The Running Lights On My Travel Trailer Stay On Even When Trailer Is Unhooked From Tow Vehicle

by Chad
(Dorr, MI)

We have a 1998 Sportsman 28 ft. Travel Trailer. Just bought it last spring and had a great time camping last summer and keeping the trailer on our hunting property in the fall.

A friend of ours just recently returned it to us from using in on his spring break and I went to plug the trailer in because I noticed the battery was dead. Now the running lights are on and won't go off. I've never had this before, and it doesn't take long and it drains the battery.

Is there a switch that he found and didn't realize? (He said the lights weren't on for him) Is something else wrong?

I never had the running lights work unless it was dark and I was hooked up to my truck.

ANSWER: Greetings Chad thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I do not believe that any switch being turned on or off has caused your running lights to stay on. It sounds like a wiring harness issue. There is a short somewhere in the trailers towing harness.

I am going to assume that the tow wiring harness on your Travel Trailer uses a 7 way RV Male Plug. You need to check the plug for any shorted out wiring (bare wires touching each other). The short could actually be in the plug itself or in the wiring going into the back of the plug. The short could also be somewhere in the harness.

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I believe that the 12 volt wire (normally color coded Black/Red) in the plug or harness is making contact with the Tail Light/Clearance Light Wire (normally color coded Brown) in the plug or harness. This short is allowing the 12 volt DC current to flow to your Trailer's clearance lights even when not plugged into a tow vehicle.

If you do not find any problems with the plug itself then look at the wiring harness for any areas where it might be binding or chafing and causing these two wires to make contact.

I hope this helps.

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Happy RVing

RVing Al

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