Screwed up running lights?

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randy17440
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Screwed up running lights?

Hi, and this forum is great, by the way.

I just acquired a 1999 Scamp 16'.  There are some issues with the running lights - tail, turn, brake.  I have some electrical experience, and I'm confident I can figure it all out, but a little boost from some other people's experience might save me some time.  Here's what I'm seeing:

First thing we noticed is that the tail and brake lights are so dim as to be invisible in sunlight.  Some of this is because of corroded and dirty sockets.  But I also found with a meter that I don't get full 12V at the sockets, just 8 or so.  The voltage coming off my TV is a solid 12.63, so something is happening between there and the taillights.  As an aside, possibly relevant, a previous owner had removed the 7-pin round RV connector and brought the connector down to a simple 4-pin inline (one for running lights, one each for R & L turns, together for brake, and ground).  Was that done correctly?  I will find out, because I want to get back to using the brakes.

Second, it seems there is some miswiring.  The guy I bought it from said that an owner before him had done some rewiring to accommodate a television.  He had no idea what that entailed, but warned me the wiring was not all stock.  Anyway, the reason I think something is crossed is that, when I turn on the RH turn signal, the upper and lower fixtures blink alternately.  That's not intended, is it?

I'll have to trace out some wiring, but access is difficult, so any pointers on that would be useful.

Does anyone have experience in fixing these kinds of issues you could share?

Thanks,

Randy Campbell

Paonia, CO

ELongest
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Bargman wiring code

First thing to know is Scamp uses the Bargman wiring diagram for running lights and brakes. Not green, brown, yellow and white which is used on most utility trailers. With more than one light blinking at once that usually indicates a bad ground. The best thing to do is start over from scratch if you are going back to the 7 pin plug, I usually order a 7 pin pigtail and 7 wire junction box from E trailer. Put the junction box under the front bench where the outside wires come into the trailer. The 7 pin pigtails are wired using the Bargman wiring code  so all your wires should match up. Yours is a common problem when people try to use the flat plugs and not knowing about the Bargman wiring code.

Eddie

https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=7+Junction+Box&furl=-vw-1-pg-Accesso...

https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit-Vehicle-Wiring/Hopkins/H20044.html   (Wiring code in this listing.)

randy17440
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Thanks, Elongest!

Thanks, Elongest!

I have a wiring diagram that is the last page of a Scamp owners' manual that I found through this forum.  I don't know Bargman, but I did watch the videos that were on the 7-pin pigtail page, and it described the color code the same as on my diagram.  Is that the Bargman code?  Whether that's the code in use in the actual trailer, I haven't gone deep enough yet to determine.

I do seem to recall that alternating signals indicate a ground problem, so I'll be following up on that lead.  I have the idea that a compromised ground could also be responsible for the lowered voltage at the back - what do you think?

Randy from Paonia

Randy in Paonia

DPS
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s.U. Running lights

The four pin connector is usually wired white wire to ground, green wire to right turn, yellow wire to left turn, and brown wire to tail lights.  The brakes lights will fall in line automatically to the yellow and green wires.  This is from the four flat connector on tow vehicle to a boat trailer,etc.  but not to the connector on the scamp.  To find what pin lifts up what on the Scamp connector, get two jumper wires and a 12v battery.  Put one jumper from the ground on the battery to the ground on Scamp con. Refer to owners manual.  The other jumper wire goes from the positive on the battery to any pin on the Scamp connector. Take a look around to see what if anything lights up.  Move the pos. To another pin etc.  The best time to do this is at dusk. Easier to see what lights up.  Another tip for anyone with any trailer is to put bulb grease, available at Wallmart automotive on every bulb base and socket and every connector pin. T.V. And trailer. This will prevent green stuff from forming and eventually freezing the bulb to the socket.  This grease good to put on often on the connectors often.  It even beats those little plastic covers as they keep the condensation in. Good luck.

Doug

DPS
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S.U. Lights

It was supposes to say - To see what lights up what.  Sorry

Doug

randy17440
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Some Progress

After considerable experimentation and head scratching, I discovered that the converter box on my truck has developed a problem.  Whenever the lights are on, it also sends power to the LH turn signal line.  I won't be able to tell if that's the only problem until I replace the converter and try again.  I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for all the inputs.

Randy in Paonia

Randy in Paonia

randy17440
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More progress

Hello again.

I replaced the converter box in the truck, and now all the lights work as they should.  Whew!  BUT, none of them is as bright as I think they should be.  Any further advice on that?

Thanks,

Randy in Paonia

Randy in Paonia

ManWithaVan
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Re-work the ground connections

I experienced similar problems with my trailer wiring. I re-worked the ground connection to the trailer from the battery, that improved most issues. however my trailer lights/stop lights were still not bright enough. I added a dedicated ground just for the tail lights which improved it somewhat.

Eventually, I gave up and purchased new Bargman LED tail lights. Boy, are those LEDs bright. I also added a "flasher" unit for the stop lights, this flasher unit flashes the stop lights very fast for 3 seconds whenever you hit the brakes. Hopefully it will get the attention of those pesky texters before they hit my rear end. Note: I had a pair of stop/brake lights for each side of my trailer so I only placed the flasher unit on one of the brake lights and the other light operates as normal.

You could accomplish the same results by adding a "third" brake light with a flasher unit if you wanted to.

Bottom line I really like the Bargman LED tail lights !!!

As Always,

Happy Scamping !!!

kilovictor
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Bargman

ManWithaVan,

 I'm interested in which Bargman LED tail lights you installed and if you have a picture of them on the trailer. I take it you have a Scamp?

KVJ

ManWithaVan
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Bargman Light Catalog

Here is the link to the latest Bargman catalog:

     http://www.bargman.com/support/catalogs/Cequent-2016-13-Vehicle-Illumination.pdf

This has their entire lineup of lights. If you choose LED lights for your replacement and want to make them flash (these flash for 3 seconds, then burn solid) here are the flasher units I installed (need a pair, one for right and one for left):

By-the-way, the Bargman LEDs are VERY Bright.

PS: if you choose a replacement that has a pair of LED units, then you could make one LED Unit flash and keep the other one working as normal. This produces a really great effect when using the 4-way warning flashers.

As Always,

Happy Scamping !!!

DPS
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Troubleshooting wiring

Happy to hear of your success!  Usually, when a headlamp, or tail lamp is dim it is the case of a poor ground between bulb base and socket.  On a headlamp, usually all that is req. is to push and pull the connector to the bulb pins several times to reestablish a good ground. On a taillight take the bulb and shine the base with steel wool or a Scotchbrite. Clean the socket with a small pocketknife really good to make it a good conductor.  Another place to look for a poor connection is where anyone has done work, usually indicated by black tape wound around it. Take off tape and inspect connection.  Also, you can gently tug on both sides of any connection to see if the wire easily pulls out Again, good luck

Doug

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