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Expert Answers about Hopkins

  • Replacing 6-Way on Trailer With 7-Way Connector
  • Since wire color codes are NOT universal, we always recommend wiring by function, rather than wire color. If you look at the Trailer Wiring FAQ article I have linked you to, you can see some diagrams showing the proper way to wire a vehicle and trailer side 7-way trailer connector. If can you open up the existing 6-way connector on your trailer, take the housing apart and look at the terminals the wires attach to. In many cases, they will be labeled like what is shown in the FAQ article....
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  • Troubleshooting Electric Trailer Brake System on Trailer Towed by Chevy 2500 Series Truck
  • Discovering why the trailer brakes are not getting power will be a process of elimination. I am not aware of what you have and have not checked, so I will describe the whole troubleshoot process. Start with the brake controller itself. Is it properly adjusted and leveled (if necessary) according to the instructions? Is it getting power? To determine if the controller is receiving power, you can use a circuit tester like part # 40376 on the black wire that feeds the controller to ensure...
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  • 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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  • Lighting and Wiring Options for Flat-Towing a Jeep Wrangler Behind a Motor Home
  • What you need is a light kit specifically for flat-towing. The Plug-N-Tow TM Vehicle Wiring Harness, # 42615, would be if the Jeep were towing a trailer and not for activating its lights while it is being towed. There are a few options for lighting when flat-towing a vehicle. I have included an FAQ article that covers the various options. What it boils down to is how often you will be towing the Jeep behind the motor home. If you do not plan on towing it very often, the best way to...
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  • How to Release the Brakes on a Trailer Once the Break Away Switch Is Activated
  • If you still have the plunger end that goes in the break away switch, then you can simply insert the plunger back into the switch and that should cut off the power to the brakes on your trailer. If you no longer have the plunger, then you can either remove the break away battery or cut one of the wires going to or from the break away switch. One wire is coming from the break away battery and the other is going to the brake circuit on the trailer. Cutting one of those wires will terminate...
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  • Is the OEM Trailer Wiring Pattern the Same for Dodge Ford and GM vehicles
  • The OEM wiring configuration of all Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford vehicles, as well as Nissan and Toyota, is the same, and is identical to the pattern shown in the photo I have attached. This is all based on wiring that has not been changed from the original configuration by the owner of the vehicle. Many times we see vehicles come in with the wiring on the vehicle changed because the person has a trailer that is wired incorrectly. Instead of changing the trailer wiring to match the industry...
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  • Powering Trailer Mounted Winch from 7-Way Trailer Connector
  • The wiring that feeds the 12-volt accessory circuit on the 7-way trailer connector is of insufficient gauge to allow enough power to pass through to run a trailer mounted winch. The main function of that circuit would be for lighter-duty applications, such as providing power for interior trailer lights or to maintain a trailer mounted battery. To provide power for your trailer mounted winch, you can either install a battery on the trailer to power it, or use a quick disconnect like...
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  • Trailer Lights Go Out when Brakes are Applied
  • What you describe is a ground problem 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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  • How to Wire 12V Battery in Enclosed Trailer to Power Trailer Lights Independent of 7-Way Connection
  • You are correct in your description of how to wire in a new auxiliary battery in your enclosed trailer. You will take the 7-Way's 12V power feed and route this to the positive terminal on the auxiliary battery, and you will ground the second battery to the trailer frame, as you described. You might refer to the linked article on trailer wiring to see the usual wiring configurations on trailer connectors. If you want to protect your vehicle battery from accidental discharge (such as if...
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  • All Trailer Lights Work Fine Except Brake Lights Will Not Work
  • On a trailer the brake lights and turn signals operate on the same wire/bulb. So it is odd when the turn signals work but the brake lights don't. There are 3 possible causes for this that are more likely than any of the other possible causes. First there could be a problem on the vehicle side. Use a circuit tester such as # ALL640595 to test the vehicle side trailer connector while someone steps on the brakes in the tow vehicle. If there is no power on any of the pins for this test then...
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  • How to Wire Reverse Lights on a Trailer with a 4-Way Trailer Connector
  • We do have a solution for you, however, you will not be able to power reverse lights on a trailer with a 4-pin trailer connector. The reverse lights on a trailer must receive power from the reverse lights on the tow vehicle. To do this, you will want to install a 5-pin connector on the trailer and on the tow vehicle. There are many options, but I recommend installing the Hopkins Endurance 5-way Flat Wiring Kit, # HM47890, for a uniform look. You can simply cut off the 4 pin connectors...
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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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  • Explanation of How Trailer Breakaway Kit Works
  • The Hopkins Engager Trailer Break-Away Kit works by applying 12 volts of power to the trailer brakes when the plastic key is pulled out of the switch box allowing the circuit to be completed and power applied from the breakaway battery. If the trailer coupler should come off of the trailer ball, the safety cable pulls the key out and the connection is made to stop the trailer. The included rechargeable battery is charged by the auxiliary power wire from the tow vehicle which must be...
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  • Troubleshooting Trailer and Truck Lighting Problems When Trailer 7-Way is Connected
  • Thank you for providing a thorough description of the truck and trailer lighting issues you're having. The various problems you describe COULD be related to the same issue, corrosion in the trailer connectors, but there may also be multiple things you'll need to attend to. The best way to troubleshoot your concerns is to unplug the trailer from the truck's 7-way and then to test each one individually. Since your RV is used, it's wiring is my prime suspect. Step one for troubleshooting...
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  • What Back-Up Camera Can be Used with a 32 Foot Travel Trailer
  • At that trailer length, we have two wireless cameras that will work for you. The first is the Swift Hitch Camera, part # 04928. It will transmit up to 300 ft. with no obstructions. I would mount it towards the top of the trailer to get better signal transmission. The camera and monitor have built-in batteries and the kit includes a charger that will charge both from your cigarette lighter port. You could also use the Master Lock Back-Up Camera, part # 4843DAT. It transmits up to 125...
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  • Is Using a Brake Controller Necessary for Towing a Trailer
  • If the trailer is equipped with electric brakes and you want them to actuate, you'll need a brake controller. A brake controller is a fairly small investment that will go a long way to keep you safer when towing. There are two types of controllers, the older time-delayed variety and the newer proportional type. I'd recommend going with a proportional controller like the Tekonsha Primus, part # TK90160. A proportional controller can sense how quickly the tow vehicle is braking, and...
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  • What is the AUX Power Pin for on a 7-Way Trailer Connector
  • Some trailers may need an auxiliary power source to power additional 12 volt items on the trailer but this isn't as common as you might think. Now instead of aux power reverse lights are more common on vehicle side trailer connectors (and still not used by all that many trailers). If your trailer does not need aux power and you don't want that circuit live at the connector you could remove that wire from the back of the 7-Way and cap it off with a wire nut, tape it up with electrical...
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  • Can a 7-Way Trailer Connector Be Used To Charge the Trailer Battery
  • The 12 Volt auxiliary terminal on your 7-way connector can be used to keep the battery on your trailer charged. You will need to run a 10 gauge power wire like # 10-1-1 from the 12 volt auxiliary terminal on the 7-Way trailer connector on the trailer to the positive terminal on the trailer battery and ground the negative terminal of the trailer battery to the trailer frame. This will allow you to maintain a charge on your trailer battery, it will not charge the battery from a discharged...
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  • Changing from a 4-Way Flat to 7-Way Blade Trailer Connector on Trailer and 2003 Ford Ranger
  • First I recommend going with a 7-Way blade style for your trailer and truck because that is the most common advanced function connector used. To add one on the trailer you can use # PK12706. If your trailer only has the basic light functions then you will only need to cut off the 4-Way and attach the wires according to the diagram I have included. Please note that when you attach the existing wires to the connector you cannot just go by wire color. You will need to go by function in...
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  • Using a 6-Way to 7-Way Adapter for a RV with 6-Way Round Socket and Trailer with a 7-way Connector
  • The Hopkins 6 Pole to 7 Pole Adapter, # 47435, does have a pin for the brake output for a brake controller. This adapter will work for your set up as long as the center pin of the 6-way plug on your RV is for 12v power and the pin in the 10 o clock position is for the brakes. You can verify this using a circuit tester like part # ALL640595. If the center pin on your 6-way plug is wired for brakes and the pin in the 10 o clock position is for 12v power, then you can still make an adapter...
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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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  • Wiring For 7-Way Connector on 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • On your 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 the factory wires should be light green, dark green, blue, yellow, red, brown, and black. The functions of those wires should be as follows: light green - reverse lights dark green - right turn/brake blue - electric trailer brakes yellow - left turn/brake red - 12 volt power brown - running lights black - ground I would also recommend to test the functions of your wires with a circuit tester, part # 40376, to verify the function of the...
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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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  • Color Clarification Regarding Wiring Issues of a 7 pin Trailer Blade Connector
  • Figuring out what color wire goes to what function is sometimes quite confusing. I have attached a diagram which covers both the most common wire colors designated for a seven pin trailer connector and a seven pin vehicle connector, referencing the wiring colors for each blade and what each blade is responsible for. If you look up part # H20046, you will see about 1/3 of the way down the page a chart that will give you a wiring guide. It gives you the color of the wire and how it relates...
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  • Tow Package Fuse Locations on a 2006 Chevy Silverado
  • From what I was able to find there are several fuses associated with the tow package wiring on a 2006 Chevy Silverado. In the instrument panel on the side of the dash you should see RT TRLR ST/TRN for trailer right turn and brake signal and LT TRLR ST/TRN for trailer left turn and brake lights. In the center panel in the truck cab there is only one fuse and it is for brake controller power. Under the hood there is a fuse that goes with stud # 2 for accessory power/trailer brakes,...
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  • Once a Trailer Breakaway Switch Pin has Been Pulled is the System Reusable
  • Yes. The way that a breakaway switch such as # HM20010 works is that the pin inside holds two pieces of metal apart. Once pulled out it allows the 2 pieces of metal to touch completing the circuit between the breakaway battery and the trailer brakes. All you would have to do to reset the system is put the pin back into the switch. I have included a couple of helpful links on breakaway systems for you.
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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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  • Which Trailer Wiring Connector Has a Pin for Reverse Lights
  • In order to add reverse lights to a trailer would would need to have a 7-Way on the trailer, like # 50-67-008, and a 7-Way on the vehicle. On the vehicle side, if you are looking at the back of the 7-Way where the wires connect, the reverse light circuit is the center pin. It will need to connect to a reverse light wire behind one of the vehicle tail lights. On the trailer side the matching pin is again the center pin. So from that pin, you would route wire to reverse lights. Reverse...
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  • Adding a Battery and Wiring to a Non-Powered Trailer to Add Interior Lights to an Enclosed Trailer
  • The first thing you will need is a battery and a battery box. The wiring for the light will need to be connected directly to this battery via a switch that you can get at a hardware store if the light does not already have a switch. Or you can install a new light that has a switch like the Trailer Dome Light with Switch and Aluminum Base, # IL61CB. Mount the switch in the trailer, route the wiring from the light to the switch, and then from the switch to the battery. If the light is...
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