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Old 10-23-2012, 05:41 AM   #11
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The TT must be atached to the TV hitch to complete the ground for the taillights
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by tchapmond View Post
I am back. If I plug the lights and brake in without hitching the trailer to the tv, the lights don't work. Once I hitch the trailer the lights work. I wondered if there is an independent ground on the trailer that might have come loose, causing the need for the hitch to become the ground. Hope that clarifies the issue.
This has me questioning your set up. You say you plug in the lights AND brake. Do you have two separate connectors? That would only partially explain the brake working but not the lights. The ground ground for the running lights, the brakes, the trailer frame and the white wire of the 7 way connectors should be common. It sounds like you have a modified system if you have two connectors. That being the case trouble shooting from here is going to be tough.

If you, in fact, have the single 7 connector plug following ChooChooMan74's steps will lead you right to the problem.

Please clarify the "plug in the lights AND brake" issue.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by robo59097 View Post
The TT must be atached to the TV hitch to complete the ground for the taillights
This is NOT the way it is supposed to be. The ground should be through the connector (white wire, pin 1) this connects the TV frame to the trailer frame. Any other configuration is incorrect.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:41 AM   #14
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Now that I think about it your right, I was thinking on the rental trailers we use to have we ran a separate ground that required the trailer to be hitched
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This is NOT the way it is supposed to be. The ground should be through the connector (white wire, pin 1) this connects the TV frame to the trailer frame. Any other configuration is incorrect.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:19 AM   #15
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Now that I think about it your right, I was thinking on the rental trailers we use to have we ran a separate ground that required the trailer to be hitched
Sorry I confused things. I definitely just have a 7 pin connector. When I was pulling the trailer, the brakes worked but the lights did not.

When I got home, I took a simple 12v testor and checked power coming from the truck. With the emergency flashers on and grounding the testor to the body, I confirmed power from the two pins (6 & 5/yellow & brown). I then took the sheath off of the 7 pin connector on the wires coming from the trailer. I took each wire loose cleaned them up and reconnected them. I then did what I could to clean the contacts in the plug. I was able to get power on 6 & 5 on the trailer side with the ground from the testor connected to the truck; however, the lights were still not working. I then hooked the trailer via the hitch and I had lights.

I feel pretty sure that ChooChooMan74 is correct. My trailer is not at my house, so I wil do as he suggested when I get back to the trailer. It does seem weird that the brakes worked and the lights didn't - I agree, if the ground wasn't connecting through the white wire from the truck, it seems that the brakes should not have worked either.

So, if I do the diagnostics suggested by CCM74 and I find the ground is the problem (which I suspect), how do I run a new ground. The white wire going to the trailer is in the bundle of 7 wires. Do I abandon the white wire in the bundle and run a separate wire? And the biggest question that I still don't understand is: Where does the white ground wire in the bundle connect to the trailer? I assume it connects to the frame somewhere? I am hoping that that connection has just come loose and I can reconnect it, negating the need to run a totally new wire.

I really appreciate your enthusiasm for helping me out.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:45 AM   #16
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With the trailer connected to the TV but NOT hitched up, take a wire and connect it to the TV frame and the trailer frame. Do all the lights work? If so either the pin 1 wire in not connected to the frame of the TV or at the frame of the trailer. It just a matter of finding where the frame connections are made. Replacing the wire should not be necessary unless it has actually been cut. It is most likely a loose or corroded connection at the TV or trailer frame.

When you finally find and fix the problem you should keep the connector (both pieces) clean and periodically spray them with WD-40. That will cut down on corrosion problems greatly.
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