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Old 04-09-2014, 10:10 AM   #1
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Col. Station , Ohio
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Backup lights are telling me something..

I just don't know what it is.

When I first started to work on the trailer the backup lights came on as soon as I connected to the truck. Stayed on all the time. Everything else works as it should, although it seems as though the coach batt is not being charged by the truck.

I take apart the truck end connector on the cord and find the center wire ( heavy blue wire) is not connected. I replace the end and hook up the center wire which all info I have says is the backup. Now when I plug into the truck the truck backup lights come on instantly and stay on. The truck isn't even running.

Seems as if the backup wire and charge wire are somehow crossed. How can I track this down
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:29 AM   #2
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With this diagram you can check thing out.
Yankee Toys

Yes the backup lights and charging circuit are crossed.

It is sometimes hard to orient yourself to just what they mean when they name a given view of the plug. Just keep in mind the the directional wires are the standard for location. Left is always on the road side and right is always on the curb side through out the assembly.

By hooking up that last wire you are now back feeding the backup lights on the TV.

I would first test each wire in the truck connection with a meter to be sure the TV is wired correctly. If it is then I would check the battery and ground connection on the umbilical cord. You should have 12 volts there if your battery is connected correctly. Using a pigtail wire plugged into the battery terminal of the umbilical you can test each of the other functions in the trailer. Do not touch that wire to the ground terminal. I think when you apply voltage to the charging wire in the umbilical cord the back up light will come on. If so remove that wire and put it on the correct terminal.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flynavy View Post
I just don't know what it is.

When I first started to work on the trailer the backup lights came on as soon as I connected to the truck. Stayed on all the time. Everything else works as it should, although it seems as though the coach batt is not being charged by the truck.

I take apart the truck end connector on the cord and find the center wire ( heavy blue wire) is not connected. I replace the end and hook up the center wire which all info I have says is the backup. Now when I plug into the truck the truck backup lights come on instantly and stay on. The truck isn't even running.

Seems as if the backup wire and charge wire are somehow crossed. How can I track this down
The original 7 way connector was made by signal stat. It had 7 round pins, which is far superior to the flat pin connectors.

The trailer wire colors for each circuit are as follows.

White=ground
Blue=charge line
Red=left turn
Green=tail lights and clearance lights
brown=right turn
Black=back up
Yellow=brakes.

Change whatever you need to on the tow vehicle end.

Andy
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:25 AM   #4
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When you look at the plug, the two top connectors are charge line and running lights.
Ground wire is directly opposite charge line.
Backup lights are in the middle.
Brake power is opposite the running lights, and left and right turn signals/brake lights are on the left and right sides of the plug.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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All you need to do is switch the reverse lights and 12 volt constant/battery charge. Reverse lights should be the center pin. 12 volt constant/battery charge should be in about the one o'clock position on the truck receptacle or 11 o'clock on the trailer plug.
I think...
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #6
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OK, looks like all I need to do is swap the blue and black on the cord truck end. Only thing is that would make the lighter gauge black the charge line and the heavy blue the backup lights. Any problem with that?
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:43 PM   #7
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Do you have the older 7 pin round connector or the newer 7 pin flat pin connector. If the older configuration was the TV changed to fit it. If so the problem may be in the TV wiring since the 2 systems are not wired the same.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for the 7 round pin wiring diagram.

Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:52 PM   #8
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Is the truck receptacle factory or aftermarket? I would not change it if it is factory.
I would change the trailer to match the truck, especially if you don't have a 7 pin round connector.
I think...
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:57 PM   #9
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The trailer has the round pin plug Andy spoke of, I believe to be factory and the truck has the factory flat pin connector.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:29 PM   #10
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I would buy a new 7 blade flat connector for the trailer umbilical and wire it to match the truck.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:18 PM   #11
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Sounds like a good time to replace the whole cable on the trailer, mine was in bad shape and did not match the truck when I bought the trailer.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:12 PM   #12
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How did you ever plug in the round umbilical cord into the flat receptacle to find the problem in the first place?

The cheap way out would be to rewire the trailer with a flat pin plug. However as Andy said the newer system in inferior to the old, significant voltage drop across the pins as the age, and you might consider ADDING a round receptacle to the truck in addition to the flat that is there.

That way you will have the better system when using the Airstream and still be able to tow newer equipment if the case arises.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The trailer has the round pin plug Andy spoke of, I believe to be factory and the truck has the factory flat pin connector.
The flat blade connectors are at best cheap junk that after a very few months will give you headaches you could never imagine.

They were junk when I started in 1966 and they still are.

You get what you pay for when you go cheap.

The usual failure is the high current terminals.

Just wait for the time you hit the brakes, and they don't work
because of the flat blades failing.

It happens all the time.

Be safe, use good stuff, as you and your passengers don't need to get hurt because the brakes on the trailer failed to function.

Andy
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:41 PM   #14
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If you are going to replace your connectors look at the Hella connectors. They use solid brass pins, morel styrene and are gasket red and o ring sealed. I have used these for 20 years and had zero flickers and zero failures. The only down side is the proprietary nature of your set up... Your vehicle is now the only vehicle that can power your trailer; make an adapter for emergencies.
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