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Old 01-11-2016, 09:51 AM   #1
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Tow wiring question

I normally tow my 2-door Jeep that was "pre-wired" for towing when I bought it from a buddy, but every now and then I've had the need for a few more seats when I visit kids/grandkids. So my question is, can I take a 4-conductor cable with the 7-pin connectors on each end, plugging one end into the coach, and the other into the plug of my 2008 GMC 2500HD Crew Cab Sierra truck? I have independent fuse protection on the trailer plug for running lights and turn signals on the truck! I've been told "Sure ya can' and "No ya can't or it will burn things up"

What say ye?
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:02 PM   #2
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I do not know.

If the female tow wiring plug is on the front of the truck then perhaps it is properly wired to be connected to a towing vehicle.

If you are speaking to the wiring connector at the rear of the rig, then I doubt it is set up for power from a towing vehicle.

My jeeps when set up for being towed have diodes added to the rear lights to avoid damage to the Jeep wiring system.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
I do not know.

If the female tow wiring plug is on the front of the truck then perhaps it is properly wired to be connected to a towing vehicle.

If you are speaking to the wiring connector at the rear of the rig, then I doubt it is set up for power from a towing vehicle.

My jeeps when set up for being towed have diodes added to the rear lights to avoid damage to the Jeep wiring system.
Dean, my truck has never been towed before. I'm basically talking about trailer plug on coach to trailer plug on truck. In my simple pee brain thinking, all I'm doing is back feeding power to the trucks running lights and turn signals. Just trying to figure out what damage it would cause?? This came to mind while I was in my Jeep last week, hooked up to the coach at night and I turned the head lights on in the Jeep and my coach running lights lit up! Got me to thinking.......why wouldn't this work
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:56 PM   #4
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Truck 7 pin plug is HOT from truck

Plug from MH is HOT from MH

Plugging the 2 together.........don't think it will accomplish what you want IE: operating the trucks turn & brake lights.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:14 PM   #5
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In the dinosaur days of my '67 mopar, the trailer lights were simply spliced into the wires to the bulbs into the tail lights.

If you went to the 4 pin and jumpered it the way you are describing, it may have worked. (But I never tried it)

But modern cars do not use simple circuits with bulbs like that. There are isolated circuits, timers, digital controls, multiple control circuits, and more. My cars even alert me when the lights are out, and they do not do it with the old fiber optics that were in the fender lights on the corners of my old cars... but they do it with current detectors and what not.

Because of all this, I would be surprised if your plan would work with any car built in the last couple decades.

But, if I am wrong, and you get this to work, please share the details...
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:45 PM   #6
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In addition to the diodes installed at the tailights/turn lights, my jeep towing instructions says to be sure the "automatic on" feature of the jeep headlights is turned to off to avoid the headlights triggering on.

I guess that is to avoid what you experienced with your jeep headlights backfeeding the coach clearance lights.

It is fairly simple, (it has to be because I have done it), to install a front plug to your Truck using a tow wiring kit and have the correct sequence of wiring specific to your truck. A little Google research should reveal what you need to do.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:07 PM   #7
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OK, to add to my pee brain theory, what if I pulled the fuses that are specific to the trailer plug! That way (I believe) they would be isolated from the rest of the truck wiring! Hence applying power from the coach plug, it only power the turning and running lights...... What, that won't work! Never mind
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:09 PM   #8
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I assume you have already confirmed that your specific truck can be towed four down?

"’95-’13 Chevy/GMC 1500-2500 Series (Pick-up) – 4WD Only w/Neutral Light"
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:05 AM   #9
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The answer is yes you can however... YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO DO IT.

There are several tow light connectors and each has a "Standard" hookup and then there are people who do their own thing wiring.

On a flat 4, The "odd" pin is ground, then comes tail lights, then the turn'/stop signals and I'd have to look to see the order.

This is standard, but is that how it was wired?

likewise there are standard connection patterns for round 4, six and 7 pin plugs and sockets

All that is important is to make sure the right pins are hooked to the right pins.

Also if you have electric brakes on the towed, or a controller on the tow vehcle the two need to be compatible or the wire missing (on a 4 wire lead there will be no brakes so that's not a problem or the brakes will be the invisible brake or one of the box in the driver's seat systems)
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:32 AM   #10
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RJ-

I'm confused. The cost of adding a wiring kit to do this correctly is small compared to the cost of adding the baseplate and braking system so that you can tow the truck instead of the Jeep.

But then again, the older I get, the more I'm confused by anything. ;-)
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:00 PM   #11
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Dean, yes it's 4WD and towable!

wa8yxm, I'm good with what goes where as to the 4 wires needed for left turn, right turn, running lights and ground.

Mark, my brother had the exact truck and after he passed away 3 years ago, his son gave me the Blue Ox tow bar, base plates, tow inserts and the braking unit. So I have everything short of the tow light remedy!
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:56 PM   #12
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$80 plus your labor will get you a "plug-and-play" wiring kit from etrailer. Depending on the braking system, you may need a Roadmaster brake relay, too.

Of course, it's just a fallback option, should your experiments not pan out.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:06 PM   #13
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Backfeeding the wiring would NOT be good. Do it correctly by rewiring the truck or even adding lights inside the truck light housings.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:14 PM   #14
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Why not simply get two magnetic stop lights and connect them to your coach plug.

The anser to you question in for sure a no if your truck has amber rear turn signals.

Too much is guessing,

Regards,

Dan
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