Trailer Wiring

5 Common Trailer Wiring Issues

During spring, you will find yourself thinking of waking up your travel trailer. You get taken away by the excitement of dragging your camper trailer or caravan out of hibernation to get some time away from the busy life.

Before embarking on your life-changing, memory-making journey, you need to do a quick and easy trailer wire check to eliminate any glitches on the blacktop. Understand how to wire a trailer before you make any drastic changes.

Top 5 common trailer wiring issues

It’s not uncommon to assume some common issues many faces while wiring your trailer. Below are these common issues you need to check before you start enjoying your ride.

1. Damaged wiring

Considering the time the trailer spent in the garage or shed, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you found damaged wires. It might be that your family pet chews thinking it’s a toy or it got old or rusted. Rocks can also be the cause of the damaged wires or anything damaging that you encounter on the road, particularly when driving off-road, or on tough, hardcore trains.

Any tear type on the wire or harness shows a potential short to earth, which is never good. The best way to prevent all these from happening is to become OCD neat with the trailer wire. Here you need to ensure that all the trailer wires under it run through a perfect protective conduit and secured better; there should be no hanging wires anywhere.  

Its recommended to always purchase trailer wires from a reliable source that sells high-quality trailer wires. Low-quality wires have less tolerance towards temperature. Further, low-quality wires normally include substandard insolation, hence the wires get damaged

2. Corrosion

The chances you have left your trailer sleeping under a shed or in the garage for quite some time are quite high. Not everyone will be using their trailers for the whole year; for a moment, there will need to be rest and get back a healthy life.

During this time, your trailer will be sitting there waiting for your next travel. That’s when the trailer plugs, and the pins get subjected to corrosion from weather elements thrown at it during this time.  

It would be best if you freshened up the connectors, pin, and plugs. Use the right oiling or grease such as WD-40 to blast out any rust or corrosion, anything that adds resistance to the trailer wire connection. Do the same to the socket in your tow car.

Additionally, use a small flathead screwdriver to make sure the pins are straight and not bent or pinched. If the plugs seem to be too far gone, well, you better start thinking of replacing them or dealing with much more than loose wires.

3. Unbalanced braking

Trailer brake wiring can only be done in one way, the right direction. Unbalanced braking does happen when the trailer wire length between the magnet connections add unwanted resistance. That creates a difference with the braking performance. When this happens, it makes your trailer feel like it is winding when you step on the brakes.

And you what, a brake controller has a single output wire. It will create a twisting sensation under braking if the cable runs to the wheels in a complicated way. That causes one wheel to start getting hot while the other stays cold.

Why is that? Well, that is because only one side wheel (the hot one) is doing all the braking, causing excess resistance to the brakes. That increases the wear and tear of the brakes.

What to do here: ensure the length of the trailer wire from a single controller output cable to the magnets is equal to better the braking balance. That will also provide the wheel brakes with the equal amount of power and brakes evenly.

4. Poor connections

The connection quality in trailer electronics means everything considering it concerns the safety of you and your family. That’s why today you get some of the electric trailer controllers, especially for the brakes that come with circuit analysis. It detects any faults that might be hidden in the trailer wiring, making it easy to rectify.

The installation of the electric controllers needs to be perfect. Ensure you get the setup right before connecting other electronics or even the brake kit. Taste the lines of any faults and ensure the circuit connects end to end. Also, check the sections of all the brake controllers to make sure they are properly joined.

5. Earth

Lastly, every electronic need to be earthed to electrical faults in the earth wire connection issue. Most plugs come wired to suit the basic trailer needs. However, you need to fit the controllers with the right wires and not leave the earth wire stranded.

The earth wire is as important as the live cable since it completes the circuit when the live wire delivers the power. When your trailer has a poor earth connection, you might be experiencing some funny things like some lights not going on or activation of the indicator lights.

Upgrade the trailer earth wire via the plug and make sure all the earth cables get a good metal on metal conduction. Next, seal the connection with the right sealant spray.

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