How do I wire this unusual 12v cable? stealing power: ETI backup system with no tug. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-15-2017, 07:22 PM   #1
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Question How do I wire this unusual 12v cable? stealing power: ETI backup system with no tug.

How do I wire this unusual 12v cable? So I can steal power from my Escape, for the ETI backup system, when no tug connected.

Hi all

I’m finally getting around to wiring this unusual cable, and would benefit from a little advice…

The need:

when I am unhooked from the tow vehicle, and using the Trailer Valet XL, I want to be able to use the ETI installed back up camera on the back of our 21’.

I have a 12v exterior outlet near the front of the 21’

I want to “steal” power from that 12v exterior outlet on our 21’

and use this cable (that I will modify) that I bought:
12V Car Cigarette Lighter Socket Extension Cord 2-Way Splitter with Y-Cable Double Plug

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M9IEBZ5

One female jack will power the ETI supplied rear view monitor screen - and i’ll place it on my front cargo box.

The other female jack… I have cut it off, and I’ll wire in this:

Trailer Connector 7 Way Round RV Female 7 Poles Light Plug
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J2BKTQ2

This will provide power to the Escape’s running lights ……and the backup camera is wired in this way. Running lights (tug headlights) need to be on for the back up camera to work.
I found a 7 pin *vehicle side* INSIDE wiring image. (attached)

So note - the colors don’t exist in my setup…. as I just have the 2 black wires on the 12V Car Y-Cable Double Plug…..

Questions:

-> So I know that one wire goes to the “Tail and Running Lights” (I need the running lights to go on, as the ETI backup camera gets it’s power from there) - in the image the green wire. (as an aside - on my 7 way connector that pin is labelled "TM" - how does TM relate to Tail and Running Lights? I get the T... not the M.

-> Does the other wire (when wiring inside the 7 Way Round RV Female 7 Poles Light Plug ) go to “12v power” ? (next to it - in the image the black wire)

-> this 12V power is labelled "AX" ... what does AX mean?

-> and…. pardon my ignorance, but I know there is a positive and a negative, but how will I know what is positive and what is negative ? I have 2 bare black wires (from one end of the Y, on my 12V Y-Cable Double Plug) as I I cut the female end off one side of the Y double plug.

(I tried, but I could not rip the molded plastic female jack open to figure polarities out.)

I’m no whiz with the cheap multimeter i have lying around here.
I barely know how to turn it on. :-/

Any tips and tricks?

thanks,

John
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File Type: jpg vehicle side trailer wiring diagram inside.jpg (110.0 KB, 28 views)
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:05 PM   #2
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You should not have to plug into any 12V outlet. Simply jumpering the black (12V) pin to the green (running lights) pin on the Escape 7 pin connector should power up the running lights, and also the backup cam. Those are the topmost 2 pins on the 7 pin connector.

I learned this at an Escape rally, it does work.

You could simply use a spare piece of wire to do this, or you could modify the female (tug side) of a 7 pin connector to make a permanent plug that can be inserted into the Escape 7 pin.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:16 PM   #3
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or you could modify the female (tug side) of a 7 pin connector to make a permanent plug that can be inserted into the Escape 7 pin.
I simply added an extra plug to my front box and I can unplug from my tow and plug into it to turn on all my exterior lights, like at night in a rest area...added safety factor.Be sure to fuse your jumper link.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkB View Post
You should not have to plug into any 12V outlet. Simply jumpering the black (12V) pin to the green (running lights) pin on the Escape 7 pin connector should power up the running lights, and also the backup cam. Those are the topmost 2 pins on the 7 pin connector.

I learned this at an Escape rally, it does work.

You could simply use a spare piece of wire to do this, or you could modify the female (tug side) of a 7 pin connector to make a permanent plug that can be inserted into the Escape 7 pin.
My mind is baffled by this concept.

I thought the 12v point on the trailer pigtail connector was for power to go INTO the trailer....?

How can it be live?

Thanks.

John
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
or you could modify the female (tug side) of a 7 pin connector to make a permanent plug that can be inserted into the Escape 7 pin.
I simply added an extra plug to my front box and I can unplug from my tow and plug into it to turn on all my exterior lights, like at night in a rest area...added safety factor.Be sure to fuse your jumper link.
What size 12v fuse?

And

Where would I find a small inline fuse holder? And fuse?

I guess a good hardware store?

Thanks.

John
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
... My mind is baffled by this concept. I thought the 12v point on the trailer pigtail connector was for power to go INTO the trailer....? How can it be live? ...
In this case, if a wire is connected to the trailer's battery, electricity doesn't care if it goes one direction to charge the battery or the other direction to draw power off the battery. The best source of all kinds of trailer wiring and connectors in our neck of the woods right now is Tractor Supply. Not sure if you have those in LA.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
In this case, if a wire is connected to the trailer's battery, electricity doesn't care if it goes one direction to charge the battery or the other direction to draw power off the battery. The best source of all kinds of trailer wiring and connectors in our neck of the woods right now is Tractor Supply.
aha!

mind... blown...


sadly as you can imagine, from Los Angeles the nearest Tractor Supply is a long long way away.


Maybe Pep Boys? Tho they'd overcharge me.


I found this on Amazon.... is a 30 amp fuse too big?

https://www.amazon.com/Support-Holde.../dp/B017BAF7GS
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
I found this on Amazon.... is a 30 amp fuse too big?
https://www.amazon.com/Support-Holde.../dp/B017BAF7GS
That should work, but you don't need 5! The trailer towing tail light circuit on a truck can have a 30-40 amp fuse.

From your original post:
TM: tail/marker
AX: auxiliary power / batt charge line from tow vehicle

As others have said the AX terminal will be live with 12V+ because it is seeing voltage from the onboard trailer battery. Typically electrons are flowing from the vehicle alternator to the trailer when you are plugged in with engine running, but in this case they are flowing out of the trailer to power your lights/ backup camera with the fused jumper to the TM terminal.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
So note - the colors don’t exist in my setup…. as I just have the 2 black wires on the 12V Car Y-Cable Double Plug…..
Even if you have lots of coloured wires, don't ever believe that the colour indicates the function. Aside from the fact that some connector manufacturers and some documents show the "wrong" colours (following SAE standard J560, instead of the traditional colour coding for the "RV" or "Bargman" 7-way - 6 blades and round pin - connection), none of these colours are typically followed within a motor vehicle. All a wire insulation colour does is help you find the same wire at the other end of a bundle of wires - you must look at the pin position in the connector (or other connection to known components) to know what the function of the wire is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
as an aside - on my 7 way connector that pin is labelled "TM" - how does TM relate to Tail and Running Lights? I get the T... not the M.
"TM" is probably Tail and Marker... as in side marker lights. "Running" lights are the combination of tail, marker, and clearance lights. (I see that Dave beat me to this, after I started to reply).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
-> this 12V power is labelled "AX" ... what does AX mean?
"AX" would normally mean "auxiliary"; the centre pin in an RV 7-way connector is an auxiliary connection, for whatever you want to do with it. It is often used for backup lamps (so it is labelled as "Reverse Lights" in the diagram in post #1), or for a separate stop (brake) lamp.
... but where are you finding the "AX" label? If it is on the +12V terminal of a 7-way connector, that is very strange. As I said, all that matters is pin positions, regardless of wire colours or labels.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
What size 12v fuse?

And

Where would I find a small inline fuse holder? And fuse?

I guess a good hardware store?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
...
Maybe Pep Boys? Tho they'd overcharge me.


I found this on Amazon.... is a 30 amp fuse too big?

https://www.amazon.com/Support-Holde.../dp/B017BAF7GS
Any automotive supply store. Sure, Pep Boys, NAPA... anywhere a person who works on their own car would buy supplies. Any store selling a holder will sell the fuses, which are cheap (which is why the $8 package from Amazon has five holder and five fuses in it).

A fuse exists to protect wiring from excessive current. The wires to the lights are probably suitable for no more than 15 amps, so that would be a better fuse rating.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Even if you have lots of coloured wires, don't ever believe that the colour indicates the function. Aside from the fact that some connector manufacturers and some documents show the "wrong" colours (following SAE standard J560, instead of the traditional colour coding for the "RV" or "Bargman" 7-way - 6 blades and round pin - connection), none of these colours are typically followed within a motor vehicle. All a wire insulation colour does is help you find the same wire at the other end of a bundle of wires - you must look at the pin position in the connector (or other connection to known components) to know what the function of the wire is.


"TM" is probably Tail and Marker... as in side marker lights. "Running" lights are the combination of tail, marker, and clearance lights. (I see that Dave beat me to this, after I started to reply).


"AX" would normally mean "auxiliary"; the centre pin in an RV 7-way connector is an auxiliary connection, for whatever you want to do with it. It is often used for backup lamps (so it is labelled as "Reverse Lights" in the diagram in post #1), or for a separate stop (brake) lamp.
... but where are you finding the "AX" label? If it is on the +12V terminal of a 7-way connector, that is very strange. As I said, all that matters is pin positions, regardless of wire colours or labels.

Thanks Brian and everyone for the great info. Very helpful.

It is on the 7 pin female connector that I bought that it says AX.

sorry for not being more clear.

And

I am not remembering clearly - does a modern (2017) escape use these blade fuses?

http://www.autozone.com/electrical-a...-fuse/323626_0

If I get this $4 pack I would be set with spares, in addition to the one I need for this project.

Thanks

Best regards

John.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
My mind is baffled by this concept.

I thought the 12v point on the trailer pigtail connector was for power to go INTO the trailer....?

How can it be live?

Thanks.

John
When the Tow vehicle is plugged into the trailer, the tug battery is providing the 12V to charge the trailer battery. When the tow vehicle plug is not connected, the trailer pin is still connected to the 12V system in the trailer.

There is also a ground connection in the 7 pin plug. This pin would connect to the trailer ground, and also be the ground for lights and brakes while the tow vehicle is connected. So the running lights are always connected to the trailer ground.

So by connecting the 12V pin to the running lights pin, the running lights and backup are connected to both the 12V(+) and ground(-) sides of the trailer battery, and are activated.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
I am not remembering clearly - does a modern (2017) escape use these blade fuses?

Cooper Bussmann Fuse and Accessories BP-ATC-10ID - Read Reviews on Cooper Bussmann #BP-ATC-10ID
There are at four sizes and multiple types of blade-type fuses. Assuming it's still the WFCO Power Center, then yes it does use the "regular" or "standard" size, which includes ATO and ATC. The linked fuses are closed (ATC), which is what the WFCO manual specifies.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
"AX" would normally mean "auxiliary"; the centre pin in an RV 7-way connector is an auxiliary connection, for whatever you want to do with it. It is often used for backup lamps (so it is labelled as "Reverse Lights" in the diagram in post #1), or for a separate stop (brake) lamp.
... but where are you finding the "AX" label? If it is on the +12V terminal of a 7-way connector, that is very strange. As I said, all that matters is pin positions, regardless of wire colours or labels.
Brian: we might be confusing the issue on the AX nomenclature. This Hopkins tester refers to the AX as auxiliary (which I take as the vehicle charge line) and has backup/reverse lights listed separately which I assume is on the center pin. The center pin on the trailer side will be a dead pin typically.
www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Hopkins/HM48503.html

The bottom line is LosAngeles needs to simply jumper +12V (trailer side) to the tail/marker pin. This should be the pins shown in the diagram with black and green at 11o'clock and 1 o'clock on the vehicle side component that he bought, correct?
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
What size 12v fuse?

And

Where would I find a small inline fuse holder? And fuse?

I guess a good hardware store?

Thanks.

John
Here you go https://www.amazon.com/Support-Holde...+v+fuse+holder
I used a 10 amp fuse
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:51 AM   #16
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Some of you might remember from a previous thread that we experienced a strange right tail light glow when there was supposed to be no power going to it.
LED taillight bulb anomaly
Long story short, when our 21' was shipped to us in February, road salt (remember the weather in Chilliwack back then?) had lightly corroded across the same two terminals discussed in this thread, and enough power was leaking across the corrosion to make some of the LED lights faintly glow, but not all of them. I assume the lit ones were consuming what little power that was leaking across so no other lights could glow. Simply cleaning the corrosion off the end of the terminals and connector solved the mystery.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Brian: we might be confusing the issue on the AX nomenclature. This Hopkins tester refers to the AX as auxiliary (which I take as the vehicle charge line) and has backup/reverse lights listed separately which I assume is on the center pin. ...
www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Hopkins/HM48503.html
The description for the Hopkins connector is a mess, because it applies the SAE J560/J1067 colours to an RV connector... but even when that is done, the +12 V battery charge/power line is normally black, not red. This is what the eTrailer page lists:
Quote:
Wiring configuration:
Green: right turn signal (RT)
Yellow: left turn signal (LT)
White: ground
Brown: tail light and side marker lights (TM)
Blue: electric brake (EB)
Red: auxiliary (AX)
Purple: backup/reverse lights (BU)
Yes, in this list the only function left to match "Red: auxiliary (AX)" is the charge line. Calling it "AX" is just idiotic, since there is a defined auxiliary circuit... which they label "BU". They would be better off without labels than doing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
The center pin on the trailer side will be a dead pin typically.
Yes, in most installations it's dead, because it hasn't been wired for any purpose. Hopkins says it is for "backup/reverse lights" (which is one common use, but not the only one) and says the wire colour is purple, but it will be yellow in a traditional RV configuration including an Escape.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Brian: we might be confusing the issue on the AX nomenclature. This Hopkins tester refers to the AX as auxiliary (which I take as the vehicle charge line) and has backup/reverse lights listed separately which I assume is on the center pin. ...
www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Hopkins/HM48503.html
The description for the Hopkins connector is a mess, because it applies the SAE J560/J1067 colours to an RV connector... but even when that is done, the +12 V battery charge/power line is normally black, not red. This is what the eTrailer page lists:
Quote:
Wiring configuration:
Green: right turn signal (RT)
Yellow: left turn signal (LT)
White: ground
Brown: tail light and side marker lights (TM)
Blue: electric brake (EB)
Red: auxiliary (AX)
Purple: backup/reverse lights (BU)
Yes, in this list the only function left to match "Red: auxiliary (AX)" is the charge line. Calling it "AX" is just idiotic, since there is a defined auxiliary circuit... which they label "BU". They would be better off without labels than doing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
The center pin on the trailer side will be a dead pin typically.
Yes, in most installations it's dead, because it hasn't been wired for any purpose; in a stock Escape there's a wire attached so you can use it if you want, but it's not connected to anything as it comes from the factory. Hopkins says it is for "backup/reverse lights" (which is one common use, but not the only one) and says the wire colour is purple, but it will be yellow in a traditional RV configuration including an Escape.

So I'm back to the key to success - connect to the pin in the correct position, regardless of the wire colour.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
...when I am unhooked from the tow vehicle, and using the Trailer Valet XL, I want to be able to use the ETI installed back up camera on the back of our 21’.
John
John, just a quick aside. Do you like the Trailer Valet? What I need is a roundhouse to easily turn my trailer around, but this looks like a much easier solution.

Gary
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by garysd View Post
John, just a quick aside. Do you like the Trailer Valet? What I need is a roundhouse to easily turn my trailer around, but this looks like a much easier solution.

Gary
I have the Trailer Valet XL.....

as long as your driveway is almost flat, paved, and no sharp turns, i think the Trailer Valet XL works quite well.

Forget gravel, dirt, bumps or hills or sharp turns. Will not work.

john
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