Trailer Light Issues

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by mcronican, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. mcronican

    mcronican New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Alabama
    Hey all, I'm pretty new here but see that y'all know tons about everything. Here's our problem, we have a newly wired trailer hooked up to an '02 Tacoma with a new wiring harness, we blew the 10amp taillight fuse immediately, due to our not thinking. When that happened, all the lights in the truck went out except for the headlights. When the break pedal was pressed the taillights lit up, but the running lights were shot. It ended up taking a 30amp fuse to get the running lights on the truck visible again, but they are DIM. Is it safe to keep the 30amp fuse in, or do we need a converter of some sort? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. BILLY HOLCOMB

    BILLY HOLCOMB New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    WINFIELD,MO
    I HAVE A 06 SILVERADO,I JUST WIRED MY JOHN BOAT WITH NEW WIRES AND LIGHTS.EVERY THING WORKS BUT NO RUNNING LIGHTS.I AM NOT MUCH HELP BUT COULD BE THE SAME PROBLEM? IS YOUR BOAT A 4 FLAT OR IS IT PLUGED INTO THE TOW PACKAGE?I AM MAKING SOME PHONE CALLS TO SEE WHAT I CAN DO.
     

  3. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,465
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    QUOTE
    Trailer Light Issues
    Hey all, I'm pretty new here but see that y'all know tons about everything. Here's our problem, we have a newly wired trailer hooked up to an '02 Tacoma with a new wiring harness, we blew the 10amp taillight fuse immediately, due to our not thinking. When that happened, all the lights in the truck went out except for the headlights. When the break pedal was pressed the taillights lit up, but the running lights were shot. It ended up taking a 30amp fuse to get the running lights on the truck visible again, but they are DIM. Is it safe to keep the 30amp fuse in, or do we need a converter of some sort? Thanks in advanc


    Take that fuse out RIGHT NOW and replace it with the correct one. Then find the source of your trouble. You have a short and with that big fuse in you are going to burn up your wiring somewhere...W
     
  4. lawnman61

    lawnman61 New Member

    Messages:
    1,694
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    Take that fuse out RIGHT NOW and replace it with the correct one. Then find the source of your trouble. You have a short and with that big fuse in you are going to burn up your wiring somewhere...W[/QUOTE]

    Good point, you should never put a bigger fuse in than what is required, that is the best way to burn up your truck.
    Definetly a short in the wiring, weather it be in the trailer or truck, trace it down and make sure the grounds and the hot wires are connected right.
    That is the whole problem.
     
  5. willcat

    willcat New Member

    Messages:
    2,463
    State:
    texas
    easiest way to find out is replace the fuse w/the right one, disconnect the trailer from the truck, check all lights are working on truck---if so it is in the trailer===prob bad ground
     
  6. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Billy, on the newer vechicles you must have a tail light converter kit installed. They run about $13.00 at the automotive parts stores, or 70.00 or so at a dealers. But, that is your problem... get the converter.
     
  7. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    State:
    Indiana
    LAWERENCE HAS THE RIGHT ANSWER DO WHAT HE SAID IT SHOULD FIX YOUR PROBLEM !!! GOOD LUCK ,P.S. GET THE 30 AMP FUSE OUT AND USE THE RIGHT ONE !!!
     
  8. mcronican

    mcronican New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Alabama
    Thanks guys, the only person I could get in touch with when it all happened said to just up the fuse a bit since the trailer was pulling extra power through the rear lights. With the trailer unplugged everything is fine, just don't have running lights at night with it plugged in, guess we're doing some troubleshooting this weekend. In regards to a bad ground on the trailer, we drilled a hole in the frame behind the tongue, and put in a self tapping metal screw to secure the ground wire, there isn't anything else to it is there?
     
  9. carpdoctor

    carpdoctor New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    Iowa
    Hey
    I have spent many hours working on trailer lights. I am an E&I by trade. So, the yellow wire goes to the drivers side light, the green goes to the passenger side and the brown goes to both sides. The brown wire is your running lights and the yellow and green r your blinker/brake lights. To start the troubleshooting process turn off all lights and blinkers and hook up to your truck. Then do one thing at a time. ( make sure u have the proper size fuse in) Start with the left blinker and see if that blows your fuse then go to the right. It neither one of those blow the fuse turn on your running lights. It would be best to do this with a multimeter but if u don't have access to one or know how to use one the above method with work for u. If u do have a meter leave the truck unhooked and check the plug. Make sure u have a good ground to the trailer with the meter ( u may have to stratch off a little paint) then go from the trailer frame to each color wire. Use the ohm setting on the meter.

    Grounding causes tons of problems with trailers when it comes to lights not coming on but very seldom causes problems with blowing fuses. Trailer lights use the frame as the ground/neutral so make sure each light has a good connection to the frame. They often get rusted and don't make contact. On the plug end of things losts of people depend on the hitch hooked to the ball for the ground. That isn't very reliable. U will often see peoples lights flickering on and off going down the road when they r hooked up this way. The best way is to hook the white wire from the plug directly to the trailer frame with a screw or bolt. This will give u a good connection, rusty balls and hitches don't. Good luck.
     
  10. bigmaac73

    bigmaac73 Member

    Messages:
    434
    State:
    Lenoir City, TN
    I may be of some help. I had the same problem on my s10 last week. Every time I would try to turn on my running lights the fuse for my tail lights would blow. Make sure that you have a ground for each individual light. The way I found it was to unhook EVERY light. Then I hooked up the trailer harness with no lights hooked up, just empty wire, and turned on the lights. Fuse is ok. Then I went to the first yellow running light(this is my first trailer) and when I hooked it up it immedietly blew my fuse. There was the post where you hooked up the power, but there was a black wire that looked like it went into the light. Turns out that was just for storage. When I pulled on the wire it came out of the back of the light. I grounded that wire and boom, lights. Then one by one making sure that every light had a good ground, and if the power was a post that went through the trailer, then that had to have something that seperated the post from the trailer and for me heat shrink on the post worked great. Then when all the lights worked it was on to the turn signals. They would blink, but were very dim and flashed very fast. Turned out the flasher that plugs into the fuse box was not rated to carry the extra load and I needed heavy duty flasher. Now with it all buttoned up and all the CORRECT fuses in it works like a charm. So in short, make sure your lights are all grounded properly. The instructions on install are not great but those grounds are important.
     
  11. BILLY HOLCOMB

    BILLY HOLCOMB New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    WINFIELD,MO
    i just wanted to say thank you to every one who posted. my problem was the ground.god bless and happy fishing!!!!
     
  12. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    It is just a personal opinon, but in my opinion, anytime your grounding your lights through the frame, your gonna experience trouble at some point with the ground. I encourage you to spend the extrat 8 or 10 dollars and get a white wire for your ground. Run it from the left light under the trailer to the right light, then back up the trailer to the coupling device for your trailer. Normally it is a flat plug or a round plug. I'm cheesy, so I always cut that flat plug off and discard it. I go to NAPA and buy a 6 pole round plug. With that I can wire all the lights, the ground wire, and still have one or two circuits open I can use for other stuff. By grounding your lights with a white wire, the grounding point is on the lights and seldom, if ever, get dunked when I put my trailer in the water. The connection is always dry and therefore, no rust. My friend FuzzFace and I have 7 boats, and by wiring them all with a 6 pole plug, they are interchangeable with the towing vehicles.
     
  13. tntitans21399

    tntitans21399 New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Tennessee
    I have something close to that, on my truck when I am hooked up to the trailer, when I put it in reverse the reverse light fuse blows. Am I having the same type of problem? Is it a grounding issue?
     
  14. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Dollars to doughnuts you have a bare spot on the backup lights (Reverse) lights which is touching metal at some point. Isolate that wire as much as you can and follow it and see if you can tell where it is shortening out... but by all means, get it fixed. Test all your lights BEFORE you hook your trailer lights up. If they work with the trailer separate from the truck, then quit working or start blowing fuzes when hooked up, the problem is on the trailer some where. I have always found it easier just to spend the $20.00, buy new wire from Lowes or Home Depot and replace all the existing wiring.
     
  15. carpdoctor

    carpdoctor New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    Iowa
    Hey,

    I agree with u 100% about just running another wire for the ground. It will save u lots of headache in the end. My old horse trailer seems to always have some sore of ground problem. It seems like everytime I am in a hurry the lights act up, but only when I am in a hurry. LOL
     
  16. mcronican

    mcronican New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Alabama
    I checked it out today and it was in fact a ground problem with the driver side marker light, the brown wire was rubbed bare and touching the frame, supplying hot power frame so when the harnesses touched, out went the fuse. Correct fuse back in and all is well. Thanks guys!
     
  17. txthumper1691

    txthumper1691 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Temple, Tx.
    I was checkin out this post and learned alot, but I still have a ?. I have a 14 ft jon boat an trailor, an ran new wires cuz th old ones were in bad shape, th new wiring harness on th trailor hookes up to th old one on my van, but when I turn on my left turn signal, both lights flicker, have no back up lights or right turn signal, and I have th white wire grounded at th toungue. I used th trailor for my bass boat as a guide cuz those lights work, well they did on my dads truck. So I have th right wires going to th right side and left to left. That trailor is too big for my Aerostar to pull so havent hooked them up together. was wondering if th van harness is hooked up wrong? I'm not blowing any fuses, just having a lil trouble getting th lights to work proper.
     
  18. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    You have your wires connected wrong. On a trailers wire harness, you generally have four colored wires. Brown is for the Park/brake lights, yellow is for left turn, green is right turn and white is ground. As I have been saying, I personally favor running a white wire from the left turn light assembly to the right turn light assembly to the trailer coupling for a ground. As the brown, yellow and green wires are all hot, no bare metal from these wires can touch any metal on the frame.
     
  19. curdog

    curdog New Member

    Messages:
    896
    State:
    Sheridan, Arkansas
    Sounds like your trailer isn't getting a good ground through trailer hitch ball. Try clamping one side of jumper cables to the trailer and the other end to the Vehical.Then try it. Sometimes rust will form in the tounge and want ground good to the ball.
     
  20. deerhunter4

    deerhunter4 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Illinois
    I agree sounds like you just need to install the Converter Kit and all will be fine...