Keeping the lights in your trailer working properly is critical. They keep you legal and safe on the road, allowing other drivers to know that you’re there and how far away your trailer is. They’re also a must-have in poor weather conditions, when visibility is limited, and when you need to navigate through dense fog or snow.
Whether you have a new trailer or an old one, it’s important to check its wiring system to make sure all your lights work correctly. This will save you money in the long run, and prevent future problems down the road.
First, check the wires that go to your trailer’s lights for corrosion or damage. Ideally, you’ll want to sand them down and clean them up so they’re not rusty. If they’re really corroded, you may need to replace them altogether.
Next, you’ll need to strip the old wires and replace them with new ones. You can find replacement wires at any marine supply dealer or online store. Then, you’ll need to connect them up.
The main wires that go to the trailer’s lights are brown for taillights, white for ground and green for turn indicators. You should also install a yellow wire for the identification light. This is required by law for trailers over 80 inches wide.
Before you do anything else, sketch out a diagram of how the lights are set up. This will remove any doubt and help you wire them accordingly.
Once you’ve got the wiring all figured out, you’ll need to secure them so they don’t snag or fall off. The best way to do this is with a pair of galvanized wire clips. These are designed to have a little give so they’ll hold the wires securely, but not clamp them down.
Leave a few inches of slack at the end where they connect to your vehicle. This will allow you to make a wide turn without having to worry about the wires breaking or pulling free.
Another way to keep the wires safe from the elements is to mount them on a light bar. These are typically made from a length of PVC pipe that you can attach to the frame of your trailer.
This will keep your wires from getting tangled up in the frame of the trailer, and it’ll also protect them from rain and dirt. Some people even get fancy and mount their light bars out of wood or aluminum.
When you’re finished, crimp the connectors and add heat shrink tube to keep them watertight. This will ensure that your trailer’s wiring will last for years to come.
After you’ve completed this, test the lights to ensure they’re all working as intended. This will help you avoid having to buy new wires in the future.
If you’re going to be towing a boat, it’s also essential to check the boat’s lights for corrosion or other damage. Hopefully, you’ll be able to replace them before it gets too bad.