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Old 12-11-2020, 12:06 PM   #1
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 17
access to wires leading to tail lights

1965 globetrotter where the right tail light doesn't work. I finally craked into it to see what's going on and ... I have a ground wire but no pos/neg to connect to the lights.

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Peering in the rubber wire holder I can actually see one of the wire butt connectors and my guess is the other one is also right there ... but there is ZERO chance I can reach down and grab them ... i've tried with needle nose pliers and tweezers can can't reach them.

So my main question is around accessing the wires. Is my best bet to remove part of the interior panel behind that light and hopefully get access to it? The panel is behind the sink cabinet so w/o any other guidance I'm going to cut a patch out of the panel, dig around, find the wires, get access to them and extend them so I can push them out into the light container.

I've checked all the other electric outlets, fuses, lights and everything is good. I did have to repair the left tail lights but I had the wires

THANKS!
Dave
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:49 PM   #2
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1960 28' Ambassador
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1998 25' Safari
Avonton , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davek View Post
1965 globetrotter where the right tail light doesn't work. I finally craked into it to see what's going on and ... I have a ground wire but no pos/neg to connect to the lights.

Attachment 384704

Peering in the rubber wire holder I can actually see one of the wire butt connectors and my guess is the other one is also right there ... but there is ZERO chance I can reach down and grab them ... i've tried with needle nose pliers and tweezers can can't reach them.

So my main question is around accessing the wires. Is my best bet to remove part of the interior panel behind that light and hopefully get access to it? The panel is behind the sink cabinet so w/o any other guidance I'm going to cut a patch out of the panel, dig around, find the wires, get access to them and extend them so I can push them out into the light container.

I've checked all the other electric outlets, fuses, lights and everything is good. I did have to repair the left tail lights but I had the wires

THANKS!
Dave
I would cut the outside hole bigger to access the wire then make a small patch, caulk it over the hole and the light should hide it.
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Old 12-11-2020, 03:07 PM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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How do know that the red wire is not positive? Remember, this is 12v so you have a positive and negative/ground. Test to see if you get 12v from your red. Normally your tail lights are daisy chained. So, if you lost your ground that comes from the other light, you may just have to ground the light thatís not working to the skin of the trailer. Let me know how this turns out. Also, if you have questions we can discuss. Good luck
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Old 12-11-2020, 04:52 PM   #4
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
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The ground wire was grounded to the screw holding the light in place. The other 2 wires were loose. I’ll try expanding the outside hole (Sunday) and report back. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:41 AM   #5
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1963 22' Safari
1960 22' Safari
1962 26' Overlander
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Before you expand the hole in your trailer, find a piece of non-insulated copper or steel wire about 18" long and fold 1/2" back on itself on one end making a tight V. Try fishing the loose wires out with this. Hope this works out for you.
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Old 12-12-2020, 12:32 PM   #6
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
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I agree with Shacksman
Enlarge the hole behind the taillight.
The pot is not sealed and the lens is the water barrier so a bigger hole won’t matter
JCW
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:18 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
North Fort Myers , Florida
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I agree with Bubba! Those trailers use neg ground with one wire coming out the hole. Newer lights come with two wire, so what do you do? You connect the ground wire to the trailer somehow. Simply solder to the housing. My 75 lights are all single wire, so when I bought new led lights which came with two wires, I simply soldered a wire to the housing and voila!!
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:11 AM   #8
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
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Just crimp an eye onto the ground wire from the light and fasten it with a self tapping screw (SS) if you have one
JCW
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Old 12-16-2020, 05:26 AM   #9
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
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thanks all. I did have to crack into the back panel and this is what I found

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I doubt it came from the factory in 1965 like this lol. I'm going to do some color mapping. I did get the rear right blinker working but the regular night / running light won't turn on. On the other side I have the opposite issue b/c the night / running lights work but the blinker doesn't.

There are already plenty of connected wires and the original 'electrician' (I use that term lightly) didn't work to hard to keep the colors consistent. In addition to the loose wires from the tail light itself, another was completely disconnected. I'm going to try to spend some time today with a multi-meter and sort this out. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get to the left light without craking into more panels and I really really don't want to do that so hopefully I can solve the puzzle in this section.
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Old 12-16-2020, 05:49 AM   #10
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLBIJOU View Post
I agree with Bubba! Those trailers use neg ground with one wire coming out the hole. Newer lights come with two wire, so what do you do? You connect the ground wire to the trailer somehow. Simply solder to the housing. My 75 lights are all single wire, so when I bought new led lights which came with two wires, I simply soldered a wire to the housing and voila!!
I do have a question with the single wire lights that confuses me. With a single wire, how do the running lights and blinkers work? I have the 2 filament bulbs - 2 wires - one for the bright light (brakes and blinkers) and the other for the running/night lights. I'm missing something about a single wire.

THANKS!
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:42 AM   #11
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
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Thanks again to everyone that read and responded. I finally put this issue to bed -- good timing b/c we're expecting about 10" snow over the next 2 days and trying to hit the road on Saturday

I will try to sum up what I found -- this is all relative to the wiring when inside the trailer looking at the tail light on the left (outside looking at the rear it would be the right rear tail light) ...

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One set of 4 wires comes out of the floorbard:
- green - lights (headlights)
- brown - Brake light and Blinker (B --> Brown for Brake light and Blinker)
- red (? still don't know what this is for)

into the light we have 2 wires
- green - lights
- brown - brakes and blinker

about parallel in height to the lights we have 2 wires going to the left and to the right hidden behind panels:
- to the left Green goes up to the running lights up on the top portion of the trailer
- to the right Green and red (?) go to the other tail light -- the green daisy chain

I still don't know what the red wire does at this point.

There is another red wire coming out of the light that is the ground -- and it's securely grounded.

Everything works as expected. I still am not sure of the red wire but for now I'm good and I'm going to clean this all up when I'm back home at the house with the appropriate wire colors and tools to ensure solid connections going forward.
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:48 AM   #12
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1964 22' Safari
modesto , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davek View Post
I do have a question with the single wire lights that confuses me. With a single wire, how do the running lights and blinkers work? I have the 2 filament bulbs - 2 wires - one for the bright light (brakes and blinkers) and the other for the running/night lights. I'm missing something about a single wire.

THANKS!
Hi Dave, I have a 64 Safari and all of the lights are Positive + wire only fixtures. The - Negative ground is supplied by the skin. There are bonding straps/wires connected to the battery - Neg. They did not run separate ground wires in these years. there is no need for them.

Here is a photo of a side marker light. See how the socket is bonded to the frame of the light and that in turn is bonded to the skin by rivets or screws. Brake and tail lights are the same. A single lead for the Brake/turn indicator and a separate single lead for the tail light. I believe the tail lights and running lights are on the same circuit.

Hope that helps,
-Dennis
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Old 12-16-2020, 09:17 AM   #13
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batman View Post
Hi Dave, I have a 64 Safari and all of the lights are Positive + wire only fixtures. The - Negative ground is supplied by the skin. There are bonding straps/wires connected to the battery - Neg. They did not run separate ground wires in these years. there is no need for them.

Here is a photo of a side marker light. See how the socket is bonded to the frame of the light and that in turn is bonded to the skin by rivets or screws. Brake and tail lights are the same. A single lead for the Brake/turn indicator and a separate single lead for the tail light. I believe the tail lights and running lights are on the same circuit.

Hope that helps,
-Dennis
Thanks -- that makes sense. I think I used the wrong word somewhere up above. My rear lights have 2 positives -- one for the lights/brakes and the other for the blinkers and I can see where it's grounded. I just had to work thorugh the mess of wires with the meter to figure out what is what and get it squared away. I wish I would have taken a picture of my actual light with the wires and maybe I'll post that once I clean this up when back home.
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Old 12-20-2020, 02:11 PM   #14
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1965 24' Tradewind
San Diego , California
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I have a 65í Tradewind. Here is whatís on the factory wiring diagram and was exactly how I found mine after removing interior skins:

red: left turn & stop
Brown: right turn & stop
Green:,running lights (for the markers and taillights)
Black: back up, the wire was there for mine but I didnít have the option so it was just coiled up and capped( but the ground to body frame wires are also black).

The chrome brake light housing has a black ground wire riveted to it on the back side, which runs to the aluminum vertical c-channels behind the skins. The bulb fixture in the housing itself has two wires: red and brown.
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Old 12-21-2020, 04:50 AM   #15
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1965 20' Globetrotter
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65TW View Post
I have a 65í Tradewind. Here is whatís on the factory wiring diagram and was exactly how I found mine after removing interior skins:

red: left turn & stop
Brown: right turn & stop
Green:,running lights (for the markers and taillights)
Black: back up, the wire was there for mine but I didnít have the option so it was just coiled up and capped( but the ground to body frame wires are also black).

The chrome brake light housing has a black ground wire riveted to it on the back side, which runs to the aluminum vertical c-channels behind the skins. The bulb fixture in the housing itself has two wires: red and brown.
Thanks. that matches my crude diagram. The red I was unsure about is the left blinker/stop and the brown is the right blinker/stop. In my case someone had attempted to re wire it and used a mix of colors. Now that Iím back home Iím going to clean this up and simplify it ó and bring it back to the original color spec you noted.
Thanks again everyone!!!
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