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Old 07-21-2003, 12:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Properly wired?


I've got two different 7-pin connectors and a cable that converts them...

...and my brake controller tells me I have a short and/or and Overload condition when I'm braking. Any ideas would be appreciated. ...and I have no back-up lights (though the *bulbs* are fine.)

I was trying to eliminate the cable, but I can't even tell how it is supposed to be wired...

I've attached a drawing of the "non-standard" trailer end (appears to be the "the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) type of 7-pole plug set. This plug has 6 round contacts surrounding the center pin." (http://www.rverscorner.com/wiring/7pole.html) connection of the cable. The numbers are arbitrary, but the colors in the holes are the same as the wires attached to that hole on my cable... The other end is the standard 7-wire connector, but I've shown the cable-to-connector colors as my cable is wired...which aren't the same as the standard...

So. If someone could tell me what color should go where on both ends, or what to change on one end to make it work, or that it *is* right (though ugly) and I should look at something else for help, I'd truly appreciate it.

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Old 07-21-2003, 02:01 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Properly wired?

Greetings Bob!

Airstream hadn't adopted what is now considered to be the industry standard for connector plug wiring in 1969. The method used by Airstream is illustrated in the diagram in the pdf file in the link below:

Airstream Umbilical Cord Plug Wiring Diagram 1966-1981

The industry standard wiring diagram illustrating both color and function can be helpful in matching the Airstream end to the current standard. One such diagram can be found in the pdf linked below:

Industry Standard 7-Pole Trailer Connector Plug Wiring

There are two general philosophies regarding this situation. Some might say stay with the original and wire your tow vehicle to match the trailer - - a theft deterrent of sorts. Others might say rewire the trailer to match the current industry standard that is probably already applied on your tow vehicle.

When dealing with this situation, I chose to rewire the trailer end for a number of reasons. In my situation, I had to deal with a '64 Airstream and a '78 Argosy which meant that I had two different wiring diagrams on the trailer ends. The second reason that I chose to go with the current industry standard on the trailer end was to insure that if my tow vehicle were to be disabled, it would be possible to safely tow the trailer with another tow vehicle having the industry standard wiring on its connector. Making this change has come in handy at least twice in the last eight years.

When adjusting the wiring on the trailer end it also opens up a good opportunity to replace the connector. I was quite surprised by the amount of corrossion in the connectors on both my Airstream and Argosy - - it is an inexpensive part, and its replacement helps to insure good electrical connections.

Good luck with your project!

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)
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Old 07-21-2003, 02:13 PM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
Palm Bay , Florida
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Here is the schematic from my 78 Excella. This may help also.

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Vic Smith
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WBCCI #6782
31' 78 Airstream Excella 500
2001 Ford Excursion V-10
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:39 AM   #4
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Hi Kevin, Hi Vic,

Thanks for the information and links.

I think I'm going to go part-way with what Kevin recommends... I'm rebuilding the cable (though it looks like it was properly wired from the two links you gave me..) I'm also going to pull the connection at the head of the trailer and make sure it is clean (from what you've told me I'm not expecting that it will be.)

Once that is done, I'll retest brakes, etc. If it fails, I'll redo the whole thing...

Thanks again,

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