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Old 05-13-2015, 06:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3
Trailer Lights Help

This isn't an RV question per se but I figured it was a place with people with a lot of towing knowledge. Heres my problem. I just got a rear cargo carrier (aka micro RV aka place to put my tent and gear) on our 2011 Ford Escape. It came with a light kit so I installed it but it doesn't work. I tested the lights from the disconnect on a 12v battery so the kit seems to work just fine. It is an aftermarket trailer light kit on the car. The weirdest part is I get 12+ volts to the disconnects on the lights when it is plugged into the vehicle. Does that mean the voltage drops under load immediately? Why would it read 12 volts but still not light only when plugged into the vehicle? I cleaned all the contacts and re-sanded the ground wires. Any ideas would be appreciated. It may be I just need a new tow light kit.

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Old 05-13-2015, 06:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Lake Mary, FL
Posts: 161
Have you verified the trailing wiring it working correctly on the vehicle? A cheap test light will allow you to do this pretty easily. Should be able to test running, break and turn with it.

Jack & Tania
2011 Tuscany 4051, 2016 GMC Denali toad
In Gator Country
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:32 PM   #3
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Location: Troutdale, Oregon
Posts: 836
If your's is anything like mine, you need power to the trailer from your car, or RV. What I did was to connect the emergency brake battery to the light wire and the lights now work. Problem with this is that the battery may not charge. So, I added a switch that I can turn off when I'm towing.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:32 PM   #4
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Yea thats my next goal. Will find someone's boat and hook it up. A full replacement kit is actually only $60 so I guess it isn't the end of the world.
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:13 PM   #5
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Problem solved. I guess the powered towing wiring harness had gone bad. However, since I'm just hooking up a cargo carrier that is 3 feet from the back of my car I came up with a solution. I cut out one of the adapters on the headlight and hooked the "rear light" wire directly to the wiring disconnect. I don't need the blinkers since the blinkers from the car's tail lights are clearly visible. Now I have lights that turn on when I turn on my car's headlights. Good enough for me!
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light, lights

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