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Expert Answers about Hopkins

  • How to Wire Two Batteries In Parallel on an RV Trailer
  • When connecting two batteries together on an RV trailer you usually connect the batteries in parallel to draw 12 volts from both of the batteries. We have a photo, see photo at right, that shows how to wire the batteries in parallel. Once you have the batteries wired properly in parallel you will need to connect the 12 volt power wire from the trailer 7-Way connector to the positive wire on the first battery. This connection will help maintain the batteries when the vehicle is running,...
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Brake Lights not Working When Running Lights are On
  • It sounds like you might have a bad ground connection. When the taillights are on, that is when there is the most power draw on the system. Stepping on the brakes would then add more and this is when a ground problem will usually show up. The taillights usually ground through the mounting bolts on trailers. Check for a bad ground, loose connection, and dirt and corrosion. Any of those can cause this problem. Also check the light bracket connections to the trailer frame as lights can...
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  • Trailer Lights Go Out when Brakes are Applied
  • It sounds as if you have a ground issue with the trailer wiring. Starting at the rear of the vehicle, confirm that the ground connection on the Plug and Tow Harness is securely fastened to bare metal. If there is undercoating, corrosion, or grime built up under where you attached the ground, you will not have a good connection. Next, examine the point on the trailer where the trailer connector ground wire attaches. This can usually be found on the trailer tongue. Make sure the wire is in...
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  • Using a Multimeter to Troubleshoot Electric Drum Trailer Brake Magnets
  • I would check the magnets for wear before going on to test them with a meter. If the magnets show abnormal wear or if you can see the windings beginning to show through the friction surface of the magnet then they will need to be replaced. To further test your magnets, first make sure the trailer is not connected when performing this test. If the trailer is connected, you run the risk of shorting out the brake controller or various other electrical components. I attached an FAQ article...
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  • Trailer Turn Signals and Brake Lights Not Working on a Boat Trailer
  • If you are getting the correct signals from the truck side trailer connectors then the problem is on the trailer. There could be a number of issues causing the problem. The easiest to check would be the trailer side connector. With the trailer connected, test the wires right behind the trailer side connector using a circuit tester like # 3808. If no signals are coming through then you know the connector is bad and it will need to be replaced. While you are at the trailer side connector,...
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  • Trailer Brake and Turn Signals are Not Working but Running Lights Work
  • If you are using an adapter like # 37385, it could be that the adapter is not pinned out the same way as your trailer requires. What you can do is test the functions on the trailer connector on your vehicle with a circuit tester like # 3808 if needed to make sure that all of them are working properly. If they are then you know the problem is behind the vehicle side connector. If they are not working properly on the tow vehicle it could still be a blown fuse or relays that needs to be...
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  • Stop and Turn Signals Work But Tail Lights Do Not Work on Trailer
  • The first thing I would check is the trailer wiring running light fuse located in the power distribution box under the hood. Once the fuse box is located check the legend on the lid to determine the correct fuse to check. Blown running light fuses are a common problem with the Nissan Titan trucks. If the running light fuse is not blown or missing, you should also check fuses in the cab of the truck. Again use the legend on the cover, you will have a fuse box on the passengers side and...
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  • Troubleshooting Brake Controller Not Working When Brakes Are Applied but Works With Override Switch
  • This sounds like the trailer brakes are not receiving the signal from the brake controller when you apply the brakes. I believe what is happening is that you may have a loose, broken, or inaccurate connection on the red wire from the brake controller. The red wire needs to attach to the stop light switch above the brake pedal. It connects to the wire on this switch that carries a signal ONLY when the brake pedal is pressed. It should not have a signal at any other time. Use a circuit...
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  • What does the SC Error Code Mean on a Hopkins Impulse Brake Controller
  • The error code SC means that the Impulse brake controller has detected a short circuit. To the best of my knowlege, there is not a CS error code on Hopkins brake controllers. You should check the brake controller connection under the dash to be sure it is wired correctly. The red wire should be inserted into slot A for 1999-2002 GM trucks or slot D for 2003 to 2006, and 2007 Classic body, GM trucks. If you do not have a Chevrolet truck, or the pin is inserted in the correct position...
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  • Troubleshooting 47285 Reliance Brake Controller Issue With No Power to Trailer Brakes
  • You should have some connections underneath the hood that will need to be made on your 2004 Chevrolet Silverado in order to power the trailer brakes. Access your accessory fuse block by first removing the bracket nearest to the driver, then removing the top and lower covers. Once you have access to the fuse block, you should see a red wire with a ring terminal, and a blue wire with a small plug on the cab side. The red wire must be connected to the closest positive post, which will...
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  • With Trailer Running Lights On, All Lights Go Off when Applying Vehicle Brakes
  • The problem with the lights going off sounds like a ground issue. The brake lights apply additional load on the wiring and this is usually when a ground problem will show up. First, make sure that the trailer connectors are clean and free of any corrosion. Corrosion can cause a short which can lead to many problems, including the flashing problem. On the trailer side, make sure the main ground wire from the trailer connector is attach to a clean and corrosion free bare metal surface....
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Brake Lights Not Working on a 2003 Chevy Silverado 1500
  • Since the lights on the truck are working but the lights on the trailer are not, I am inclined to believe that the problem is on the trailer side but I do not want to rule out the truck just yet. First, I recommend testing the trailer connector on the truck side. You will need 2 things. First, you will need a circuit tester like # 3808 if you do not already have one. Second, you will need someone to sit in the truck to run the lights while you test the trailer connector. The brake lights...
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  • Installing a 7-Way Trailer Connector on a 2000 Chevy Suburban
  • If your Suburban has a round connector to plug in a 7-Way, you could just use # 30955, which is a replacement 7 and 4-Way connector. On some models of the 2000 Chevy trucks and SUVs, there may not have been a tow package wiring plug located above the spare tire. Instead, there could be a bundle of wires. In the bundle of wires, look for the following colors: Yellow = left turn and brake light Dark Green = right turn and brake light Brown = tail lights White = ground Light Blue =...
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Right Turn and Brake Lights Not Working
  • The brake and turn signals are on the same circuit so it is strange that it is malfunctioning in this manner. My first thought is that the load of having the light attached is causing the issue. This could be a couple of things. First, depending on the vehicle, you may need some additional relays to make the trailer wiring fully functional. It will show it works when testing it with a meter because it is not enough of a load. When you add and actual light, it puts more load on the system...
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  • Reverse Lights on Dodge Ram 2500 Series Stay On When Trailer is Connected
  • The circuit that provides power to the reverse lights should be wired to the center pin on the 7-way trailer connector on your vehicle. It sounds as if you will need to do some troubleshooting to determine the cause of your problem. Check the plug on your trailer for corrosion or damage. If you find any green or white corrosion in any of the sockets on the connector, there is a good chance that the corrosion has spread to the interior of the connector, causing a short or feedback back...
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  • How to Wire a CHMSL on a Cap/Camper Shell on a 2010 Chevy Silverado 1500
  • Yes, the orange wire that you found in the bundle of wires near the brake pedal is the correct wire to use as the power wire for the light on your canopy. You are also correct about the white wire being the ground wire. You will also have to connect the two wires under your hood so your tow package will be functional before the center high mount stop light will function on your 2010 Chevy 1500. I attached an FAQ article on how this is done for you to check out.
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  • Can a Back Up Camera be Installed on a 2011 Buick Lacrosse
  • Installation of a backup camera like the Hopkins Rear View Camera, # HM60195VA, is definitely possible on your 2011 Buick Lacrosse. It is probably easier to perform the installation on a car rather than an SUV in general. First, you would just mount the camera part with the rear license plate. From there you would need to route the wire from the camera into the trunk in a manner of your choosing. The longer cable connects to the camera, has wires to attach to the reverse light wire and...
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  • Troubleshooting Right Side Turn Signal Not Working On Trailer
  • This sounds like a ground problem on the right side. The turn signal not working makes sense because with the brake lights, there is a constant signal coming through which is enough to make the lights illuminate on both sides like they should. But the on/off of a turn signal does not offer enough consistent voltage and makes the problem apparent. On the vehicle, check to see if there is a turn signal fuse for the tow package wiring that may have blown. You can use your owners manual...
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer Lights Not Working and No Power at the 7-Way on a 2000 GMC Yukon
  • There could be a couple of causes leading to the lighting malfunction you are experiencing. The first things I would check are the ground connections on the vehicle side 7-Way, trailer side connector, and the grounds for the lights on the trailer. On most trailers, the lights ground through the mounting studs. Make sure that at each ground location, there is no dirt or corrosion. A bad ground connection is one of the leading causes of lighting malfunctions. You can also probe the wires...
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  • How Does the OEM Backup Camera System Work on New Ford Vehicles
  • The lines that appear on the screen on the backup camera system you are referring to is a sort of augmented reality if you are familiar with the term. It overlays a graphic, in this case two straight lines, over a live video feed of what is behind the vehicle when the camera is powered on (normally when the vehicle is put into reverse). Since the rear wheels of a vehicle are fixed (meaning they do not turn like the front wheels) it does not have to recalculate based on the angle of...
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  • Hydraulic Trailer Brakes Locked Up When Backing Boat Trailer
  • A bad ground can cause all kinds of problems and that is going to be the best place to start checking. You will also want to check the vehicle and trailer side connectors for corrosion. Since everything was working fine, though, chances are that it is the ground that is causing your problem. It sounds as if the electric reverse lockout was not working which could be a result of the bad ground. But you will also want to check to make sure that the wire to the solenoid and the solenoid...
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  • Trailer Brakes Stay Engaged When Not Using Brakes or Override on Hopkins Agility Brake Controller
  • It sounds like you will need to set up the Hopkins Agility brake controller, # HM47294, as if you have just installed it. From time to time, settings can get changed and the controller can get knocked out of position and you might not notice. Double check to make sure the controller is within the +70 to -20 degree range, and that it is not tilted to the left or right. If it is, the internal inertia sensor inside may be incorrectly reading braking activity and send too much power to the...
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  • Trailer Lights Do Not Work when Connected to 2011 Chevy Silverado but Do Work with Other Vehicles
  • If your 2011 Chevy Silverado came with a factory tow package (or even if it did not), there may be some connections that you will need to make under the hood to make everything fully functional. You can take a look at the FAQ article I have linked at the Finalizing Connections for the Brake Controller section. It is also possible that you may be missing relays and/or fuses associated with the tow package wiring. You can use the owners manual to make sure that you have checked all of...
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  • Wiring Power To Backup Camera On A 2008 Cadillac DTS
  • Different vehicle manufacturers use different wire colors for vehicle wiring. You will need to use a circuit tester like part # 3808 to test the functions of the vehicles wires to determine which one carries reverse lights. To hookup power to a backup camera, you can splice the power wire directly into the wire that feeds into the reverse light on your tail lights.
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  • E Error Code on Hopkins Impulse and Reliance Brake Controllers Means no Trailer is Connected
  • I spoke with my contact at Hopkins about the E message you are seeing on your Hopkins brake controller. The error code chart is not available in the instructions for the Agility (linked below) that you have referenced, but my contact stated that the Agility should not have an E error message. However, both the Impulse and the Reliance can have an E message. This just indicates that the trailer is not connected.
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  • Brake Lights and Turn Signals Do Not Work on a Trailer Towed by a 2012 Dodge Durango SXT
  • The easiest way to see if the issue is on your trailer or on your 2012 Dodge Durango SXT is to use a circuit tester like # 3808 and test the pins on the 4-way connector on your vehicle with the trailer disconnected. Assuming the vehicle was wired properly, you should be able to use the 4-way connector or the 7-way connector. Have someone active the turn signals and brakes as you test each pin on the 4-way connector on your vehicle. I have attached a video of my co-worker demonstrating...
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  • Troubleshooting Turn Signals, Brake Lights Not Working with Running Lights On on a 2006 Silverado
  • It sounds as if you have a classic ground issue. When the vehicle running lights are on, and the brakes and or turn signals are activated, the amperage draw is the greatest and the faulty ground shows up. I would start with checking all of the ground connections on the trailer. Check the ground connection at the coupler and make sure it is attached to a rust, corrosion and paint free part of the trailer frame. Next, check all of the trailer lights. Most trailer lights are grounded through...
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  • E2 Error Code on a Hopkins Trailer Brake Controller on a Ford F-250
  • The E2 error on your Hopkins brake controller indicates a short to the blue wire. The most likely culprit is a dirty or corroded vehicle/trailer connector and is causing power draw from another circuit to the brake circuit. Clean both connectors and also check the back where the wires attach because corrosion can build up there as well. If this does not solve the issue, you should test the controller itself to see if it is the problem. Sever the blue wire a few inches from the back of...
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  • Troubleshooting Hopkins Agility Brake Controller Not Engaging Trailer Brakes with Brake Pedal
  • The first thing I would check on the Hopkins Agility Electric Brake Controller, # HM47294, is the red wire. On your 2001 Ford F-350, you can use the Hopkins Plug-in Simple Brake Wiring Adapter, # HM47715. This harness plugs into the brake controller and the other end plugs into a port under the dash of the truck. If you used this harness, or if you hardwired the brake controller, use a circuit tester like the Quickee # 3808 to probe the red wire on the back of the brake controller. When...
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  • What Does SC Message Mean On Hopkins Agility Brake Controller, # HM47295
  • On the Hopkins Agility Brake Controller, # HM47295, the message is actually SC, which means short circuit. First, you will want to check the blue wire for a short by severing the connection of the blue wire at the brake controller. You will want to leave enough wire to reattach the blue wire after testing. If you step on the brakes after severing the blue wire and you still get the SC reading, then the red stoplight switch wire is the problem. The red wire needs to attach to the stop...
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