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Old 07-26-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
bettendorf , Iowa
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Just need to vent about my 4pin to 7pin conversion

I spent hours this weekend trying to get my 4pin to 7pin round adapter to work with my trailer. I can get the turn signals work, as long as I want both of the reverse lights to flash as well. Or I can get the turn signals to work great... nice and bright... but only if I want the trailer brakes to activate and release in time with the flashing. Plus, the insulation is cracking in various places and occasionally causing shorts and blowing my wiring fuses. And *never* could I get the running lights to work. I have the diagram of what the wire colors are SUPPOSED to be, but they don't seem to actually BE that.

*scream*

I think I give up. I'm taking the Ford in to get new wiring installed. Problem is that the trailer plug needed replaced (it was all corroded internally) and I've been messing with wiring so much that god knows what's connected to what. *sigh*

Plus I was out there so long I didn't realize that I was getting a bad sunburn.

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Old 07-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
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My tv's have both got 7 way plugs but my trailer 7 way plug has been replaced and molested by PO. I spent the last 2 days tracking down a short in my trailer's running lights and replacing all the bulb clearance lights with LCD's. I'm taking one wire at a time in the harness and massaging that system to make sure it's working good before I move on. I have all the external lights working and now I'm moving to the brakes. I have to say that when I got those tail lights and clearance lights all working it was a rush . . . like I just climbed Mt Everest.

While I have things kind of opened up, I'm gonna check out the two interior electrical systems before I move on to the cosmetics.

I find good Karma associated with the Airstream trailer. When I work on it I don't think about my problems or my pains. Three hours go by like three minutes. The good thing is . . . when I get the repair and maintenance job finished, I'll be able to enjoy the trailer in the travel element. I see why people look for second and third projects.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
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I am going to assume you are changing the plug on your truck from 4 to 7 pins.
If so, all of the wires for the LIGHTS should be available at the rear of your truck.
You will find both stop/turn signal wires and a tail light wire there. The turn signal wires also operate the stop lights.
You will need to run wiring for the brakes and charge wire. Be sure the charge wire is fused where you connect it to the battery.
Definitely connect the ground wire from your new plug to a good, clean ground on your truck .
Most problems with lights are ground related (especially weird ones) so good grounds are absolutely required.
Finally you may need to change the signal flasher if the lights blink too fast. Ford makes a kit to wire trailers/brakes that includes the brake switch wiring and heavy duty signal flasher and I think a couple new relays.
It will help with the change over.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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Before you try anything else be absolutely sure that you have a good ground path between the truck and the traylah. Check it with a test light, or better still an extra headlight, with none of the other wires in the connector hooked up to anything.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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Here is an additional trailer wiring diagram if you need one.
Trailer Wiring Diagram For 4 Way, 5 Way, 6 Way and 7 Way circuits
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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Don't give up

Which has the 4 way your truck or your trailer? Which ever one does, you need to change it. Your trailer has brakes and they will not work with a 4 way connection nor will your charge line to the trailer battery . A 7 way is the easiest to go to. The wire colors on an older trailer will not always match the current standard so you need to test each trailer circuit to determine which circuit is which color (easy to do with a battery and set of jumper wires) .Saves blowing the fuses in your vehicle. Then it is simply a matter of matching things up on the connections. Also do you have a brake controller in the vehicle?
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:47 PM   #7
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1967 26' Overlander
bettendorf , Iowa
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My vehicle has the 4pin. I'm getting a 7pin installed on Thursday. I'll likely use a battery to figure out the various connections. And as for a brake controller... no. I didn't know I needed one. Do I?
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenschen View Post
My vehicle has the 4pin. I'm getting a 7pin installed on Thursday. I'll likely use a battery to figure out the various connections. And as for a brake controller... no. I didn't know I needed one. Do I?
Only if you want the brakes on the trailer to work and you want to obey the law.

Bill
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:03 PM   #9
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1967 26' Overlander
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Originally Posted by wkerfoot View Post
Only if you want the brakes on the trailer to work and you want to obey the law.

Bill
Well, I'm going to get the brake controller installed next Thursday. Gonna cost me about $280 though. It's amazing how all these things keep adding up. So now my vehicle will have 4pin wiring, 7 pin wiring and a brake controller. WHee!
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:39 PM   #10
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What year and kind of vehicle are you getting the brake controller (what kind) installed in ? $280 sounds pricey to me.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:46 PM   #11
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It is pricey - I paid 125.00 for the controller and the labor at the GMC Dealer
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:35 PM   #12
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1967 26' Overlander
bettendorf , Iowa
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I'm taking it to a local RV dealer. He said it depended on if my vehicle was set up to be "plug and play" or not. He said if it was it would be like $65 to install an $80 controller. He looked it up and told me that my 2010 Ford Flex would be more labor intensive and the installation would be $165. I was a little off earlier. With tax it will be $262.15. I think I will ask around a bit more before I have them do this.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:49 AM   #13
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1967 26' Overlander
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Originally Posted by mwells4654 View Post
It is pricey - I paid 125.00 for the controller and the labor at the GMC Dealer
I shopped around a bit more and found a place that will do it for $185 plus tax. Seems that new trucks have a plug that allows a plug and play type installation. Since this isn't a truck per se, it doesn't have that and needs to be completely wired for it. I called the Ford dealer where I bought it and they wanted $290 plus tax.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenschen View Post
I'm taking it to a local RV dealer. He said it depended on if my vehicle was set up to be "plug and play" or not. He said if it was it would be like $65 to install an $80 controller. He looked it up and told me that my 2010 Ford Flex would be more labor intensive and the installation would be $165. I was a little off earlier. With tax it will be $262.15. I think I will ask around a bit more before I have them do this.
hi,

Gabrielle drives a 2010 Flex SEL which was factory ordered with the towing package, and so it came equipped with the receiver, the 4/7 trailer connector, and the underdash harness wiring for a brake controller. no "pigtail" for the controller came from the factory with the vehicle.

if you've got the trailer towing package from the factory, you'll have those goodies, too.

if you don't have the factory towing package, I believe that your Flex might not be suitable for pulling the Overlander.....


most brake controller manufacturers will sell you a premade cable to let you "plug and play" their controller. don't forget to add the fuse in the fuse block for the +12V supply to the trailer.


here's a few links that you might find useful -
TOWING WIRING Brake Controller Setup EASY! - Ford Flex Forum

Towing an airstream - Ford Flex Forum

Confused about tow package - Ford Flex Forum

2009 Ford Flex Hitch Install

https://www.flmowner.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Owner/Page/IdentifyVehiclePage&level=vehicle&BackToLogin=Owne r/Page/OwnerGuidePage&origref=http%3A//www.flmowner.com/servlet/ContentServer%3Fpagename%3DOwner/Page/RecallsPage&searchid=426441|32056716|210358335&gcl id=CMix1O6nzJ4CFR9inAodWRJgrw
fwiw, we like the Tekonsha P3 controller that we've been using for 2 years by now.

happy & safe traveling.
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