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Old 12-18-2011, 09:27 PM   #1
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7-pin connector question-turn/stop pin

On my 2004 Meridian 36G diesel I've got a problem with the 7-pin connector at the rear of the coach when I connect my tow vehicle.

After 7 years of use, the last time I connected the Jeep I had a left stop light but no left turn signal. (The left turn on the Jeep when not hooked to the coach does work so no problem with that bulb). Have only had one short time to check the socket on the rear of the coach, but it seems there is no power to the pin at 9 o'clock (which from other Post's links is supposed to be the left turn/stop light - pin at 3 o'clock is supposed to be the right turn/stop light) when the coach left turn signal is operating.

Since the coach has separate rear lights for turn and stop lights, how can one pin have both turn/stop power?

When the weather clears a little better I plan on getting back there with my check light to see where I'm losing my left turn power but any information will be greatly appreciated.

Wagonmaster2

P.S. been to Winnebago wiring diagrams for 2004 Meridian and didn't find a picture of the 7 pin trailer connector as to which pin each light is powered from.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:52 PM   #2
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Check your wiring diagrams for fuses for the trailer lighting. Most coaches are not directly wired from the tail/signal lights to the trailer connector, but through a control module. We had a Coachmen on a freightliner chassis and there was a fuse panel for the trailer lighting and a control module that controlled the trailer lighting.

Here is a link showing the pinout of a 7 pin connector

http://www.rverscorner.com/wiring/7pole.html
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:43 AM   #3
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Wagonmaster, I had some problems recently and the lights was doing some really weird things, some lights working, some not. Some would sometimes work wrong.

After 3 hours troubleshooting, found moisture in the connection cable plug. I had left the cable on the towbar as we was not going to be home but a couple of weeks. Disassembled plugs, compressed air to dry off connections and everything was fine. Will never leave that cable out again except when towing.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
Wagonmaster, I had some problems recently and the lights was doing some really weird things, some lights working, some not. Some would sometimes work wrong.

After 3 hours troubleshooting, found moisture in the connection cable plug. I had left the cable on the towbar as we was not going to be home but a couple of weeks. Disassembled plugs, compressed air to dry off connections and everything was fine. Will never leave that cable out again except when towing.
We had a similar problem a few years ago on our Adventurer. It turned out to be moisture in the coach mounted trailer wiring socket. The back of the socket where the wires from the coach entered wasn't sealed properly. Over time moisture got in and rusted a couple of the connectors. I replaced the socket and put a piece of shrink tube over the wires and the rear of the socket. It's been almost 5 years and everything still works fine.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:40 AM   #5
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I had the same problem. If your coach uses 2 lights, one for brake and 1 for turn you need a tail/brake lite converter that will mount on the coach and go to the RED wire in the 7 pin connector. I have a Monaco on a Roadmaster chassis. The tech support people told me not to waste my time trying to trace the wires because they go into various looms. They recommended this converter connected directly to the coach left turn/ brake lite. I did that and it cured the problem. www.wiringproducts.com/contents/en-us/p558.html
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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Wagonmaster2,
First off, you say it's been operating just fine for 7 years? And, I assume, that you've had no problems with it for that time. Then, all of a sudden, you have a malfunction, correct? Well, I'm no expert by any means but, typically, something that happens that quick, is usually an easy fix.

Lets start with the basics. If I read your post correctly, you have a "three filament" system correct? One for "tail/marker lights" , one for "Stop lights" and one for "turn signals" correct? Are your turn signals amber in color? That confirms three different filaments for the coaches operations. And, since the standard seven pin trailer plug is not designed or configured for "three filament" systems, then OBVIOUSLY your coach already has a "converter" built into the system BEFORE it enters the back of the trailer plug. I'm also assuming you know what I or, anyone else means when they talk about converters for this system.

To put it simply, you got three signals back there, tail/marker, brake, and turn signal, but, your toad or trailer only requires two signals to function correctly. So, the converter "converts" two of those signals into one, so that the trailer or toad in your case only sees two signals coming into its light wires on the toad side of the trailer plug. And, therefore, your tail lights on the toad function the exact same as if you were driving it. OK, that's settled.

Now, to your issue. Start checking things out with a meter or a test light to find out you've got everything working correctly, and I mean each and every operation back at the trailer plug, tail/marker, Right turn, Left turn, ground, power (auxiliary 12V for power to the trailer/toad) and whatever's left. But, also, have a partner step on the brakes in the coach while you confirm that the two pins, right and left turn are now constant "ON" confirming brake light ops in the coach are now at the plug. The results of those tests confirm you have no problem up to and including the coach side of the trailer plug.

Now, if you really want to do an isolated test of the trailer/toad side of the plug without hooking it up to the coach, you'll need a 12V battery or Jumper unit they sell at auto parts stores or, even a decent battery charger will work for the next test. If using the battery, wire up a couple of wires from the posts, clamp the negative wire from the battery to the toad, someplace that you KNOW is a good ground. Then, take the positive wire from the battery and carefully touch each of the pins in the plug and have a partner confirm, by looking at the rear lights of the toad to tell you which is working and how bright. Be careful, one of those pins in the plug is a ground and you'll get a bit of a spark when touching it with the positive wire from the battery.

Now, in any of those tests, whether on the coach or the toad, you find some thing's not right, you've automatically narrowed your search for your problem right off the bat. All of these test can be done in way less time than it's taking to read this. So, hope this might help some. By the way, here's some other links for your wiring guide to trailer hookups. Take care and let us know what you came up with.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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Fire Up,
Very good explanation of the light converter system. Lots of folks never consider that as a possibility. Hope your post helps him diagnose the problem.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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Wagonmaster,
Like I posted here: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/12-v...ml#post1037026

Based on note 3 (bottom left) on pdf page 3 of http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...ire_144812.pdf, trailer connector wiring is part of the Frieghtliner System 3 chassis wiring system (Workhorse chassis was not an option for the 36G). You will have to get that wiring information from Freightliner. The only other information I saw was the trailer connector pinout on page 6-1 of the operators manual which does not help you locate the source of the signals.

Try reposting your question in the Freightliner forum below (Freightliner Motorhome Chassis Forum - iRV2 Forums). Be sure to include all of you Chassis data if you do. Somone there might be able to assist you. Ensure you mention the trailer connector connects to the Freightliner system 3 chassis wiring. Using the search feature of IRV2 in that section may also provide you with your answer.

Dave

PS: As you already know, the Winnbago diagrams just harness the bulbs then go directly to the Frieghtliner chassis connector.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:54 PM   #9
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Wow Scott, what a write-up. Really great information. I wasn't exactly sure how the convertors worked, or if I had it, with the coach having separate turn/stop lights while the toad has only one light doing both services. Appreciate all the time you took to write such a good piece.

My initial hurried check was to determine if I had power for the left turn signal at the plug on the end of the wiring that connects to the toad, which I didn't. Then I went directly to the 7-pin connector on the back of the coach and had no power to the 9 o'clock pin but did to the 3 o'clock pin using just the turn signals. No helper to push the brake peddle at that time but did when getting ready to leave the CG and checking the toad lights. Hated to, but with limited time I had to drive home 200 miles without the left turn signal on the toad.

As soon as the weather gets above 50 degrees and the rain/snow clears I'll be back there with my test light and a helper.

A what if question. If I have both stop lights on the toad when hooked up to the coach but no left turn signal, and the 9 o'clock pin at the back of the coach has no power with the coach turn signal working is it really possible to have power on it for the stop light? Can a convertor go partially haywired, and if so has anyone ever had to replace theirs?

Am hoping it will be just some moisture as I do leave the wire plugged into the back of the coach most of the time while parked, and it had been raining but nothing more than all the years in the past.

Will let everyone know as soon as I can, but it's really wet cold and muddy around the coach in the back yard right now.

Everyone - Have a very Merry Christmas and a better New Year.

Wagonmaster2
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:32 PM   #10
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The same pin/wire is indeed used for both stop and turn, But there is also an answer to your question.. but the answer is a question:

Do you have an aux brake system on the jeep, and if so what kind?

For this discussion there are only three kinds... one kind pushes or pulls the pedal and is activated and powered by the towing motor home,, Example: Air force one

The second is also a pedal pusher/puller but activated by either inerital sensor or a combination of ineritial and motor home brake pedal.. US-Gear, Invisi-brake, Brake Buddy, Even Brake, Ready Brake to name a few.

The final kind (M&G) does not affect the pedal at all.

If you have the first kind.. The stop light comes on when the jeep's brake pedal is pushed or pulled by the aux brake system.. Test with the brake control disconnected.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:24 PM   #11
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The reason I was pointing you at the freightliner forum is that I was fairly sure they use a liittle different implementation than the normal automotive implimentation like discussed here:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f26/wirin...-xc-48756.html

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f26/toad-...ide-93829.html
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Our Time View Post
Fire Up,
Very good explanation of the light converter system. Lots of folks never consider that as a possibility. Hope your post helps him diagnose the problem.
Thank you for the nice comment Sir. I too hope it helps, not only the OP here but maybe anyone else with present or future possible issues with coach/toad hookups

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
Wow Scott, what a write-up. Really great information. I wasn't exactly sure how the convertors worked, or if I had it, with the coach having separate turn/stop lights while the toad has only one light doing both services. Appreciate all the time you took to write such a good piece.

My initial hurried check was to determine if I had power for the left turn signal at the plug on the end of the wiring that connects to the toad, which I didn't. Then I went directly to the 7-pin connector on the back of the coach and had no power to the 9 o'clock pin but did to the 3 o'clock pin using just the turn signals. No helper to push the brake peddle at that time but did when getting ready to leave the CG and checking the toad lights. Hated to, but with limited time I had to drive home 200 miles without the left turn signal on the toad.

As soon as the weather gets above 50 degrees and the rain/snow clears I'll be back there with my test light and a helper.

A what if question. If I have both stop lights on the toad when hooked up to the coach but no left turn signal, and the 9 o'clock pin at the back of the coach has no power with the coach turn signal working is it really possible to have power on it for the stop light? Can a convertor go partially haywired, and if so has anyone ever had to replace theirs?

Am hoping it will be just some moisture as I do leave the wire plugged into the back of the coach most of the time while parked, and it had been raining but nothing more than all the years in the past.

Will let everyone know as soon as I can, but it's really wet cold and muddy around the coach in the back yard right now.

Everyone - Have a very Merry Christmas and a better New Year.

Wagonmaster2

Well Sir, I'm glad I could at least paint a picture of how the basic system works. The "little black box" for the 3-2 coversion is the magician here. That stuff is beyond me on HOW it works, I just know it works. One would have to have an eight pin plug for a three filament system to continue on through the plug and, have a three filament system toad/trailer to be able to be of value. There might be one out there somewhere but, I surely don't know about it. I have that same operation on my Honda Goldwing motor cycle. It also has three seperate bulbs and, I pull a little trailer behind it. I had to install the "little black box" in my trailer wiring just a head of the trailer plug because my little trailer is a two filament system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
The same pin/wire is indeed used for both stop and turn, But there is also an answer to your question.. but the answer is a question:

Do you have an aux brake system on the jeep, and if so what kind?

For this discussion there are only three kinds... one kind pushes or pulls the pedal and is activated and powered by the towing motor home,, Example: Air force one

The second is also a pedal pusher/puller but activated by either inerital sensor or a combination of ineritial and motor home brake pedal.. US-Gear, Invisi-brake, Brake Buddy, Even Brake, Ready Brake to name a few.

The final kind (M&G) does not affect the pedal at all.

If you have the first kind.. The stop light comes on when the jeep's brake pedal is pushed or pulled by the aux brake system.. Test with the brake control disconnected.
wa8yxm,
Good points Sir. I've brought parts of your explanation/answer up before in different posts and forums but, some folks simply choose to ignore it and don't worry about it. Many folks do a "check" on their lights on the toad with a partner just before take off on a trip or daily drive and all works well. But, if they've got an auxiliary braking system that actuates the brake pedal on a toad, they now have two seperate signals being sent quite possibly to the same bulb on the back of the toad.

That is, if, you set your toad lights up with diodes like many do, you want the factory toad lights to do the job back there when towing. Well, with a normal operation, you're cruising down the road and are approaching a turn. You put your turn signal on in the coach and, as expected, the toads signal is blinking too, correct? Now, you hit the brakes too while approaching and making the turn. So, because of your position of the turn lever in your motorhome, you've cut off the brake signal to the direction your turning and the flasher has taken over for that set of bulbs. (At least with a two filament system, that's way it works)

All is well and correct, correct? Yes. But, enter AN AUXILIARY BRAKE IN THE TOAD! Now what happens? Well, for those of you that don't know it, each and every time you hit the brakes in the motor home, and you have an auxiliary brake in the toad, and the toads brakes are in fact being applied, you're sending a brake light signal (from the toad) and a turn signal (from the motor home) to the same bulb back there in the toad, if, you have the diode system. So now, what does the bulb in question do? It cancles out the signal from the coach but, remains lit due to the brake light signal from it's own system. So, what wa8xym, stated about doing checks without the auxiliary braking system hooked up is true for the most part.

Doing the testing with say, a Ready Brake system hooked up will be just fine because the Ready Brake is not activating the brake pedal because there's no action on the actuator because of no forward inertia to activate it. But, with other braking systems that acutate the brake pedal in the toad even while sitting motionless, will have an effect on your tests that will give you false readings. So, just be aware of all the conditions when doing your tests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave78Chief View Post
The reason I was pointing you at the freightliner forum is that I was fairly sure they use a liittle different implementation than the normal automotive implimentation like discussed here:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f26/wirin...-xc-48756.html

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f26/toad-...ide-93829.html
Dave,
I understand your points here. If, he finds issues with power to any pin on or in the plug on the coach, then your references will be of value to him. But, unless I'm mistaken, no matter who the chassis maker is, the layout of the pins in a seven pin plug are all the same correct? It's a universal set up. I certainly don't want to take anything away from your input here. It's of great value if, and when, he needs research power issues ahead of the coach trailer plug and back to the origin of the circuts in question.

Well, hope some of this babbling helps the OP. Let us know what you find.
Scott
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
If, he finds issues with power to any pin on or in the plug on the coach, then your references will be of value to him.
Thank you for pointing that out. From his original post:

Quote:
but it seems there is no power to the pin at 9 o'clock (which from other Post's links is supposed to be the left turn/stop light - pin at 3 o'clock is supposed to be the right turn/stop light) when the coach left turn signal is operating.
He is pointing to the plug. With a Freightliner chassis his problem may be as simple as a blown fuse on the special Tow Control PDM they typically place in one of the rear bays.

Dave
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:07 PM   #14
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Hey everyone, this helps me troubleshoot with the toad unhooked, FYI!
7 Way Trailer Connector Vehicle Tester Tow Ready Tools TR20117
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:25 PM   #15
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You Guys are great. If I can't figure out my problem with all your responses I'd better turn in my test light.

I do have the Ready Brake auxillary brake system that uses the surge energey at the towbar hookup behind the coach so I'm glad to eliminate one possible electrical problem. Can't wait to get out there and start using what I've been told on the Forum.

I noticed this problem while in the street hooking up for the 220 mile trip to Arkansas so didn't take the time to find it then. While in the CG in Arkansas I had a week to find what was wrong but thinking it was just a dirty connection I procastanated until two days before leaving then the weather turned sour so only had a very short afternoon to work on it. Kinda like a leaky roof, don't need fixing when it ain't raining and can't get up there when it is raining.

Will definitely give a hollar when I find the problem, unless I don't, then I'll really be hollaring again.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Wagonmaster2
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
You Guys are great. If I can't figure out my problem with all your responses I'd better turn in my test light.

I do have the Ready Brake auxillary brake system that uses the surge energey at the towbar hookup behind the coach so I'm glad to eliminate one possible electrical problem. Can't wait to get out there and start using what I've been told on the Forum.

I noticed this problem while in the street hooking up for the 220 mile trip to Arkansas so didn't take the time to find it then. While in the CG in Arkansas I had a week to find what was wrong but thinking it was just a dirty connection I procastanated until two days before leaving then the weather turned sour so only had a very short afternoon to work on it. Kinda like a leaky roof, don't need fixing when it ain't raining and can't get up there when it is raining.

Will definitely give a hollar when I find the problem, unless I don't, then I'll really be hollaring again.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Wagonmaster2
Wagonmaster 2,
Definitely give us all a heads up on what you find. It will be appreciated by all so we all may learn for the next time. Make your test methodical. Write things down as you do your tests so, you'll know what you covered and, if there was any sort of oddity while doing each portion of the hunt. Take care and Merry Christmas to all.
Scott
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:57 PM   #17
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Right now I'm trying the get the wire plug disconnected from the back end of the 7-pin unit mounted on the back of the coach. I have found out the pin at 9 o'clock is dead for both the left turn signal and the stop light so figured with the wire plug out where I can see it more clearly I will be able to tell and check if the wire to the 9 o'clock pin may be corroded or broken off completely.

Is there a tab or clip that holds the wire plug into the back of the 7-pin unit under the back end of the coach? I'm trying to remove the 4 screws/nuts that hold the whole unit under there so I can get it out where I can see it more clearly but two of the nuts are really rusted and the lousy screws are phillips heads and one of them has been messed up by someone even though I'm the original owner so I'm having a little trouble. I will be a lot easier if I can get the plug removed.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:49 AM   #18
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The wire connector on our 7 pin socket comes out the front of the socket. There are set screws at about 11:00 and 1:00 when viewing it from the rear of the coach. You remove the set screws, open the spring loaded door and push the wire connector block out from the back. There's a built in plastic key on the housing and a slot in the connector block so it always goes back in the same orientation.

Pollak Black Plastic, 7-Pole, RV-Style Trailer Socket - Vehicle End Pollak Wiring PK12707

I had to replace ours a few years ago when moisture got in from the wiring side. Once the wires were disconnected I pulled them back out of the housing and slid a piece of shrink tube over the wiring harness. After everything was reassembled I slid the tube over the back of the socket and heated it up. It shrunk tight over the wires and the back of the socket. It's been several years and it's still dry and everything works fine.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
The wire connector on our 7 pin socket comes out the front of the socket. There are set screws at about 11:00 and 1:00 when viewing it from the rear of the coach. You remove the set screws, open the spring loaded door and push the wire connector block out from the back. There's a built in plastic key on the housing and a slot in the connector block so it always goes back in the same orientation.

Pollak Black Plastic, 7-Pole, RV-Style Trailer Socket - Vehicle End Pollak Wiring PK12707

I had to replace ours a few years ago when moisture got in from the wiring side. Once the wires were disconnected I pulled them back out of the housing and slid a piece of shrink tube over the wiring harness. After everything was reassembled I slid the tube over the back of the socket and heated it up. It shrunk tight over the wires and the back of the socket. It's been several years and it's still dry and everything works fine.
Thanks. I never even noticed those two set screws. Amazing what will come apart once you realize how it was put together. Will work from that angle now. Certainly should be easier than messing with those two rusty mounting screws I can't get to budge.

Have a Happy and safe new year.

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Old 12-29-2011, 02:09 PM   #20
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I finally got the coach wiring plug disconnected from the back of the toad connector and it looks like I have no power coming down the line to the left turn/stop light wire. The right hand turn signal/stop light connector does have power so it looks like something up the coach from the connector is failing.

Does anyone have any suggestion as to where the 3-2 wire convertor might have been installed on a 2004 Freightliner XC chassis with an Itasca Meridian coach setting on top? Is this something Freightliner will be able to tell me or does Winnebago do the final placing? I'll try the FCOC forum and also the Freightliner section of IRV2 forum.

Will keep posting of my findings.

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