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Old 08-22-2003, 10:20 AM   #1
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Suburban tow package wiring question

I picked up a suburban last week, it's a 1997 with factory tow package.
I also bought a Tekonsha prodigy and a Bargman RV Plug with bracket.
I am not having much luck getting a local place to do the wiring for me, because i already bought the equipment, not thinking that it was a problem for someone to just do the labor and installation......oh well.
I don't really have much time right now, but i will have to sacrifice my Sunday to install the electrical parts of the tow package.
Now, I found a blue and orange wire rolled up under the brake booster, and a short loom behind the tow hitch platform. But i am not seeing any wiring for the lights etc.
My plan is to use the blue wire for the brake magnet feed, and the orange wire for the 12V charge line. I should be able to find wiring for the trailer lights under the bumper somewhere, no?
The 97 has a rather sculpted dash, and i am not even sure where to mount the controller. Any ideas? I believe the dashes were the same from 96 to 99, at least.
Also, the Bargman and the bracket would only fit next to the reveiver bar, a good foot's width off center. How does yours mount? Maybe I should visit a Chevrolet dealer and see if they have a box type mount for the Bargman car end plug?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
So far I like the Suburban a lot. But I have not towed with it yet. Got new tires and Bilstein shocks right away, which made a HUGE difference.
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Old 08-22-2003, 10:36 AM   #2
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Uwe,

You should be able to find in most of the big auto parts stores a T connector that is designed for you year Burb to do the lights.

There is a connector behind the bumper that you pull apart, plug in the T and viola! You have the wires for trailer lights, and with no cutting of OEM harnesses.

The 4 wire pigtail will have to go, but you know that
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Old 08-22-2003, 11:25 AM   #3
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Uwe,

If the Suburban has the actual RPO tow package there should be all wiring available under the rear bumper, engine compartment, and the dash. Tekonsha makes a direct plug in connection for the later model Chevrolet/GMC, Ford, & Dodge trucks. Have the dealer or someone knowledgeable about GM trucks locate the wiring for you.

If you don't have the factory tow package the above comment about an adapter for the lights to plug into the rear harness is good advice. Hopefully you won't need the adapter though!

Take care,
Sean
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Old 08-22-2003, 11:46 AM   #4
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Ok, I found the T-connector under the bumper. It already has an adapter on it, which disappears into a wiring loom. This loom goes forward and then splits up and goes to the driver side rear near the inside of the bumper. It is all taped together, and then covered with plastic loom material.
I also found auxilliary fuses with studs already in place, right next to the fuse box. 2 huge 30A fuses, and 2 threaded studs next to the fuse box, designated as aux1 and aux2
Looks like i should be able to use one for the brakes and one for the charge line.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 08-23-2003, 10:46 AM   #5
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do not forget the battery isolator or you will run your tow rig battery down.
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Old 08-23-2003, 09:09 PM   #6
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a relay?

I am not sure about the GM but both my Fords have the battery feed line going thru a relay making it hot only with the key on.

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Old 08-24-2003, 08:09 AM   #7
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wiring

Our 95 Burb has the trailer package with no relays, we just got a 96 Dodge PU that has the trailer package but no heavy wires going to the rear out of the fuse panel under the hood, so I ran some 10 thhn for brakes and battery which I put inside a plastic loom.
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:54 AM   #8
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You sound like an electrician!

Did you use solid or stranded? I ran some 3 conductor #10 SO cord back on a Chevy Astro van I had a few years back, gave me 3 wires in one shot, brakes, battery feed and a good ground. Had a good heavy insulated jacket as well.

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Old 08-24-2003, 12:41 PM   #9
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I am what is called a Tinker, I worked at a lot of part time jobs when I worked on the Fire Department for 29 years, jack of all trades, master of none.
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Old 08-29-2003, 03:08 PM   #10
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OK, I got it working. I was able to find some original looking wiring loom and matched the look of things in the engine compartment and under the dash, as wella s underneath the bumper.
The RPO trailer towing package was there, but it has little provision for a brake controller. The wires for 12V and trailer brakes were terminated under the brake booster. It's all done now, i ran wires under the dash and hooked up a 7-way RV plug. I did forget the backup lights, which i still want to do.
Here is a picture of the Suburban with my trailer attached, in front of my house.
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