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Old 06-26-2003, 10:53 AM   #1
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Running marker / clearance lights unhooked

I saw in once in a campground where a 5th wheel had the marker/clearance lights on while unhooked/parked.

I believe the owner had a pin in the electric tow connection, like a U connecting the lights......How do you do this?

Not certain I want to do it but was just wondering....

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Old 06-26-2003, 11:25 AM   #2
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With the univolt/magnetek on and pigtail plugged in you just jumper the charge line to the marking lights with a piece of wire. You can get the pin out out of you tow vehicle manual or just play with it. The 12 VDC feed would be eaiser to find with a meter or test light.
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Old 06-26-2003, 02:38 PM   #3
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Running marker/clearance lights unhooked

Greetings Kistler!

I haven't seen one advertised for more than twenty years, but when I purchased my Nomad new in 1980 it had a device that was plugged into the Bargman connector and would cause all of the exterior lights on the trailer to illuminate - - there was also a switch on the device that would cause the lights to flash. I think it was sold as a safety/convenience device.

I recently purchased one of these devices via an e-Bay auction. I haven't had a chance to test it as of yet, but it has the constant on as well as flash feature. The one that I recently purchased is key controlled while the one that I had in the 1980s was much simpler with just a toggle switch to switch between constant on and flash.

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Old 06-26-2003, 03:02 PM   #4
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Sounds great! Ebay has more I hope.

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Old 06-26-2003, 09:12 PM   #5
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Running marker/clearance lights unhooked

Greetings Kistler!

The device that I purchased via an e-Bay auction was an NOS unit that likely dates to the early 1980s if not before. It was being sold by an individual who was liquidating the inventory of an Airstream dealership that had gone out of business. I haven't seen another listed in the four or five months since I purchased the one that I have.

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Old 06-26-2003, 09:27 PM   #6
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We were at a camping show where they had the TT wired for this & we were told to just run a jumper wire between the top two pins. The trailer battery would supply the power. I did look the connection over & it appeared to be what they had quoted. Some people when they are at a campground & expecting company to come in during the night will do this. I would be careful that it would not annoy the neighbors or run the TT battery down.
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Old 06-30-2003, 06:18 PM   #7
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Bill,

The hot lead on the pigtail is the charging lead from the tow vehicle to the trailer battery(s). From your tow vehicle it is usally isolated by a relay so the trailer does not drag the engine battery down on an overnight stay.

It can work to your advantage, you could actually charge the battery of the tow vehicle if it were weak before trying to start by turning on the key with the pigtail and trailer plugged in. I would not reccomend trying to start an engine with a wek nbattery with this seut plugged in, but it might help you out of a jam.

As to the spark, that would be normal. The amperage from the 12 volt feed is fairly high and the sparks you are seeing are normally encased in a switch. There is one of those wires in the connector that is a ground. You want to verify it prior to inserting the jumper, or you may blow some fuses.
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Old 11-16-2006, 03:23 PM   #8
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Running marker/clearance lights unhooked

I've had the identical question since just purchasing a 19' Safari SE. Does anyone have any updated information on this question since 2003?
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Old 11-16-2006, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWeil
I've had the identical question since just purchasing a 19' Safari SE. Does anyone have any updated information on this question since 2003?
I use a fusable link, put it in the top two on your pigtail

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Old 11-16-2006, 04:38 PM   #10
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Most trailers use the 7-Pin Pollack connector.
A properly wired Pollack connector plug has Pin #4 as the +12V source and Pin #3 as the contact for the running lights. Attaching a short jumper wire between those two contacts energizes the running lights.

However, it might be difficult to locate pins 3 &4 inside the plug to connect the jumper wire. Therefore instead of just using a jumper wire, a more elegant solution is to buy the inexpensive Pollack mating socket, which will come with a wiring diagram. Internally wire together Pin #4 to #3 inside the plug, seal it up, connect to plug to the socket and you’ll see the light(s). (Batteries will last longer if you’re on shore power.)

Now since you have actually created a “running lights” tester, you can take it a step further and design and configure ways to similarly test the signal lights and the break lights. Hope you get the general idea.
The beauty of this technique is that one can test the all the trailer lights without using the tow vehicle. Sometimes to troubleshoot an electrical problem one has to isolating the TT from the TV.
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Old 11-16-2006, 05:45 PM   #11
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Brake Activator

I use a dolly to position my trailer in it's parking spot, the dolly has a control box which plugs into the connector and the grabs power from the battery to activate the brakes. Works like a charm I have though about adding the wiring to test the lights and so on, not really a big deal.

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Old 11-16-2006, 05:51 PM   #12
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Simple

Greetings all- Here is my two 1/2 cents worth. First to can go to any good auto supply store and pick up a HEAVY DUTY flasher relay. This thing has two pins that match perfect to a TT pigtail. Just plug into #1 & #6 and you have flashing clearance and tail lights! COOL Or you can buy a flat fuse in line fuse holder, crimp a flat yellow collar connector to each wire, plug one into #1 and the other into #6 and you have protected clearance and tail light on! The whole thing will cost you $8.00 or less and take just a few minutes to make.

Have fun! We put ours on flash for the girls when dinner is ready!
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:27 PM   #13
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We use the big E for camping and I like to leave the running lights on at night so I can find it in the dark. Also, I like to be able to leave the running lights on when the TV connected, but without leaving the TV's lights on. My solution was to buy another female connector and wire it to an old rotary automotive heater fan switch. I slipped the connector into one end of a piece of PCV pipe and put the switch into the other. I wired the switch to put power onto the tail light/running light circuit, the left, and the right brake/turn circuit. Now I can plug this gizmo into the trailer and test the lights without having the TV nearby.

It is convenient enough that I wonder why there isn't a commercial product like it.
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:46 PM   #14
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rickandsandi: What model TT pigtail uses pin #1 & #6 for clearance and tail lights?
All I know about is the Pollak connectors, and for that type pin #1 is ground and pin #6 is stop & RH turn signal.
Interesting to learn there are other modern TV to TT cable wiring configuration. Where can I view a diagram of that model?
To get “flashing clearance and tail lights,” with the Pollak connectors, it appears that one needs to put the flasher relay between pin #4 (+12VDC) and the other lead on pin#3,5, & 6.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:41 AM   #15
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Thanks Works

Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
I use a fusable link, put it in the top two on your pigtail

Thanks works, so dose the $2.99 thermal flasher with the angled pins, fits better than the fuse. I may add a box with a fuse socket and swithc to go from steady to flash. I think this is good if you ever have to leave the trailer on the side of the road for some reason. Crank up the warning flashers.

Jim
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:48 PM   #16
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Running lights

Jim:
Could you post a photo or two demonstrating your solution to running lights while disconnected from the tow vehicle. I would also welcome photos or drawings depicting the solution(s) reached by AS owners.

Thanks,
Jerry
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD
Jim:
Could you post a photo or two demonstrating your solution to running lights while disconnected from the tow vehicle. I would also welcome photos or drawings depicting the solution(s) reached by AS owners.

Thanks,
Jerry

Ditto. I'd like to see it as well if possible.
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:52 PM   #18
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On my way to autozone now, picking up a truck side plug to do all this jumping with fusable links and relays - got some ideas from all of you and want to test them out.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:10 PM   #19
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My Overlander came with a switch inside near the front window that turns all the running lights on. And I thought it came from the factory that way!
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
I use a fusable link, put it in the top two on your pigtail

Ditto
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