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Old 06-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Blaine, Washington
Trailer: Escape 19' 2012
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Turn signal not working

Hoping you can help...
Our left turn signal of the trailer (Escape 19, 2012, LED) isn't working.
The turn signals / brake lights on our truck all work fine.

3 of the lights (bulbs) do illuminate on the left assembly when the headlights are on, but the rest of the left assembly's lights don't come on when applying the brakes nor when using the left turn signal.

The tail light unit is sealed, so we haven't popped off the red plastic cover.

(Right lights correctly come on with right turn signal and with braking.)

They all worked a month ago. And full left assembly did work for two short pulses today as I backed up, then they stopped.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for help.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:17 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
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Clean all contacts between the trailer and truck ( with the ignition off ). When I had a similar issue, the mechanic found a poor connection between the 7-pin plug and wiring going forward on the tow vehicle, so you might have to trace wiring. Probably would help if you said what the tow vehicle is.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #3
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My problems of that type have all been solved by cleaning the connectors on the 7-pin lug/socket. Usually it's been enough to just blow them out with compressed air. Once in a while I have had to use a little emery cloth or very fine sandpaper - be sure to blow out the grit afterwards.

In your case I would concentrate on the left turn/brake light: 7-Way RV Trailer Connector Wiring Diagram | etrailer.com
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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Trailer: Escape 19' 2012
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Thanks for helping me think this through...

Tow vehicle is a Tundra (2004).

My neighbor tested the [outlet, the thing you plug the trailer into] of the truck and said that he thought all the prongs were giving power. (Sorry if my phrasing is in correct... my lack of knowledge.) Though he was testing it with just a single clip device, so I'm not certain whether that the tow vehicle can actually be eliminated as a source of the problem.

We used steel wool on the prongs on the truck side of the plug in and a touch of dielectric grease (Super Lube) on the trailer side. Should we try anything else for cleaning it?

Further ideas / clarification?
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:04 PM   #5
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Jamman/Doug/Karen,
Thanks for the link and info. I'll go have another go at cleaning it, now that I see which of the 7 to focus on, plus your method.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:00 PM   #6
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More info

Ok, we have scrutinized this in more detail.
Here are some more facts for you Sherlocks out there...

if these are the bulbs of the tail light assembly:
A BBBB A BBBB A
The A lights of left tail light assembly behave well- blinking left turn if the truck headlights lights are off, remaining solid if headlights lights are on.
The B lights of the left tail light assembly are actually on but extremely dim, not flashing with the turn signal, nor brightening with brakes applied while headlights on.

Right tail light assembly behaving properly.

(Yes, used Jamman's sandpaper/air technique.)

So, where lies the problem? (Something causing the B bulbs to not behave.)
And, what should we do?

Many thanks.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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Trailers need running lights - on with headlights/parking lights - not real bright but clearly on. They also need brake/turn lights - on solid brightly when braking and flashing brightly on OR bright/dim on when the turn signal is going. Compare the A/B bulbs on the left and right. Some tail lights use dual filament bulbs to meet both needs, some have dedicated single filament bulbs.

It *sounds* like you might have actual bulbs - my newer trailer has LEDs. If you have real bulbs I would remove the red lens covers - should be 2 (or 4 or ?) screws in the body of the lens - not the ones (rivets?) holding the fixture on the trailer. Then remove each bulb and clean the bulb and fixture contacts - an eraser works well if it looks pretty decent, steel wool or sandpaper if it looks cruddy.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
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Trailer: Escape 19' 2012
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The left side of the trailer's tail light assembly is misbehaving.
The right side of the trailer's assembly is behaving properly.

I hesitate to remove the cover-- it is beautifully sealed.
If is seemed like an individual was misbehaving, then I'd consider it... (well, I'd likely ignore it). But this seems like a pattern that all of the similarly designated ones are not behaving properly.

To reiterate using my A and B light designations, it is only the B positions (of the left tail light assembly) which are not behaving.
But this makes me unable to signal a left turn with my headlights on.

Maybe I should email Escape? (Did I mention, we leave on a trip... figures. LOL)
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:57 PM   #9
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You could make only right turns and lane changes.

The fixture should be sealed (caulked) to the body. IF there are bulbs, the lens cover should not be sealed - might be a gasket. There is usually a part number on the lens/fixture - that might help identify it.

You can email ETI but the big rally is just ending so they may be a bit slower than usual responding. Or you can take it to an RV/trailer repair or hitch/wiring shop.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:08 PM   #10
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Before you start taking components apart determine if the problem is in the wiring circuits of the truck by using a tester such as:
7 Way Trailer Connector Vehicle Tester Tow Ready Wiring TR20117
If the truck circuits test ok, the problem is in the TT. A good diagnostic procedure is to start with the truck. Based on you symptoms the problem sounds like the converter is the culprit. The converter combines the turn signal and running light circuits that are OE on the truck into a single circuit output to the trailer connector. Such as:
Hopkins Wiring for Toyota Tundra 2004 - 46255
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