Choosing the Right Trailer Wire Connector
Towing a trailer safely and effectively involves a series of steps. Once you have (1) determined your vehicle's towing capacity, (2) installed the right trailer hitch, (3) selected the right hitch and ball, (4) and installed a trailer brake controller, you will have to wire up your vehicle and trailer. The last step involves installing trailer lights, as it is required legally for your vehicle to have working lights installed when towing your trailer on public roads. Choosing the right trailer wire connector, then, is very important. It needs to be durable and reliable, as you'd not only want to avoid a ticket, you'd also want to prevent an accident.
Which vehicles need a trailer wire connector?
Most trucks, vans, SUVs and RVs made since the mid-1990s should already have trailer lighting connectors and brake controllers installed. They were made to be readily plugged in to the trailer. This makes it a breeze for owners to set up their trailer electronics.
If your truck or SUV, however, is not prepared for towing, or if your wiring system is damaged, you will need to find and install a wiring connector. Some trailers that are commonly used for towing small to medium boat trailers and utility trailers have four-wire trailer light connectors. Other trailers require five to seven lights, in which case you'll need to purchase matching tail light connectors. These are the trailers that require backup lights, electric brakes, and auxiliary power for heavier loads. Choose a connector that fits your towing needs.
The effects to driving conditions
Be aware that when towing a trailer, your driving conditions change: your vehicle becomes heavier, slower, and won't stop as well as when you don't have the trailer. Oddly, other drivers' attitudes change as well-they rush around you or won't let you change lanes. Installing the right trailer wire connector is one of the most important ways you can make the whole towing process easier for both you and the drivers you'll be meeting on the road.
How to Install a Trailer Wire Connector
When towing a trailer, it is important to make sure you have the right trailer wire connector. The number of wires depends on the weight of the trailer you're planning to tow. The simplest setup for small trailers makes use of four wires to control tail lights. We will show you how to install a four-wire trailer connecter easily and conveniently.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools you'll need:
- 12 VDC Test Light
Step 1: Locate the wiring harness. It is usually placed inside the trunk near the back bumper. Your trailer wire connector came with a harness and a harness clamp. Decide where to place these underneath the rear bumper area. Drill a 1/8-inch hole in the car frame near this location. Attach the wiring harness clamp with a screw.
Step 2: Allow 6 inches of the end of the wiring harness to hang loose from the wiring harness clamp. Drill a 1/2-inch hole near the bottom of the trunk where you're planning to have the tail light wire harness and the trailer wire connector harness meet.
Step 3: Pass one end of the wiring harness through the ?-inch hole into the trunk.
Step 4: Splice the green wire from the trailer light connector harness. Locate the green wire in the tail light wiring harness. Attach this wire to the spliced wire from the trailer connector harness. This takes care of the right side, turn, and stop light.
Step 5: Repeat step 4 for the yellow and brown wires. The yellow wire connects to the left side, stop, and turn lights, while the brown wire takes care of the tail, license, and marker lights.
Step 6: Choose an exposed area in the metal frame inside the trunk, and drill a 1/8-inch hole in that section. Using sandpaper, sand the metal within1/2-inch of the 1/8-inch hole. Attach the white wire to the 1/8-inch hole with a sheet metal screw. This serves as the ground wire.
Step 7: Begin testing the connections you made by turning on the head lights. Clip the ground side of the 12 VDC test light to the ground connection screw. Place the end of the test light on the green wire of the four-wire trailer light harness-if it turns on, then the connection is good.
Step 8 : Perform some tests by turning the right and left turn signals on. Seal the 1/2-inch hole in the trunk with silicone, and cover the white wire with silicone as well.