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Old 01-31-2016, 06:23 PM   #1
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Back up light stay on?

I just got a new tow vehicle and when I plug the 7 way in the backup lights on the trailer come on and stay on. All the other lights work correctly, brakes work as well. Any ideas? I also put a new plug on because I thought it might be that. When I took the old plug off I noticed the yellow wire was not attached to the center terminal. I thought it may have come off but thinking maybe they just didn't ever wire it. I don't recall if the back up lights worked when on the other vehicle. Any risk on cutting the yellow wire.
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:48 PM   #2
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The color coding of the '78 you have vs the color coding of the common trailer wiring used today is different. I don't have a reference to the old vs. the new with me now, but some internet searching will turn it up for you.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:06 PM   #3
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Why would everything else work correctly. I had a trailer shop put a plug on it 5 years ago and I copied the way they did it except for the center yellow wire. They had that disconnected.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:29 PM   #4
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I did some searching for the old color code and this came from Andy at Inland RV.

"The factory original connect had 7 round pins.

The name on the connector was "Signal Stat".

The colors and each circuit is as follows.

White = ground
Black = Back up
Red = Left turn/ brake light
Brown = right turn/ brake lights
Yellow = Brakes
Blue = Charge line
Green = Clearance lights/ tail lights

Andy
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So, the disconnected yellow line you are talking about was the brake wire. You may have been towing without brakes for a long time. The blue line, we use today for brakes was the charge line on the old system.

I am pretty sure you are going to have to do some careful checking to make sure all things are working properly.

Many trailer shops have no idea of the original Airstream color codes used with the round pin connectors used in the "old days" and who knows what they have done to get you to where you are now.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:40 PM   #5
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My brakes work with the yellow in the center.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:42 PM   #6
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I found this online. I think the previous owner may have done some rewiring.

A word of caution about the wire color code for your 70 Airstream. The code Airstream followed from 1966 through 1981 was not the current industry standard code. In particular the blue was not the brake control line. This is the code for those years:

White = ground
Black = back up lights
Yellow = brakes
Blue = charge line
Red = left turn and stop light
Brown = right turn and stop light
Green = tail light and markers

Now having said that, if you are going to plug into a tow vehicle that is wired to the current standard you will have to switch three wires in the trailer plug to maintain compatibility. This is particularly fun will sitting in a campground making an adapter to haul another members '76 home when their tow vehicle died. Hoping not to confuse, here are the changes. Keep in mind the plug is labelled on the back by color not function.

Connect the Yellow trailer wire to the pin labelled Blu
Connect the Blue trailer wire to the pin labelled Blk
Connect the Black trailer wire to the pin labelled Yel
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:36 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Colors seem to change as time goes by....

I did our 63 Safari with a test light, ignoring the colors.

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Old 02-01-2016, 05:27 AM   #8
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I did our 63 Safari with a test light, ignoring the colors.

That's how I did our '66. The test light or ohm meter does not lie.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:52 PM   #9
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The following is from my 77 Airstream 31 ft service manual:

Black = Back up lights

Brown = Right turn and stop light

Green = Running and tail lights

Red = Left turn and stop light

Yellow = Brakes

White = Ground

Blue = Tongue hoist

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Old 02-01-2016, 03:08 PM   #10
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It seems like you have the charge line connected to the back up lights. I never pay attention to the colors as much as the test light. You never know who changed which wire over time and there are a few different color codes. I keep an extra 4' 7 wire cable with the plug on the truck end and just wires sticking out the the other end, along with some yellow wire nuts and spare fuses in my truck. Comes in handy for moving random trailers. Most of the time I can just jam the bare wire end into somebody's plug and be down the road pretty quick.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:20 PM   #11
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If you have the color code for the trailer and that identifies the function for each wire then just place a given wire of a given function in the correct position for the current 7 pin receptacle.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:24 PM   #12
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If you have the color code for the trailer and that identifies the function for each wire then just place each wire of a given function in the correct position in the umbilical cord plug as set forth in the current 7 pin receptacle.

Your trailer would then be tow-able with all newer systems
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:17 PM   #13
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Flipped my yellow and black wires. Problem solved.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:54 PM   #14
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Yea! Glad you found the issue.
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