RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-24-2007, 10:11 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2007 23' Safari SE
Cape Coral , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5
Question Brake and Turn Signal Problems with Mercedes

We are towing our 23 foot Safarai with a 2007 Mercedes ML320CDI. The brake lights pulse when the brake pedal is depressed. Additionally, although the turn signals on the trailer operate normally, the dashboard turn indicators blink rapidly as if to indicate a bulb is out. Also we are receiving trailer turn signal and trailer brake light error messages on the dashboard. Has anyone else had this problem and know the fix?
Atlasonorder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2007, 10:21 AM   #2
Rivet Master
DanB's Avatar
1970 23' Safari
2005 30' Classic
1986 31' Sovereign
Lorain , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,642
Images: 9

I see that your Safari is new, but I would suspect a grounding problem. Are you using a brake controller?

Has this problem just started, or have you always had it?

Just last night I had a funny incident. I installed new brakes on my 1970 safari. This is probably the first time those wheels have seen brakes in twenty years.

After installation, we hooked up the durango to test them. While I'm pumping the pedal, my 15 year old kid is sitting next to the axle laughing on the ground.

After questioning him, he shows me the light above the gaucho going on and off everytime the brakes are depressed! Hmmmm. Might be a problem! But, Makes for a great third brake light!
Proud Member of the Wally Byam Airstream Club #24260


The “Ohio Airstreamer -- Informal forum for weekend camping” thread.
DanB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2007, 10:37 AM   #3
Rivet Master
ScottW's Avatar
2007 30' Classic
Hernando , Mississippi
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 759
Images: 2
One other possibility to consider. Many vehicles require a heavy duty flasher when attached to a trailer....just my 2cents worth.
Air 16426

Fully retired now!
Never start anything before noon and always plan on being finished by 5.
I will never HAVE to be anywhere ever again!
ScottW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2007, 10:46 AM   #4
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hi dougderocker and welcome to the forums....

the diesel merc is nice...

we've had several members post regarding 'pulsing' issues with newer a/s.

and euro haulers like rover, vw and now merc

it may be related to the leds on the trailer or the electrical harness/fault codes.

don't these led lights pulse at some rapid frequency (that the human eye doesn't detect)?

anyway herez 2 small threads to get ya started looking.



euro tow vehicles are uncommon enough here that the references are thin.

but look in the touareg threads.

also this issue has been discussed on the vw/t-rex forums.

let us know what you find.

2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Tom Nugler's Avatar

1972 25' Tradewind
Currently Looking...
McHenry County , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,171
Images: 5
Software Updates

2air has hit the nail on the head. The Touregs had 3 TSB's regarding reprogramming the trailer lighting module. I would suspect the Merc would likely have the same issues.
Check with the dealer and see if they have any flashes available.
While you're at it, see if they have software updates for any powertrain component. Over here at VW-Audi we seem to get a flash every other week or so, sometimes for cars as much as 7-8 years old.

Good Luck,
AirForums # 2806
WBCCI / VAC # 6411

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.
Avid supporter of trailing edge technology.
Tom Nugler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 08:29 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
st micheals , worcestershire
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 18
i wonder

i am soon to be hooking up a 1965 overlander to a 2000 mercedes ml430 do you think this might happen here or is it only a problem if the lights on the airstream are LED lights ...... thanks
puppybear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 02:43 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Wayne&Sam's Avatar
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Cuddebackville , New York
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,858
Images: 21
I pull with an ML500. Did you get the towing package from MB? That would include the wiring adapter to make everything work properly.
Wayne&Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 07:06 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,413
I don't know what MB uses as a tail light converter on the ML series to combine the 3-way MB tail lights to the 2-way tail lights on the trailer, but I have had success using a heavy duty converter that has a power and ground lead also.

I tow with an '04 Dodge (Mercedes) Sprinter van made in Germany and I had the same problem until I used the new light converter. It might solve your problem too.
Solar Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
Victron Solar Components and Inverters, Zamp Solar Panels, LiFeBlue and Battle Born Lithium Batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 02:17 PM   #9
1 Rivet Member
JuliaPowell's Avatar
1966 26' Overlander
Melksham , Wiltshire
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 16
Puppybear -

I don't think the American red indicator lights are legal over here in the UK, to avoid the hassel we purchased a tailboard that we fix temporarliy to the rear bumper. Be aware that the department of transport sets certain regulations regarding lights on trailers over a certain size, aswell as other towing/width/length restrictions. The chances of being stopped are minimal but be aware of it !
JuliaPowell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 05:06 PM   #10
3 Rivet Member
racoco's Avatar
1976 31' Sovereign
2007 19' Bambi
Midland , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 133
Afternoon all -- we just went through the pulsing LED tail lamps on our 2007 Bambi hooked up to a Land Rover as TV. The problem wasn't grounding or anything at all with the trailer or the connection; it was the Land Rover. Apparently not all cars are "compatible" with LED's; or at least that's how Land Rover chose to explain it.

Our Land Rover sends a micro-volt pulse to the lights constantly to detect burnt out bulbs. LED's use such little voltage, they pulse. 12V lamps don't. To stop the pulsing, load resistors have to be added to the circuit to create enough resistance that the Land Rover thinks everything is ok.

Dealer also told us this happened on a VW recently and VW actually supplied a fix at the trailer connection point. No such luck from Land Rover; we're making a new umbilical with the resistors mid point in the cable. The new cable is short and will plug in like using an extension cord. It will stay with the Land Rover since that's where our problem lies.

Good luck.
racoco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2008, 01:58 PM   #11
1 Rivet Member
2007 23' Safari SE
Cape Coral , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5
After several months of pulling our hair out (along with Mercedes and Airstream) it turns out that the problem is the micro-volt pulse issue as described above. With a little arm twisting Airstream volunteered to change the LED lights out to OEM incandesent lights which did the trick. This should work for all types of tow vehicles that send out the micro-volt pulse. Airstreams Electrical Engineer also indicated that they were also working on a circuit board fix for the problem.
Atlasonorder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2008, 02:33 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
1973 31' Excella 500
Morristown , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 193
Images: 9
This is very interesting and not something I ever considered. I have been wanting to change my tailights to LEDs for inceased brightness and lower it power used. I think I have changed my mind. There are enough things to manage in an Airstream without worrying about pulsations.
Joe DeFelice
1973 Excella 500
Alumin8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2008, 03:29 PM   #13
Airstreamin and luvin it
Commercial Member
Devoman's Avatar

2005 25' Safari
Northwest Panhandle , The Sunshine State/WBCCI 6637
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,524
Images: 2

One of the problems can be solved with resistors.I did this with my previous Airstream but I have not done it with the one I have now.Once the warning shows up I can make it go away instantly or it will go away on its own in a few seconds.You should be able to find it somewhere in my earlier posts.If not here it will be in the Touareg forum on clubtouareg.com.Andy R also owns this site as well.
It just cant get any better than that.

Devoman is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Elec. problems with my 65 Caravel toastie Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 35 08-10-2006 08:29 PM
Turn signal problem! Dale M Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 6 06-22-2006 06:25 PM
turn signal problem Cruiser Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 9 10-25-2004 07:27 PM
Brake lights kooblekidz Airstream Motorhome Forums 1 02-04-2003 05:51 PM
Tag Axle Brake Controller winner Brakes & Brake Controllers 4 06-30-2002 09:47 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.