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To send your question you'll need to ENTER THE CAPCHA CODE SHOWN ABOVE into the verification box! Note: if your vehicle has a 6 or 7 way connector and your boat trailer system is 4 or 5 way, a simple low cost adapter may be purchased eliminating the need to splice in a new connector.
Wiring a boat trailer is something that many boaters find themselves needing to do sooner or later. I was doing a pre-season inspection of my trailer, which was only 2 years old at the time, and I noticed the ground wire on the trailer is screwed to galvanized metal, and the screw is not tight. The standard four prong connector to connect the trailer to the tow vehicle is perfect for a simple trailer light system.Notice the four prong connector on my boat trailer has 5 wires coming out the bottom. Try hooking the white wire up to the positive terminal of a battery and the ground to the negative post. Universal trailer wiring color code -- The normal trailer wire colors will be white, brown, green, & yellow.
I usually hook the white ground wire to the metal tongue on the trailer so it is ground,and I let the ball be the ground contact for the lights when the trailer is hooked to the car or truck pulling the trailer. Be a little cautious about hooking wires to your positive battery terminal until you know for sure where they go. I've done a lot of boat trailering, and always had problems with the ground wires until I found the solution -- RUN A CONTINUOUS GROUND FROM PLUG TO LIGHT.
So = easy fix is to run the white ground wire(s) from the trailer's plug (not the tow vehicle's plug, which should run to the vehicle's ground circuit) all the way to the lights attachment bolts or ground wire(s) -- trailers usually have two tail lights and sometimes amber sidelights.
Brake lights and directional lights use the same filament in the bulb and the same wire in the harness. It used to go to an auxiliary ground that came out of the car side of the plug and went directly to ground on the car's frame.
My problem now is how to convert the trailer hitch wiring harness and split the turn and stop lights.
Location: In the bothy, 7 chains down the line from Dodman's Lane level crossing, in the nation formerly known as Great Britain.
Send a PM to Andy Germany, who has advised on this course of action to another reader recently. My car (the VW Tiguan) has not been modified, but as far as I can see the US version is identical to the European with separate red stop lights and yellow blinkers. A simple way to do this is to pick off the relative wires in the back of the car, via a fuse each time and feed them to a 7 pin socket. The problem here is that if the stop light and one turn light are on at the same time, the result will be stop lights and the opposite turn light active. I was able to buy a trailer light convertor such a you describe from my local auto supply for about $35. However, assuming the pins you have given us are correct for your trailer then the simplest way to solve it is as Andy says except, to avoid the lamp-check module in the car showing a fault with two lamps in parallel you power the trailer lamps via vehicle type relays.
The electric brake could be connected via the spare pin 7 but be careful, I have never seen electric brakes used in europe, You should check with your transport authorities as to their legality. I know it would not be possible to have a trailer with electric brakes registered in Norway.
Does your trailer have "over run" mechanical brakes (I personally have never seen Hydraulic brakes on a trailer) or no brakes at all?
Yes, I have the proper tools (including a multimeter) and will be able to complete the job if given a wiring diagram, but as I indicated I may ask a garage to do the job for me if it implies extensive work.

Remember to remove Battery + when working AFTER you have identified both sidelights, brake lights, fog light, both indicators and a good ground. I had something similar one time borrowing a family member's utility trailer that was brand new. Thanks - I'll give it a try tomorrow morning - there is no reason why these lights are acting weird. Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features! It may be to just connect the trailer lights on your vehicle, or you may find yourself rewiring the whole trailer with new LED boat trailer lights and a new wire harness.I have had light issues on an old trailer and to be honest it was quicker and way less hassle just to pull out the old wiring and lights and start again with a fresh wire harness and new lights.
A sure fire source of light problems!Make sure the ground wire on the trailer is attached to bare metal, not to painted or galvanized metal. To get WoodenBoat delivered to your door or computer, mobile device of choice, etc, click WB Subscriptions. If the white wire is a ground wire, and the trailer is grounded to the car through the hitch, and you touch the white wire to the pos terminal, there will be sparks and meltage. There are no flat four plugs with seven wires so the guys at the auto parts place said just splice the seven wires onto the new four wire plug according to colour. The car side of the plug just has the four wires you'd expect - yellow, green, brown, and white. An alternative would also be to go to a garage and have them do the installation (not to the local VW dealership). It is a small device that wired directly into the car rear light harness and the outputs go to the trailer. Remember, if you have an accident and your vehicle is not legal your insurance may not cover you. When I used the trailer in the US I simply had to use an adapter which only connected 4 of the 7 pins to a flat four pin connector at the trailer. It had all the lights come on when I depressed the brakes and even lit up my dash lights on the truck.
If the wiring harness isn't grounded through the plug you will likely get a sporadic ground through the hitch, causing the lights to flicker, or perhaps no lights at all if the lights are not grounded to the trailer. Yet the trailer side of the plug had two whites and three browns along with one yellow and one green. To have the trailer registered I had to equip it with European standard tail lights with separate running lights, turn lights and stop lights. The trailer is not wired for an electric trailer brake, so that should free up a wire in your VW. I have shown four relays but actually you do not need the tail lights relay as your present wiring runs these same lights.
I have also thought of using this for the stop lights, but don't know how the electric system of the car will react. I pulled off the old lights, fished the new wires correctly to L and R side but all I get are steady tail lights - turn signals stay lit - steady, same with brake lights and 4 way flashers. Many light assemblies use the mounting bolts as their ground connection, so clean the metal surface around the mounting bolt holes down to bare metal. It had a flat four plug but with seven wires running into it from the trailer - a yellow, a green, three browns, and two whites. So the green went to green, the yellow to yellow, the three browns from the trailer to the single brown on the four wire replacement plug.

If you can find the VW trailer brake wire in the front of the car, disconnect it from whatever was sending a signal to it. Your present system probably checks for failed lamps in the trailer, that feature will be lost of course. This caused no trouble with the car electric so I assume it will not be a problem to just not connect the electric break pin.
I spliced in the side marker amber lights into the brown wire on both sides, which I thought might be the culprit but I disconnected the markers, ran straight to the rear and same problem. I bought the Karavan galvanized tilt trailer used, hooked it up, plugged in the lights and drove it 20 miles home.
Poor ground connection to the trailer frame is a common problem with lights that don't work.Below is a simple wire diagram for a standard four wire light harness.
They are available at marine hardware stores and are a crimp connector with a waterproofing adhesive inside and an integral heat shrink cover to seal the connection. It plugged into a standard flat four on my truck - a Mazda pickup which so far as I know is wired same as a Ford Ranger which is what it essentially is.
Then you can use that wire to send the new brake light signal to the trailer plug at the back of the car. When I inspected it thoroughly I relized that mice had lived in the tubes of the trailer and stripped most of the wires to bare copper. The white wire (ground) on the following boat trailer wiring diagram is drawn in grey so that you can see it against the white background. When I spliced them both to the single white on the replacement plug the old problem of rapid blinking signal lights was still there. I would recommend getting the brake light adaptor and then wiring it and the other circuits that you need into a 7 pin recepatcle yourself. Double checked the wire runs, colors, all done correctly, and used the Dremel tool to scrub up the grounds for both lights and white lead on hitch.
I bought a new light kit, mounted the tail lights, ran the new wiring and hooked everything up. One to control the boat trailer brakes, and one auxiliary power to charge the battery that you will need to have on the trailer so the brakes can be energized should the trailer come unhitched from the tow vehicle.Obviously you will need a six prong connector to connect the trailer to the tow vehicle in this situation. But when I leave off the second white wire on the trailer and only splice the remaining white to the new plug everything seems to work fine and for the first time ever. I'm sure that you will be able to figure out how to add the other 2 circuits to a common 7 pin receptacle once you see the thing. I tested the converter and confirmed the green wire had no power downstream from the converter but power from vehicle wiring harness.
Trailer man told me something shorted and burned out a diode in the converter - replacement $22 bucks.
My trailer man Hitches and More, Lansing MI, made it clear if wires short or you do not disconnect lights before launching it is likely diodes will burn out again. He recommended that I use a battery charger to test the trailer lights which I think is great advice. Simply clip the ground lead to the trailer and use the positive wire to energize each wire to test the lights individually.

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