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Mr. Pike1

Boat Trailer Wiring

Question

Mr. Pike1

So last year I am driving home and my trailer lights go out. I hook the boat to my wifes truck and the trailer lights work. So I assume a fuse in my truck and replace. I hook it up drive a bit hit a bump and lights out again and I replace the fuse. I start to think is it my truck or is there a short blowing out my fuse. I hook the boat to my wifes new truck drive around and sure enought blow the fuse in that truck.

What do you suggest. I assume the best option is to just pull and re-wire the trailer. It is a 2000 shorelander that has been well maintained.

This leads to my next question. Who in the area would you recommend to do this. I was going to give it a shot but with mechanical ability I am sure it would take me an entire weekend so I am willing to pay to have it done right.

I am in Maplewood and was thinking of Nelson Marine. What can I expect this to cost?

Please advise...

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6 answers to this question

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Valv

It could be as little as an exposed wire touching metal (ground) but if you feel uncomfortable doing it I would take it to a dealer or even any autoshop should be able to do it, the wiring schematics are same for all type of trailers.

I don't blame you a bit, trailer wiring can be a pain in the ....you know what, I spent over $ 100 in plugs, adapters, fuses (the 40amps are $ 5.00 !!) etc 2 weeks ago just to be able to get home safely with 2 trailers.

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VMS

I agree with Valv on this one. What happens after some time, the wires that are strung through the framing of the trailer get chaffed from rubbing on the trailer metal. since most trailer frames are not painted on the inside, rust builds up and...as we all know, it gets rough and acts just like sandpaper. Once it wears through the protection on the wire, one hit and boom..out goes your fuse.

I had this happen on my old shoreland'r trailer as well. Pain in the butt to fix because running new wires is not all that easy...especially when you have those nice little side-marker lights.

When you do get the rewire job going/completed, see if you can find some of that wire tubing (like a vaccuum hose...any electrical store/department usually has the stuff)..the smallest you can find, and get the wiring through that first, then run the whole thing. If you can get that over your wiring, it will be the last time you have any sort of chaffing.

Steve

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john.wells

It can be a pain, but with some patience, it can go well. First, you need to isolate the short. I am not sure about your trailer, but my shorland'r has connectors at the splices for left and right sides. The first thing you need to do is get the problem to occur. The best thing to do is to lightly tug and wiggle wires at the access points where they come through the tubing. I would start at the rear and move forward. When you locate the short, you need to replace that section of wiring. Before you pull that harness out, solder a length of wire to the old harness if the short is midstream (sidemarker) so when you pull it through you will be able to solder the new harness back to it to route it back correctly. It might sound a little complicated, but once you are doing it hands on, it will click. Another trick to fishing new wire is to tie a sandwich baggie to some heavy test fishing line (25 pound test mono is good), and using a shop-vac at the hole you need to get the wire through. Just suck the baggie from where you need the wire to come from. Even if you aren't too mechanically inclined, you probably have a buddy who is at least half-assed mechanical, and a extra set of hands will make the job a snap. The best part is the good feeling you will have when things are all better again and you did it yourself. Just be sure to use good butt connectors that are self sealing (heat shrink).

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Mr. Pike1

Thank you all for the feedback. This weekend is looking nice so maybe give it a shot. If I run into trouble Nelson's is only a few miles away smile.gif

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Giant_Jackpot

I had the same problem on my Shorelandr of the same age. I found the culprit at the back of the trailer. They run the wires all the way to the back and then use splitter type connectors to run power back up to the running lights on the fender. On mine, they had stuffed that big clump of wires into the trailer in such a way that one of the wires coming out of the splitter was rubbing on the metal and finally wore through. I pulled new wires on both sides and soldered everything together. Problem solved. I suppose I could have just put electrical tape around the bad spot but the way the connectors were corroded, I figured I would have more problems down the road so I just replaced the wires.

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eurolarva

Start by taking the light covers off and look at all the light bulb holders. If there is a lot of rust use sand paper or a dremel if you have one to clean it. A lot of trailers have twist type connectors where one or more wire is twisted together. Un twist them and look for wires poking out or rust and corosion. If they are corroded just cut the wires and re splice them. Any place where the wire goes in or out of the trailer look for insulation wear

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