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Old 09-14-2016, 07:08 AM   #1
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Question Brake, Tail and Rear Running Lights not working

I have a problem with my brake, turn signal, tail and running lights on my 2003 Ford F53 chassis, Winnebago Adventurer 35ft 2004 . The brake, tail and rear running lights do not light with no blown fuses. The turn signals work until I depress the brake pedal, then they go out The backup camera comes on when I depress the break pedal or use the turn signal, it flashes in sync with the flasher. The backup camera come on as it should when I backup. I took the trailer plug apart and measured each wire to ground with the lowest being 13 megohms, without a ford schematic don't know if this is good or bad. I still have to measure brake, turn and backup wire to each other. I pulled the fuses for the brake and turn signals and the camera DID NOT come on. I have idled the motorhome for 30 minutes twice, I quit when the owners manual said not to do it for more than 10 minutes with no reason why. All the wires for the lights at the back of the home run up the driver side frame. The exhaust come out in front of the rear wheel and the engine manifold is close to the frame, it would not surprise me that the engineers ran unprotected wires next to hot areas. Looking at the schematics that the previous owner provided and at the physical wiring it looks like the rear camera gets power from the TR wire to turn on. The TR wire is the power for the backup lights. So I am thinking that the harness got melted and shorted the wires for the brake, tail, backup lights together without grounding them, hence no blown fuse. So I am thinking that the reason of not idling more than ten minutes is to prevent melting and shorting the wires in the wire run. I do not have a schematic for the ford chassis and am working currently off of a Winnebago schematic. Without the ford schematic I do know if there is a "body controller" that could be the problem or the wires are melted together. I am looking for anyone else that has had an issue like this and what they did to fix the problem.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:53 AM   #2
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purple tent-

This kind of "crosstalk" problem frequently stems from a poor or intermittent ground connection.

The Winnebago drawings indicate a single ground for all the rear and trailer hitch light signals. The wire is white, 14-gauge. Find it and check it's condition.

As the trailer hitch connector and coach lights share a common ground, this is where I suggest you open the hitch connector and ensure everything there is OK.

There is also the possibility that the backup camera trigger connection is poorly-made, shorting the other signals, Trace the source for that trigger signal and check its condition.

The positive news is that there's no common Ford connection for the turn, brake and clearance lights at the front of the coach. The signals do come together in the rear of the coach. Crawl under the coach and look for two Ford connectors inside the left frame rail, about 4 to 8 feet from the rear. One connector may be larger than the other. The wiring on these connectors may be as shown in this other post I made; there are variations model year-to-model year, and your 2003 chassis may be wired differently than my 2007. In any case, find the connectors and check if they appear sound (don't take them apart or unwrap the loom unless you have to).

Finally, you may want to send a private message to iRV2 user "grtharris." Grant knows a lot about Fords and Winnebago Fords in particular.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:42 AM   #3
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First of all the lights and trailer harness at the rear of the coach aren't installed by Ford, so getting a Ford wiring schematic won't help unless the problem is upstream. The Ford supplied wiring runs along the left side frame rail and stops at the end of the Ford supplied frame.

I followed the wiring harness on our 2001 Adventurer from the rear of the coach to the bulkhead plug near the drivers feet. No place was it anywhere near a heat source like the manifolds or exhaust system.

As for the 10 minute idling warning I believe it's a standard safety precaution put in all Ford manuals. This is about the era when there were several fires in ambulances and service trucks. It was not uncommon to leave these vehicles idling for extended periods in an effort to keep the patients cool or to run auxiliary equipment. In many cases the cause of the fires was traced to the engine overheating due to lack of cool air flowing over the systems.

When Winnebago extends the frame they also extend the wires to the lights and trailer hitch. It's possible that after 12+ years of service there has been rust, corrosion, or other problems where the 2 wiring harnesses join.

I would follow the wiring from the trailer hitch back to the main harness at the frame. At that point remove the wires from the loom and follow them to the junction point. There should be several butt connectors joining the Winnebago supplied wires to the Ford harness. I would inspect the joints to be sure they are clean and tight. In addition I would use a test light or meter to check that you have power to this point.

In addition you may have several problems. We replaced several brake, tail and backup light bulbs on our 2001 Adventurer. For some reason they had a tendency to last only a few years. Sometimes they would become loose in the socket and not work. Other times they just plain burned out. Be sure the bulbs and sockets are in good condition before going much farther.

Secondly we had a problem where the camera would come on when the brake pedal was pushed, or the directional signals were activated. That turned out to be a problem with the trailer hitch socket. It wasn't sealed well at the rear where the wires enter. Eventually enough water got in to rust and corrode the wires. Sometimes the camera would go on when getting a signal from the directional lights. Other times it would be from the brake lights.

I ended up removing the original socket, cutting off the bad ends of the wires and installing them in a new socket. To prevent the problem from reoccurring I used a liberal amount of dielectric grease (non conducting) on the connections and sealed the wire entry port with shrink tube.

If you intend to use a dolly or pull a trailer with electric brakes in the future you might also consider extending the brake wire (#10 Blue) from the Ford harness to the trailer socket at this time. For some reason Winnebago decided not to extend this wire on the 2001 models unless the customer informed them they would be towing something with electric brakes.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:02 PM   #4
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Measured resistance at the trailer plug and had 13.8 Meg ohm for the turn/brake to the backup lights. Disconnected the connectors near the back of the frame and all read open. Reconnected the connectors and traced the wires to the front of the coach with no evidence of over heating or critter damage. Took the trailer plug apart with no evidence of shorting or corrosion. I will take your suggestions on the trailer plug and the rear ground as I did all of the above this morning before I read the replies. Thanks for the help to everyone.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:11 PM   #5
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The common thread is the ground. Some lights work because the find a ground thru the second filiment of the bulb.

Take any rear light out and put in a tempeory ground to it and see if the lights start working normal.
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:26 PM   #6
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Disconnected the trailer female plug wires with no change in the issue. Crawled under and took the wires out of the covering and found he ground wire disconnected. It appeared to be broken off from where it was attached. The wires were bundled in a loop and held together with a tie wrap. This loop of wires was free to flap in the breeze, so that may be how the ground broke. The broken end managed to get stuck back into the cable covering, hence explains why I did not see it before. Reattached the ground and all is well with the lights and backup camera. Attached the loop of excess wire to the frame with tie wraps to take care of any future problems. Thanks to everyone for their help. Larry
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple tent View Post
Disconnected the trailer female plug wires with no change in the issue. Crawled under and took the wires out of the covering and found he ground wire disconnected. It appeared to be broken off from where it was attached. The wires were bundled in a loop and held together with a tie wrap. This loop of wires was free to flap in the breeze, so that may be how the ground broke. The broken end managed to get stuck back into the cable covering, hence explains why I did not see it before. Reattached the ground and all is well with the lights and backup camera. Attached the loop of excess wire to the frame with tie wraps to take care of any future problems. Thanks to everyone for their help. Larry
I have the same problem on our MH. Posted about it a couple weeks back. No corrosion in the trailer connector. Replaced the ring terminal on the ground wire from the plug and cleaned up the stud it attaches to. No change. I'll have to try and find the ground for the MH rear lights and check it out.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:36 AM   #8
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My ground is a white wire with a number and then the letters TP. By the Winnebago schematic I have that is the ground wire. So if you find that wire and trace it should ground to the frame some where. It sounds like you trailer ground wire is attached to the frame, where mine was attached to the rear light ground wire and this wire was the one that was broken. Good luck.
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