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Old 08-03-2010, 07:48 PM   #1
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Default Wiring question

have a strange glitch. I am in the Upper penisula of Michigan with my '96 Hi-Lo, 22 footer. have a problem. I have put about 1200 miles on it so far on this trip with no problems, until now. Hooked up yesterday morning, checked all lights, only to find out my tail and maarker lights are inop. Checked the lights on my truck and tail lights were inoperative. Replaced blown out fuse and truck lights worked fine. Hooked up the trailer to the truck, all lights worked for a few minutes and then the fuse blew again. I do not have a wiring diagram. Can someone tell me the wiring routing? I don't drive at night and plan on leaving to head back home tomorrow morning and work on it when I get home. Now, today, I replaced the truck fuse and probably drove about 60 miles with my parking lights on and fuse did not blow. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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Check for bad electrical contacts. Remove the panel behind your propane tanks that covers the frame. There will be a "black box" mounted to the frame. This is where the cord that you plug into your truck connects to the wiring for the trailer. Remove the cover and check the connections for corrosion. Another thing would be to spray the trailer connector and the truck plug with a contact cleaner. I use PB Blaster as a contact cleaner. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:47 PM   #3
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I would think you have a running lamp wire that is shorting to ground. From the pig tail cable check where the wires run and check where they may rub against the chassis.I had a problem where the running lights did not work and it was a loose connection at the wire bundle at the back of the trailer.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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agreed short to ground trace the wires they are bare and touching the frame somewhere.


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Old 08-04-2010, 05:32 PM   #5
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Default wiring question

Your unit is 14 years old. When you hook up the trailer the light fuse blows after an interval. With the age I would look for the following culprits:

1. Corroded connection of the trailer to the truck. Clean it with WD-40 or elcetrical contact cleaner.

2. Trace the trailer wiring to the compartment where the hydraulic pump is located. On the left hand side you will find a terminal strip where the wires join. At 14 years old I know you will find corrosion or bad connections. On my 2001 17 'unit I found several.

3. Carefully inspect all wiring under the trailer for wires worn and touching the metal frame ( most probable cause ) Wire rubs, big current flow, fuse blows.

4. Look at the tail light unit at the back of the trailer. The red plastic cover is very loose and allows corrosion on contacts. Clean, WD-40, etc.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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TJM,

Please send me a PM with your e-mail address and I will e-mail a copy of the 1997 21ft. Tow-Lite Manual, which includes the wiring diagram. I believe 1996 is the same.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:35 AM   #7
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Default Wiring problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimandrobie View Post
2 things come to mind. The tow vehicle can't handle the additional electrical load when trailer is hooked up. I know this is elementary but are you sure you're installing the correct amperage fuse? Or a possible short in TRAILER WIRING ONLY since tow vehicle is fine when not connected to trailer. Look underneath for a frayed wire. Jim
Thanks for the info Jim. Option one is definitely not the problem as I have used the same tow vehicle for thousands of miles with no problem. It is under 100 degrees today, so hopefully I can look for the problem.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:41 AM   #8
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Default Wiring Issue

I suggest that you check your wiring cable to your tow vehicle, you may have pinched it and shorted the wiring ... thus the blown fuses. I had a similar problem last week, but I had the good fortune of nearly severing the cable so the damage was obvious! :0)

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Old 08-08-2010, 07:17 PM   #9
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I have a 95 21T and the only wiring that is under the trailer is the brake wiring all lighting wiring is inside the trailer. Most easy place damaged is on the left side inside the cabinet. Could be bare wires in the front box where the battery is. You may have found the problem by now?
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:13 PM   #10
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Default wiring question.

A big second to this one. The trailer wiring goes from the truck connector to a terminal strip in the pump compartment. From there it goes inside the trailer on the left side to go to the rear of the trailer. It is subject to wear and tear there. Look for possible shorts, frayed and broken wires etc. The terminal strip in the pump compartment is another candidate for electrical problems.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:47 PM   #11
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what is purpose of the terminal strip? I wondered that the first time I saw it.

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Old 08-09-2010, 04:52 PM   #12
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so you can put a new cord to the truck with out cutting and splicing.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:20 PM   #13
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seems like a connector woulda been a better idea.


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Old 03-31-2011, 11:02 PM   #14
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Was glad to hear I'm not the only one going nuts over lights. We left our coastal campground, did a lights check and everything was perfect. I could see the running lights in the rear view mirror. We drove about 20 minutes and I checked the mirror again and noticed the running lights were out. Hm! So, in the middle of the rain, ran a check of lights and everything was good except for the running lights/tail lights; brakes and turns were good. The truck's fuse is good and I have continuity to the terminal strip. Will now start trouble shooting. Anyone find a definite problem that could be considered a problem for all HI-LOs?

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Old 04-01-2011, 12:43 AM   #15
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Hi Frank,

Thanks for the product update on the McKesh mirrors.

Question regarding your intermittent running lights: Is it only your running lights, or does the on-again, off again include your tail lights (at the same time)?

My 1969 developed intermittent running/tail lights when it got to be about 20 years old. Frustrating as heck... until I finally discovered that the roof half ground went through the lift cables to the bottom half. Just enough zinc corrosion (those cables were galvanized) had developed to impede reliable grounding. My solution: Ran a separate, dedicated ground wire (10 gauge multi-strand) between the roof half and the lower half frame. Haven't had a problem since!

Another thing to check is the condition of the ground wire connecting your frame to the trailer plug. The wire may be run in a vulnerable location and could be damaged, or the connection to the frame could be loose or corroded. Also check the connection through the plug for tightness and integrity.

The common theme here is that if all your lights are simultaneously intermittent, you most likely have a common ground issue.

Jim

Next time the lights go out, try running a jumper from the ground wire on one of your running, or tail lights to the rear bumper or some frame part. If its a grounding problem, the lights should come on.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:50 AM   #16
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You guys are so smart and we didn't even have to pay for tech support!!
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:16 PM   #17
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Regarding our "no running or taillights."
After returning from our very wet camping week on the coast of Oregon, the running lights and tail lights were still not working for the next couple of days. Frank checked a couple of areas before running out of time.
A couple of sunny days later, the lights mysteriously work. Don't know what happened. If a crucial area got wet, we don't know where. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:04 AM   #18
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I would guess a moisture problem in the trailer plug and/or the tow vehicle plug. Try spraying some contact cleaner, such as PB Blaster, into both plugs. This will take care of any moisture or corrosion in the plugs. I spray mine several times a season. Preventative maintenance is the best maintenance.

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Old 04-04-2011, 02:56 PM   #19
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Retired camper,
Thanks for the tip concerning the plugs. We'll do as you suggested because we'll be camping in the rainy Washington state Olympic Peninsula this summer.
Carol
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #20
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you might try cleaning your ground wires, mine were under and in front of the street side tires on the inside of the frame. then use star washers to get more contact area.
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