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Traveled Lane Trailers Divider

Trailering 101

Traveled Lane Trailers Divider
Part IV: Electrical Plugs and...

Disclaimer:  Please refer to the manuals of  tow vehicle, trailer and hitch for recommended operating procedures and limitations before use and/or purchase.

This is the fourth article in a series related to educating our readers on vehicles, hitches and trailer compatibility. Part I: What Can My Vehicle Tow? ,  Part II: And Now The Hitch., and  PART III: A Word About Goosenecks  are still on line for your convenience.

One of the last pieces we need to cover is the electrical hook up.   Most horse trailers require wires for the following elements, left stop & turn, right stop & turn, running lights, ground and the majority of horse trailers also require a hot lead tied into a brake controller in order to operate the electric brakes on the trailer and...?  The reason we ended the statement that way is because beyond those listed items we find that most horse trailers vary.  For example, some have back up lights, auxiliary hot leads to operate interior lights separate from your car running lights, trickle chargers for brake away batteries,etc...  Most horse trailer come with a wiring diagram for purposes of installing the electrical connections.   What we are going to go through this month is not so much the actual wiring aspect of trailers but the physical connectors.  And, keep  in mind this is just a sampling.

Flat 4 Connector 1)Known as a flat four this type of connector is generally used for boat trailers,and small utility trailers which do not use electric brakes.  The name comes fromthe fact that they only have a 4 wire limitation. Because of this,  they are not capable of handling most horse trailers,except those with inertia or surge brakes.
6 Pin Vehicle Plug 2) 6-Pin Round. This type of connector is the matching endfound on most horse trailers due to its ability to handle 6 wires or connections. Depending on how your trailer is wired it may employee 5 or all 6 of the pins available.  One  application which may use up all 6 pins is if your trailer has back up lights.
6 Pin Trailer Connector 3) 6-Pin Round trailer connector.  This is the matching or trailer end to item #2
7 Pin Vehicle Connector 4) 7-Pin Round connector.  Again this is the end which would be installed on the vehicle.  This connector even though it can be used for bumper pulls is more commonly found on goosenecks.  The extra pins allow more wires and therefore more flexibility in the way lights and other auxiliary equipment can be operated.
7 to 6 Adaptor
7  to 6 Adaptor
5) 7 to 6 Adapter.  The pictures to the left show both ends of  this adapter.  We have found that many vehicleswhich come with factory installed plugs have the connectors typically associated with travel trailers and not horse trailers.We apologize for not having a picture of the matching end but it would plug into the picture on the right and convert it so that you could plug it into the a trailer with a connector as in item#3.  There are many adapters available on the market so that you may not need more than one electrical hook up on the back of your vehicle. We must admit however, we have had 50/50 luck with these adapters, it all depends on how the initial wiring was accomplished and how many items your trailer has.
Electrical converter 6) Electrical Converter.  Even though most folks will never see this
box installed in their vehicle, except maybe on the bill, this is required for vehicles which have separate Amber turn and  Red stop indicators. It combines these two electrical pulses, if you will, and combines them on the same line so that the trailer stop & turn lights will function properly.

7) Brake Controller, or Black box.  This is required for all trailers which have electric braking systems.  Even if your vehicle is factory "pre-wired" for a trailer usually this item has to be added.  It is the box which ties in your vehicle braking system to the brake system on the trailer allowing them to work in unison. 

Well that's it for this month.  Look for future articles on informative trailering websites.  We are going to try and search out some of the best, if you have ideas for this we would like to see them.  After all "trailering education" really is our goal.

Happy Trailering... See you Next Month. (Or whenever we feel like something needs to be said.)

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If you have any comments, suggestions or topics for a "Trailering 101" article we'd be happy to take them.  Trailering education is our goal.

Traveled Lane Trailers Divider

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