Wiring Advice

94SRUNNER

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Hey All,

I have a 5X8' Snowbear Utility Trailer. Its not much, but it works great for the occasional project at home or at the farm. Pictures below show a few views of the trailer hauling my grandfathers old International Cub Cadet 762 to the shop. Sorry for the blurry pics.

Anyway after just about 5yrs of good service and a few to many days outside, it is time to replace the wiring in the trailer. I am going to install LED tail lights and turn signal lights as part of freshening things up. But I am wondering what to do about wiring aspect of.

If anyone has any suggestion, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks

Pete
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94SRUNNER

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Yeah, thats what I figured. But I wasn't sure if there was better solution than the ready made harness.


Thanks photogod
 
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The brackets that protect your rear lights are one of the best things on Snowbear trailers and you should try to keep them with similar lights if you can. I have used and very much abused my snowbear trailer both on and off road and it still has the original lights.
 

94SRUNNER

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gavman,

I hear you on those brackets and yes the replacements I found did fit the space.

98 Snake Eater,

Great tip on soldering the connections.

Any other tips guys would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
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The most common problem with all trailers, besides cr@ppy lights failing, is open or poor grounds. On my trailer I ran additional white ground wires from each light to a common ground point at the tongue. Then I added a ground wire to the connector and made sure there was a good ground at the truck frame end of the circuit.

I ran the wires inside the rails wherever possible, and used split loom everywhere else.

The light and ground circuits all terminate at a marine terminal strip (West Marine) on the inside of the A frame, with "liquid electrical tape" (NAPA) coating to prevent corrosion. The strip makes it dead easy to replace the front section of harness if anything happens to it, and if you need to troubleshoot a dead light, it gives easy access to the circuits without having to take everything apart.



Soft Road Trailer

I strongly disagree about soldering - a good automotive butt splice installed with a quality crimper is far, FAR superior, and you can either buy the expen$ive "environmental" splices or use regular ones and inject silicone sealer into the end cavities. I have even lightly coated the splice with sealer and then shrunk heat shrink tubing over the top. Soldering has no place on a vehicle harness - the joint is inflexible and prone to vibration fracture.

Make sure your truck connector is clean and corrosion free - if you need to replace it, install a standard 7 pin round connector. The Hoppy Multi-Tow is great because it has both 4 pin and 7 pin connectors in the same housing:



Amazon.com: Hopkins Plug-In Simple 47185 Multitow 7:4 Adapter: Automotive

Do NOT use any connector that has a steel housing - water will corrode the housing and eventually short out the pins.

Take the time to do this right and you will never have to screw with it again. My trailer has LEDs and after many years of abuse I have never had a single light problem.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
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Run all of the wiring on the inside of the rail tubing and solder/heatshrink all connections :) (no quick crimp connectors)
I totally concur with Mr.98 Snake Eater. Mechanical connections are just and only that, mechanical. Anything soldered and heat shrunk together is as good as a continous wire, and will never fail. I've even soldered the crimp type fittings on to add a little security

Nice,neat work Mr. Davies on the harness and grounds, that makes alot of sense as far as replacement. Another great point is an application of a liquid sealer. And not being a wise ass....how many times has it had to be replaced since you've done it? (i.e. got tore off, caught on something, rotted?)

just my 2cents, Pat
 
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And not being a wise ass....how many times has it had to be replaced since you've done it? (i.e. got tore off, caught on something, rotted?)t
One time.... I fabricated a second longer (extendable) tongue and needed to lengthen the front harness.



I am a firm believer in "plan ahead".

John Davies
Spokane WA
 
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I totally concur with Mr.98 Snake Eater. Mechanical connections are just and only that, mechanical. Anything soldered and heat shrunk together is as good as a continous wire, and will never fail. I've even soldered the crimp type fittings on to add a little security
The FAA does not agree with this - it strictly forbids ANY soldered joint for a wire harness on any aircraft. Only crimp splices are allowed, because the crimped joint will flex and not fracture. It also avoids the possibility of a cold solder joint.

One can claim that a trailer doesn't fly ;) but it sure as heck gets bounced around on rough roads.

OTH soldered joints are quick and easy and probably good enough, as long as you use rosin core solder, they are covered with heat shrink tubing and NOT electrical tape, and the wires are well secured so they can't flop around. Unfortunately many folks don't have a clue how to do it correctly ;(

It all depends on how anal you are. Being an ex-A&P mechanic, I am pretty anal.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 
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titanpat57

Bigfoot?!...never heard of him...
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Hmmmm..flying trailer? Did you run this past Drew as an option?

I really like the plastic Hopkins plug you pointed out too, esp. if they can be mounted "in" the bumper as opposed to "under" it. Seems everything mounted under becomes a catch-all for crud.

As far as you being anal John I just dont see it...I mean even though you ArmorAlled the trailer spare tire cover, its still cocked about a 1/4" off, and also you never waxed the outside of the drop down wheel on the tongue jack, so no, you're safe!

LOL..have a nice day :beer:
 
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The FAA does not agree with this - it strictly forbids ANY soldered joint for a wire harness on any aircraft. Only crimp splices are allowed, because the crimped joint will flex and not fracture. It also avoids the possibility of a cold solder joint.

One can claim that a trailer doesn't fly ;) but it sure as heck gets bounced around on rough roads.

OTH soldered joints are quick and easy and probably good enough, as long as you use rosin core solder, they are covered with heat shrink tubing and NOT electrical tape, and the wires are well secured so they can't flop around. Unfortunately many folks don't have a clue how to do it correctly ;(

It all depends on how anal you are. Being an ex-A&P mechanic, I am pretty anal.

John Davies
Spokane WA
The auto repair industry will agree. I read in Motor magazine why. For one, the solder these days does not contain lead. Without it, the connections corrode quickly and are weaker. This is a problem in modern automotive circuit boards too. Also, wires are prone to strain and can separate. A properly installed crimp connector provides just as good electrical connection plus the advantage of a mechanical connection. I like the crimps with the sealer inside that also have the heat shrink.
 
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