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Old 06-18-2012, 09:56 PM   #1
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susans69's Avatar
1976 Argosy 26
Lake Wales , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 90
Rewire entire trailer outside lights

does anyone know of a way to replace worn out wire on outside lights(ie running lights, brake & tail lights) without removing panels? What is the most cost efficient way to purchase wire? is there an easy way to "fish" wire through wallls?

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Old 06-18-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,542
In my trailer the wires go to the rear brake and turn lights first then the rest of the trailer. I think the only way to replace the wires that go to you running lights is to take the inside panels off. The main wires should run through the frame for the front connector to the rear and you can pull new wire by tying it to the old wire and pulling it from the front. An auto parts store or online is the best place to get trailer wire.

Your running light wire should be ok unless the mice got to them...


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Old 06-18-2012, 11:48 PM   #3
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1976 Argosy 26
Fair Oaks , California
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Just completed mine on my 76 Argosy. Exterior wires were brittle and were sacrifced when prepping for paint. The front was easiest. The corner light wiring is accessible by removing the two overhead lights and reaching in and grabbing the old and adding a fresh wire to the outside. For the middle three, I had to remove the overhead tambor door section and go over the top of the steel liner.Had to poke around the fiberglass to find them. Green main wires with a red wire attatched with a wire nut. Kind of difficult but came out well.

The rear was a little more challenging. Removed the rivets above the rear window and a few on either side holding the interior skin andwas able to pull back the plastic interior cap enough to reach up and grap the wires. It was made a lot easier as I have all my windows out. The corner lights were more challenging as there is no direct access to them.
I was able to fish a fiberglass rod through the enlarged wiring hole and push it toward the rear window where I was able to attatch the new wire to the rod and pull it back through .

Not a lot of fun but with two people should be much easier.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,482
Fishing wires is possible, sometimes

I was able to fish new wire to the five running/marker lights across the front of our Safari. I used a Dremel tool to enlarge the hole behind each light just enough to get a wire nut through it (dime to nickel size). I was very careful to keep the hole well within the footprint of the light assembly.

When possible, I pulled the new wire through by attaching it to the old wire. Where the old wire had failed completely (and it had in places) I used an electrician's fish tape, 1/16" welding rod with a hook bent into the end, and a lot of prayer and persistence.

I did the front lights only, and did not have to fool with tail lights, etc.

After the wires were in, I sealed the holes with sticky aluminum tape (like they really use on air conditioning ducts, not the stuff we call duct tape). The new LED lights I installed required a hole in another location. I drilled these where required and used a plastic wall anchor as a grommet around the wire. It fits flush with the skin and protects the wire from the aluminum edge of the hole.

After the lights were installed, I used a generous bead of Parbond around the light base. So far, nothing has leaked. (Fingers still crossed.)

My thread on the subject is at
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #5
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1965 22' Safari
East Islip , New York
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 120
My '65 Safari doesn't even have the clearance lights, never did, but the way I read the NY State laws they are required to be fitted.

Given the age of the wiring, and I guess I'm going to find mostly aluminum wiring when I start working on it, I'm leaning toward just abandoning the existing wiring and running fresh for as much as I can. For most of the trailer interior, I can get away with running inside the cabinetry, but the lights.... I just don't know yet how I'm going to do those.

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Old 07-06-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hang on, did they use aluminum wiring for 12 volt wiring? I thought it was mostly a house wiring issue.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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1965 22' Safari
East Islip , New York
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by Skater View Post
Hang on, did they use aluminum wiring for 12 volt wiring? I thought it was mostly a house wiring issue.
Yep, and 110 too apparently. I haven't dug into mine yet to verify what the wiring is, but no reason not to plan for the possibility.


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