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What Is Wrong With The Tow Lights On My RV?

by Lonnie Lewis
(Lubbock, Texas)

I have recently aquired a 1988 Itasca in very good condition and a Tow Dolly. The Itasca has independent left/right turn signals and independent brake lights.

I have istalled a Hopkins Tail Light Converter #48845 to operate the Tow Dolly lights and Magnetic Tow Lights. My problem is really baffling. When the Tow Dolly and Magnetic Tow Lights are hooked up and I perform an operations test - this is the results:

Test 1) Brakes applied - brake lights works,

Test 2) Left blinker - left blinker works,

Test 3) Right blinker - Right blinker works,

Test 4) Right blinker on and apply brakes - Left brake light works, right blinker works,

Test 5) Left blinker on and apply breaks - left blinker does not work - right side shows break light - release brake and left blinker works.

Test 6) Turn Headlights on and Tow dolly and Magnetic Tow Lights all come on but no turn signals or brake lights.

This happens on both the Tow Dolly and Magnetic Tow Lights.

I checked the lights on the Motorhome while everything was hooked up and they work properly. I have check for poor ground and I am happy I'm getting a good ground on both Tow Dolly and Magnetic Tow lights. I have also looked to ensure I had the converter correctly wired as per the color chart. I would truly appreciate your help.

Important Update!!!! This problem has been resolved, please scroll down to the comments section towards the bottom of this page to find out what was causing the electrical problem.
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Note From RVing Al:
Greetings Lonnie thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page. I am opening up this question to our visitors.

If you have an answer to this question please click on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.


Happy RVing

RVing Al

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What Is Wrong With The Tow Lights On My RV?
by: Lonnie Lewis

UPDATE --- After several knowledgeable minds, professional mechanic's and help from friends and a total rewiring job - the problem was (of course) the ""ground"". Simple fix - I placed a wire bolted to the chassis of the motor home and attached the other end to the frame of the dolly inserted spade connectors for easy disconnect and "walla" tail light and tow light problem corrected. It appears the ground on the motor home wiring harness is not a true ground. Still puzzled as to why. Just finished a 2800 mile round trip vacation with no problems. Thanks for posting my problem. Maybe this will help others.

Comment From RVing Al Lonnie, really glad to hear that you got this problem solved. It sounds like you had a whole army of helpers trying to diagnose and repair the problem, and of course it turns out to be a bad ground. I am sorry that I was not able to help you resolve your electrical problem, but sometimes trying to diagnose wiring problems over the internet is not easy.

I think from this point on, whenever someone asks me about an electrical problem with their RV, my first response is going to be Have You Checked For A Bad Or loose Ground? Thanks for getting back with me and yes your information will help other RVers in the future.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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