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nrvale0

Occasional brake lights even when disconnected from TV

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps someone else has seen this. It has me flummoxed.

A handful of times in the last year I've gone outside at night and noticed that the brake lights on the trailer are on -- faint but on -- even though the trailer is chocked + x-chocked and disconnected from the tow vehicle. The last time it happened I had a theory it was that the brake safety wire had fallen off the tongue and the weight of the carabiner was pulling the mechanism to engage the emergency brake. After placing the biner back on the tongue and putting a little slack in the wire the lights did turn off by the next evening, however, I sit here now with the passenger-side light (and only that light!) faintly lit for like 2 days now.

Thoughts? I don't see anything in the manual(s) on this topic.

Edited by nrvale0

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Posted (edited)

nrvale0 - 

More than likely you will be able to trace your problem to water/dirt in the Olivers "pigtail".  The pigtail is the cord that you plug into your tow vehicle.  Try taking a "Q-tip" and cleaning the contacts and then (if you have some) place a small amount of dielectric grease on each of those contacts in order to keep them less prone to this problem.

Bill

Edited by topgun2
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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Water causing a short on the 7-pin trailer connector

 


2019 LE2 #529.   

2018 Navigator L   2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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This is more common than you'd think.  What happens is that moisture gets into the plug of the wiring harness and creates a path from the trailer's batteries to the lights. I've had it happen once, and just shaking the water out of the plug was good enough to get the lights off.   The best way to prevent it is to keep the plug under cover.  


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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3 answers at once - this must be a pretty helpful forum. 😁

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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If you don’t have a cover just drape the cord over the tongue so that the plug is pointing down.  I used a cover for a few months, lost it and have been doing the “downward drape” for almost four years with no phantom lights.


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Mike, I used to do that on mine, but then I started getting water seeping in at the joint between the cable and plug.  Some silicone sealant probably would have fixed it, but I got this cover instead and it's worked great.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I have always 'draped ' the umbilical cord over the tounge, plug down, to eliminate water intrusion. To my surprise one evening I found the taillights on. Shook the plug and the lights went out. That is when I noticed my plug is not moulded on. So we took some clear exterior silicone adhesive and with our finger smeared it on and into where the cord and plug come together. Smoothed it out and let it cure. As of yet , no more "ghost" lights...

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2 hours ago, Overland said:

Mike, I used to do that on mine, but then I started getting water seeping in at the joint between the cable and plug.  Some silicone sealant probably would have fixed it, but I got this cover instead and it's worked great.

I put one in my Amazon cart.  Thanks!


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, nrvale0 said:

Perhaps someone else has seen this. It has me flummoxed.

A handful of times in the last year I've gone outside at night and noticed that the brake lights on the trailer are on -- faint but on -- even though the trailer is chocked + x-chocked and disconnected from the tow vehicle. The last time it happened I had a theory it was that the brake safety wire had fallen off the tongue and the weight of the carabiner was pulling the mechanism to engage the emergency brake. After placing the biner back on the tongue and putting a little slack in the wire the lights did turn off by the next evening, however, I sit here now with the passenger-side light (and only that light!) faintly lit for like 2 days now.

Thoughts? I don't see anything in the manual(s) on this topic.

My thoughts: For future reference, activating the breakaway switch will not turn on the brake lights. Also, it's good practice to routinely pull and re-insert the switch pin to verify operation. The first time you do this will give you an idea of the actual force required. In the seven-way plug,  the right turn/stop and tail/marker light contacts are adjacent to the 12V aux. This explains the two anomalies you experienced. My solution for keeping water out,

E682C286-46BE-4C1E-A564-E550D840363B.jpeg

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7 Pin Waterproof Holder Mod - Did this for our unit as we had that exact problem...water in the 7 pin after heavy rains.

Now we are good...

 

IMG_2208.thumb.jpeg.de950ca3b7e98778c723e6c94eba5106.jpeg

IMG_2217.thumb.jpeg.09ed752e37ae87b512d51b7a0557d550.jpeg

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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2018 F150 EcoBoost, King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
GVWR 7,000#, Payload Sticker 1557#, Truck GCWR=18,100# ,Tow capacity: 12,200#

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Posted (edited)

Wow, that was fast and enthusiastic response! I guess, like me, everyone is locked up and bored! 😉

I do always make sure the pigtail is facing downward and I have made a pretty regular habit of cleaning it and shooting with di-electric grease but I will give that another try. Will also make sure there's no ability for water to run down the wire and through the housing. My last trip to current location was definitely wet and dirty so it seems like a distinct possibility that something might be knocking around in there. Given all the stores being on lockdown, I'll likely just seal it off with a ziplock and rubber band until I can figure out if I can get something a bit less janky.

Thx, everyone! I will let you know if it continues to be a problem.

Edited by nrvale0

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Just looping back on this to confirm a fix until I can get a cap...popping the plug of the pigtail against my hand a half dozen times was enough to dislodge/dry the contacts in the plug and turn the lights out. It looks to me like the housing on the plug is fine but I went ahead and sealed it with silicon anyway.

Thx for the advice folks. I probably should have known this one from working on wet, muddy, old dirt bikes. 😕

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