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Old 02-25-2019, 11:13 AM   #1
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Dumb Towing/Lights Question

All. Dumb question. If my battery on the tongue of my trailer is shot, can it impact my running lights on my trailer?

I was towing a few weeks ago, and my brakes were great, but my rear lights were mostly out, and my running lights were super dim. I know for a fact my battery is shot.
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmabus View Post
All. Dumb question. If my battery on the tongue of my trailer is shot, can it impact my running lights on my trailer?

I was towing a few weeks ago, and my brakes were great, but my rear lights were mostly out, and my running lights were super dim. I know for a fact my battery is shot.
battery has nothing to do with lights sounds like chassi ground is good (brakes are great) maybe ground chassi to trailer body or may be light wire connection? if turn signals and brake lights don't light up then is a ground problem good luck..
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:22 PM   #3
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The battery is for the breakaway brake system and the 12 volt lighting inside if your not plugged in. Not connected in any way to the turn/stop/running lights
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmabus View Post
All. Dumb question. If my battery on the tongue of my trailer is shot, can it impact my running lights on my trailer?

I was towing a few weeks ago, and my brakes were great, but my rear lights were mostly out, and my running lights were super dim. I know for a fact my battery is shot.
Battery is required for breakaway brake system, which by law must be functional. But it has nothing to do with your light problem.
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Old 02-25-2019, 01:05 PM   #5
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Always start with bad grounds and bad connections. if you have regular lights, it might be a good time to upgrade to LED lights, eliminating bad light socket issues, which is very common.
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Old 02-25-2019, 01:07 PM   #6
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https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-Light...-1-spons&psc=1


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DV6N9Y9...i-a=B07DV6N9Y9
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Old 02-25-2019, 04:08 PM   #7
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Dim lights almost always point to bad grounding. It can be corrosion on the bulb itself. Check the bulbs and sockets.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:27 PM   #8
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Start with pulling your plug apart and cleaning all the contacts. Do it one at a time or take a picture so you know where everything goes.
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:29 AM   #9
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Thats good advice on the plug part.

So I wonder if the lights can act as an open loop, meaning, if one bulb goes, all in the loop struggle. Reason I say this, is that not all of my running lights are weak. I do think one of my rear brake/tail lights is out though.
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:34 AM   #10
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Always start with bad grounds and bad connections. if you have regular lights, it might be a good time to upgrade to LED lights, eliminating bad light socket issues, which is very common.
If all the lights are dim it is very unlikely for all the sockets to be the problem.
OP, you say brakes work good, so some may think this means the connections are good. Look at the volts applied to brakes, likely stop at much less than what lights need.
You have a bad connection, most likely on the ground side...
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:32 AM   #11
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Lights on a trailer are simple. Don't overthink it. They require good connections and good components. Water and moisture getting into a light will create bad connections. The cheap junky 3M crimp connections are junk. Those are the ones that are usually blue. You don't have to strip the wire. You just pinch it on with pliers and then snap a little flap closed over it. The best way to make a connection is to solder it then seal it with good shrink wrap. Most people don't know how to do that. You can get the stuff cheap to do it and just watch a few youtube videos and learn. It's not hard to learn.




One light being out will not affect another. It's not wired Christmas lights. In some cases its easier and better to just abandon the existing wires and lights and start over. That's easy for the lights on back, but not the lights on top. Most likely, you don't have a wire problem, and MOST LIKELY you have bad connection problems.


Look into ordering the above LED lights. This will eliminate current light fixture problems and prevent future light fixture problems.



I have a good feeling that if you replace the lights, making sure all connections are good and sealed up with heat shrink, AND you verify connections at the trailer pigtail AND verify connections at the tow vehicle, you will solve your problems.


An additional preventative is to apply dielectric grease to the pigtail end. Goop it right onto the connector blades. it will prevent it from corroding and will keep water and junk out.


Take some time too and learn how lights work on a trailer. Plenty of videos and diagrams out there.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:37 PM   #12
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Lights on a trailer are simple. Don't overthink it. They require good connections and good components. Water and moisture getting into a light will create bad connections. The cheap junky 3M crimp connections are junk. Those are the ones that are usually blue. You don't have to strip the wire. You just pinch it on with pliers and then snap a little flap closed over it. The best way to make a connection is to solder it then seal it with good shrink wrap. Most people don't know how to do that. You can get the stuff cheap to do it and just watch a few youtube videos and learn. It's not hard to learn.
I consider trailer lights simple, but I have also been paid money over years to come out to scalehouse and get lights working for the people that have to have lights to go, and have to go. Not very many lights made will let water in, and hold it to where it can do harm. I agree with you the blue connectors are made to sell, not to use. I disagree the "best" connection is solder. To many times I have found that kind, after time and a little ice control road spray, will not carry power. IMHO, the best connection is a crimp connector, the right size for the wire, filled with silicone before the properly stripped wire is pushed in, then crimped with a quality tool. I said crimped, not mashed with the cheap tool that came with your box of connectors
More than a few trailers I have wired that way have ran decades and millions of miles without problems.

Quote:
One light being out will not affect another. It's not wired Christmas lights. In some cases its easier and better to just abandon the existing wires and lights and start over. That's easy for the lights on back, but not the lights on top. Most likely, you don't have a wire problem, and MOST LIKELY you have bad connection problems.
Do they still wire Christmas lights like that? We had some when I was a kid, but I think dad trashed the last in the mid '60s...
In very rare cases will a wire have a open between connections, the only reason to replace the wire. Most times I have seen it done the owner paid more to have the original problems fixed after cobbling things up...


Quote:
Look into ordering the above LED lights. This will eliminate current light fixture problems and prevent future light fixture problems.
But if you have problems with all the lights it is very unlikely for it to be a fixture problem. Sure, the marginal connections are likely to carry the low draw of the LEDs for now. But if you do not clean the corrosion off the the connections they will get worse, and troubles will be back.

Quote:
Take some time too and learn how lights work on a trailer. Plenty of videos and diagrams out there.
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