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Old 05-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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Turn signals blink too fast

The boss wanted me to ask if anyone knew why our turn signal lights blink rapidly when connected to our airstream; much faster that when the AS is not connected.

?

thanks
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:17 PM   #2
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You appear to have an older tow vehicle.

In the olden days, blinkers blinked at a rate proportional to how many light bulbs were in the circuit. More bulbs meant faster blinking. On the flip-side, without a towed load, the blinker might not even blink if one of the tow vehicle's blinker lights was burned out.

I solved the problem on my '84 Suburban by installing heavy-duty blinkers from the corner autoparts store. My lights now blink at the same rate all the time regardless of whether my American Classic is joining us on the trip.

Unfortunately, now I have to constantly make sure all the bulbs are working since there is no audio cue from the blinker relay.

Tom
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:21 PM   #3
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Tom is probably correct. What is the year model of the tow vehicle? If in the eighties or older, you may simply replace the flasher with a heavier duty model.


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Old 05-10-2010, 04:23 PM   #4
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I agree with Tom. When I first looked at your post, the first thing that came to mind was a weak or bad flasher. Head to the local aftermarket parts store and try a new one. They are easy to plug in and will probably fix the problem. If that doesn't work, you will probably need to start looking at the trailer wiring.

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Old 05-11-2010, 12:27 PM   #5
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not old

Our tv is a 2009 Ford 1 ton van.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaroam View Post
Our tv is a 2009 Ford 1 ton van.
Still, the first thing I would try is a heavy-duty flasher. Easy and not expensive.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:34 PM   #7
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If the blink is rapid are the blinks weak as well on the trailer and near normal on the van? It could be a bad ground on the trailer if that is the case. I think there is a ground wire attached to the hitch "A" frame close to where the wire loom goes into the body. A sign of a bad ground would also be weak or non existant running lights. Did the van come equipped with a trailer towing package? If it did the flasher would have been set up for towing. If it didn't and there was no brake controller installed your problem could also be related to the wiring done to install the brake controller.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:02 PM   #8
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Just remember that the heavy duty flasher unit will always flash. This means the turn signal light on your dash board will always flash too. I'm talking about when you have a blown turn signal bulb. Not like with the original flasher where the dashboard light would stay on constant as a warning.

Ricky
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:41 PM   #9
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I'm surprised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaroam View Post
Our tv is a 2009 Ford 1 ton van.
I did a quick search on your issue, and was surprised that the rest of the towing world does not appear to share your problem.

To conjecture, there is a possibility that your Airstream has a problem, and Ford's electronics are blinking the lights rapidly as opposed to blowing a fuse (which would leave your Airstream without lights).

I recommend you connect your Airstream to a known, good tow vehicle, and see if the lights work as intended.

I'm a GM man myself, and don't keep up with what Ford does.

Good luck, and the forum will benefit from any followup posts you care to make.

Tom
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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Well I must surmise then that the problem may be in the TV wiring. We just got vehicle, and did not have the turn signal problem with our other TV.

Frank did the wiring himself on the new TV (as he had on the old one as well) - it did not have a factory wiring package.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Well I must surmise then that the problem may be in the TV wiring. We just got vehicle, and did not have the turn signal problem with our other TV.

Frank did the wiring himself on the new TV (as he had on the old one as well) - it did not have a factory wiring package.
The newer Fords have a turn signal relay rather than a flasher. It should not blink faster when the trailer is connected, only when one of the tow vehicle turn signal bulbs is not working. Fords also have separate wiring for the trailer, tapping directly into the wiring can cause problems.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:27 PM   #12
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The newer Fords have a turn signal relay rather than a flasher. It should not blink faster when the trailer is connected, only when one of the tow vehicle turn signal bulbs is not working. Fords also have separate wiring for the trailer, tapping directly into the wiring can cause problems.
The theory behind this is that a burned out lamp has infinite resistance. This infinite resistance increases the total resistance which changes the blink rate (typically through a RC circuit). Theoretically a bad (high resistance) connection somewhere (trailer connector, bulb socket, etc.) or Ahzmyrah's bad ground could increase the resistance enough to make the lights blink faster. Normal connection of the camper lights should slightly decrease the total resistance in parallel making the lights blink slower.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Our tv is a 2009 Ford 1 ton van.
towing package?
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:34 PM   #14
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Blinking rate

Normally, decreasing the resistance (lower value), which is a greater load, will make a flasher worker harder, and faster.

The lighter the load, (higher resistance), the less the load, and the slower the blinking rate.

Older vehicles require changing out the flasher, to a heavy duty type, when your adding the extra current load from the trailer.

Andy
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