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Old 03-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #15
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Trailer wiring

Tim,
Keep me posted, I'll be glad to help in any way I can.
Doug
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ts8501 View Post
Ganaraska:
All helpful, but let me add that I am currently indoors on a concrete floor. I am thinking I should attach the trailer to the TV, and drop one of the chains from the trailer to the floor. I must have enough 12v ground by then I would hope.
-Tim
The kind of ground you need has nothing to do with the floor or dirt.

Look at it this way. Every electrical circuit needs a way to get power TO the load (light) and power BACK to the power source (battery).

This means every circuit needs 2 wires, one to the load, one going back.

Somebody cleverly figured out, that all you really need is a piece of metal in place of the wire going back to the battery. And guess what, your car is made of metal! Also your trailer is made of metal!

By using the car or trailer in place of a piece of wire, they make your wiring much simpler and save a fortune in wire.

When they do this it is called "grounding" the wire, even though no actual ground or dirt is involved.

I hope this is clear.

In your case, if the trailer lights are grounded to the trailer, and the power comes from the car, you have to have the trailer and car connected together to complete the circuit.

When you plug in your trailer lights this should happen automatically because one of the wires in the harness is a "ground" wire that connects your trailer to your car.

If this is not happening you need to check the ground circuit in the plug. For a temporary test you can connect a jumper cable from your car frame to the trailer frame. Be sure the connection is on bare metal. Any rust, dirt or paint can act as an insulation.

Just hitching up will usually create a ground. But this is not always certain especially if you grease the ball. So they add a ground wire to be sure.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:21 AM   #17
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Success!

Although I forgot to take a picture with the rear lights on, you can see the difference in these two shots. The outside shot was taken in late November, clearly showing my temp light set-up, old Plexi-glass window, and non-refurbished Airstream Name Plate. A proper ground was the final answer. After testing the left side lights with the new wiring that I had run, it became temporary wiring, as I was also able to hook up everything using the existing trailer wiring. The new umbilical cord, and with grounding of the truck and trailer, and my rear lights works great! Now I can finish installing the new tear drop running lights (notice the three aluminum tape band-aids above the Airstream Nameplate. I am very happy to have this task behind me, as it has been the one item that has been a thorn in my side since last fall.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:21 AM   #18
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Glad we could help. I get a lot of good advice from this forum. It is a great resource. If you are able to do the work yourself, it saves $$$. And the other thing is, you can find the guy who did the work.
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