Adding a Battery and Wiring to a Non-Powered Trailer to Add Interior Lights to an Enclosed Trailer

Question:

Hi, I am interested in adding a battery system to my unpowered trailer. Do you have an installation kit you could recommend? I have a 12 enclosed two wheel Pace trailer, no brakes. The trailer has an interior light which is powered by the tow vehicle only when the vehicle is turned on. I would like to add a battery to the trailer so that I can have some power in the trailer to operate the light for brief durations when the trailer is not coupled or the vehicle is off. Thanks

Expert Reply:

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 just connected to the battery, it will be on all the time and drain the battery quickly. The light sounds like it is connected to the running light circuit, so this connection will have to be severed so the new connection works properly

If your 2002 GMC Sierra and trailer use 7-Way or 6-Way connectors, you can connect the 12 volt power wire to the trailer battery to maintain the battery while towing. Make sure first that the power wire is not already connected to a vital component on the trailer.

If you are using a 4 or 5-Way connector, you will want to use a battery charger, like the CTEK US 3300 12-Volt Battery Charger with Pulse Maintenance, # CTEK56158, to charge and maintain the battery when not towing the trailer. I have included a link to a video review of CTEK battery chargers below.

expert reply by:
Michael H

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