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Old 09-01-2018, 10:00 AM   #1
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Exterior lights wires incorrectly.

Now that I've become educated on this Sunline camper trailer I know what a Lemmon I bought.

One problem after next.
The worst part is it's all my fault for being so trusting. Anywho, to my latest problem and it must be fixed before I relocate the trailer.

When the trailer is plugged into a vehicle it's obvious the running, turn and brake lights are wired incorrectly.

The plastic electrical junction box has 6 fasteners that are corroded to the point I'm unable to remove them. Thus I'll need to destroy the box to gain access for troubleshooting.

Anyone know where I can buy a replacement electrical junction box?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:07 AM   #2
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Looks a lot like a standard plastic bodied household 4" square box from this side..it's using household wire clamps.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:21 AM   #3
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Hi flymerc. I am restoring/renovation an '87 and, like you, found a host of problems and surprises that the previous owner failed to disclose. One suggestion... if you are able to drill the screw heads off, you might be able to remove the cover and then remove the screw stems with vice grips if anything threads are left exposed. I would think the plastic body would release the screws easily.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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I would check the 7 pin wiring first if it is wired wrong it will just be transferred to the box wrong. If the screws are that rusted it seem like the lighting would have been bad for a long time. If you have to deal with the box a big box store with have outdoor plastic electrical boxes in many sizes they generally gray and have stainless screws.
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Old 09-01-2018, 11:30 AM   #5
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The electrical junction box measures 7" long x 5" high x 3" deep. Much more interior volume than a 4" square box.

I guess I can Jerry rig something to make it work.
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Old 09-01-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
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That is much larger than a standard!
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:44 PM   #7
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You can buy a box and also purchase the terminal posts at any big box like Home Depot.
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Old 09-01-2018, 04:58 PM   #8
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The electrical junction box measures 7" long x 5" high x 3" deep. Much more interior volume than a 4" square box.

I guess I can Jerry rig something to make it work.
Yes it is and it's twice as big as it needs to be a 4x4x2 common PVC box will hold all that wire and then some. Drill a hole in the bottom and use water tight connectors. No it will not stop all the water where there are multiple wires that's why you need a hole in the bottom.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:08 PM   #9
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Here is what I use for connections http://www.amazon.com/Position-Style.../dp/B0050CF4QI They can be cut for any number or one by one no climping no wire nuts just a really good tight connection.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:50 PM   #10
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Ah, the infamous header junction box screws. I have nicknamed them, "the evil screws"

This has come up before

See this post with pics and how to get the screws out and to upgrade to better screws. Note: This is off my slide camper so there are 2 self resetting circuit breakers in there. Yours will not have 2. only 1. Outside Electrical Box at Porpane tanks

You need a no. 1 small phillips and a hammer. After you by hand twist drill out the dirt, reach way in, (about 1") with the tiny philips and tap the screw driver to engage it tight. Then push in real hard and unscrew. You can add choice words if it will help. It has to be in dead tight or it will strip the screw head. There are 6 of those buggers on there....

Yours will look like this post with pics
Battery Area 12 Volt Junction Box Wiring


Now to the light issue. The turn and brake lights wired incorrect... ahh...What state did you buy this in? On states with mandatory annual vehicle inspection would of found this.

It sure did not come from Sunline like this as PA is a mandatory annual vehicle inspection state. So what could the prior owner messed up on this?

First off, you should have an all molded 7 wire Bargmen cable to plug into the truck. If so, that cable end is good. If it is an add on one, then check the plug for a mix up. He replaced it if it is an add on one.

Second, it takes work to get into that junction box. Odds do exist he changed the actual rear tail lights. They get brittle over time and the tabs holding the red lens in crack and you have to replace the whole thing. This is an area he could of switched the wires wrong. Before breaking into the junction box, check the lights for the correct wire color on the correct element of the bulb.

You did not expand on what was not working incorrect, I assumed the bright brake lights come on when the tail lights are on. Yes/no? Or does the left and right turn signal goofed up? Right blinks when the left signal is sent etc.

Point being, the issue may not be in the header junction box. And if so, you can save that battle day for another day when you have time to deal with it.

The wire colors of red, brown and green are pretty straight forward in the junction box. I would think he could not mess that up?? but one never knows. This is what is in the box


I do not know where to get that exact box. And if I even needed one, I would not get that exact box as it was not one of Sunline best upgrades. That box location and what is in it is a good idea, came on the 2004 design upgrades. Just the box is way too cheap.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:55 PM   #11
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My Advancer was built in '99 same wire colors?
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:57 PM   #12
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There is one other place the wires can be mixed up.

Go under the camper at the rear wall. Look up, I suspect the left side of the camper. Sunline ran the DOT wires outside under the camper, they are exposed outside the black Darco plastic waterproof membrane.

At the rear wall, those wires go up a hole in the Darco into the back wall cavity and then up to the body lights and the tail lights. The wires are exposed there. Since you have tank sensor wires all tore out, well he may have hit something and tore up the DOT wires before they went up the wall and he messed up the color codes on the patch job. Trace those red, brown and green wires from the rear wall to the front header and look for splices.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draughty View Post
My Advancer was built in '99 same wire colors?
Yes, it should be. Sunline followed the industry standard color codes on the DOT lighting to the "RV" industry standards. Note, this is not the trailer industry standard. They flip a few colors from the RV industry standard. Why there are 2 standards I do not know. They both work in the same 7 wire plug but the colors are different.

See this pic from Etrailer. Source here. https://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

The RV standard is in the middle
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:01 AM   #14
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Thanks for the great info John!!!

I'm planning on tackling the exterior lighting issue today and I'll keep everyone updated to what I find.

As for the electrical mess- up. There are wires under the TT that have been ripped apart and spliced with household wire nuts. Like you, I'm betting that's where I'll find the problem. Once I have it properly wired, I'll replace the wire nuts and electrical tape with environmental wire splices for a permanent repair.

I have no brake lights and no turn signal lights. When I try either left or right turn signal all the running lights blink simultaneously.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:03 AM   #15
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That sounds like a real mess!
I'd guess you have multiple wires crossed or some of that household wire has been rubbing and lost it's insulation causing shorts across the various lines.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:50 AM   #16
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Is there a wiring harness cable that can be found?
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:00 AM   #17
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The damaged wires appear to be trailer brake wiring as they go into the wheels and axels.

I did find a few shoddy electrical tape splices in the AFT left side, where the DOT wiring enters the AFT trailer wall. I also found a broken ground wire that when I jumped it fixed the AFT trailer lights.

Also strangely enough now the running lights do not blink with the turnsignals.
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File Type: jpg spliced wires .jpg (85.5 KB, 3 views)
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Ah, the infamous header junction box screws. I have nicknamed them, "the evil screws"

John
Great advice here (as always)! I was able to pressure wash the dirt out of mine, but then proceeded as John says. As an alternative to larger screws I replaced with similar to original stainless and then used 1/2 long stainless 1/4" hex bolts to seal the holes. That has worked very well on some muddy trips. I just hand tighten the 1/4" bolts used to plug the hole and they self tapped into the hole perfectly.

I'm surprised at how good the wiring insulation looks under my trailer even where the wires ran through the frame unprotected with long unsupported sections. Doesn't take much to add up to some real read scratching gremlins as far as lights, but the grounds are always the first thing to be suspicious of.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:56 PM   #19
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A loose ground can cause all sorts of havoc!
Had one in y TJ and that was under the under the hood fuse block! Took an exceptional technician many hours to find and I gladly paid the bill!
Out if curiosity is 14 gauge the accepted standard for trailer wiring?
mine is in pretty good shape yet but I'm wondering if I should do some reinforcement and protection....
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:40 PM   #20
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Yes #14 is good for exterior lights will handle 15 amps. Many older campers used #12 for interior lighting because they seem to like a lot of light and the incandescent bulbs drew a huge amount of current they were far better heater that light bulbs so they had 20 amp circuits.
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