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Old 05-06-2013, 12:16 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by rshackleford View Post
Just curious, with a separate brake light pin for an amber turn signal system, what pin is your electric brake on?
That seems to be the other issue for me, besides being compliant with the standard, is when i tow a trailer with electric brakes i need pin for the electric brake controller. In your setup, if i understand correctly, you are using the electric brake pin for the brake light so if you tow a trailer with electric brakes you will be connecting the brake light from the towing vehicle to the electric brakes on the trailer.
It's funny you should mention that. I did in fact once, hook up my trailer brakes to my "brake light" wire/pin on the 7 pin connector. You should have seen the results. I could not figure out why, each time I applied the brakes, the trailer tires would lock up. Even on very light brake application, the trailer brakes locked up. Hmmmmm. So, after some "more educated" people than me informed me that you cannot hook up things the way I did, I learned.

Now, in a 6-pin trailer plug, you have:
1. Right turn
2. Left turn
3. Brake light
4. Tail/marker or "running lights" as they used to be referred to.
5. Ground
6. Brake controller wire.

In a 7-pin, you have all the above and:
7. Power wire for keeping the toads battery charged.

Now, this may not be as "national wiring setups are done" or any of the examples found on the net or etrailers site and more but, it works and works well.

Now, this is one way to do it. It's not the ONLY way to do it, just "A" way. If you read some of the details in etrailers site, they claim that "Any vehicle with amber turn signals needs a converter". Well, yes and no. That's their claim, it doesn't mean it has to be done that way. Yes Sir, it will need a converter if, the toad is only equipped with red tail lights, or, magnetic lights are used, or a trailer without amber turn signals is used. Then by all means, it must be wired with a converter. I know several people that tow a toad or, trailers with amber turn signals. So, again, it's a preference thing.

In some of my past towing vehicles, I've wired it both ways, at one time. That is, I had the setup for a separate wire for each turn signal and a wire for brake lights. All of this was in the standard 7 pin plug. Sitting alongside of it was a four pin round plug. That was wired with a converter in place so I had a Rt turn/brake, LT/brake and tail marker and ground. So, I had the best of both worlds, sitting right next to each other.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:16 AM   #22
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Neither a 6 or 7 pin connector has a pin for brake lights. They both have a RT AND Brake a well as LT AND Brake. They both also have a Brake controller pin.
If i "borrow" the brake controller pin and use it for brake lights, as you suggest, then I'll have the same brake lockup issue as you experienced, which i need to avoid.
My toad is a cherokee which i off road. If i break something i want to be able to go to Uhaul and rent a flat bed trailer to tow the cherokee home. I want to use the same connector and i want the electric brakes to work.
If you wire your 7 pin connector per the standard, you can then use off the shelf adapters to go to a 4, 5 or 6 pin connector on the trailer, which will not work of you don't have combined brake and turn lights
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:18 PM   #23
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All U-Haul trailers are wired for 4 wire flat connectors.
The larger trailers have 'Automatic hydraulic surge brakes', no controller/wire required.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #24
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I just through Uhaul in to make a point, it could just as easily be Billy Bob's Trailer Rentals, but your comment does take us full circle.

The original issue was that I bought a 7 pin to 4 pin adapter to use magnetic lights with a 4 pin connector on my toad and MH. When I plugged in the adapter and magnetic lights I discovered I had no brake lights on the magnetic lights.

I took out my DMM and started measuring voltages. Thats when I discovered that when I had the brake depressed there was no voltage on pins 5 and 6 of the 7 pin connector. Hence the start of this thread.

Now to your point, if I rent a trailer from Uhaul with a 4 pin connector and my 7 pin connector is wired as FIRE UP is suggesting, then I will not have brake lights on the trailer.

I'm not looking to start an arguement I just want to make sure that when other people have the same issue and find this thread that they have accurate information.

There is a standard way of wiring a trailer connector, be it 4, 5, 6 or 7 pins and if you do not wire it per the standard, when you try to tow a different trailer you likely will have issues. Either you will not have brake lights or the trailer brakes might be locked up.

If you refer to the wiring diagrams at etrailer you will see that there is no if, then clause for the diagrams. No, "If you have two filaments, then wire it in this manner, if you have three filaments, then wire this way."

There is only one RIGHT/STANDARD way for wiring these things and it includes a combined turn and brake pin. Thats why if you have three filaments on towed or towing vehicle you have to have a converter.

Obviuosly, if you only plan on towing your own custom wired toad then it doesn't matter. You can dedicate one pin to a dome light if you want, so when you turn on the interior lights on the MH the dome light comes on in the toad. Just understand, that if you don't follow the standard you will not be able to just hook up to any old trailer and expect things to work without some custom wiring.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:04 PM   #25
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This may not help much, but it may help you understand how the coach was wired originally. My 2000 Horizon has amber turn signals, so they are wired as FIREUP described -- LT, RT, and Brake Light each has its own pin. In my connector (pictured), there is no ground connection, but I am going to install the ground on the Blank terminal.

Using the light setup you describe, you will have to use a converter to "merge" the turn signals and brakes from the coach, so the turn/brake filament in the lamp lights properly.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:11 PM   #26
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Original 6 pin setup ( had the brake separate from the turn signals.

7 pin setup has brake mixed with turn signals (

Real question at this point is what do you want? Make that decision then go from there.

If 6 pin, then restore the original wiring.

If 7 pin, then purchase an adaptor ( so you can mix the brake and turn signals properly.

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Old 05-07-2013, 08:53 PM   #27
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Why not just wire your motorhome connector to tow your toad and then do as I have done, make up a pigtail with your 6 or 7 pin connector on one end and bare wires on the other end. That way if you really need to tow anything else, you always have an adapter harness that will work for you.

Most rental yards always connect the trailer lights for you anyway.

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:24 PM   #28
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I have very limited towing experience but what little I have done, I just plugged in and went, everything worked, no need for a pigtail or anything.

I have always used a tow vehicle with a factory installed 7 pin connector as part of tow package. Both had amber turn lights on the tow vehicle but the 7 pin had combined turn and brake.

I towed a travel trailer that I bought new. It had amber turn signals also but the 7 pin connector had combined turn and brake.

I used all 7 pins because I had electric brake, turn, brake, parking and backup lights, charging from towing vehicle to trailer house battery.

I just expected that when I saw the 7 pin connector on the Winnie that it would work the same. Unfortunately I'm finding through all the others on this forum with more experience and my own head scratching, that not all 7 pin connectors are created equal.

Sounds like I better make up a pigtail like you describe to be prepared for the inevitable.
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