Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-10-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
texasbound's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
1974 Sovereign exterior light woes

So my 7 pin has been cleaned on both ends, all lights opened and cleaned... running, tails, and brake/blinkers. Still have no running or right side blinkers!

If its grounding, how do I trouble shoot that? Does one out bulb effect the whole trailer??

Thanks everyone!
__________________

__________________
-=TexasBound=-
1974 - 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht "Dudley"
WBCCI # 7616

http://ismelltexas.wordpress.com
texasbound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
Got gandkids?
 
Jim & Susan's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
'Possum Holler , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,406
Images: 39
Does everything else on the 7-pin work when the umbilical is attached to the tow vehicle? Brakes? Backup lights? In other words, are you sure your umbilical is correctly wired?

Each light will be grounded to the trailer in some fashion. Mine are grounded thru the rivets inside the light mounting fixture itself. One bad bulb won't knock them all out.

Jim
__________________

__________________
www.nesa.org

Air No. 6427
Jim & Susan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 12:52 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
texasbound's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
Jim

Thanks for the reply. My tekonsha brake controller is saying ground fault also.....is there a common ground point?
__________________
-=TexasBound=-
1974 - 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht "Dudley"
WBCCI # 7616

http://ismelltexas.wordpress.com
texasbound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 12:58 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
I use a 7-way tester, a 12 volt jumper light, a small 12 volt battery charger, and a multi-meter. I replace all the bulbs, even if they work. I re-establish all the ground connections in addition to testing all the powered lines. I check the tow vehicle, and rewire the trailer 7-way plug, even if it looks good.

Things aren't working, and there's a reason. My approach is . . . instead of looking for the problems, I just make everything right and in the process, I correct the problems. It's worked so far for me.
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 08:06 AM   #5
Site Team
 
Aage's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,204
Images: 25
This might sound crazy, but did you try reversing the umbilical?

Flip it end to end; I was told to do this, and it made everything work correctly.
__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
texasbound's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
This might sound crazy, but did you try reversing the umbilical?

Flip it end to end; I was told to do this, and it made everything work correctly.
I can reverse it because it has one of those unique plugs on the end that goes into the trailer.... that's the end that I will "rewire" to see if it helps the cause.
__________________
-=TexasBound=-
1974 - 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht "Dudley"
WBCCI # 7616

http://ismelltexas.wordpress.com
texasbound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
texasbound's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
I use a 7-way tester, a 12 volt jumper light, a small 12 volt battery charger, and a multi-meter. I replace all the bulbs, even if they work. I re-establish all the ground connections in addition to testing all the powered lines. I check the tow vehicle, and rewire the trailer 7-way plug, even if it looks good.

Things aren't working, and there's a reason. My approach is . . . instead of looking for the problems, I just make everything right and in the process, I correct the problems. It's worked so far for me.
Thanks for the tips! I did use my 12volt charger to test... how do you go about "reestablishing all the ground connections"? When I open the lights... i assume the ground is just one (or both) of the screws?

Thanks,
Leo
__________________
-=TexasBound=-
1974 - 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht "Dudley"
WBCCI # 7616

http://ismelltexas.wordpress.com
texasbound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
One simple test I do on problem trailer lights is to test the hot lead (usually the black wire) with a jumper light. I touch the lead with one light clip and touch the trailer frame with the other jumper wire clip (or probe). If it lights, that tells me I have power.

To re-establish the grounds I identify the ground, remove it, clean the contact point with a method that will not damage the trailer, and reinstall the ground. I use a wire brush on a Dremel tool a lot. My only assumption while repairing trailer wiring is to assume everything is wrong or broken.

With the clearance lights on my Airstream, I replaced all the fixtures with a two wire type light. I attached the hot wire by solder under heat shrink. I added a solder on eye end to the ground wire (usually white or green), and attached it under a new stainless steel attachment screw.

When I worked on the can type rear driving lights, I removed the fixtures, cleaned the lamp sockets with a round wire brush on a Dremel, removed and reattached all the ground wires, removed and replaced all the bulbs, tested each socket with the battery charger and new bulb, cleaned and brushed all the reflectors, replaced all the steel mounting screws with stainless steel screws, and reinstalled the fixtures with all new hand tightened lenses. (I never use a power screw driver on lens cover screws.)

I don't test the whole system until I've performed the above steps on all the lights.

When I rewired the trailer 7-way plug, the grounds were loose and held by wire nuts. The trailer body ground connection was corroded. I twisted all the ground wires together, added a new #10 wire lead, plumber's fluxed the twist and soldered the twist with my map gas torch. Then I soldered an eye connector to the new lead and screwed it to the body on a cleaned location with a stainless steel screw.

I diagramed the 7-way lead wires, added a new fuse panel, and soldered all the connectors to the wires. I used a 7-way tester to wire the trailer 7-way plug. I used the 7-way tester to wire the umbilical cord removable end, and I used the 7-way tester to establish that the tow vehicle was wired correctly and all elements functioned.

A previous owner had removed the breakaway switch lead wires from the 7-way connection point, put wire nuts on both wires, and hid them behind the inside skin panel. I installed a new breakaway switch, and reattached the lead wires.

When I tested the Airstream trailer with the tow vehicle connected, I had the charge line and the backup light leads reversed in the removable cord end. I reversed those two leads in the cord end, and everything worked. My cord is reversible. My trailer is wired to a standard 7-way tow vehicle plug.

A cord that's not reversible tells me something's wrong. If everything's right, the cord has to be reversible.

A standard configuration is important to me because I tow other standard 7-way plug trailers. I have three other trailers, all wired with standard 7-way plugs. A standard configuration is also important to me because I want emergency towing services to be able to plug in and tow my trailers in case of an emergency or breakdown.

Will a miss-wired 7-way work? Sure . . . but why add an element of confusion to something so simple to get right? For me, It's easier to wire it right than to wire it wrong. Anybody can come behind me and diagnose all my wiring to a wiring diagram with no head scratching at all. I can tow my trailers with any tow vehicle with any standard 7-way cord.

`
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
texasbound's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
splitrock,

Thanks for the very informative post! My 7 way connector definetely looks stock... it has what appears to be a properietary plug that is different than a standard 7way plug. It is a gray color connector that folds open when unscrewed.

I'm still a bit confused on the grounding of the lights. I ordered direct replacements for the corner lights (red) and all of my running lights (yellow) from out of doors mart. Here is what I ordered:

Amber Metal Base Marker Light LT509Y [LT509Y] - $5.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!

So for grounding those... what do I need to do specifically? I thought that they just "screw in" and are grounded?

Thanks,
Leo
__________________
-=TexasBound=-
1974 - 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht "Dudley"
WBCCI # 7616

http://ismelltexas.wordpress.com
texasbound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
The ones you bought are the single lead type . . . same as OEM. "It has a single power wire and grounding base."

I'd just solder the lead, heat shrink insulator, set the light on a gasket, connect to body with stainless steel screws.


`
__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2012, 11:59 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
texasbound's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
Split, what kind of gaskets do you use and where can i get them? Thanks!
__________________
-=TexasBound=-
1974 - 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht "Dudley"
WBCCI # 7616

http://ismelltexas.wordpress.com
texasbound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 03:32 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Splitrock's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,398
Blog Entries: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasbound View Post
Split, what kind of gaskets do you use and where can i get them? Thanks!
I bought gasket material from a parts store and made my own. I made a hole punch from a small pipe I had in my shop.

I also applied butyl to the lead wire hole in the trailer skin. I used the type used to hold a windshield in a car. Really sticky stuff.

`
__________________

__________________
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
Splitrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sovereign


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.