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Old 08-08-2010, 09:31 PM   #1
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NEWB, Right turn signal and brakes come on?!?

So on our first tow home I couldn't get the prodigy to recognize the airstream. ('73 31' sovreign) I wasn't a super long tow home so I figured it would be OK (have a 2004 diesel excursion). I noticed the towing was weird on the first right onto a freeway on ramp. It took a while but i finally figured out the brakes seemed to come on when I turned on the right turn signal.

Best Idea I've seen around has been to rewire the AS to match TV.

Any suggestions on how to do this without totally screwing it up?

Thanks

Steve
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:40 PM   #2
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Ha! My dad's old truck did the same thing with a utility trailer we were using to fetch a tractor. Duh. The receptacle on the truck side was miswired, sending current down the brake wire in pulses when I turned on the left turn signal. Made for some interesting curves.

I'd suggest that you inspect your receptacles to make sure that current is going where it's supposed to go.


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Old 08-08-2010, 09:58 PM   #3
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Buy a 7 way tester. It'll confirm the tow vehicle is wired correct. Then test the 7-way plug on the trailer and confirm by a battery charger and a jumper light that it's wired correctly. Then test the umbilical cord.

There's a possibility of three things to go wrong: the tow vehicle, the cord, and the trailer. I followed all the written instructions and when I plugged the cord in, the back up lights were on all the time and the 12 volt circuit was only hot with the vehicle in reverse. I checked the trailer plug and it was right. I checked the TV and it was correct. The cord had a molded plug on one end, so I changed the 12 volt wire with the back up wire and it all works right now.

I could have gotten it to work by changing any one of the three elements, but I need it to work with a standard correctly wired, 7-way tow vehicle plug so I can use another tow vehicle with a correctly wired 7-way plug. If I would have corrected my problem any other way than I did, I would have had a trailer that only worked with a wrong wired TV, or a wrong wired trailer cord.

I could have wrote that if it's not wired right, it won't be wired right . . . but that'd be too simple.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:06 PM   #4
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Flip it! What's to lose...?

This might sound weird, but when I first towed mine, I couldn't get any lights going, nor get the brakes braking.

Called my dealer, and he told me to flip the umbilical cord around (it has the same connectors on both ends).

Voilà! It worked as it was supposed to!

Here's the diagram of how the umbilical connects.

Good luck with yours...

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Old 08-09-2010, 07:40 AM   #5
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Steve
Tear that 7 way apart and take a look. All it takes is one tiny strand of wire to short across between those two poles RIGHT TS and BRAKE Line. You may have to cut the pig tail back and start over if its to bad.
Bet you find it ragged in there.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:06 AM   #6
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NEWB, Right turn signal and brakes come on?!?

Greetings Steve!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steven2themax View Post
So on our first tow home I couldn't get the prodigy to recognize the airstream. ('73 31' sovreign) I wasn't a super long tow home so I figured it would be OK (have a 2004 diesel excursion). I noticed the towing was weird on the first right onto a freeway on ramp. It took a while but i finally figured out the brakes seemed to come on when I turned on the right turn signal.

Best Idea I've seen around has been to rewire the AS to match TV.

Any suggestions on how to do this without totally screwing it up?

Thanks

Steve
Anytime that someone has troubles with the connection between tow vehicle and a newly acquired Vintage Airstream, I suggest checking the trailer end connector. Often, that connector hasn't been rewired to the current industry standard, or it has been rewired following the wire color markings on the new connector. In the 1970s, Airstream did not wire its connectors to a standard compatible with today's standard, nor did the color of wires used correspond to today's coding. You can find the color coding and schematic for your '73 Airstream at this link (the schematic for 1973 is on page 2 of the pdf file).

Good luck locating your electrical gremlin!

Kevin
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:19 AM   #7
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Kevin,

Do you mean the end of the umbilical that connects to the trailer?

"I suggest checking the trailer end connector."
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:14 AM   #8
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The wire color on the older airstreams do not match up with the new standard. On new plugs, blue is the brake line, but on old Airstreams the brake wire is yellow. A twelve volt battery and a jumper wire (with a fuse in line) is the easy way to see which wire does what on the trailer. Make a diagram and then wire the plug on the trailer to match the TV. That way if you ever need to tow with another truck, the trailer will be connected correctly.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:23 PM   #9
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NEWB, Right turn signal and brakes come on?!?

Greetings Steve!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steven2themax View Post
Kevin,

Do you mean the end of the umbilical that connects to the trailer?

"I suggest checking the trailer end connector."

I forgot about your coach having the removable umbilical cord. The material that I posted is the connector that attached the trailer to the tow vehicle electrics.

Kevin
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:37 PM   #10
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I added back a fuse panel to the 7-way

Click image for larger version

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And then I wired the trailer 7-way with the tester plugged into the end.

Click image for larger version

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I went by color on the formed end new cord and got the privilege of reversing two wires.


Gary
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:35 PM   #11
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Since the PO had said the AS brakes had worked fine for him, I should have followed the #1 rule for mechanically challenged people "take it apart clean it and put it back together." Blue power line was disconnected in umbilical. Now everything appears to be working. Thanks for all the help. Sorry that I didn't do that first thing this morning instead of @ 10pm
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:01 AM   #12
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Hey that's cheating, he got it done in less than a week and not bought lots of new tools and parts and frustratikating. Stand by
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