story short - trailer plug fell out of truck, drug on ground, unrecognizable which wires go to which blades. Bought new 7 prong connector but didn't disconnect the wires from the trailer while trying to fix it and almost caused a fire (smoke and bad electrical smell) somewhere along these wires to the battery/running lights/brake system.

It appears these wires run under the trailer (based on where the smoke came from). Where can you best access the wires - by opening up the sides or underbelly?

1972 Airstream Safari 23'
Most all of the wires are in the center section of the ceiling.

Only the brake wires are in the underbelly.

Andy
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Andy! So one of the oddities is that when I press on the brake the right side lights up but the left side doesn't and then all of a sudden the backup light on that side will start illuminating. Does the brake controller and brake light wires run together and are they also along side the backup wire?

And does it make sense to you that if I had wired incorrectly (or cross touched these connectors while trying to fix things) that the brake controler line would smoke?
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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I would start by removing the 7 pin connector from the trailer umbilical cord.
There are a couple of things that might have happened.
1.If you connected the charge line from the TV to the ground/common connection in the Ucord (umbilical). I would have thought a fuse would have blown in the TV.
2.If you connected the ground/common of the TV to the charge line of the trailer it would also have caused a short. But there should have been fuses in the trailer to protect the wire.
Again remove the 7 pin connector. Separate each of the wires so they are not touching each other or the metal on the trailer. Also disconnect the battery in the trailer and unplug the shore power or at least turn off the converter.
If you know how to use a VOM meter: Put the meter on the Ohms scale and read each wire to ground/common. Only one (the ground/common) should show a short to ground. You will get what looks like a short on any circuit with light bulbs, it may or may not read absolutely zero in those cases.
If you don't know how to use a VOM and want to learn get back to us.

You can also use a battery charger and check each circuit. Most modern battery chargers have "crowbar" protection and will shut off the output if there is a short. Connect the black lead of the charger to a clean spot on the frame, then connect the red lead to one wire at a time on the Ucord and walk around the trailer and see what works. The white wire in the Ucord is the trailer ground/common in most cases, if you touch it with the red charger lead, the charger will probably shut down. Make notes of what happens with each color of wire. On circuits like the tail/marker lights where there is a significant load, you may see a spark when connecting the charger. This would be considered normal.

In a trailer of this vintage the wire color code is different than todays trailers. Make notes and let us know what happens.
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