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Old 05-25-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
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Need help with new Airstream - tail lights keep blinking

Hi, we (my husband and I) just bought a 2010 Internat. 23 foot Airstream. It looks beautiful, but we were not able to use it yet. The car towing it is a 2007 Audi Q7 which had to be re-wired in order to connect the electrical brake controller even though I bought it with a factory installed towing package. Well, after 10 days I got my car back, hooked it up to the airstream, but the Airstream's brake lights just keep flashing. Does anybody out there know what that means? Did the dealership make a mistake when they re-wired my car or is something wrong with the Airstream? Thank you so much for help...

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Old 05-25-2010, 04:08 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums from the southside.

I usually check the last thing I "fixed" in situations like this. Best guess is that the dealer srewed up somehow. After 10 days, they should have gotten it right. Wiring harnesses for the Airstream are not all that complicated. I would have a discussion with the dealer--that didn't include 10 days to sort out. This should be fixed in a couple of hours, not days. Which dealer did you go to? Maybe we can give them a little "free advertising" here.


On edit: is flashing lights the "only" thing you get when you plug in? No brakes, no turn signals, no running lights?


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Old 05-25-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Blinky lights

This is pretty much normal in European Vehicle.Porsche VW and Audi are owned by the same company and the elctronic are almost the same.The platform of your vehicle is made by volkswagen your hitch is probably from the same company called Westfalia.(I am assuming it might be.)There are a few fixes available and you can search them out.
What I would like to know is what they did to your vehicle to reroute or fix something you had wrong or installed to make it work.

Sometimes owners like myself would have to make a setup that worked or reroute a wire to somewhere else to get things right.There have been problems with brake controllers and the wiring setup in the past by many european car owners but are easily fixed with some reasearching.You may just have to go to the Q7 site to see how and if they found a solution to the problem.It is not usually the Airstream that is at fault but the car itself.
It just cant get any better than that.

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Old 05-25-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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hi nette

this is a common issue for the euro suv/stream ledz...

most of the info HERE on this issue is posted in the t-rex threads...

but as u know the a/vw are 1nthesame.

search using the vw model name and several threads will get into this.

here are some OTHER useful 1s that apply.

basically u need an inlineresistorbufferrelaycapacitorfuse...gizmo.

maybe devoman will post, he's got a dub....

and there's really no need to post the same question in 2 different forums/threads...

they'll just compete with each other and knock each other OFF the front page...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:26 PM   #5
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Hi Jim, thank you for your fast response! Yes, flashing lights is all I get when I plug in. However, the green light on the brake controller comes on, so at least it recognizes that the car and Airstream are connected.

The dealer I went to is an Audi dealership here in Atlanta and they warned me that they had never re-wired a Q7 before. The good news is that I did not have to pay for anything (other then the brake controller) since the car should have been equipped with it. The bad news is that a ladder fell on my car while they had it in the shop and they had to replace the rear window. I know, I thought it was a joke too when they called me. I guess that took an additional day for them. I am soooooooooo frustrated since we wanted to use our new Airstream over Memorial day :-(
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for the fast response. Sorry for the double post...tried to delete the other one, well, that did not work. Nette
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
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Yea I saw the other post and then this one so I deleted what I had written.
This is pretty common and I could bet that if you went to the Q7 forum they will have the solution for you.
Normally when this happens it is not the Airstream at fault but the vehicle itself.
AirstreamS and European cars for America dont mix to well.
Mine still does the blinky light but is very dim.It will not hurt your vehicle but is pretty annoying.

Here is the fix
It just cant get any better than that.

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Old 05-25-2010, 04:47 PM   #8
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Hi Devoman, thank you so much! I cannot tell you how happy I would be if that's it. I'll order it and let you know...
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:54 PM   #9
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The reason Audi had to re-wire the Q7 even though it came with a factory installed tow package is that if the VIN is newer than _7D021937 on your Audi, it will be pre-wired. Unfortunately my model is older... but whatever they did, it's not working. I would love to just park the car and my beautiful Airstream in front of their door and tell them to fix it. But on the phone they already hinted that they did not know why it would not work...
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:46 PM   #10
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Over on the VW side we had a change over to a new Body Control Module in midyear. Your symptoms sound similar to the issues weíve had with the factory accessory hitch package on the Tiguans.
I found the Gateway, BCM, Trailer Module and the Instrument Cluster werenít communicating properly across the networks. The modules need to be recognized by the Gateway, coding changed and the BCM adapted to the Trailer Module. There isnít any documentation that Iíve found. You just need to try different approaches with the scan tool until everything plays nice together.
VW and Audi are cut from the same cloth. But sometimes the patterns just don't match up. This may or may not work.
IMHO it's always better to try goofing with the software first than messing with the wiring.
Just thinking off the top of my head.

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Old 05-31-2010, 01:48 AM   #11
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With your 2007 you should be fine if you follow my harness instructions - me thinks the goofy Audi techs wired your controller directly to the Q7 brake control harness vice using a relay and isolating the two (our cars send modulated info over the brake signal that messes up the more advanced brake controllers.

Just finished up a cross country trip towing my 25FB classic from the Atlantic to the Pacific via my soon to be home of Steamboat Springs in the Rocky Mountains - not a single glitch over 3,000 miles - but I do use a Prodigy P3 controller which I will now swear by over the Prodigy I used when I towed with my Cayeene S.

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Old 05-31-2010, 04:09 AM   #12
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This problem is pretty simple to solve. The Audi trailer wiring needs a load in the circuit to operate properly. The Airstream having all LED lights does not provide enough of a load.

If you take the Airstream to your dealer they can easily tie into the the turn signal and running light wires inside under the front bed or sofa. Just install 3 clearance lights with conventional light bulbs and your problems will be solved.

If you want to prove to yourself that the Audi is wired correctly just plug it into a trailer with conventional bulb lighting and you will see that all works as it should.

I hope this helps if you dealer needs assistance with this have them call me.

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Old 05-31-2010, 06:51 AM   #13
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Adapter for blinking LED tail lights

I have a VW Touareg and had the same problem with flashing tail lights when braking or driving at night. The LED tail lights on Airstreams do not pull enough electrical load for the car to know they are working properly. Same thing on Audi, Porsche, VW, Land Rover and some BMW's. Some folks have wired in and added resistors and regular bulb lamps to the AS to fool the car.

However, VW has a 7 pin adapter that plugs in between the AS and the car which corrects this problem. It's part number ZVW-808-004. Cost was $40. Everything works fine with it and it will work with the other car models listed.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:35 PM   #14
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Here's the adapter for the Audi that will put a load on it so it doesnt have issues with the Led lights.

7-Way to 7-Way Trailer Adapter for VW, Audi and Porsche Towing Trailers with LED Lights Valley V39010

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