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Old 08-28-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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Wiring Trailer connection for 66 Caravel

I had rewired the trailer connection for the 66 caravel and unfortunately I did it wrong because the electric brakes are locked on when plugged in. Everything else seems to be working but when I pulled the plug apart to recheck the wiring it has been corroded from sitting outside so long. (Haven't worked on it in over a year.)

I am starting from scratch again to make sure I do it right this time and I have found several diagrams from old 60's trailers and compared it to mine. It seems that the diagrams I am using can't be followed 100% because my car hookup shows the middle pin on the 7 way connector as a ground and not a charge for the battery. Also I noticed the diagrams I found say there is a wire for charging the trailer battery but I don't seem to have that wire. I only have 6 wires coming from my trailer. A red, white, green, brown, black, and yellow.

This is what my notes show, hopefully someone can correct me if wrong:

Yellow = Electric Brakes
Brown = Right Turn/Stop
White = Ground
Black = Backup Lights
Red = Left Turn/Stop
Green = Running Lights

Also it looks like someone drilled into the trailer body and make two ground wires, should I wire that into the same spot as the white wire or should I just remove them as they are probably unnecessary?

Thanks for the help guys!
Dane
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danec020 View Post
I had rewired the trailer connection for the 66 caravel and unfortunately I did it wrong because the electric brakes are locked on when plugged in. Everything else seems to be working but when I pulled the plug apart to recheck the wiring it has been corroded from sitting outside so long. (Haven't worked on it in over a year.)

I am starting from scratch again to make sure I do it right this time and I have found several diagrams from old 60's trailers and compared it to mine. It seems that the diagrams I am using can't be followed 100% because my car hookup shows the middle pin on the 7 way connector as a ground and not a charge for the battery. Also I noticed the diagrams I found say there is a wire for charging the trailer battery but I don't seem to have that wire. I only have 6 wires coming from my trailer. A red, white, green, brown, black, and yellow.

This is what my notes show, hopefully someone can correct me if wrong:

Yellow = Electric Brakes
Brown = Right Turn/Stop
White = Ground
Black = Backup Lights
Red = Left Turn/Stop
Green = Running Lights

Also it looks like someone drilled into the trailer body and make two ground wires, should I wire that into the same spot as the white wire or should I just remove them as they are probably unnecessary?

Thanks for the help guys!
Dane
This may help here are the wiring diagrams for the 1966_82 7 pin connector and the wiring diagram for 1982 to present. Purchase a new 7 pin connector and install it on the outer end your trailer wire and match the functions to the current wiring chart.

7wayplug1966-81.pdf

7wayplug1982-84-1989-02[1].pdf
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:55 AM   #3
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On the off-chance that someone has been there before you, I would start from scratch and not depend on old documentation that may have been ignored by a previous owner.
I'd get a voltage tester and do it by trial and error, then I would change the connections so that they agree with the wiring on your tow vehicle.
It's possible that the original charge wire was a separate connection; it is on 1959 model.
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:23 PM   #4
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Is it normal that I don't have a blue/charge wire for my battery?
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Old 08-28-2015, 02:38 PM   #5
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It's not normal to not have a charge line. Don't rely on color though. Use a multimeter, 12v battery and some electrical troubleshooting to verify what each wire in the trailer does then match to the new 7 pin. There were me real standards back then so it's much better to verify each wire. The new 7 pin will be set up with current standard color/function. The charge line is probably there, you may not be seeing it though since it doesn't wire into the umbilical fuse panel, it's probably not blue either.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:04 PM   #6
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I feel like giving up such I am an idiot when it comes to this trailer. I never owned a camper/trailer before so all this stuff is so new to me. I looked at the fuse panel by the battery (has two glass fuses and switches to turn from battery or power). All the wires that come from the floor into that box are a completely different gauge, they are much thicker than the umbilical wires. I do see a wire coming from the battery terminal to the top portion of one of the glass fuses but I can't tell where it goes compared to the umbilical cord and if indeed it is the right wire or not.

I checked each wire on the umbilical cord for voltage using the old battery that only has 3-4v. On the black wire I have 0.3v and on all the others i had a small draw (-0.003v or something similar). Is this a valid way to test? Should I assume the black cord is the chard cord and the two ground wires to the trailer frame were used as a ground, making them my 7th wire?

Thanks for any insight. I might end up taking it to a trailer/rv shop and have them do it all to make sure it is done correctly.

-Dane
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:50 PM   #7
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After lots of searching I found 2 or 3 others who had 6 wires and not 7. I think it is because of the age of my trailer maybe? I don't think I have reverse lights, looking at the trailers there are no reverse lights. It just has two big circular brake lights and the top running markers/blinkers. I am going to guess that the black is indeed my charge line and these are the colors for the others:

Yellow = Electric Brakes
Brown = Right Turn/Stop
White = Ground
Black = 12V/Charge
Red = Left Turn/Stop
Green = Running Lights
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:40 PM   #8
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"I might end up taking it to a trailer/rv shop and have them do it all to make sure it is done correctly."
Not knocking your skill or anything but this may be a good idea.

Can you trace the black wire to where it goes? If it goes to the positive side of the 12v fuse panel then it's likely your charge line.
If you can get a charged 12v battery you can connect to the wires to see what lights up, skip the white one doing this though it'd be essentially a short.
Hard to believe a 12v battery is showing 3v. Make sure the multimeter is reading DC and not AC. Usually if it has a voltage selector it defaults to AC and you have to press a mode or function button to get it to read DC voltage.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:15 AM   #9
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Thanks for the help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
"I might end up taking it to a trailer/rv shop and have them do it all to make sure it is done correctly."
Not knocking your skill or anything but this may be a good idea.

Can you trace the black wire to where it goes? If it goes to the positive side of the 12v fuse panel then it's likely your charge line.
If you can get a charged 12v battery you can connect to the wires to see what lights up, skip the white one doing this though it'd be essentially a short.
Hard to believe a 12v battery is showing 3v. Make sure the multimeter is reading DC and not AC. Usually if it has a voltage selector it defaults to AC and you have to press a mode or function button to get it to read DC voltage.
Thanks for the feedback and no offense taken at all. I have done wiring on cars, arcade cabinets, and computers but I could always find where the wires terminated to check ohms for continuity. I am pretty confident in all the wires except the charge wire. Right now the only one I don't know what it does is the black wire. It is either my charge wire or my reverse lights, I don't see any reverse lights on the trailer unless the big red brake lights have another bulb in them for backing up, but with the red lens that wouldn't make too much sense to me.

As for the battery showing low voltage, it hasn't been replaced since 2003 and I have never used/charged it. It probably is just bad or drained for being hooked up for years and never stored properly. I need to go buy a new one so I will probably take your advice and before i put the new one in the trailer, I will use it to test the other wires for confirmation.

Last question, if I hook up the charge wire to the new battery. Then go to the old battery or the cable hookups and use a voltage meter. I should theoretically see some voltage there since it will be sending a charge to the battery. Would this be a good way in your opinion to confirm that the wire is indeed the charge line?

Sorry for my depression/whining in my earlier posts. I was having a bad day and feeling pretty defeated when I look at all the different components in the trailer and not being familiar with it. I am just new to this whole camping thing and I don't even know how to hook up a grey water tank or anything. Then when I was told I should have 7 wires and only had 6, it just made things worse. All my wires are color coded and everything looks untouched by the previous owner, so I am really thinking it only had 6 wires to begin with. I am really hoping this is not so uncommon in the early 60s caravels because I don't know if they had 7pin connectors then.

Anyhow, I just feel like I am out of my element and beating myself up for it. I appreciate all the help you guys have provided and it isn't going on deaf ears. I also appreciate all your patients and the forum for having a place to ask questions and be able to search for others with similar problems.

-Dane
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:22 PM   #10
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Unless you had back up lights only 6 wires are used:

1. Left brake/directional
2. Right brake/directional
3. Running (tail) light
4. Electric brakes
5. 12 volt charge line
6. Negative (ground) line

So, once you get it figured out which color wire does what, you will be just fine with six wires. It is all I have or use on both my '74 Argosy and my '14 Airstream.

The original Argosy wiring had back up lights (the 7th wire) but the '14 Airstream does not have back up lights so it has no wire. Some Airstreams have back up lights many do not or ever did.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:23 PM   #11
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"Sorry for my depression/whining in my earlier posts. I was having a bad day and feeling pretty defeated when I look at all the different components in the trailer and not being familiar with it."
No worries I know how you feel, and electrical is definitely the most difficult system in the trailer.

If you don't see backup lights on the back end then it probably only had 6 wires. Just don't use the backup light wire from your new 7 wire harness. Make sure you wrap it in electrical tape or something because it will still get voltage from the tow vehicle when in reverse.

"Last question, if I hook up the charge wire to the new battery. Then go to the old battery or the cable hookups and use a voltage meter. I should theoretically see some voltage there since it will be sending a charge to the battery. Would this be a good way in your opinion to confirm that the wire is indeed the charge line?"
It will work. Not the preferred way as it could be connecting to a short. I try to check if a circuit is the one I'm looking for without applying voltage at first. I'll use continuity and check ohms resistance. Make sure both ends are not touching anything and check the resistance between each end and ground(someplace on the shell with metal) it should be infinite/over limit on the meter. Then I'll connect one end to ground somewhere and then check the other end with a meter to ground. The resistance should go to zero. This gives you a very good indication that you have both ends of the same wire. Then disconnect the end you grounded, then you can connect the ends to where they should and a voltage source and it should be safe.
I wouldn't leave a new and old battery connected for long if at all, the bad battery can draw down and damage the new one.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:57 PM   #12
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I spent some time today checking the wires and verifying what goes with what.it appears the white wire that is normally a ground seems to only be a ground for my electrical brake. All the others work off a wire that was added by the previous owner that grounds to the frame. This was odd that the white wire didn't have any continuity with the other grounds so I am assuming who ever did the brakes messed up the white ground where it never makes contact with the frame.

So in theory since the white is a ground for the brakes it should be safe to wire the two grounds together into the plug. Correct me if I am wrong.

The second odd thing was the black wire which I read in other diagrams to be commonly a 12v wire, was doing nothing. I hooked it up to a new battery and checked for voltage where the battery terminals were and I got nothing. So I then ran a long wire from the positive battery terminal so I could check the resistance with the black wire at the umbilical and they weren't continuous.

Next I plugged into land power and looked for a positive cbarge on the battery cables and I still read nothing. I am assuming that the battery only charged when plugged into the vehicle then? Or something is wrong with my inverter?

Basically now I am just trying to figure out how the flow of electricity works in the camper. It seems like the AC power comes directly into the trailer to the circuit panel and from there it powers the big items like the air condition and electric sockets. All the lights are then ran to the AC to DC converter and then from there goes to the lights? When plugged into the car or using just the battery everything bypass the converter and goes to the lights?

Hopefully that makes sense and someone can correct my logic so I can have a better understanding. There is just a huge bundle of wires next to the fuse box/converter that makes things very hard to tell what is going on. So that makes me think it is the AC going through the converter and all the wires are ran to the lights.

Last, where should the charge wire terminate at? I don't see any wires of that small gauage near the battery or converter. I am assuming it is broken so I was hoping I could find where it terminates and look at the ohms for continuity. If I can't find it, should I just run a new wire from the positive post of the battery to the umbilical for the 12V charger?

Thanks again guys. Feeling a little better about things, disappointed in the set backs but I will get there eventually.

Dane
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:40 AM   #13
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I wish I had a '66 elec diagram but overall systems stay very similar .
The white wire doesn't have to go to the frame, it can also go to the negative side of the fuse panel. It has to connect in some way that it connects electrically to the negative side of the 12v system, either through the fuse panel or the frame/shell.
The black charge line should terminate in the fuse panel. It should go through a fuse as it feeds the 12v positive side of the system. The battery and converter will also go through fuses as they go into the 12v side of the system. You don't want these connected directly to each other, you want them all going through fuses.
Since there was a wiring problem initially you may have a blown fuse which is causing the apparent lack of continuity.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:55 AM   #14
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Just googled 1966 airstream wiring diagram.

Check post 12 may help.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f447...-up-83268.html

A few pics could help.
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