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Old 09-11-2009, 12:26 AM   #1
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Talking Trailer Connector

All,
I was setting up the Jeep to put behind the Alpine and I could not get the lights to work. I installed a separate lighting system because I did not want to take a chance on compromising the Jeeps wiring system. That harness consists of a 6-wire bundle pulled down the driver’s side inside of the frame rail. Then I used extra wire to create a ground circuit for each side, so a ground issue would not kill the lights. I did not fuse this circuit.

As a courtesy I also wanted to leave the 7-wire connector on the coach in case someday we sell it and the next owner wants to pull something needing a 7 wire connector. I purchased a 7-wire to 6-wire adapter, so it's all good maybe – see below.

No lights when I plugged in the adapter and hooked up the 6-wire connector. I had nothing at all. At the time, I could not even get my test light to work, but that was my fault as I picked the hitch as a ground point, and there was a lot of rust at that location. I used a different place today, and the circuits are hot, but wired wrong. At least now I have figured out why the lights don't work.

Here is a great link to the best diagram I have seen:
Trailer Wiring Information, Wiring Diagram, Trailer Connectors, 4-way, 6-way, 7-way

Based on the above diagram, I see exactly what WRV did on my coach; they wired it like the male end, instead of the female end as it should have been, but totaly hosed the ground position. And they used all white wire except for the hot lead and one other color. Additionally they did not put in a blue wire for a brake controller, which they should have done as a matter of course, because all people don’t pull toads, some people pull horse trailers, enclosed trailers, boats, and other types of things, which in some cases need electric brakes.

The way it should be on the female/vehicle end:

Center Post is: Backup Lights or an auxiliary wire
1 o’clock position: Taillights - Industry standard is brown wire color
3 o’clock position: Left Turn-Stop Lamp – Standard color is Yellow
5 o’clock position: Ground Wire – Standard in DC system is white in color*
7 o’clock position: Electric Brake wire – Always Blue in color
9 o’clock position: Right Turn – stop lamp – Always Green in Color
11 o’clock position: Hot Lead 12V 10 Gauge – Always Black in Color

What WRV did in my coach:

Center Post is: Ground Position
1 o’clock position: Unknown
3 o’clock position: Right Turn–Stop Lamp – Incorrect should be position 9
5 o’clock position: Unknown
7 o’clock position: Unknown
9 o’clock position: Left Turn – Stop Lamp – Incorrect should be position 3
11 o’clock position: Taillights – Incorrect should be position 1.

However, if I look at the diagram provided with the 7 to 6 pin adapter, the current female end on the coach is good-wiring except for the placement of the ground wire. So I will change the ground position and see if I have lights, if not, I will remove one end of the 6 wire connector, put a 7-wire on it and make it match what WRV did except for the ground wire. Being as all the wires are white, this can get confusing if I am not careful. No I am not taking all the covering off the bundle and tracing them back to the source. If I was going to do that I would also change the wire to the correct color and bump up the circuits to 14 guage. They should also have made the ground circuit wire a #12 or at least a #14. I usually make the ground circuit a #12 wire.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:32 AM   #2
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Monty,

Did you have the ignition on while testing, light circuits are powered thru the Vansco and have no power w/o the ignition on. If the ignition was on, check the lights on the rear Vansco. A flashing light means that a circuit has a short or overload. Also make sure that your Vansco diagram is correct. The one that came with my coach was for the older models, I found the correct one on the ACA site.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
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The running lights work without the key, and it was hot when on. The blinkers needed the key on. The brake lights work without the key on, and are the same connector as the blinkers. The vansco seems to work correctly, just believe WRV wired it wrong. Older post also agree with this assessment. Thank you for the information and I don't seem to have any documents on the Vansco so I will check the ACA site for them.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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Monty,

This is according to the drawings I have that come with the 7 connector plug/recpt. It also matches my coach. This is from the receptacle on the coach viewed from the rear. (where the plug is connected, not where the wires are connected.) Wires noted are what came from the factory on my coach. Most of the white wires have a number or description on them.

Center Post is: Aux
1 o’clock position: Hot Lead 12V - light gage white wire from Vansco.
3 o’clock position: Right Turn/stop lamp – light gage white wire from Vansco.
5 o’clock position: Electric Brake wire – heavy gage Blue wire that was factory ran to dash area.
7 o’clock position: Ground Wire – I am pretty sure that it is black.
9 o’clock position: Left Turn/Stop Lamp – light gage white wire from Vansco.
11 o’clock position: Taillights - light gage white wire from Vansco.

I needed more power than the Vansco could supply for my tow car brakes system, so I made the changes noted here:
Tow Wiring and Extra Wires
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:14 PM   #5
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Tomorrow I am going to do a more thorough inspection as it will be home and closer to my big tool box. I need to get something that works because, we are supposed to leave tomorrow. After studing the whole problem, I think I am going to take off the 6-wire connector and put a 7-wire connector on the harness, then match the Alpine, until I can take the time to do it the way it should have been done from the factory. Since I am using the Even Brake, it get it's power from the Jeep, so having more amps from the coach is not necessary.

I checked ACA's site for the vansco sheets and downloaded and printed them all out, the will go in my books I am going to put together once we are headed out of town. Once we get hooked up, I will post how it all went, since this will be our first trip with a toad. Doing it safely is my main goal, so I won't be driving fast either.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:52 PM   #6
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Monty:

As was Dale's, my coach was wired like yours and the diagram in the manual says "as viewed from the rear of the socket". Hence yours was reversed looking into the socket.

This problem is mirrored again if you make your own umbilical cord (reversed at both ends, too), and again as you wire the Jeep. The standard technical manual and product guides view from the rear of the socket. I finally just made my own diagrams for each plug and socket. The next owner can figure it out him/herself. It works.

I needed all seven positions and had to replace my 6-way socket on the Jeep and coach and make a new umbilical.

You'll find that the white wires at the coach have small numbers printed along their length and correspond with the owner's manual. I used one of the "legendary" spare wires (marked Spare1 and Spare2) in the OEM loom to run the brake signal. Since it took a bit of work the find it, I extended both spares to the rear engine access panel and may one day find a use for the second.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:30 AM   #7
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TP - Thank you for the input. In thinking over the whole process and as I mentioned I am going to just rework one end of the Blue Ox supplied umbilical to match the Coach's wiring, using a spare 7-wire connector I already have. It's easier, and I already know what my wiring in the cord/jeep do, so it will work to do that. I will explain to the new owner (if ever) what I did to make it work correctly, unless I get ambitious and wire it like it should. I did not see any numbers but like I said I did not check it out real thoroughly as the rocks were starting to hurt my backside.

I have also created a checklist on getting the Jeep set up to be towed behind the MH, it's in the towing section if you want to read it. I am putting it up now, so give it a few minutes if curious. Safety is my watch word here. And this is the first time I have towed driving a large vehicle which is towing something smaller than it. In the past it was the other way around, with the truck being larger than the boat (but I could look in the mirror and see it), and the 5th wheel being larger than the truck.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:39 AM   #8
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Well, I did rework one end of the Blue Ox cable supplied with the tow bar equipment I ordered. However, I never could get the lights to work. Here are the steps I followed and the diagnostics I did to determine what is going on.

I verified the trailer connector on the coach, and drew the diagram of which pin did what to whom. It is not, I repeat not wired to industry standards, but since I was going to match what WRV did that was not an issue.

I then matched the coach’s 7-wire female end with a 7-wire male end wire for wire. Since I only need 4 of them, I did not hook up the other two wires left in my 6 wire bundle. I won't need a hot wire and won’t need the backup lights.

I took my VOM and verified continuity with each wire on the plug I installed and the plug BO installed. That check was good; I have no open circuits on any of those wires in the bundle.

I then hooked up the 7-wire into the coach, and turned the key to the on position, and again checked I had running lights, and turn signals on the cable end which would plug into the jeep. So far everything is perfect.

I then hooked up the 6-wire into the female plug on the jeep, and I expected running lights, and the blinkers to work. No lights worked.

After turning off the coach systems, and key, I then removed the cable from the jeep.

I then removed the female plug from the jeep and ensured I had good connection on the wires into the plug. I had one which looked loose to me so I fixed it, and some rust appearing, and cleaned that up. The ends of the wires into this plug had been tinned, because I want to make sure each strand was carrying current.

While I had the end which was the jeep end hanging out, I then connected the plug into that connector and with my 12V test light, after turning on the Coach Key, and using the right blinker, checked to see if current was getting to the plug on the jeep. I had current at the back side of the connector on the jeep (where the wires went to the lights on the jeep). But again the lights refused to work. Now I was getting real upset, because everything worked and I triple checked my installation on the Jeep when I did the wiring. This is like the thousandth wiring job I have done to either a trailer, RV, or boat trailer, so it’s not like I don’t know what I was doing. In fact I worked for one of the larger Electrical Power marketing agencies in the country and around electricians for years, so it does not intimidate me, but safety is my watchword. Nevertheless, I did not have lights or turn signals on the jeep.

Next I pulled the tail light assemblies where the extra lights are which I installed and let them hang out so I could see them. I took two test leads with alligator clips on the ends and using the jeep battery, hooked one wire to the positive post and the other end to the running lights wire on the jeep, and then the other wire from the negative post and then to my installed ground wire. The lights lit just like they are supposed to even each light with the blinker light work using my “hot wire” system.

Up to this point I have verified that I have current at the coach – checked and verified!

That I have the correct wire for wire in the cable I reworked and have current to the end of that cable using my test light.

I have verified that the plug into the jeep is getting the correct current from the running lights and each blinker light.

I have verified that the connector on the jeep is passing that current to the wires going back to the lights in the jeep, and in a test, those lights work. Each of them has an independent ground wire, and it is working correctly, or the lights would not light in the test I performed.

So everything is wired correctly, but the lights don’t work when powered by the coach, so the only thing I can come up with is the Vansco does not have the necessary current output or voltage to push it all the way back to the lights in the jeep. The run length would be 10 feet of BO cable plus the 17 feet of jeep wire. So the total run is 27 feet.

Now I did have to fix the light assemblies because they did not work correctly (supplied by Blue OX as part of the wiring kit), but after I fixed them, and tested them they worked good. And they worked when direct wired from the jeep battery.

So all know the wire I used on the jeep was a 4-wire individually insulated then bound inside another black insulated outer sheath. I purchased this cable from NAPA, and I checked the continuity of the wire bundle prior to installation in the jeep.

So the bottom line is, are my suppositions correct that the Vansco just does not have the oomph to run the lights in this situation and if that is the case, what can I do, short of wiring around the current setup and going direct to the source in the light assemblies at the back of the coach direct. Before I do that, I will just purchase some magnetic lights and say to heck with it. Or my second option is just use the running light from the dash, and hope I won’t get a ticket when the blinkers don’t work. I won’t drive at night now for sure.

Engineer Mike or Dale, any ideas. I don’t think I am knowledgeable enough to wire in relays to boost the current in the system around the Vansco, so I need some other option to overcome this issue. It could be the light assemblies BO supplied, but when I tried to find new 3 wire light assemblies to replace those with, no one had them in town. The three wire lights consist of: one ground, (white); one running (brown); and one turn signal wire
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:22 PM   #9
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Monty,

Did you check voltage at the light socket, using the same ground as the light socket? Did you check to see if any of the Vansco lights were blinking, while everything was hooked up and the lights were not working? The Vansco should have no problem powering what you have hooked up.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:47 PM   #10
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Today, I was cleaning up the battery compartment, figuring out what was leaking under the smart bed, and general clean up. My firend stopped over and he suggested the same thing. I think on Thursday (schedule is nuts till then) I will run over to the coach with the jeep and all my cables and if the slot next to the coach is empty, I will do just that, hook up, and pull the lights and see they are getting voltage, and check the vancso. If something is blinking, I will note the number and check that sheet I downloaded and see if I can figure it out, if not, I will post the results here and someone can informe me what is happening.

Another thing, today, the coach was sitting, with the main switches on, but not plugged in, the inverter and charger were off line. Every so often, I heard a click from the battery compartment (while I was doing maintenance, those switches were off). It's a solenoid, but I don't know which one, and seems to me, I read on here that it is normal, if the engine is not running, or your not plugged into shore power. Is that Correct?
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:28 AM   #11
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Monty,

If you have a solar panel and it was in the sun, it would be from the "big boy" solenoid cutting in and out as the load from the chassis batteries was added to the load on the panel.
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