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Old 04-07-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
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License plate light not working

After a series of blown fuses in the tow vehicle, I diagnosed my problem as a improperly-crimped line in the license plate frame. I've trimmed the power cord all the way back to the original green line from inside the Airstream (not part of the license plate frame component) and it is getting NO power to it now. No more blown fuses; ALL other running lights are working; but no luck on the license plate light. The only thing I can venture to guess is that I might have tugged too hard on the green wire at one point and loosened it from wherever it comes from (the depths of the inaccessible space between the aluminum skins). Any other ideas for why this might not be working? I've checked all the fuses in the Airstream's power box and they're all solid.

Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #2
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How did you determine that there is no power to it? Only because the license plate light won't come on?
Do you have one of those little screwdriver looking testers with the light in the handle?
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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I tried one of those little tester things, but noticed it only registers 80V at the lower end. Then I tried holding the light bulb (verified that the bulb works on another outlet) directly to the green wire and it doesn't illuminate.

Fuses don't seem likely since all the other running lights work (and I can't imagine the license plate frame is on its own).

Power from the truck's trailer plug doesn't seem likely (again, since all the other lights work).

The bulb works.

I've tried to remove the license plate frame component from the debugging process, but the only way I've tested since then is touching the bulb directly to the wire.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
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On mine the green wire runs all of the running lights and the lp light. Everything.

Just out of curiosity I just went out and took a (single contact) bulb out of a light socket and held a hot wire to the contact on the end. No light. Then I grounded the side of the bulb (metal) to the shell and put the wire to it. Light. It needed a ground.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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Oooooh. I will go try that. Thanks so much.

Update: Verified that worked! Problem must still be in the light housing. I'm gonna rewire that and will let you know how that goes.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:31 PM   #6
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Awesome. That could have been a lot worse.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:31 PM   #7
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The only problem was in the housing on my shoulders.

The extent of my testing was with the light assembly dangling from the power wire, but the (necessary) grounding is provided by the screws that hold it to the Airstream body. My assumption that it should work unattached was faulty, and many thanks to you for pointing that out.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:05 AM   #8
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It was a hunch. I had to test it to see. I learned something myself.
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