Most vehicles that are designed for towing come with pre-installed wiring harnesses. This makes it easy to connect a trailer plug and have everything ready to go. But if you aren’t sure what your vehicle’s wiring looks like, it may be necessary to do a little work to connect the trailer.
Depending on your electrical needs, you’ll need to wire the trailer in accordance with one of several standards. If you’re unsure what your needs are, contact your mechanic or an auto parts store employee.
Some vehicles have plugs under the vehicle or behind the rear cargo area that can make installing a wiring harness simple and quick. Others require splicing into the factory wiring.
You’ll need a good digital multimeter to check your wiring and ensure that each wire is correctly supplying power. Many auto parts stores carry these devices, but you can also find them on the Internet.
If you’re installing the wiring yourself, you’ll need a pair of wire clips and a crimping tool. These tools are essential for making sure that the correct connections are made between the wires and the trailer plug.
Wires get wet and corrode easily when they’re in contact with water, so it’s important to use a high-quality tinned wire. It’s also important to use properly sized crimp connectors instead of twisting wires together as a temporary fix.
A digital multimeter will tell you if your wires are connected correctly and can help you troubleshoot problems. You should also test each wire for resistance, using a gauge that matches the ohms scale found on most meters.
Getting your ground connection right is crucial to the operation of all your trailer’s lights. You should look for a grounding wire that is strong, bright and clean, free of paint or rust. If your grounding wire is weak, it can cause the lights to operate unevenly or not at all.
To avoid problems, you should use a grounding cable to connect the white wire on your trailer wiring harness to the frame of the trailer. This should be done before you install the trailer plug or add any accessories to the wiring.
Your car’s wiring and your trailer’s wiring should be matched for functions such as headlights, turn signals, tail lights and brake lights. In addition, most trailers need side markers, running lights and backup lights.
Some trailers also need a triple set of marker lights central on the front and back, but some do not. You should check your local ordinances for these requirements.
Lastly, you should consider the amount of electricity needed to operate the lighting on your trailer. If the circuit is too big, you may need to replace some of your trailer’s lights with LEDs, which can help reduce power consumption.
Once your trailer is hooked up, you can begin the fun part of towing a boat. But before you leave the driveway, be sure to test your vehicle and trailer wiring to ensure that everything is working as it should. If the lights, turn signals and brakes don’t work properly, you need to look for a wiring problem.