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Old 12-02-2014, 12:29 PM   #1
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Is it possible...

Everyone knows how to insert a fuse or wire to gap the two prongs on your umbilical cord to turn on your lights. Is there any way of finding those wires inside and installing a switch to manually turn on your parking lights. I realize the safety factor of only switching while unhooked, but for those rest stops late at night, sometimes I wish I was more visible while cat napping.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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You could buy the female end, the one that normally attaches to your vehicle, that's pre-wired and rig a switch between the appropriate wires. Would save you a lot of hassle. Or, you could just turn on your vehicle parking lights, if it's a very short cat nap, and have everything visible.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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Not having an Escape yet, I'm only answering based on what I saw during the factory tour at ETI. It appeared that the tail lights and markers were the first things wired, then insulation and cabinetry was installed. So, there may be no location within the trailer to access that circuit. You only need to access it in one location (anywhere) in the circuit to connect to switched (and fused) 12V power. If you have to go outside, you may as well follow santacruzer's directions.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:42 PM   #4
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So if I find a white and black wire to one of my tail lights and wire a switch between connecting them all the lights will come on when I throw the switch?
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Everyone knows how to insert a fuse or wire to gap the two prongs on your umbilical cord to turn on your lights. Is there any way of finding those wires inside and installing a switch to manually turn on your parking lights. I realize the safety factor of only switching while unhooked, but for those rest stops late at night, sometimes I wish I was more visible while cat napping.

Nope, didn't know that! But I do now and it will probably come in handy sometime. Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:15 PM   #6
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just be careful which 2 wires you connect.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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The trailer running lights are completely separate from the 12V system in the trailer, and are actually part of the vehicle circuitry.

Shorting out from the hot to the marker light circuit at the 7-pin connector is fine, as you are now using the trailer battery to power the marker lights. By using this connection you cannot possible have two separate sources running the lights. You can definitely make this switched if you want.

What Don is saying (I think), is that you can take power from any onboard 12V circuit, and splice it into the tail/marker light circuit from the tow vehicle, and using a switch turn them off or on. As the tail/marker lights are just a single circuit, you could tap in anywhere. I would not think this too wise of a thing to do, as if the switch was on when you plug into the tow, the trailer battery would draw through this circuit which it most definitely is not rated for.

Besides, I really can't see how this would be any safer. Maybe an intruder could see better, and do less damage breaking in.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So if I find a white and black wire to one of my tail lights and wire a switch between connecting them all the lights will come on when I throw the switch?
No. Trailer wiring standard: White is ground. Black is 12V (hot). Brown is the tail light circuit. Your wired-in switch will connect the 12V hot (Black) to the tail light (Brown). Voila, everything on that circuit lights up. However, different colors may be used within the trailer. (For instance, some RV's use green for the tail light circuit).

The best way to track down the wire is with a voltmeter (VM), set to DC volts, and the color scheme for the 12VDC should be verified prior to connecting stuff to it.

Here's how to do the umbilical plug version: connect a fused lead from pin 4 (12V hot) to pin 3 (Tail). Plug it in. But you have to go outside.
tail light patch 004.jpg
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:00 PM   #9
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Okay, so if I tap into an existing 12v source (extra 12v socket under dinette) and run a hot switched wire wire to the brown tail lite wire and then throw the switch, all the lights will come on?
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:04 PM   #10
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Okay, so if I tap into an existing 12v source (extra 12v socket under dinette) and run a hot switched wire wire to the brown tail lite wire and then throw the switch, all the lights will come on?
Yup, most likely. If that brown wire is not the one, the lights won't light, and the worst case would be a blown fuse, because the socket is on a fuse-protected circuit.
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