Standard trailer plug wiring diagram

Standard trailer plug wiring diagram DEFAULT

How to Wire Trailer Lights — Wiring Instructions

Contents

Before you tow any trailer, you should make sure it has functional trailer lights. Because installation works related to electricity scary many vehicle owners away, they prefer the experts at trailer shops to have the job done for them instead of trying to figure out how things work. However, in the simplest scenario on how to wire trailer lights, if you’ve bought a new vehicle, the only thing you will have to do is to find a factory-installed connector on it and get the right harness to attach it to the trailer.

Let’s see what types of connectors the trailer light wiring industry uses today. While the basic configuration is a 4-way flat connector that features one female and three male ends, you may come across connectors with up to seven pins for additional functions that require wiring, including electrically actuated brakes, power source for a winch, etc.

Basics: 4-Way Connector

This is the most common scenario. It has three poles for basic functions (running lights, turn signals, and brake lights) and one pin for the ground. This connector is commonly found on most light-duty trailers. On the vehicle side, there will be a female connector, while the trailer/RV harness will have a male connector. When wiring trailer lights, make sure to route the harness away from anything that could damage the wires.

 

 

4-way connector: Trailer wiring color code explanation

  • GREEN – Right Turn Lights/Brakes
  • YELLOW – Left Turn Lights/Brakes
  • BROWN – Tail Lights/Running Lights
  • WHITE – Ground Wire

Basics: 5-Way Connector

Trailers longer than 15 feet and heavier than 1,500 lbs must have a brake system – that means another circuit for hydraulic brakes. The fifth wire (blue) is meant for reverse lights; this connection is needed to disconnect the hydraulic trailer coupler or actuator when the vehicle is backing up, thus deactivating the brakes on a trailer.

 

 

5-way connector: Trailer wiring color code explanation

  • GREEN – Right Turn Lights/Brakes
  • YELLOW – Left Turn Lights/Brakes
  • BROWN – Tail Lights/Running Lights
  • WHITE – Ground Wire
  • BLUE – Reverse lights

Basics: 6-Way Connector

Apart from providing basic functions, this connector has 2 more ports for electric brake control (blue) and 12V power supply (black or red).

 

 

6-way connector: Trailer wiring color code explanation

  • GREEN – Right Turn Lights/Brakes
  • YELLOW – Left Turn Lights/Brakes
  • BROWN – Tail Lights/Running Lights
  • WHITE – Ground Wire
  • BLUE – Reverse lights
  • BLACK – 12V power supply

Basics: 7-Way Connector

7-way connectors allow for all functions provided by 6-way connectors (three basic lighting functions, electric brakes, and additional power supply), with the seventh wire for backup lights. Basically, it is another 12V circuit typically used for a reverse light / reverse lockout for trailer brakes.

 

 

7-way connector: Trailer wiring color code explanation

  • GREEN – Right Turn Lights/Brakes
  • YELLOW – Left Turn Lights/Brakes
  • BROWN – Tail Lights/Running Lights
  • WHITE – Ground Wire
  • BLUE – Reverse lights
  • BLACK – 12V power supply
  • PURPLE – backup/reverse lights

Truck Trailer Light Wiring: Options & Packages

Now that you know the types of connectors, you have to determine what you have on your vehicle to make the connection to a trailer. Many modern tow-capable trucks and SUVs, especially those by the Big Three, come equipped with trailer packages from the factory as part of the USCAR program. This organization (United States Council for Automotive Research) united three major American automakers (Chrysler, Ford, and GM) in their intention to advance automotive technologies. They developed a universal trailer connector that has been used on their vehicles since the 1990s. To determine how to wire up trailer lights, you need to know whether your vehicle has a factory-installed trailer package and whether a plug-and-play T-connector is available for it on the market.

  • If your vehicle came prewired for towing, it may have a factory trailer harness connection (USCAR connector) in the rear bumper. This is the best case scenario, you’ll only need to buy the appropriate wiring harness with the right connectors on each end.
  • If your late model car, truck, or SUV does not have a trailer package from the factory, you may go with a T-connector made specifically for your make and model. This vehicle-to-trailer wiring harness creates a standard trailer wiring connection by plugging into vehicle harness and tail light assembly, and then routing the 4-way harness to the rear end of a vehicle.
  • If you own an older vehicle, chances are it will have neither trailer package factory installed nor T-connectors available for it. In this case, you can go with one of universal trailer wiring kits the aftermarket offers today. Reliable and relatively easy to install, these kits contain everything necessary to make the connection in an hour or so.

As a matter of fact, the aftermarket offers harnesses to join two connectors of any type. Even if your vehicle is not equipped with a connector, it may have a wiring plug located in the rear. Depending on the model, the location may vary from inside of trunk to under the rear floor panel. You may need to inspect your vehicle thoroughly or contact the manufacturer’s customer support to ask whether your vehicle is equipped with it and find out its location. If there are absolutely no provisions for trailer lights, you are electrically inclined or have a rough idea of how to wire trailer lights, you might consider splicing into your existing wiring. Fortunately, almost all wires you need (except for a brake controller wire) connect to your vehicle’s tail light assembly. In this case, you will need a set of wiring taps and a pair of pliers.

People also ask

What is the color code for trailer wiring?

Standard Color Code for Wiring Simple 4 Wire Trailer Lighting. Expert Reply: You have it right so far, the 4-way connector is just as you have stated. Remember that Yellow has a L in it so that is the left side brake/turn signal and green has a R in it so that is the right side brake/turn signal.

What is the brown wire on a trailer?

Trailer Wiring Has 5-Wires White, Yellow, Green, Yellow/Brown, and Green/Brown. ... On a 4-Way flat trailer wiring harness, white is the ground, brown is running lights, yellow is left turn signal and green is right turn signal.

What is the red wire on trailer lights?

The red wire is the turn signal wire and will be run to the green wire of your harness if its the right turn signal side, and the black wire will run to the brown wire of your harness. The yellow wire from your harness will run to the left turn signal red wire.

What is a 5 pin trailer connector?

What are the Functions of a 5-Way Flat Trailer Connector with 8 Wires. Expert Reply: On a 5-Way trailer connector, usually found on boat trailers, the pin on the end furthest from the ground pin is used on an electric reverse lockout on the trailer coupler.

What is the brown wire on trailer lights?

Trailer Wiring Has 5-Wires White, Yellow, Green, Yellow/Brown, and Green/Brown. Expert Reply: On a 4-Way flat trailer wiring harness, white is the ground, brown is running lights, yellow is left turn signal and green is right turn signal.

How many amps do electric trailer brakes draw?

On each individual electric brake magnet the amperage draw would be 3.0 to 3.2 max amps at 12 to 13 volts on 7-inch brake magnets and 3.2 to 4.0 max amps at 12 to 13 volts on 10 and 12-inch brake magnets.

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Andrew Demaree

About Andrew Demaree

Andrew Demaree is Bully’s resident technical writer and automotive expert. Being SAE certified mechanic, Andrew knows how your vehicle works and how to make it run even smoother. He is also passionate about truck customization and off-roading, so when it comes to adding some style and functionality to your truck, you can rely on Andrew’s knowledge.

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Trailer Connector Wiring Schematics

Step 1

Check the connection between the truck and trailer

• Clean any dirt or debris from both connectors and ensure that the trailer connector is inserted completely into the truck connector. A shot of WD-40 or dielectric lubricant into each of the connectors may help clear and clean the connectors.

Step 2

 

 

 

Verify the trailer brake controller is functioning

• Verify that the trailer brake controller is powering on.

• Use a digital multimeter to probe the brake control pin on the truck connector (see diagrams above for 6 and 7 pin connectors). Ensure the multimeter has a good ground.

• Have a second person press the brake pedal while you read the multimeter. The voltage supply to the trailer brake pin on the truck's connector should read a voltage that rises as the brake pedal is depressed further and further, and should read 0 volts when the pedal is not depressed.

• If the brake control pin on the truck's connector reads 0 volts while the brake pedal is depressed, the problem is likely the brake controller and/or wiring between the controller and the truck's trailer connector.

Step 3

 

Check the trailer brake wiring

• Each individual trailer brake contains a magnet that engages the brakes with a force proportional to the voltage supplied by the brake controller. Each magnet has two wires coming out of the brake drum - 1 wire should be connected to the trailer brake control (often, but not always a blue wire) in the wiring harness while the other needs to be connected to a good ground (typically the trailer frame).

• Check for loose splices and cut/chafed wires from the brake drums to the trailer connector. Repair as necessary.

• Check for voltage to the brake magnets by probing the ground and positive supply splices to each individual magnet while the brake pedal is depressed. There should be a splice for each wire several inches behind the backing plate for each individual brake that can be probed. If no voltage is read with the brake pedal depressed, the problem is in the trailer wiring (ground or brake control supply voltage somewhere between the trailer connector and this splice).

Step 4

Check the condition of the brake magnets

• If the trailer is receiving power from the tow vehicle when the brake pedal is depressed and all wires are properly connected, the magnets in the trailer brakes may be worn - it's time for a brake job. You can visually inspect their condition by removing the brake drum; if they're visually worn and/or scarred, replace them.

Sours: https://www.dieselhub.com/towing/trailer-wiring.html
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ISO standards for trailer connectors

A number of ISO standards cover trailer connectors, the electrical connectors between vehicles and the trailers they tow that provide a means of control for the trailers. These are listed below, with notes on significant deviations from them that can cause problems.

Trailer connectors between the trailer and passenger car, light truck or heavy trucks with 12V systems[edit]

In Europe, both 7-pin (ISO 1724) and 13-pin (ISO 11446) are common. The 13-pin version being phased in is newer, provides more services than the 7-pin, a more positive locking and also better protection against moisture and contamination.

The connectors are designed for 12V systems. Exceptions for the 7-pin connector may exist where they may be used for 6V and 24V.

Vehicles and trailers with 6V systems can use the 7-pin or a 5-pin connector, but these are rare today. Heavy trucks that may have 12V systems are usually older (vintage vehicles) or on non-European markets.[1]

The color coding is defined in ISO 4141-3, but the standard color codes are not always followed and may be different for a particular vehicle.

13-pin trailer connector (ISO 11446)[edit]

13-pin trailer connector of Jaeger type

Physical design of the standard ISO 11446[2][3] but also called Jaeger-connector from the company that developed it.

The following supplementary information exists for the connector:

  1. ^ abcPin 3, 11 and 13 must not be joined in the trailer[4] to avoid interaction between circuit types and over current if one ground pin isn't working.
  2. ^ abPin 5 and 7 must not be joined in the trailer[4] to avoid problems in vehicles with separate circuits for left and right side.
  3. ^Previously allocated to trailer detection in ISO 11446:2002 (the vehicle could detect it was coupled to a trailer using a link between pin 12 and pin 3 in the trailer plug). This function was removed by ISO 11446:2004 and the pin reallocated to reserved. The pin remains reserved for future allocation in ISO 11446-1:2012.

Other variants of this connector exists but they are rare.[5] One is used in 24V applications while the other is for ADR use. The difference is how they are mechanically keyed. These connectors are not very common.

7-pin trailer connector for ABS/EBS (ISO 7638-2)[edit]

12 Volt 7-pin trailer connector ISO 7638-2 for ABS and EBS (Towing vehicle side)

Physical design according to standard ISO 7638-2.[4][6][7]

This connector is intended to be used for 12V ABS and EBS on heavy duty trailers.

Identified by key tab on outer ring between pin 3 and 4.

The following supplementary information exists for the connector:

  1. ^ abCAN bus communication according to ISO 11992.
  2. ^ abThe CAN bus is not necessary for the ABS to work which means that there are also a 5-pin variant of this connector where the CAN bus pins are excluded.

7-pin trailer connector Type 12N (ISO 1724)[edit]

7-pin ISO 1724 trailer connector type 12N (Towing vehicle side)

Physical design according to standard ISO 1724.[4][8]

The 7-pin connector uses on newer trailers all 7 pins according to the ISO standard.[9][10]

On older trailers there's sometimes a 5-wire setup using a 7-pin connector. In these cases exclude connection for right tail light (58R) and rear fog light (54G) and connect the tail lights only to pin for left tail light (58L).[11]

Joining the pins for right and left tail lights (58R and 58L) can cause problems on German cars where it is possible to activate Standing Lamps on only one side of the vehicle.[12]

Pin 2 (54G)[edit]

According to DIN 72552 pin 54G was initially intended for electrical control of brakes on trailers.[13]

Later pin 2 (54G) has been used for a variety of functions different from the original intent. A few examples:

This is why in regions using this connector, trailers on the road are occasionally seen with the rear fog lights on when they should be off. (Vehicle wired for +12V, permanent or via ignition and trailer wired for fog lamps)

Special case for Australia[edit]

Australia uses basically the same wiring with the exception for pin 5 and pin 2. The problematic part here is that pin 5 is used for trailer brake which means that if you for some reason connect an Australian trailer to a towing vehicle with ISO wiring you will get into trouble with the trailer brakes being applied as soon as you turn on the lights.[14]

Further reading at Trailer Connector/Australia.

7-pin trailer connector Type 12S (ISO 3732)[edit]

7-pin ISO 3732 trailer connector type 12S (Towing vehicle side)

Physical design according to standard ISO 3732.[4][15]

Signals in this connector (if following the standard) are not generally legally required (local regulations may still apply), which means that it is not mandatory to connect it if it is present.

This connector is basically the same as the 12N (ISO 1724) connector, but the center pin (pin 7) has changed gender to make the plug and outlet unique. Socket is replaced with pin in the plug, pin is replaced with socket in outlet.

The purpose of this connector is to supplement the 12N (ISO 1724) connector for power supply of consumers common in caravans (Travel trailers).[16] This is used in Great Britain but may also be used in other areas of Europe.

There are two main variants of the wiring with a switchover date 1999. The difference is that an additional connection for ground and that battery charging in the trailer is shared with other consumers. This means that if a pre-1999 camper trailer with a battery is connected to a post 1999 vehicle there's a risk that the battery charging won't work.

The combination of 12N+12S was replaced in 2008 by the 13-pin ISO 11446 connector.

#DINBritishISO 3732ColorRec. cross-sectionNotes
-19991999-2008mm²AWG
1 Reversing lampsReversing lampsYellow1.515
2 (15)Battery chargingSpareBlue2.513[ISO3732 1]
3 31Common groundCommon ground except for pin 6White or Grey2.513
4 30Feed for internal 12V equipment except refrigerator+12V permanentGreen2.513
5 SpareSpareBrown1.515
6 15Feed for refrigerator+12V via ignition lockRed2.513
7 Spareground for pin 6Black2.513

The following supplementary information exists for the connector:

  1. ^Attention shall be paid to the fact that this pin may not be powered if the towing vehicle is manufactured after 1999 and if the trailer has a battery that is charged by the towing vehicle. The result may be that the battery wouldn't be charged as expected.

5-pin connector (ISO 1724)[edit]

Physical design according to standard ISO 1724.[4][8]

The 5-pin has a design and pin layout that is identical to the 7-pin ISO 1724 connector with the exception for the lack of pin 1 (L) and pin 4 (R). This connector is sometimes present on vintage vehicles and the actual wiring may be completely different from what the standard states which means that measuring before connecting is a good idea.

Whenever there is a need to change the plug or outlet it can be replaced with a 7-pin.

Trailer connectors between heavy duty trailer and the tractor unit[edit]

Connectors on a European heavy duty trailer

These connectors are designated as 24 volt.

15-pin trailer connector (ISO 12098)[edit]

24 Volt 15-pin trailer connector ISO 12098 (Towing vehicle side)

Physical design according to standard ISO 12098.[4][17]

This connector is present on newer heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers following the ISO standard and is intended to replace the combination of connectors according to standards ISO 1185 and ISO 3731. The 15-pin connector is not designed to replace the ISO 7638 connector.[18]

The following supplementary information exists for the connector:

  1. ^ abPin 5 and 6 must not be joined in the trailer[4] to avoid problems in vehicles with separate circuits for left and right side.
  2. ^ abIdentification lamps shall be wired to either pin 5 or 6, not both.
  3. ^ abEBS and ABS shall be connected through the ISO 7638 connector.

Notice: There was a predecessor to this connector with 13 pins that on a cursory glance is identical to the 15 pin connector but has a different arrangement of the pins.[20] It was not very common but may exist on some vehicles and can result in an unpleasant surprise.

7-pin trailer connector for ABS/EBS (ISO 7638-1)[edit]

24 Volt 7-pin trailer connector ISO 7638 for ABS and EBS (Towing vehicle side)

Physical design according to standard ISO 7638-1.[4][7][21]

This connector is intended for 24V ABS and EBS on heavy duty trailers.

Identified by key tab on outer ring by pin 5.

The following supplementary information exists for the connector:

  1. ^ abActive low, i.e. when the voltage is below +5V.
  2. ^ abCAN bus communication according to ISO 11992.
  3. ^ abThe CAN bus is not necessary for the ABS to work which means that there are also a 5-pin variant of this connector where the CAN bus pins are excluded.

7-pin trailer connector 24N (ISO 1185)[edit]

24 Volt 7-pin trailer connector ISO 1185 (Viewed from back of plug where wires connect to pins)

Physical design according to standard ISO 1185.[4][22]

This connector is common on heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers but is replaced by the ISO 12098 connector on newer vehicles.

The following supplementary information exists for the connector:

  1. ^ abPin 2 and 6 must not be joined in the trailer[4] to avoid problems in vehicles with separate circuits for left and right side.
  2. ^ abIdentification lamps shall be wired to either pin 2 or 6, not both.

The physical design is also used by SAE J560 with basically the same configuration. The difference is that SAE J560 uses 12V (larger wire cross-section and higher amp rating on fuses). Pin 7 may also have a different behavior on SAE J560.[23][24][25]

7-pin trailer connector 24S (ISO 3731)[edit]

24 Volt 7-pin trailer connector ISO 3731 (Towing vehicle side)

Physical design according to standard ISO 3731.[4][26][27]

This connector is common but on newer vehicles it is replaced by the connectors according to ISO 12098 and ISO 7638.

#DINSignalColorRec. cross-sectionNotes
mm²AWG
1 31Ground (-)White2.513
2 ABS Fault indicationBlack1.515
3 Reversing lampsYellow1.515
4 30+24V permanentRed2.513
5 Control via GroundGreen1.515
6 15+24V via ignition lockBrown2.513
7 Rear fog lampsBlue1.515

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Symbol Guide[edit]

ExampleDescription
TrailerConnectorSocket.svg
Socket
TrailerConnectorPin.svg
Pin
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_standards_for_trailer_connectors
How to wire a trailer plug - 7 pin (diagrams shown)

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