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Old 09-04-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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1969 25' Tradewind
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Exclamation All marker lights flash when either turn signal is on

I was having some problems with my marker lights blowing a fuse in the truck when they were turned on. I took one of the marker light fixtures off the trailer since I had recently replaced that fixture before the fuse blowing started. I didn't do anything to the light, just removed it and replaced.

When I reconnected the truck to the trailer and tested the lights, the fuse didn't blow. BUT....when I tried the turn signals, ALL of the exterior marker lights flashed with the turn signal. It did this with left and right turn signals. What could cause this? Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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Were you using a different tow vehicle?
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:31 PM   #3
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If your lights go off when brake is pushed or turn signals flash it is probably a ground issue.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies so far.

Lumatic: No, it has always been the same tow vehicle.

In looking at the flash pattern, when the turn signal on the truck dashboard lights up, the marker lights go off. Then when the turn signals on the dashboard go out, the marker lights turn on. Basically, the trailer lights are flashing opposite from the truck turn signals.

When I use my 12V probe tester, it lights when the marker lights come on, and goes out when the marker light does.

I don't think the lights go off when I press the brake, but I'll check to be sure. If it is a ground issue, where/how would I check and/or fix this type of issue?
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:42 PM   #5
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UPDATE: When I press the brake pedal, all of the marker lights do go out. Ground issue?

If so:

1.) Is there a way to test for this?
2.) How would I repair this? (assuming I find the source)
3.) Since I had an apparent short prior to this that caused the fuse in my truck to blow with lights turned on, could this be the source of the ground issue? (short=goes to ground)

I am a relative newbie to 12V lighting systems. I know it's a lot to ask since I don't know the specific cause, but any help is again very much appreciated!
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
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Bad Ground?

If you connect a jumper wire from the frame of your TV to the frame of the trailer. Make sure you scrape the rust/paint of the area where you connect the jumper. If this solves the problem, check the ground connection on your trailer as well as on the truck. Clean the connection(s) by removing the bolt/screw and scratch all the rust and crud off, reassemble the connection. It could also be the connections in your trailer plug, just take one step at a time and see what the results are.
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:54 PM   #7
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It would most often be that the ground between the male trailer plug and where it attatches to the tailer chasis is not making a connection. The reason you have lights part of the time is you have a partial or poor ground, such as though the ball hitch. One of the wires in your plug is marked ground, trace the wire to your problem probably the trailer side of plug. It is also possible to lose ground from tow vehichle side.
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:37 AM   #8
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I don't know about old Airstreams, but some other old trailers used the trailer ball as the ground return. Is your trailer physically connected to the tow vehicle (sitting on the ball)? Even if it is, you still might not be getting a good connection, and you might try "cleaning" it by jumping up and down on or wiggling the hitch.

If your vehicle is just backed up close to the trailer and not physically hooked up for towing, this might be the problem, if the ground return is through the trailer ball.

We had similar problems years ago when hooking up an old Cardinal trailer for the first time. We didn't know the ground return was through the ball, and the trailer ball and hitch had ice in it and wasn't getting a good ground connection. We finally hard-wired the trailer lights by running wire in the front window and out the back one, straight from the vehicle lights to the trailer lights in the back. When we got home to Arizona, it started working all by itself, when the ice melted in the trailer hitch.

Otherwise, I agree with the other posts and suggest you try cleaning the cable connectors and chasing the ground wires.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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Ground wire

If you don't have a dedicated ground wire, I would install it. Using the hitch ball as a ground is not reliable or safe. When you go down the road and your trailer lights are blinking like a Christmas tree, the other drivers don't know what your next move is. Keep us posted on your problem and I'm certain we can get it solved. Good Luck!
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:15 PM   #10
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Like mentioned above, it sounds like a ground issue.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:49 PM   #11
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My way is to check the tow vehicle without trailer plugged in. I use a 7 way tester. Then check the trailer not plugged into tow vehicle. I use a 1 amp battery charger. Then check the trailer end of the cord, and then check the tow vehicle end of the cord. If everything's wired correctly for a 7 way plug, the cord is reversible, and everything works.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:36 PM   #12
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I had some problems with my brakes . And it could be the same problem that you are having. I checked the pigtail on the trailer and most of the wires were loose. Check and tighten the wires and see if you might regain your ground.
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