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Old 11-02-2014, 10:52 AM   #1
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An Essential Tool - a 7 pin connector tester

Recently discovered that I had a problem with the trailer lights on one of my boat trailers. After a lot of investigation, discovered it was not the trailer lighting but a blown fuse in the tow vehicle! My truck has a towing package and it was a blown fuse associated with that. I also found the culprit that caused the blown fuse, not the boat trailer but another utility trailer I have and use fairly often. If I would have had this tester when the problem first surfaced, it would have saved me some time and effort. I falsely assumed it was the boat trailer lights and spent wasted time chasing that.

I now recognize that I want to test the 7 pin connector before connecting up several thousand pounds of Airstream to the tow vehicle and assuming that the tow vehicle 7 pin connector is in fine shape! (Particularly since I tow an assortment of other trailers.) It is a short and sweet test that should take less than 5 minutes to assure all is well.

This is an essential tool for my Airstream kit and one is now in my tool box. Recommend you get one if you don't have one already.
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:04 PM   #2
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And here is a link to purchase via Amazon if you are so inclined:

http://www.amazon.com/Curt-Manufactu...nnector+tester

Cost under $10.

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Old 11-02-2014, 01:10 PM   #3
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I had one of these testers but got frustrated at it being a two person operation (particularly when testing the brake lights), so now achieve the same using a 7-way plug, wired to a terminal block. I used a length of wire long enough that I can sit in the drivers seat with the terminal block and my meter and run through the whole test, for not much money.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
I had one of these testers but got frustrated at it being a two person operation (particularly when testing the brake lights), so now achieve the same using a 7-way plug, wired to a terminal block. I used a length of wire long enough that I can sit in the drivers seat with the terminal block and my meter and run through the whole test, for not much money.
Martin, you are right, it is mostly a two person test. One person needs to actuate the brakes, lights, etc. and the other read the LEDs as they light up.

An interesting idea you have and if you wanted, the Curt tester could likely be modified to accomplish that by removing the disc portion with the LED indicators and extending it with a multi-conductor cable. You would be able to avoid having to use a meter and a terminal block. The disc part with the LED indicators is set screwed into the connector and I suspect has enough slack in the wiring that you could cut and splice a cable in it.

I think I'll stick with it as is though. I like it being compact and easy to store and my wife can run through the sequence in the truck or vice versa.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:54 PM   #5
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That's a good point Alan...and I have to admit there is another reason for me going the 'solo' route. My wife and I seem to have a different idea of what 'left turn' and 'right turn' mean, which normal result in me saying something like, 'no the other left', resulting in the first hour of the trip occurring in stony silence.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
That's a good point Alan...and I have to admit there is another reason for me going the 'solo' route. My wife and I seem to have a different idea of what 'left turn' and 'right turn' mean, which normal result in me saying something like, 'no the other left', resulting in the first hour of the trip occurring in stony silence.
:-)
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Old 11-02-2014, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
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That's a good point Alan...and I have to admit there is another reason for me going the 'solo' route. My wife and I seem to have a different idea of what 'left turn' and 'right turn' mean, which normal result in me saying something like, 'no the other left', resulting in the first hour of the trip occurring in stony silence.
The first rule of helping someone back up, IS THE PERSON THAT DOES THE GUIDING, REMAINS TOTALLY SILENT.

What they do, is stand where you can see them. If the driver can't see them, don't move.

Then the guiding person gives the driver hand signals, such as to the left or right, as well as easy does it, and using 2 hands show you how much more you need to go. Etc, etc.

Saves divorces.

Try it, you will like it.

Sort of do it the way that it's done at an airport, where a ground crew member is guiding a noisy jet, perfectly, every time.

Silence now, is REALLY golden.

Andy
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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And here is a link to purchase via Amazon if you are so inclined:

Amazon.com: Curt Manufacturing 58270 12V 7-Way Rv Round Circuit Tester: Curt: Automotive

Cost under $10.

Thanks, Bob, I just ordered one from Amazon. I ordered the flat four pin model, too.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:37 PM   #9
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Yeah this is going in my tool box. Great find and thanks for informing me of this!
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:10 PM   #10
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May be a dumb question

If I hookup - we check all the AS lights (brake - signals - etc) and the brake controller is all lit up and seems to respond - is not all well?


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Old 11-02-2014, 07:34 PM   #11
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I check all of the lights on the coach and only make one trip to the back of the rig.
Just turn on the light switch and the emergency flashers in the TV. The flashers use the same circuit as the brake lights. So if the lights on both sides of the coach are flashing. The turn signals and brake lights are working.
This tool would come in handy. For checking the TV receptacle.


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Old 11-02-2014, 08:44 PM   #12
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May be a dumb question

If I hookup - we check all the AS lights (brake - signals - etc) and the brake controller is all lit up and seems to respond - is not all well?


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Yes, all would be well.

However if there were a problem to surface, the tester quickly checks the TV status. This is what I am after by having the tester. It confirms TV and then a test of the trailer after it is hooked up as you describe it confirms the trailer lighting.

By the way and as you know, one should always test the brakes when pulling away from the hookup by activating them alone via the brake controller (without truck brakes) to assure they are working properly. A brake light doesn't confirm actual brake function.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
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May be a dumb question

If I hookup - we check all the AS lights (brake - signals - etc) and the brake controller is all lit up and seems to respond - is not all well?


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Don't forget to also check the brakes themselves (not just the lights.) I do this by gently squeezing the actuator once I'm moving forward at about 5 mph. If the trailer brakes grab, then I know all is well!
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:25 PM   #14
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I just a 12 volt tester with the pointy metal point and an alligator clip attached to a wire.
It works fine until I try to push it htrough the insulation on a wire and stab my finger!
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