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Old 03-13-2010, 10:14 AM   #1
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1987 32' Excella
Poplar Bluff , Missouri
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 101
Turn signals don't work

Bought our 1987 Excella last year, and am getting ready for this year. The rear turn signals do not work. The back up lights and running lights work. But the brake lights and the turn signals do not work. Bulbs look perfect, as I said, they work as running lights but that's all. The wiring harness from the tv to the trailer had been spliced. I removed the electrician's tape, and checked the wire match up, and all seems correct. So, now what? Thanks for your help.

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Old 03-13-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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It could be one of a couple of things. If your tow vehicle is factory wired for a trailer, there is a separate fuse for the right and left turn signals. these could be the culprits.

Are the stop lights working? Do the trailer tail light work when the TV's four way flasher in activated?


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Old 03-13-2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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1971 27' Overlander
Chesapeake , Virginia
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I just spent a day tracking down that problem in my 71 Overland. I had lost the ground to the taillite and turn signal. I would suggest checking that as well. I had to run a wire from the taillite fixture to a a good ground.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:39 PM   #4
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Lexington , Minnesota
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Don't assume the bulb is good just because it looks ok either. Try a known good bulb, or try the trailer bulbs in a known working socket (like on your TV if they'll fit ok).

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Old 03-13-2010, 12:59 PM   #5
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There really is no substitute for systematic trouble shooting with a Volt-Ohm meter. Start at the connector at the back of TV. Is there 12 volts on the proper pin when TS is on or brakes depressed? If not, problem is in the truck. If there is, check the voltage at the lamp socket. If there is not voltage there, then problem is in the TT wiring or the connector that plugs into the truck. Possibly the contacts are bent or dirty. You can use a long piece of wire for an extension to the meter leads and test for continuity in the trailer wiring. If you don't have a VOM or don't know how to use it, I would strongly suggest that you get someone locally who does, to help you. Otherwise you are just going to be hoping that you stumble into the problem.

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Old 03-13-2010, 02:21 PM   #6
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1967 24' Tradewind
Wickenburg , Arizona
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Check your TV owners manual. It appears you have a late model TV, most off which need relays installed to activate the power to the harness. Adios, John
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:26 PM   #7
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1987 32' Excella
Poplar Bluff , Missouri
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Thank you for all your replies.
When I started removing the light fixtures themselves, the lights flickered. So I played with them a bit, and it seems there is a short there. Previous owner had backed into something, the streetside of the tail light frame is dented. My hope is the short is in the light bulb sockets...they are old and weathered. So I will replace all three of them. When I removed the whole assembly and moved the wires, the tail lights on both sides flickered.

Now, if the short is not in the light bulb sockets, that means its somewhere back there... sigh... how do I get to the wiring back there? From the underside of the AS, or thru the inside wall? I'm not liking the looks of this if that's the case.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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1961 22' Safari
Union , Oregon
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A short will quite often blow a fuse. You may just have a bad ground and moving the fixtures and wires around caused a temporary ground enough to make the lights flicker.
Make sure you have a good ground before trying to dig into the wiring. I have found that lack of an adequate ground is the cause of the majority of problems with lights.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:15 PM   #9
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1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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OK since the lights flickered you do not have a short but an "open" connection. The lights flickered because you closed (shorted) the missing connection. Most of the time it is a bad ground or corroded where the bulb makes the connection.

Look everything over if corrosion clean as best as you can and try again if that doesn't work then use a jumper wire and touch the side of the bulb socket with one end of the jumper wire and the other end to a known good ground.

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