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Author Topic:   Trailer Electric Wiring
scoob posted 04-05-2006 04:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for scoob   Send Email to scoob  
What is the best way to run wires through boat trailer? I have a tilt-trailer. Does that pose a problem?

I am using a 6-prong plug. Is that a bad? I have a Toyota and the turn signal and brake lamps are separate.

I just have four lamps, two makrets, and two tail lights.

Chuck Tribolet posted 04-05-2006 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Does the truck already have a six prong plug? If so, you can
get adapters to flat four prong, which is the standard for
small trailers. I'd strongly recommend wiring the trailer
with a flat four, so if you ever need to have a buddy tow it,
you are good to go.


scoob posted 04-05-2006 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for scoob  Send Email to scoob     
Thank you.
My trailer is galvanized. I can't seem to get a good ground. Any tips for that? Again, what is the best wy to route the wires through my trailer? Again, it has a tilt or break away so the wires don't get pulled.
Chuck Tribolet posted 04-05-2006 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I don't have the foggiest about the tilt stuff.

I've got a galvanized trailer too, and when the galvanizing
gets nice and grey, it sure does make a fine insulator. I
fought that for a while. The current solution is a star washer under the ring connector, with an SS screw tapped into
the frame. The current star washer isn't SS, but I got some
SS star washers from

Long-term (like maybe next year), I'm going to completely
rewire the trailer with Ancor marine-grade wire. I'm going
to run ground wires from each light all the way up to the
front of the trailer and solder them all together and tuck
the solder joint up inside the winch stand.


scoob posted 04-05-2006 07:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for scoob  Send Email to scoob     
Thanks for the help. Again, it is tough to get a ground. I will just have to keep at it. Again thanks
jimh posted 04-05-2006 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
On boat trailers the wiring is usually run inside tubing stock or under channel stock. You can buy small spring steel clips which slip over the channel stock and then hold the wire.
Jerry Townsend posted 04-06-2006 01:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
scoob - wiring through the tilt tongue should not cause a big problem - just don't attach the wires to the "hinge sleave" going over the tongue forward of the hinge pin - and provide a little more slack in the wires around the hinge pin.

Regarding your ground - run the ground from the tow vehicle THROUGH the connector - and then on the trailer end, run a short wire from that connector pin to the trailer and connect to the trailer frame as others have mentioned - star washer and stainless screw. ---- Jerry/Idaho

where2 posted 04-06-2006 11:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I've had better luck running ground wires back to the lights they serve, rather than trying to get a good ground to the frame and then from the frame to the light.

Splurge a little on the wire cost up front, it will pay for itself later when the lights still work after a few years.

As for the Toyota separate amber turn signals and brake lights: There are adapters which will mount in the truck for converting these 6 wires to 4. Then you just use a 4 wire plug like every other vehicle on the street. I mounted an adapter in the back of my wife's '98 4Runner to convert the amber turns and brake lights to a 4 wire connector. It's actually a rather easy deal once you get the interior pieces removed enough to route the wires. The adapter is available from any auto parts store for around $15-$20. (there's also one mounted in the back of my Volkswagen for the rare occasion when I use it to tow a trailer).

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