wiring utility trailer

james_007February 26, 2012

I bought a 4'X8' used utility trailer and rewired the lights with a new kits (Blazer/Red and amber trailer light kit for trailers) from autozone. Somehow I cannot make font side lights work for me. The tail lights work well. I checked few times but cannot see anything wrong.

Anybody can help me diagnosise this issue?

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txtom50(8a texas)

Did the side lights come with light bulbs? Manufacturers short cut every way they can now days.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 6:52AM
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As with any wiring job you will probably need mulitmeter to trace the wiring harness diagram to find out why your not getting 12v to that circuit. Usually it's ground problem? But you still need to trace down the hot wire to the side lights and see if your getting 12v too them? If not by studing the wiring diagram and your findngs you should be able to determine if it's groundng problem, short, fusable link problem, or bad bulbs? Something got to give. All they need is 12V source and ground!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 6:55AM
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there are bulbs for sure. but there is no ground connection for the front lights. the wiring diagram is very simple. the front lights only require one line connection which is the brown color, the hot line, I think.

the tail light and front light share the same hot line on each side. the tail lights work means the hot line is good.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 7:10AM
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A multimeter makes your life much simpler. You can get by cheaper with a simple tester which is under $10 consisting of a spring clip, length of wire going to a bulb holder which ends in a sharp point. Clip the clip on a known ground then insert the point at the suspect point, if it lights you know you are missing a ground. If it doesn't go further "upstream" and check again and find out where you're losing the +.

The side or marker lights I've seen only have one wire which goes to the +, you may have to run a separate ground for them depending on what they're mounted to, e.g. wood, etc.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:23AM
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I think I have a faulty wire to my utility trailer. I know the bulb is good and I know the connector to the trailer from the vehicle is supplying 12 volts. How can I check for continuity through the trailer conector to see if the wiring is faulty?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:54AM
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With an ohmmeter or etc and extra length of wire that will measure current or continuity. The extra length of wire should give you the needed length to test or a replacement to say the old wire has a break or etc.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 12:13PM
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It has been my experience that the biggest problem with trailer lights is grounding problems. The easiest permanent fix is to run both a hot wire and a ground to every light on the trailer. Attach the new ground wire to the receptacle that represents the tow vehicle ground in the plug. Also I always ground the trailer frame to the ground the tow vehicle.

Done this way you will never have a light problem on the trailer

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Agree with everything said previously. The description mentioned "used." The side lights ground through their frame mounting. remove one and wire brush, etc. to get bare metal then reattach, should work. Alternately, run a wire from each light attaching to mounting bolt and connect both to the ground connection at the trailer wiring connector. You mentioned previoiusly that the rear lights work so the ground connection at the wire connector is good.

Just had to do the exact same thing to a "used" trailer I rewired for my brother.

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:52AM
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It is not advisable to just use the trailer tongue to hitch ball, to achieve the ground from Tow car to trailer hitch.
I made a separate line grounded to tow vehicle, with a separate plug and another made up wire from trailer frame, to be connected when hitching up. This wire was separate from all else. That way, i was always sure the trailer was grounded to the tow vehicle. Some folks think that the ground is fine by just using the hitch ball and socket. But it isn't! The lights will blink! And, a blinking trailer light will draw the cops, like a bon-fire in Times Square!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:22AM
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I came upon a similar problem with trailer wiring while on a trip with my tent trailer. We stopped for the night at a camp ground.In Virginia, i think. Raining cats and dogs! Sat in caar until it stopped, then set up the rig.
Later on, a fellow camper came over and asked me if i could fix his trailer to car wire plug. seems he forgot to remove it from the receptacle, got the hitch off the ball, and pulled the car away, along with the plug!
So, i sat down and fixed it for him. He told me the lights would blink when going along, so i fixed that problem, too. Made up a separate ground wire with a male/female detachable plug. Took 2 hours of work. Made him extremely happy when i refused payment for the work!
Somebody once said:"When Rusty Jones goes camping--he takes his garage along, too!"
I did! Had a floor jack, safety stands, tools of all kinds, everything i might need. I couldn't afford to go to a dealer or repair shop!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:33PM
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Sounds like me Rusty in the 70's 80's between Tyler, Tx and Dallas, Tx I had tools for all or I towed them to safety. I'll still do my share but I finally I realized when you leave home knowing you have a problem, you are not concerned and why should I be. Plus, minor repairs have changed. I could still show them the broken timing belt and the dist w/n turning. The access road towing by chain was slow and just to the next town or service station. Only one major case with women and children and no men or highjacking concerns.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:52PM
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