Jump to content
IowaBass15

No lights working on boat trailer?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, I don't have a single light functioning when hooked up to my truck. Its a 4 pin to 4 pin. I haven't checked my fuse box yet nor my wires since I don't have to tools to test the wires and its dark outside so don't want to end up dropping a fuse. Has anyone had this happen before? Id rather try and troubleshoot the most common issue instead of wasting time jumping back and forth. Any advice appreciated. Take a look at the new rig while you're here.

ChevyStratos.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it seems like when every all my lights go out its a ground issue, check the trailer ground wire. should be black and make sure its properly grounded. Every light has its own power wire but they share a ground to the trailer.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Brent Bartman said:

it seems like when every all my lights go out its a ground issue, check the trailer ground wire. should be black and make sure its properly grounded. Every light has its own power wire but they share a ground to the trailer.

Okay sounds good I'm going to test them tomorrow. If they're all wrapped up do I need to unwrap the wires or can I just go ahead and test the 4 pin? Sorry if that's dumb I know nothing about electrical. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is it the truck or the boat?

can you use another trailer and see if its the truck.

or use another truck to the trailer.

 

As far as checking the ground. the ground wire should be attached to a bolt straight to the trailer. it should be the only wire not going to a light.

faq043_aa_600.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could be ball-grounded as well. If that's the case a rusty ball will cause ground issue and no lights. I had a buddy call me once at 3am with the line "Just hooked up my boat and the lights don't work". I asked if the ball was cleaned and he said "Its not on the ball, I just backed up next to it to check the lights before hooking it up..." I said to hook it up and call me back. He texted me a minute later saying "works now". lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also i lied about the wire being black. I just looked at mine after seeing this diagram and its white

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Kevin22 said:

Could be ball-grounded as well. If that's the case a rusty ball will cause ground issue and no lights. I had a buddy call me once at 3am with the line "Just hooked up my boat and the lights don't work". I asked if the ball was cleaned and he said "Its not on the ball, I just backed up next to it to check the lights before hooking it up..." I said to hook it up and call me back. He texted me a minute later saying "works now". lol

No the ball isn't rusty at all. I actually took some compound and got 95% of the rust off. That was about 4 or 5 days ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI at any trailer shop (uhaul in dav has them) they sell a power checker thinger (sorry dont know the correct name).. Its a male 4 prong with LED lights that you plug into your truck.. if the lights come on its not the truck. They are cheap. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Brent Bartman said:

is it the truck or the boat?

can you use another trailer and see if its the truck.

or use another truck to the trailer.

 

As far as checking the ground. the ground wire should be attached to a bolt straight to the trailer. it should be the only wire not going to a light.

faq043_aa_600.jpg

Thats what I'm not sure of. I am going to have a buddy bring his truck over and hook up and see what is the cause. I will double check the ground first tomorrow and see if thats the culprit.

1 minute ago, Kevin22 said:

FYI at any trailer shop (uhaul in dav has them) they sell a power checker thinger (sorry dont know the correct name).. Its a male 4 prong with LED lights that you plug into your truck.. if the lights come on its not the truck. They are cheap. 

theres plenty of those here in davenport so I am going to run to one tomorrow if a guy at work doesn't have one. I might just get one just incase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, IowaBass15 said:
Just now, IowaBass15 said:

Thats what I'm not sure of. I am going to have a buddy bring his truck over and hook up and see what is the cause. I will double check the ground first tomorrow and see if thats the culprit.

when you check the ground go ahead and remove the ground wire and wire brush the attached metal and bolt and expose some good bare metal. I like to use Dielectric grease on every connection I make on my boat or trailer. I just use a little bit to prevent corrosion. You can pick up a little packet at any autoparts store for like a dollar or so. its cheap. so cheap I never remember the price when i pick it up.  I actually keep about 10 extra packets in my tool box in the boat for just in case. also make sure the lug is attached tightly to the wire. and then tighten the wire back to the trailer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are great to have in your glove box. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had all mine stop working a few weeks ago, it was the fuse. Swapped them out, good to go. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tested my 4 pin to my truck and everything checked out so it must be the lights of the boat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its the ground then. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do what Brent said before you rewire anything and clean everything up. First take it for a spin around the (storage unit?) and make sure it gets a good ball connection. Could be some gunk up under the tongue. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got everything working besides the running lights. Brake lights, turn signals works just not the running lights. Any ideas? I checked ground and seemed corroded so I cut back and filed the trailer and the washing looking thing and nothing. All fuses good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loose or pinched wires. Start at the plug, make sure they didnt come loose from the pins. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

checked the pins and looked alright. Didn't notice any loose wires running from trailer back. I might have to just take it somewhere and let them fix the running lights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Follow the wires back, trailers are about as simple as it gets when it comes to wiring. Whenever I get a new trailer I rip all the wiring out and start fresh. It usually costs under 50 dollars in parts and an afternoon of my time to have years of trouble free use. 

 

Get yourself  a test light and a set of retractable test leads from the auto parts store. Watch some videos on YouTube about trailer wiring. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Better than a test light, get a cheap digital volt ohm meter at any auto shop, Harbor Freight, discount hardware store like American Eagle.Less than $10, maybe less than $5 on promotions.  It will come in handy around the house, too.  As Cmiller says, do a search for videos and learn how to use it.  You are making much more work for yourself (and others) when your problem can easily be diagnosed with the right tool and a little knowledge.

I agree it's most likely ground.  Do a systematic check of the truck output: Check the ground for zero resistance to bare metal on the truck, like a bolt for example.  Then check all the other circuits (when they are operating)  for voltage with one probe in the output, and one in the ground.  THIS WILL TELL YOU IF YOUR TRUCK WIRING IS OK.  

Then go to the trailer, while hooked up, and lights on, and check to see if you have voltage relative to ground at the components you are checking.  If you do, might be the bulb.  If you don't, most likely an open circuit between the truck and the component.  Most likely problem is right at the connector.   Make sure it's clean, and the female receptacles are actually contacting the males.

I would not rewire anything until I understood for sure what is going on.  If you cannot find the problem, then just think about how much trouble you will get into by rewiring and praying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It ended up being a fuse that wasn't labeled trailer in my truck. It was vehicle park and didn't even think of checking that one out. It's all fixed now and she loves the water. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels
    fishing gear

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×