Home Forums Miscellaneous Boating Trailer wiring, help.

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  • Ret58 1
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    I have installed a new wiring harness and LED lights on the back of the trailer. I have screwed the new grounds into the frame and the same at the tongue. When hooked up to the tow vehicle I have contenuity (sp) with the ground from vehicle to trailer. I used a multi-meter to test for 12v at the connections on the tow vehicle, which was good. No lights at the back of trailer or if in some functions, very dim. This new harness has been run through the frame as was the oringinal. Any ideas?

    LONESUMGUS
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    had problems with mine a while back. some would work and some not, others brighter and some dimmer. turned out to be a loose ground and one or two of the prongs in the plug were corroded.

    whip2
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    I agree, it sounds to be a bad ground.

    Each light was connected to the frame with a new Screw? I would loosen each screw and re-tighten but not too tight because it can snap off. Make sure the area under the screw has direct contact with metal & not paint. I have even gone to the extra work of sticking a few strands of copper wire into the screw hole with the screw with some sticking out to ground against the washer, wire ring or whatever is there.

    whip2

    whip2

    tippy
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    Start by checkin the vechical fuses and grounds and work back . The lights themselves should be grounded too mine was that too.

    possum63
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    Do you have a ground wire in the harness that goes all the way to the plug or are you useing the trailer hitch and your truck ball to ground the trailer? A lot of people think that if you latch the trailer to the truck it makes a ground. Sometimes you get lucky. I’m a believer in grounding the trailer harness to the vehicle harness.

    cal
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    Agree that it could be a bad ground. Also I prefer to solder any junction that you do. Don’t use the fast crimp on connectors as you will have nothing but problems with them.

    I know you said LED, But I like to use dielectric greese on the other connections (plugin) and any old bulb sockets, side markers ect. Clean them good first.

    Rabbithunter
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    Do you have the trailer actually hooked on the ball? I had problems one time working on my trailer lights. I backed my truck up and hooked up the lights but never put the trailer tongue on the ball hitch. Problem solved for me.

    J_Jaacks
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    Quote by: cal

    Agree that it could be a bad ground. Also I prefer to solder any junction that you do. Don’t use the fast crimp on connectors as you will have nothing but problems with them.

    I know you said LED, But I like to use dielectric greese on the other connections (plugin) and any old bulb sockets, side markers ect. Clean them good first.

    That is some good advice. I only use the crimp on fittings as emergency. The grease will prevent the corrosion issues as well.

    50inchbull
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    i had problems with mine which was a tilt bed and i ended up having to ground it on the back half of the trailer because it would not make a connection between the tilt part

    Ret58 1
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    Thanks for all the suggestions and help folks. Everything is new from the hook ups on the truck to the very end of the boat trailer. All connections are soldered, shrink tubed, there are individual grounds for both LED light fixtures, another ground at the tongue that goes to the truck. All ground surfaces have been taken down to bare metal. No Luck 😡 The bulbs that do light are very dim. 🙄 I have given up and will install El Cheapos above the boat on the trailer, with plain old bulbs that I will replace when they burn out, just as I have for the last 45 yrs. Again thanks for the replies.

    IaCraig
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    That is too bad, before you return or toss your led lights, I’d try to hook them up directly to a boat trolling motor battery just to make sure there isn’t a problem ahead of your trailer.

    coyoteman
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    I would also check the ground wire running to the plug on your tow vehicle, or hook it to another truck to eliminate the plug on truck.

    coon hunter
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    I run a ground wire to every light and ground it direct. Alittle more time, but I have found it’s worth it.

    cal
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    I know it gets frustrating but I wouldn’t give up yet. Is it a tilt bed trailer, or the stow away tonge? Run a seperate ground all the way to your plug to the vehicle. After that this is what I would do. Recheck your ground on the vehicle. LED’s can be fussy on positive and negitive, could you have them reversed some how? Bad LEDs? (slim) connect them direct to a battery to test. If that works back to your ground. If you do go back to the old bulbs, unplug the power to the lites when you get to the ramp and let the bulbs cool before backing into the water. And dielectric grease is a good friend.
    Good luck!

    Ret58 1
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    Well, now I feel like the guy ready to jump off the cliff, with no hope, only to have good folks trying to talk me out of jumping 😳 It is a swing away tongue and that got me to thinking that maybe that could be the problem now. So tomorrow, after a cool off period, I’m running a lead from the ground on the truck connection back to one of the lights. Just to see There was nothing in the instuctions about this though 😕 There was a test button on the package that is pushed to show (and blind) what the lights look like when activated. That is what I want! So thanks again guys, I am backing away from the cliff and giving it another shot 😉

    Ret58 1
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    Success!! 😀 Installed a seperate ground wire from the ball reciever to one of the light grounds. It worked just like I hoped. This is the first time I haven’t been able to use a trailer for the ground. I will remember this project for a long time. A big thank you to all who replied. 😉

    Rabbithunter
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    Congrats! A little trick that I use that was helpful to me working on my lights was to use my key fab. You can check all the lights by pressing the lock or unlock button and it doesnt take two people.

    IaCraig
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    Quote by: Rabbithunter

    Congrats! A little trick that I use that was helpful to me working on my lights was to use my key fab. You can check all the lights by pressing the lock or unlock button and it doesnt take two people.

    That is a good tip, I will have to remember that one. B)

    Ret58 1
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    Heck yah! Why didn’t I think of that instead of walking 13 miles back and forth 😳

    cal
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    Glad you got it figured out.
    Liked the tip on the remote!

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