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Old 07-26-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
bettendorf , Iowa
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Just need to vent about my 4pin to 7pin conversion

I spent hours this weekend trying to get my 4pin to 7pin round adapter to work with my trailer. I can get the turn signals work, as long as I want both of the reverse lights to flash as well. Or I can get the turn signals to work great... nice and bright... but only if I want the trailer brakes to activate and release in time with the flashing. Plus, the insulation is cracking in various places and occasionally causing shorts and blowing my wiring fuses. And *never* could I get the running lights to work. I have the diagram of what the wire colors are SUPPOSED to be, but they don't seem to actually BE that.

*scream*

I think I give up. I'm taking the Ford in to get new wiring installed. Problem is that the trailer plug needed replaced (it was all corroded internally) and I've been messing with wiring so much that god knows what's connected to what. *sigh*

Plus I was out there so long I didn't realize that I was getting a bad sunburn.

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Old 07-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
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My tv's have both got 7 way plugs but my trailer 7 way plug has been replaced and molested by PO. I spent the last 2 days tracking down a short in my trailer's running lights and replacing all the bulb clearance lights with LCD's. I'm taking one wire at a time in the harness and massaging that system to make sure it's working good before I move on. I have all the external lights working and now I'm moving to the brakes. I have to say that when I got those tail lights and clearance lights all working it was a rush . . . like I just climbed Mt Everest.

While I have things kind of opened up, I'm gonna check out the two interior electrical systems before I move on to the cosmetics.

I find good Karma associated with the Airstream trailer. When I work on it I don't think about my problems or my pains. Three hours go by like three minutes. The good thing is . . . when I get the repair and maintenance job finished, I'll be able to enjoy the trailer in the travel element. I see why people look for second and third projects.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
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I am going to assume you are changing the plug on your truck from 4 to 7 pins.
If so, all of the wires for the LIGHTS should be available at the rear of your truck.
You will find both stop/turn signal wires and a tail light wire there. The turn signal wires also operate the stop lights.
You will need to run wiring for the brakes and charge wire. Be sure the charge wire is fused where you connect it to the battery.
Definitely connect the ground wire from your new plug to a good, clean ground on your truck .
Most problems with lights are ground related (especially weird ones) so good grounds are absolutely required.
Finally you may need to change the signal flasher if the lights blink too fast. Ford makes a kit to wire trailers/brakes that includes the brake switch wiring and heavy duty signal flasher and I think a couple new relays.
It will help with the change over.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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Before you try anything else be absolutely sure that you have a good ground path between the truck and the traylah. Check it with a test light, or better still an extra headlight, with none of the other wires in the connector hooked up to anything.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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Here is an additional trailer wiring diagram if you need one.
Trailer Wiring Diagram For 4 Way, 5 Way, 6 Way and 7 Way circuits
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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Don't give up

Which has the 4 way your truck or your trailer? Which ever one does, you need to change it. Your trailer has brakes and they will not work with a 4 way connection nor will your charge line to the trailer battery . A 7 way is the easiest to go to. The wire colors on an older trailer will not always match the current standard so you need to test each trailer circuit to determine which circuit is which color (easy to do with a battery and set of jumper wires) .Saves blowing the fuses in your vehicle. Then it is simply a matter of matching things up on the connections. Also do you have a brake controller in the vehicle?
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:47 PM   #7
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1967 26' Overlander
bettendorf , Iowa
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My vehicle has the 4pin. I'm getting a 7pin installed on Thursday. I'll likely use a battery to figure out the various connections. And as for a brake controller... no. I didn't know I needed one. Do I?
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenschen View Post
My vehicle has the 4pin. I'm getting a 7pin installed on Thursday. I'll likely use a battery to figure out the various connections. And as for a brake controller... no. I didn't know I needed one. Do I?
Only if you want the brakes on the trailer to work and you want to obey the law.

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Old 07-28-2010, 02:03 PM   #9
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1967 26' Overlander
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Originally Posted by wkerfoot View Post
Only if you want the brakes on the trailer to work and you want to obey the law.

Bill
Well, I'm going to get the brake controller installed next Thursday. Gonna cost me about $280 though. It's amazing how all these things keep adding up. So now my vehicle will have 4pin wiring, 7 pin wiring and a brake controller. WHee!
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:39 PM   #10
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What year and kind of vehicle are you getting the brake controller (what kind) installed in ? $280 sounds pricey to me.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:46 PM   #11
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It is pricey - I paid 125.00 for the controller and the labor at the GMC Dealer
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:35 PM   #12
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1967 26' Overlander
bettendorf , Iowa
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I'm taking it to a local RV dealer. He said it depended on if my vehicle was set up to be "plug and play" or not. He said if it was it would be like $65 to install an $80 controller. He looked it up and told me that my 2010 Ford Flex would be more labor intensive and the installation would be $165. I was a little off earlier. With tax it will be $262.15. I think I will ask around a bit more before I have them do this.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:49 AM   #13
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1967 26' Overlander
bettendorf , Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwells4654 View Post
It is pricey - I paid 125.00 for the controller and the labor at the GMC Dealer
I shopped around a bit more and found a place that will do it for $185 plus tax. Seems that new trucks have a plug that allows a plug and play type installation. Since this isn't a truck per se, it doesn't have that and needs to be completely wired for it. I called the Ford dealer where I bought it and they wanted $290 plus tax.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenschen View Post
I'm taking it to a local RV dealer. He said it depended on if my vehicle was set up to be "plug and play" or not. He said if it was it would be like $65 to install an $80 controller. He looked it up and told me that my 2010 Ford Flex would be more labor intensive and the installation would be $165. I was a little off earlier. With tax it will be $262.15. I think I will ask around a bit more before I have them do this.
hi,

Gabrielle drives a 2010 Flex SEL which was factory ordered with the towing package, and so it came equipped with the receiver, the 4/7 trailer connector, and the underdash harness wiring for a brake controller. no "pigtail" for the controller came from the factory with the vehicle.

if you've got the trailer towing package from the factory, you'll have those goodies, too.

if you don't have the factory towing package, I believe that your Flex might not be suitable for pulling the Overlander.....


most brake controller manufacturers will sell you a premade cable to let you "plug and play" their controller. don't forget to add the fuse in the fuse block for the +12V supply to the trailer.


here's a few links that you might find useful -
TOWING WIRING Brake Controller Setup EASY! - Ford Flex Forum

Towing an airstream - Ford Flex Forum

Confused about tow package - Ford Flex Forum

2009 Ford Flex Hitch Install

https://www.flmowner.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Owner/Page/IdentifyVehiclePage&level=vehicle&BackToLogin=Owne r/Page/OwnerGuidePage&origref=http%3A//www.flmowner.com/servlet/ContentServer%3Fpagename%3DOwner/Page/RecallsPage&searchid=426441|32056716|210358335&gcl id=CMix1O6nzJ4CFR9inAodWRJgrw
fwiw, we like the Tekonsha P3 controller that we've been using for 2 years by now.

happy & safe traveling.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:29 PM   #15
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Thanks for the links. I'll check them out. My Flex didn't come with the factory hitch. From everything I can tell - and I went to the dealer and we spent quite a while looking up the specs and parts etc. - the only different between my Flex and a Flex with a factory installed hitch (4500lb cap) and wiring, is just the hitch and the wiring. The suspension, oil cooler and everything else was the same. I got an aftermarket hitch installed for the Flex and its capacity is 5000lbs. So while I don't have the factory wiring and hitch, I believe I should be okay. The camping trip we're taking this weekend is about 1.5 hours away. Not too far, so I think it will be a good test. I'm getting the 7pin wiring installed here in about an hour, but the brake controller on 8/9/10.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:42 PM   #16
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Just need to vent about my 4pin to 7pin conversion

Greetings jhenschen!

You may have a problem hiding in your setup if your hitch is rated for a maximum of 5,000 pounds. Your 1967 Overlander has a dry weight of 4,230 pounds with a hitch weight of 478 pounds (see this link). Neither weight reflects the weight of fluids (water and LP), contents (if any) of waste tanks, and/or installed options and accessories. My 1964 Overlander has a dry weight of 4,440 pounds with its options and accessories, and it easily approaches 6,000 pounds when packed for a six week summer trip. When loaded for a trip, it is a virtual certainty that the coach will exceed 5,000 pounds, and the hitch weight will also almost certainly exceed 500 pounds (hitches are typically rated for 10% of towed weight on the hitch). The figures that you mention may be without weight distributing components installed - - the weight carrying capacity is often 50% of the capacity when utilizing weight distribution.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:27 PM   #17
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Bump Question -- Brake Controller: 88 Chevy to 68 Trade Wind

I promise -- I searched the forums and read quite a few threads, but have not found a direct answer to my questions. I have to take kids camping in two days and for a week, I've been puzzling over the installation of the electric brake controller.

I need to install this brake controller, going with a basic Draw Tite controller. Truck has 7 prong flat blade receiver, seems to coordinate well with the lights on the trailer, not the backups, maybe there is a switch to be made in the receiver, but the turn signals and brake lights, and the running lights work just fine.

I'm trying to check the wiring for the truck. I don't have a tester, but I do have a multimeter, but I'm not sure how that is supposed to work, either. (Please don't stop reading -- I'm working on it!)

A red-sheathed pair of 10 gauge, one black, one white, appears behind the 7 prong receiver and extends forward to the engine compartment.

The black wire goes to a circuit breaker, the circuit breaker goes into the alternator. Could this be a charging wire, isolated to the alternator for switched power only? My trailer is not wired for battery charging. I was hoping this would be the brake controller, all ready to go, and maybe it is, but the connection to the alternator has me scratching my head. None of the instructions or discussions in the threads mentioned the alternator, just the battery.

White 10 gauge wire is cut off just inside the firewall. I understand this might be the ground, which can connect to the negative pole of the battery or a ground connection on the chassis. Not sure which is preferred.

As for the controller: I bought a wiring kit with 10 gauge wires long enough to extend from the interior, through the firewall, and back to the 7-prong receiver. Blue goes from the controller, through the firewall, extends to the receiver, matches up with brake connector on the 7-pin trailer side.

Red goes to the brake pedal switch wire inside the truck, driver's side, under the steering column.

Black goes to the + side of the battery, but before the battery, connects to a 30 amp circuit breaker.

White goes to the - side of the battery.

The only wire that goes from the brake controller to the rear 7 prong receiver is the blue wire.

I was hoping the truck's wiring would have the brake controller wiring, since the receiver was there.

Am i right or wrong about the existing black wire between the alternator and the receiver? Is this a charging wire or is it the brake wire?

LIke I said, the trailer is not wired for charging the battery. BUT, the control center does have a disconnected device that could connect to the vehicle battery, to monitor the battery level.

If the red-sheathed black wire is meant to charge the battery, can I leave it, or should I remove it from the receiver and add a different kind of connector to the back of the truck, and wire something through the trailer frame to the battery?

And if the black wire was meant for brakes, maybe I'm in luck and can take this wiring kit back to the store (?). There are a few ways to find out, but what is best for not blowing my truck and trailer systems, but determining what I have?

Thanks,
Anne
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:22 PM   #18
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Thought of something: Canadian Chevy?

I was looking at a diagram of 7-pin wiring, with US standard and Canadian. My truck is probably from Canada -- a 1988 Chevy K1500. I bought it from a neighbor, and keeping it going is even more expensive than the payments for a newer model I sold to get out from under the payments! But I digress...

The lights, brake lights, and running lights, tail lights -- not backup lights -- are working.

I'll hook up the brake controller and see what's what.

I'll keep the Canadian schematic handy, too.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:35 AM   #19
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Caution!

If you have a battery charger, use it to test the lighting on your trailer. The charger has a limited current source. The battery has an infinate current capacity and without fuses, you can blow stuff up.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyAnne View Post
A red-sheathed pair of 10 gauge, one black, one white, appears behind the 7 prong receiver and extends forward to the engine compartment.

The black wire goes to a circuit breaker, the circuit breaker goes into the alternator. Could this be a charging wire, isolated to the alternator for switched power only? My trailer is not wired for battery charging. I was hoping this would be the brake controller, all ready to go, and maybe it is, but the connection to the alternator has me scratching my head. None of the instructions or discussions in the threads mentioned the alternator, just the battery.
That is an unusually well-installed charge line. They work best if they go to the alternator. It should be on all the time. The large terminal on the alternator is connected straight to the battery.

Quote:
White 10 gauge wire is cut off just inside the firewall. I understand this might be the ground, which can connect to the negative pole of the battery or a ground connection on the chassis. Not sure which is preferred.
The best thing to do is connect it to an existing ground point or to the alternator frame.

Quote:

As for the controller: I bought a wiring kit with 10 gauge wires long enough to extend from the interior, through the firewall, and back to the 7-prong receiver. Blue goes from the controller, through the firewall, extends to the receiver, matches up with brake connector on the 7-pin trailer side.

Red goes to the brake pedal switch wire inside the truck, driver's side, under the steering column.

Black goes to the + side of the battery, but before the battery, connects to a 30 amp circuit breaker.

White goes to the - side of the battery.

The only wire that goes from the brake controller to the rear 7 prong receiver is the blue wire.
Sounds straightforward enough

Quote:
I was hoping the truck's wiring would have the brake controller wiring, since the receiver was there.

Am i right or wrong about the existing black wire between the alternator and the receiver? Is this a charging wire or is it the brake wire?
Charge wire.

Quote:

LIke I said, the trailer is not wired for charging the battery. BUT, the control center does have a disconnected device that could connect to the vehicle battery, to monitor the battery level.

If the red-sheathed black wire is meant to charge the battery, can I leave it, or should I remove it from the receiver and add a different kind of connector to the back of the truck, and wire something through the trailer frame to the battery?
Leave it. I would suggest you hook up the wiring on the trailer to charge the battery. It comes in handy from time to time.

Quote:

And if the black wire was meant for brakes, maybe I'm in luck and can take this wiring kit back to the store (?). There are a few ways to find out, but what is best for not blowing my truck and trailer systems, but determining what I have?
There should be other wires at the 7 way. Usually, a brown wire for tail and marker, a green wire for right turn, a yellow wire for left turn. There may also be a light green wire for reverse.

If there is also, in addition to all that, a blue wire, then that would be the wire for the trailer brakes, and you might be able to find the other end of it, or a connector where you can plug into it, under the dash.

Be sure you hook up the white (ground) wire. The trailer brakes depend on it.
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