Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-20-2009, 11:45 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
NY_Chairs's Avatar
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Arcade , New York
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 19
No rear lights working on trailer

I just towed home our "new" 1971 Sovereign 31' camper. We could not get the rear (brake, turn signals or amber distance lights) to work. We tried both my vehicle and the seller's vehicle. The running lights along the sides and top all work.

I was only going 7 miles so the seller followed me home, but very perplexing. I hooked up to my other trailer and verified the tow vehicle. Seller said the lights worked the last time he towed it (last summer).

I do not have a brake controller in the TV yet but wouldn't think that would impact brake lights and would certainly not impact turn signals and ambers. Seller did have controller so that didn't matter anyway.

Any thoughts? It is raining and we are going to a party, I know the next step is to put test voltages on the trailer connector and then start tracing the wires. Are there any kind of on-board fuses or junction boxes in the trailer itself?

Thanks.
-Rich
__________________

__________________
Rich
Location: WNY (Java, NY)
1971 31' Sovereign
1988 Chevrolet School Bus (Converted)
NY_Chairs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
Moderator
Commercial Member
 
eubank's Avatar
 
1967 30' Sovereign
Bosque Farms , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,428
Owners of newer Airstreams might correct me if this is wrong, but the junction between the umbilical cord to the TV and the AS wiring for those lights is located on our 1967 in the belly under a cover toward the right front of the rig. A bad connector there caused a very similar problem for us.

Lynn
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 21043
eubank is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
No rear lights working on trailer

Greetings Rich!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

You may also have a problem with internal corossion in your coach's umbilical connector, particularly if you have the more modern "blade-type" connector. On my coaches, this connector has proved to be so troublesome that I have it on a three-year rotation for replacement. This year is my year to replace conncetors on both of my coaches, and I have decided to convert both my tow vehicles and trailers to the self-cleaning, heavy-duty "pin-type" connectors utilized by over-the-road-truckers.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY_Chairs View Post
I just towed home our "new" 1971 Sovereign 31' camper. We could not get the rear (brake, turn signals or amber distance lights) to work. We tried both my vehicle and the seller's vehicle. The running lights along the sides and top all work.

I was only going 7 miles so the seller followed me home, but very perplexing. I hooked up to my other trailer and verified the tow vehicle. Seller said the lights worked the last time he towed it (last summer).

I do not have a brake controller in the TV yet but wouldn't think that would impact brake lights and would certainly not impact turn signals and ambers. Seller did have controller so that didn't matter anyway.

Any thoughts? It is raining and we are going to a party, I know the next step is to put test voltages on the trailer connector and then start tracing the wires. Are there any kind of on-board fuses or junction boxes in the trailer itself?

Thanks.
-Rich
Rich.

The round tail and backup lights can rust to the point of being useless.

The originals are no longer available, but LED replacements are.

Be cautious of the size replacements.

Your tail light cans are 4 1/8" in diameter.

Most LED companies advertise their replacements for those lights as 4 inches.

Not true. They will be 4 1/4 inches and won't fit the holes.

They can be cut down, but when you do that, typically the seal is broken.

Replacemnts are available however, that will work properly.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
NY_Chairs's Avatar
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Arcade , New York
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 19
Ok, here is the deal...at some point the brake/TS lights were replaced with a bad retrofit. The new lights do have 2 wires and the bulbs are multi-filament.

If I do not have the running lights or headlights on, my right TS and brake light work, but the left does nothing. I swapped bulbs and both bulbs work.

If the headlights are on, neither brake nor either TS does anything. My truck matches the industry standard and I plugged the umbilical into the vehicle and verified the voltages at the other end. Someone already installed the self cleaning umbilical port on the camper and the contacts are all clean and greased.

Is anyone aware of an Airstream guide as to what is expected on the umbilical? Mine is wired as this (when connected to my standard truck 7-pin anyway). If the center is pin 1 and then pin 2 is where the alignment guide is and the rest of the pins go sequentially in a CW fashion (looking into the cable connector):
1 = 12V
2 = GND
3 = AUX
4 = Tail Lights
5 = Left TS
6 = Elec Brakes
7 = Right TS

One thing I am not certain about:
When the headlights are on the TV and I measure the voltages, both TS and the AUX are steady 13V (using my Fluke DMM). But without the headlights I see both AUX and whichever TS is active pulsing like it should. So it almost seems something is amiss in the TV as well.

Next step is to apply test voltages to the wiring inside at the port connector to determine what is what as best I can.0
__________________
Rich
Location: WNY (Java, NY)
1971 31' Sovereign
1988 Chevrolet School Bus (Converted)
NY_Chairs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 06:31 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
No rear lights working on trailer

Greetings Rich!

The attached pdf has the original wiring diagram utilized by Airstream for your coach's umbilical cord.

Kevin
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 7wayplug1966-81.pdf (9.0 KB, 54 views)
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 06:40 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
NY_Chairs's Avatar
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Arcade , New York
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 19
I just disconnected all the umbilical wires except for turn signals and ground. Got the Left TS working with headlights now so I am 100% confident in the TV.

Thanks Kevin, I had just found that after my last post and checked it against the umbilical cable and I have discrepancies. Specifically around the Right TS and tail lights so I am going to rewire my umbilical next.

Thanks.

Rewiring made it worse, guess the trailer is miswired which make the umbilical "correct". It almost sounds like the faulty ground connection symptoms (except for the right TS, that is obviously a broken wire somewhere) and not being able to pass enough current for both the running lights and the tail lights. I checked all the connections and wiring (except inside the trailer) and all seems well.
__________________
Rich
Location: WNY (Java, NY)
1971 31' Sovereign
1988 Chevrolet School Bus (Converted)
NY_Chairs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2009, 07:33 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
NY_Chairs's Avatar
 
1971 31' Sovereign
Arcade , New York
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 19
Well all things considered, I am just going to gut the beast and rebuild the beauty. I crawled under the trailer today and found the subfloor sinking through some rusted angled steel that was no longer really supporting it. Probably have some kind of rear end sag, etc. I can see daylight through the bathroom floor near the back wall...

So to make things easier I am going to rip out everything and start over. Good thing we have the bus as the back-up camper for the year.

Fortunately the seller is a welder and can get plenty of scrap steel so we will be working together.
__________________

__________________
Rich
Location: WNY (Java, NY)
1971 31' Sovereign
1988 Chevrolet School Bus (Converted)
NY_Chairs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Only half of running lights working gmehal Lights - Interior & Exterior 12 07-04-2008 10:57 PM
no 12 volt lights working marifn Lights - Interior & Exterior 9 12-12-2007 07:40 PM
Tail, running, clearance lights not working dufferin Lights - Interior & Exterior 14 07-09-2007 02:53 PM
Passenger Side lights not working GKurtz Lights - Interior & Exterior 3 07-03-2007 08:40 PM
Tail Lights Stopped Working dpope 2003 Safari 8 04-05-2003 01:22 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:31 PM.


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.