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Old 07-16-2020, 09:24 PM   #1
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Running lights donít work

I have a 1999 28 ft Excella. All lights, turn signals, brakes, backups work except running lights. My airstream repairman found a breaker behind the sofa that had tripped. When reset all lights worked. Then after I got it home the running lights still donít work but no breaker has been tripped.
Any ideas of how to fix this?
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:48 AM   #2
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I don't think running lights go through a breaker. It should be a fuse but maybe a PO changed it out? Since they are all out then you will probably have to do a continuity check, starting at the plug. There is probably a single point where the 12 vdc isn't going past, probably a break in the wire. Have you checked for 12 vdc at the umbilical plug in on the tow vehicle?
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:02 PM   #3
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Thanks I’ll check that!
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Old 07-18-2020, 10:34 PM   #4
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Running lights get power from the TV, thru the umbilical cord.

Has the umbilical been replaced? It is possible to have a break in the 7-way connector. Mine did. Could replace the molded plug with repair kit.. I Replaced the whole assembly.

The corD/cable comes into the front of the AS at the floor. Remove the gaucho drawer and you will see a black box labeled “Berg”... that is where the wires connect to the trailer internal wiring.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwf View Post
Running lights get power from the TV, thru the umbilical cord.

Has the umbilical been replaced? It is possible to have a break in the 7-way connector. Mine did. Could replace the molded plug with repair kit.. I Replaced the whole assembly.

The corD/cable comes into the front of the AS at the floor. Remove the gaucho drawer and you will see a black box labeled ďBergĒ... that is where the wires connect to the trailer internal wiring.


I had this checked. All wires on pigtail are fine. Iíve isolated the issue to a ground somewhere on the chassis, probably the clearance lights on side and on top in front and back.
Now I have to check each clearance light socket for possible ground. Does it make sense to convert outside lights to led? I havenít converted the inside yet to led.
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:43 PM   #6
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I did an LED swap on my 2011 Camplite. Once that was done, we started blowing fuses in the tow vehicle so none of the running lights worked! I took the trailer running lights and wired them to the trailer battery with a switch and then disconnected the wire from the tow vehicle. Problem went away and the LED lights looked great.

Sounds like you are on the right track in checking your fixtures.
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Old 07-22-2020, 01:48 PM   #7
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Check ground

If none of the clearance lights work, There could be several reasons:

1. All clearance lights are blown - pull one light and check it to eliminate this possibility. If it is blown, pull a second light, etc.

2. There is no 12 V power from Vehicle - Check at the umbilical cord connection from vehicle with the vehicle lights on, from vehicle 7 pin receptacle pin 2 to pin 4, and from Vehicle receptacle pin 2 to a good ground on the vehicle. You should see 12 v in both tests. If pin 2 to pin 4 is 0 Volts, you have a fault in your vehicle connector pin 7 pin to vehicle ground connection. If both are 0 volts, you have a fault in the vehicle 12 v to 7 pin connector pin 2. which could be a wire or a blown fuse.

3. You could have a fault in the trailer wiring. Using a meter or a test light check between pin 1 and pin 4 to see if you have 12 volts, if you do, check between pin 1 and pin 2 on the trailer umbilical. You should see 12 volts again or your test light should come on along with your clearance lights. If you do not see the 12 volts between pin 1 and pin 4 but your interior 12 v lamps work, you have a faulty ground in your Umbilical cord.

If you do not see the 12 volts between pin 1 and pin 2, You have a fault in your clearance light wiring.

4. Go back to the clearance light you were testing before and check for continuity between pin 2 on the umbilical and either terminal of the clearance light. If none, the fault is in the positive connection to the clearance lights and it is probably near the junction of the umbilical cord where it connects to all the clearance lights.

5. If the positive connection to the umbilical is good, check continuity between the other clearance light terminal and pin 4 on the umbilical. If no continuity the fault is in the ground connection between the clearance lights and the umbilical cord probably ner where the umbilical cord comes in to the trailer.

I hope this troubleshooting sequence will help you isolate your problem.
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Old 07-22-2020, 01:50 PM   #8
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Each clearance light has its own ground to the exterior skin. It seems unlikely that ALL of your clearance lights would be experiencing a problem with each of their independent grounds. One, sure. Two, maybe. All of them, though? If the other lights are working, then you should have a good ground back to the truck battery.

Before chasing a grounding issue, I'd pull a bulb and use your multimeter to see if you have voltage at the fixture. If not, then the problem is elsewhere. If no power at the bulb, I'd check to make sure I have voltage on the back side of the 7-way plug inside of the trailer, and make sure the running light wire (green) is getting good contact.

Double-checking that the power is getting through both connections on either side of the umbilical is worthwhile. Those contacts do tend to wear over time.

Another thing to check is to unhook the truck and check continuity between the running light wire and the trailer frame. If your running light positive wire is grounded somewhere, it may be tripping an auto reset breaker in the truck, and shutting off the running lights. That happened to me in the middle of the Mojave, and I found the short to ground in the license plate light fixture. Unplugging it fixed the issue.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:55 PM   #9
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Each clearance light has its own ground to the exterior skin. It seems unlikely that ALL of your clearance lights would be experiencing a problem with each of their independent grounds. One, sure. Two, maybe. All of them, though? If the other lights are working, then you should have a good ground back to the truck battery.

Before chasing a grounding issue, I'd pull a bulb and use your multimeter to see if you have voltage at the fixture. If not, then the problem is elsewhere. If no power at the bulb, I'd check to make sure I have voltage on the back side of the 7-way plug inside of the trailer, and make sure the running light wire (green) is getting good contact.

Double-checking that the power is getting through both connections on either side of the umbilical is worthwhile. Those contacts do tend to wear over time.

Another thing to check is to unhook the truck and check continuity between the running light wire and the trailer frame. If your running light positive wire is grounded somewhere, it may be tripping an auto reset breaker in the truck, and shutting off the running lights. That happened to me in the middle of the Mojave, and I found the short to ground in the license plate light fixture. Unplugging it fixed the issue.


Thank you all for the suggestions. I checked the pigtail and it is fine as well as the black box where the pigtail connects. What baffles me is that all lights worked when the breaker was reset but they just stopped working after I pulled the trailer about 20 miles. But the breaker was not tripped so I couldnít reset it. Still turn signals, brake and backup lights work. I suppose I have to remove all 10 side lights to track down the short.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:14 PM   #10
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That is weird, There shouldn't be a breaker controlling your running lights. If anything the fuse in your tow vehicle would blow first.

Are you sure that there is 12volts coming from the 7 way connector pin that controls the running lights?
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:14 PM   #11
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Running lights

The TV connections checked out fine. We tried a fused bridge wire from the running lights wire (green) Inside the black box to one of the other lights that we knew worked and it immediately blew the 10 amp fuse. Got to be a short somewhere, but where?
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:20 AM   #12
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Remove the lens from one of the lights and check the voltage to a local ground. Do a continuity check between chassis / shell ground to battery ground. Lights share a common ground but are individually wired. It's unlikely all your lights are bad, it has to be a ground. If it's shorted then remove all of the bulbs, provide power (you can put a fused jumper between the two pins of the umbilical cord, key way at noon). Add bulbs back 1 by 1 until something makes them go out.
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Old 07-24-2020, 03:04 PM   #13
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So... the wiring of the AS is pretty easy to understand... hard to find in the chassis.

Most wiring is above the floor... but hidden behind cabinets, upholstery, etc...there are 'sections' connected at various locations. In our owners manual there are schematics... and they follow the general layout.

Our rear Running Lights would be intermittent. There is a connector near the street side wall where the DC for the stern of the trailer connects. This is so that AS can assemble quickly.

We have a Queen single bedroom, so I removed the street side box which is carpeted. Behind there was a connector which I unplugged, cleaned connections, then plugged, unplugged several times to get best electrical connection I could.. lights started working!

So that is key to trouble shooting.. in your manual, find the 'connector' closest to the front of the AS. Ours is around the Galley area. Disconnect there and you have cut the circuit in half... if the RLs work on the front with the rest disconnected, the problem is in the circuit after the connector.

On our 1999, I upgraded all our exterior clearance (running and turn signals) to LED and I can run them all with a 4 amp blade fuse on the 7way plug connections
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by richardjohnsonlaw View Post
Thank you all for the suggestions. I checked the pigtail and it is fine as well as the black box where the pigtail connects. What baffles me is that all lights worked when the breaker was reset but they just stopped working after I pulled the trailer about 20 miles. But the breaker was not tripped so I couldnít reset it. Still turn signals, brake and backup lights work. I suppose I have to remove all 10 side lights to track down the short.
When my running lights shorted to ground, they'd work for a few seconds when first plugged in sometimes, then the auto reset breaker in my truck would trip and turn them off. That sounds a lot like what's happening here.

I'd start by unplugging your license plate light first, if you have access, then checking for a short again. That's where my shirt was, and it was the easiest place to access. Then I'd disconnect the running light wires from the back of the trailer umbilical plug and check again. Then, if neither of those two were it, I'd start pulling running lights. Don't forget your tail lights.
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