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Old 05-15-2018, 07:17 PM   #1
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No Lights

So I just finish up wiring my 2017 Silverado using 16g wiring and diodes. Hooked up to the MH and I have no lights. I am guessing it is a ground issue since I had it grounded to the stud for the tailgate latch with the paint scrapped off under the nut. So tomorrow I am going to use sandpaper or a file and find a spot on the frame and screw the ground to it. My question is should I try and ground it under the hood or at the rear of the vehicle? I read somewhere it recommended to do both.

Any other suggestions on things to try?

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:23 PM   #2
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Two possibilities: 1) have you verified you are getting 12vdc from your motorhome? There may need to be a fuse installed.

And 2) most modern day vehicles no longer use the frame for ground. If you look at any of the light sockets, you will see they run a separate ground wire.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by shiggs68 View Post
Two possibilities: 1) have you verified you are getting 12vdc from your motorhome? There may need to be a fuse installed.

And 2) most modern day vehicles no longer use the frame for ground. If you look at any of the light sockets, you will see they run a separate ground wire.
I am going to check if I am getting power to the plug on the MH this morning and work from there. I plan on hooking up my boat to the MH and checking the lights which work with my truck if I have no lights on the boat trailer then I think I found the problem and will have to find the fuse or figure out where the problem is in the MH. Hoping this is a simple fix. I also thought about hooking my truck up to my buddy's truck and checking my wiring as a last resort also.

Thanks for the reply.
Brian
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:42 AM   #4
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I am going to check if I am getting power to the plug on the MH this morning and work from there. I plan on hooking up my boat to the MH and checking the lights which work with my truck if I have no lights on the boat trailer then I think I found the problem and will have to find the fuse or figure out where the problem is in the MH. Hoping this is a simple fix. I also thought about hooking my truck up to my buddy's truck and checking my wiring as a last resort also.



Thanks for the reply.

Brian


Using your boat trailer is a good plan. You need to eliminate the possibilities. A cheap test light or meter is always a good tool for your travels.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:46 PM   #5
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Using your boat trailer is a good plan. You need to eliminate the possibilities. A cheap test light or meter is always a good tool for your travels.
Or,
You could have a couple of these on hand JUST FOR THAT REASON. I've got both and keep them with the motorhome.
Scott

https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Tek-7-Wa...er+plug+tester

https://www.amazon.com/Unified-Marin...er+plug+tester
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:53 PM   #6
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Probably not your problem but I believe if the diodes polarity are reversed, they won’t work. Might be worth checking.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:36 AM   #7
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After about 5-6 hours of frustration yesterday I have been able to verify my truck is wired correctly and the plug I built is correct. I did this by using a 2amp battery charger and a couple pieces of wire (my uncle is a retired electrician and told me how to do this). I had weak turn signals on the truck for a few minutes when hooked up to the MH and then I got fed up and walked away for a while. A friend suggested that my ground might be bad on the MH plug. He suggested that I access the wires behind the plug and splice in a new ground to the frame on the rear of the MH to see if that solves my problem.

FIRE UP my friend also suggested one of those testers and I plan on trying to find one today in town. I feel like I am close to finding the problem.

Thanks for the responses I will keep you posted.

Brian
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:54 AM   #8
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FIRE UP my friend also suggested one of those testers and I plan on trying to find one today in town. I feel like I am close to finding the problem.

Thanks for the responses I will keep you posted.

Brian


Finding a tester is the simple method. However, if you can not find one, a simple test light and probing the pins in your motorhome connector is an alternative.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:55 AM   #9
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After about 5-6 hours of frustration yesterday I have been able to verify my truck is wired correctly and the plug I built is correct. I did this by using a 2amp battery charger and a couple pieces of wire (my uncle is a retired electrician and told me how to do this). I had weak turn signals on the truck for a few minutes when hooked up to the MH and then I got fed up and walked away for a while. A friend suggested that my ground might be bad on the MH plug. He suggested that I access the wires behind the plug and splice in a new ground to the frame on the rear of the MH to see if that solves my problem.

FIRE UP my friend also suggested one of those testers and I plan on trying to find one today in town. I feel like I am close to finding the problem.

Thanks for the responses I will keep you posted.

Brian
Brian,
A very, very simple and super cheap test to see if your issue is a bad ground, just get a piece of wire, oh, about 12-14 gauge will work. Make it as long as needed to go from a very clean, scraped off place on the frame of the coach, to a scraped off place on the frame of the truck. I say "scraped off" because, this is a GUARANTY that you're getting to DIRECT grounding of each vehicle.
Strip a section of each end, and attach it using vice grips, some form of clamping, anything that will temporarily attach the end of the wire to the newly scraped piece of frame, for each vehicle. You can't get any better ground than that.

I had the same exact problem you did when I went to hook up my little trailer to the back of my motorcycle. The plug was in good shape, I did all the wiring on the bike and, I'd used this setup many times with no issue. But, this time, I simply pulled the trailer up to the bike and didn't drop the coupler on the ball of the bike. I was testing and testing and, my trailer lights sucked big time and the side markers on the trailer didn't work at all.

So, just for grins, I dropped the coupler onto the ball of the bike and vuuuuuaaaaallllllllla, I HAD PERFECT LIGHTS!!!!!! There is a ground, in the plug of each side of the plug. But for some odd reason, it's not making a good enough connection and, the trailer needed to be grounded to the bike, via the ball and coupler.

So, let us know what you find out by adding a known, good ground.
Scott
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:17 AM   #10
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Well after several more hours I grabbed a buddy for fresh eyes. He immediately felt that the connector on the MH was loose, I had the same thought just did not look at it further. His tester showed the connector had turns signal and tail lights. Pushed the blades out a bit and I immediately had tail lights and turn signals. A couple more hours of fishing around we found a cut brake light wire under the dash from when a previous owner took a brake controller out. Unfortunately we have not found the match to that wire and I leaned too hard on the driver's seat and ended up forcing the frame around the driver's power window into a screw and breaking the window. So now I am in a search to find a replacement window asap. Barb and I patched the window with plexiglass for now.

I think I am going to fish a new 16 g wire through the fire wall and connect to the brake light wire. Then feed the wire through the coach to the back plug and splice it in for brake lights.

At least I am getting closer.

Brian
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:37 AM   #11
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Well after several more hours I grabbed a buddy for fresh eyes. He immediately felt that the connector on the MH was loose, I had the same thought just did not look at it further. His tester showed the connector had turns signal and tail lights. Pushed the blades out a bit and I immediately had tail lights and turn signals. A couple more hours of fishing around we found a cut brake light wire under the dash from when a previous owner took a brake controller out. Unfortunately we have not found the match to that wire and I leaned too hard on the driver's seat and ended up forcing the frame around the driver's power window into a screw and breaking the window. So now I am in a search to find a replacement window asap. Barb and I patched the window with plexiglass for now.

I think I am going to fish a new 16 g wire through the fire wall and connect to the brake light wire. Then feed the wire through the coach to the back plug and splice it in for brake lights.

At least I am getting closer.

Brian


Brake lights in a standard 7-pin connector are not a separate pin or wire. Brake lights and turn signals are the same. When brakes are applied, both right and left turn signals are energized. Turn signals are one or the other.

If your motorhome has separate brake lights, then you need a converter module connected to the 7-pin connector. Your wire from the front should not be needed.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:32 AM   #12
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Or,
You could have a couple of these on hand JUST FOR THAT REASON. I've got both and keep them with the motorhome.
Scott

https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Tek-7-Wa...er+plug+tester

https://www.amazon.com/Unified-Marin...er+plug+tester

IMHO, and I have decades experience working on truck/trailer lights, when you lay your money down and walk out of the store with this type "tester" in hand the tester has done everything it was designed to do. It moved money out of your pocket and into theirs Think about it for a second. You plug it in, the little bitty LEDs don't light. For sure, something is wrong with the TV. But, what happens when all the little lights come on? Well, most people turn to the trailer spend hours, snatch most of their hair out, and can find nothing wrong. Finally, you get somebody with the right test equipment, and find, for example, one little strand of your ground is still connected...can carry enough amps to light you "tester" but with the load of the real lights....
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:51 PM   #13
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IMHO, and I have decades experience working on truck/trailer lights, when you lay your money down and walk out of the store with this type "tester" in hand the tester has done everything it was designed to do. It moved money out of your pocket and into theirs Think about it for a second. You plug it in, the little bitty LEDs don't light. For sure, something is wrong with the TV. But, what happens when all the little lights come on? Well, most people turn to the trailer spend hours, snatch most of their hair out, and can find nothing wrong. Finally, you get somebody with the right test equipment, and find, for example, one little strand of your ground is still connected...can carry enough amps to light you "tester" but with the load of the real lights....
Well Sir,
Nothing in this world is perfect, especially little cheaply made LED trailer plug testers. Now, if I was working on RVs, trailers and wiring for a living, yep, I'd most likely use the top notch tools. But, in circumstances for the average dude, just checking output of his/her trailer plug every now and then, I'd still at least give these a try. If you get some odd readings or, in this case, wrong LEDs or, ALL LEDs when only one specific one is supposed to light up, well, then as usual, further investigation is needed.

I've probably got at least a 1/2 dozen test lights, and as many volt-ohm meters (one in each vehicle and one in the motorcycle) and, if I found what I thought might appear to be odd, then the second string meter or test light etc. would be brought in from the sidelines. Electrical is always a funny animal. If it's right, all is hunky dory. If it's off by even a little bit, all kinds of funny things can happen and, often do. Grounds, as we who have at least some experience in this field know, are about 75%-85% of most electrical issues.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:06 PM   #14
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Well Sir,
Nothing in this world is perfect, especially little cheaply made LED trailer plug testers. Now, if I was working on RVs, trailers and wiring for a living, yep, I'd most likely use the top notch tools. But, in circumstances for the average dude, just checking output of his/her trailer plug every now and then, I'd still at least give these a try. If you get some odd readings or, in this case, wrong LEDs or, ALL LEDs when only one specific one is supposed to light up, well, then as usual, further investigation is needed.

Let's look at it a little different. You think you hear a noise from your engine. A friend opens the hood, looks around at things "It's full of oil, you are good to go." Half hour later, the engine locks up, you pull the stick find it dry. Now, what do you think of that so called friend? But you are advocating people spend money for something that will likely lie, tell them the engine is full of oil no matter what the level!

Quote:
I had the same exact problem you did when I went to hook up my little trailer to the back of my motorcycle. The plug was in good shape, I did all the wiring on the bike and, I'd used this setup many times with no issue. But, this time, I simply pulled the trailer up to the bike and didn't drop the coupler on the ball of the bike. I was testing and testing and, my trailer lights sucked big time and the side markers on the trailer didn't work at all.

So, just for grins, I dropped the coupler onto the ball of the bike and vuuuuuaaaaallllllllla, I HAD PERFECT LIGHTS!!!!!! There is a ground, in the plug of each side of the plug. But for some odd reason, it's not making a good enough connection and, the trailer needed to be grounded to the bike, via the ball and coupler.
The plug between TV and trailer has 4 wires for lights only. Right turn, Left turn Taillights and GROUND Anytime you suspect trailer light trouble, all testing and repairs should be done with no contact TV/trailer except the cord. We have all seen them, trailers going down the road, lights there one minute, out the next. Traffic slows, all the lights go off, or maybe one stays on. This is caused by not having a good ground thru the wiring, and having the ground go thru the ball. And I bet most times the driver pulling that trailer has no idea his taillights are screwing up.
Then add in the real chance of brakes overloading your marginal ground, causing erratic stopping...

"I did all the wiring on the bike"

DIY is a good thing, but for God sake, do it right!
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