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Old 01-15-2023, 10:04 AM   #1
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All lights but running lights

Good morning!

I hope you guys can help me to figure something out on my 1986 Sunline Satellite:

Original wiring and all wires work except the running light. I have continuity from the green wire (running light) to white (common ground), removed all bulbs, and measure around 50 Ohms. Using a jump starter as 12V source, I get all lights to work, except running lights. When using the jump starter with the green and white cable, voltage immediately drop to 9V at the jump starter, and I'm measuring between 2-4V at the tail lights. Somehow I think the green wire is shorted to ground, but 50 Ohms is kinda high for a short?

Looking forward to any thoughts you might share...

Thanks,
Jarno
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Old 01-16-2023, 09:52 AM   #2
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Hi Jarno,

First off, welcome!

The good news, you have most of the lights working and you have done some good troubleshooting.

Here are some thoughts to what you are seeing and some things to look at further.

You stated this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarnomanzke View Post
Original wiring and all wires work except the running light. I have continuity from the green wire (running light) to white (common ground), removed all bulbs, and measure around 50 Ohms.
First part, with the light bulbs in, yes you will get continuity between green (hot for running light) and white (ground) due to the bulb filament making the connection.

When you pulled the bulb and found 50 ohms, here we need to confirm how you did the 50 ohm test. With the bulbs out;

1. Was the 50 ohms from the green wire to the white wire?
2. Was the 50 ohms from the white wire to a separate known good solid ground? (like the 7wire cable for the truck)
3. Was the 50 ohms from the green wire to a separate known good solid ground? (like the 7wire cable for the truck)

Need to confirm this before starting to speculate where the 50 ohms is coming from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarnomanzke View Post
Using a jump starter as 12V source, I get all lights to work, except running lights. When using the jump starter with the green and white cable, voltage immediately drop to 9V at the jump starter, and I'm measuring between 2-4V at the tail lights. Somehow I think the green wire is shorted to ground, but 50 Ohms is kinda high for a short?
Question, were the light bulbs in or removed when you get the voltage drop down to 9V? This is a key piece of info.

It does appear you have an issue with the green hot wire crossed to ground, somewhere in the camper. The voltage drops points a high current being pulled when the green is hooked up.

I am not totally sure on a 86 Sunline, but I am going to speculate on how the wires where run as being close to the newer Sunlines. On the newer camper, the front wall and left front and right front amber clearance lights (front running lights) had a green and white wire junction at the 7 wire cable tie in and ran up the front or side wall, then jumped to each of the 4 amber lights. They parallel daisy changed them together.

The rear wall, rear left and rear right red clearance lights green and white wires were separate from the front. A long green and white wire ran under the camper from the front 7 wire junction to the back wall, then up inside the back wall and daisy chained tied all the red clearance and tail lights bulbs together.

BUT, there always seems to be one, on the older campers and the 86 could be in that group, Sunline use to put glass fuses in the DOT lighting circuit. Look to see if your camper has that glass fuse set. Most times, it is near the power converter and AC breakers. If they did the glass fuses, then that fuse set may be where the green hot wires start from and not up front at the 7 wire cable like I talked about above. The 7 wire cable green could go to the fuse set first, then through the fuses, then out to the lights. They may have run a green hot to the back wall and a separate green to the front wall starting at the fuse set.

You can try this to help sort out where the issue is occurring. Take out all running light bulbs. This testing also is all going on the assumption, your 50 ohms was from the green wire to white wires with no bulbs in place.

First, if your camper has the glass fuses in the DOT lighting circuit, see if there are any crossed connections, (stray wires) from the green to the white.

Second, still at the fuse set, put you ohm meter on the green wire to white wire with the fuse in to see if you get the 50 ohms. Ideally you get the 50 ohms. Then pull the fuse. Now there is a break in the green wire from the 7 wire plug to the camper lights. See if the camper side is where the 50 ohm is or on the 7 wire truck plug? If it shows that the 7 wire plug has 50 ohms and the camper shows no ohms, then you know the issue is between the fuse block and the 7 wire plug. If there is a replacement 7 wire plug on the end where the end comes apart, pull that plug apart. There may be a wire strand between ground and the green as there are screw terminals in there. A wire hair can cross over.

Last, you might try this one at a time with this test and then eventually will have all lights out. Again, all running light bulbs are to be removed. Take your pick on where to start, but pull the first running light out of the wall to expose the wire nuts on the white and green wire. Unhook the green wires at that light. Separate the green wires, test for ohms between greens and white. Odds are there are 2 green wires on most all lights. if you only have 1 green wire then that is the end of the daisy chain run. What you are looking for is where does the 50 ohms drop out from white to green?

NOTE: when you unhook a light, and there are 2 green wires, one side my be 0 ohms and the other wire 50 ohm. That helps tell you the down stream lights from that joint are OK and the problem is on the other wire. You can then test which lights upstream or down stream are OK and which still have the 50 ohms. You can leave the first light green wires unhooked, then go the next know problem light that still has the 50 ohms and pull it apart. Test each side. You keep going this until you find where green wire has the 50 ohms to ground and the rest are OK. Once you trace that down, then you have to figure out how to replace that wire or find the short in it. Some where there could be a skinned or chewed green wire with a corroded connection to the ground wire or the metal siding or trailer frame.

Hope this helps and let us know how it goes.

John
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Old 01-16-2023, 09:59 AM   #3
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On the glass fuses, there may be glass fuses in the power converter, those are for 12 VDC circuits and not the DOT lights.

This post shows the 5, 12 volt DC circuit glass fuses in the power converter. These are "not" the DOT light fuses. I'm trying to find a pic of the Dot glass fuses, have not fond one yet, but I know it was posted before.

https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ics-17812.html
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Old 01-16-2023, 10:06 AM   #4
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This post shows the DOT light fuses on a 70's Sunline



From this post. Scroll way down. I have seen them look a little different too. You may have to hunt for a ground wire to test to since only the 3 hot wires show up in these glass fuses.

https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...per-15166.html
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Old 01-16-2023, 03:29 PM   #5
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Hi John,

Thank you for a series of excellent replies! It's great to know we have so much expertise in this forum!

I measured the 50 Ohms between the green and white and green and trailer frame. No (mentionable) resistance between white and trailer ground.

The bulbs were removed when the voltage dropped. I cannot remember, but believe to have had the same voltage drop with the bulbs in.


I still didn't find where the wire-bundle from the plug enters the inside of the trailer. I clearly see from the outside where it goes in, but cannot find them inside (maybe they're in the floor?). A bad fuse could potentially explain the higher resistance in the circuit causing the voltage drop, right?


I appreciate your tip on how to trace the wiring failure from light to light, and will do this over the weekend. Stay tuned!


Thanks,
Jarno
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Old 01-18-2023, 06:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarnomanzke View Post

snip...
I still didn't find where the wire-bundle from the plug enters the inside of the trailer. I clearly see from the outside where it goes in, but cannot find them inside (maybe they're in the floor?). A bad fuse could potentially explain the higher resistance in the circuit causing the voltage drop, right?
Hi Jarno,

You are very welcome, we are glad to help and have many members who can jump in and answer as well.

As to where the 7 wire cord enters the camper, I am not totally sure on your older camper, but try this as it works on the newer Sunlines. Look under the camper where the 7 wire goes up into the floor system. Or a series of wires that spliced into the 7 wire under the camper. Then go inside the camper and look in that same spot where the cable was under the camper. Many times the cord goes straight up through the floor into the living space. On many of the older campers, sometimes there is a wooden junction box with a cover over the hole where the wire came up through. Take the cover off, a truck charge fuse (a fuse in the battery charge line of the 7 wire cable) can be in there, along with a main camper battery fuse. This junction box or area, might be under a bottom cabinet, a front bed frame, dinette or other built in cabinetry/furniture. It is not out in the open, they hide them well to not get beat up with foot traffic etc. When you find it where the junction is, let us know so others coming along after you know too.

Normally they did not run the 7 wire cable a real long ways under or in the floor, most times it went straight up through and above the floor, made a junction then wires inside the camper to the power converter/ 12 VDC fuses. And in your case the DOT light wires to go to the glass fuses.

To this question,
Quote:
A bad fuse could potentially explain the higher resistance in the circuit causing the voltage drop, right?
While a fuse that is very loose or a corroded connection can create higher resistance, in this case my gut instinct says, no, not a bad fuse. If you are pulling down your jump box down to 9 volts and there are no light bulbs in, that is a big amp draw. (assuming your jump box is big enough and charged enough to start a car with a dead battery) The more I think on this, your problem might just be in the green wire that runs from the 7 wire cable connection up to the little glass fuse block for the DOT lights. (upstream of the fuse & assuming your camper has these glass fuses) That heavy amp draw should/might have blown the fuse if the green wire had a crossed connection on the downstream of the fuse.

You will learn a whole lot if you pull the glass fuse out for the green wire and you still pull the jump box down to 9 volts. That would be an easier fix dealing with the green wire feed from the 7 wire plug as it points to only the upstream of the fuse wiring. Also, if you have a replacement end on the 7 wire cord, for sure check inside the plug for a crossed connection.

Please report back what you find. We all learn something every time someone solves a problem on their Sunline.

Hope this helps,

John
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Old 01-19-2023, 08:47 AM   #7
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I made some progress last night...(yay!)

I found the wires coming into the trailer. They were hidden underneath the duct. Underneath the duct, the wires from the 7-plug, front, and rear meet and are joined via wire nuts - I have not found fuses so far.

I separated the green wires (running lights) and found the rear working but the front not. That's good, now I know where the wiring issue is. I will further investigate the green wire going to the front of the trailer (it looks like it start with the front driver side).

Now I have more questions please:
The left and right tail lights work. The left tail light has two green wires, the right light just one, indicating the end of the rear wire chain. Interestingly, neither the clearing lights nor the identifications lights get power (those are the five on top of the trailer end). I expected them to be chained between the left and right tail light...Any idea where the wire to those might run (are they coming from the front lights?)?
Also, is there a DOT requirement for the lights in the trailer front?

Thank you for your help!
Jarno
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarnomanzke View Post
Now I have more questions please:
The left and right tail lights work. The left tail light has two green wires, the right light just one, indicating the end of the rear wire chain. Interestingly, neither the clearing lights nor the identifications lights get power (those are the five on top of the trailer end). I expected them to be chained between the left and right tail light...Any idea where the wire to those might run (are they coming from the front lights?)?
Also, is there a DOT requirement for the lights in the trailer front?

Thank you for your help!
Jarno
You are gaining, Great! Good hunting. These electrical issues are for sure a hunt and hopefully find mission.

Good news, the two tail lights work. Yeh! Now to the rest of the red marker lights on the back of the camper. Yes, we have the 5 red across the top and then there should be a red clearance light on the left and right rear side wall totaling 7 small clearance/marker lights plus the 2 red tail lights.

Here are some pics of a newer Sunline on the back wall. This is a 2004 T1950 but I have seen that same method on other newer floor plans. Your older camper my not be exactly like this, but it most likely is a version of it. The back wall "area" is all fed off the same one green wire going up the back wall. It jumps/daisy chains all over back there. The white grounds follow it.

Up the bottom of the back wall is where the DOT wires go up into the wall. A green (clearance lights/tail), brown (right turn), red (left turn) and white (gnd) wire goes up a hole in the wall and "normally" goes to a stop/turn tail light first. In this picture case the green, red and white went to the left stop/turn tail light. The brown would go direct to the right tail light. The white and green get daisy chain jumped to all the back area red lights, the 5 up top and the 2, LH & RH clearance plus 2 tail lights

In some cases, there may be a double joint on a green and white, meaning, there be 4 to 5 wires to be joined at a junction so rather then doing 5 wires under one wire nut, they split it into a jumper wire and two 3 wires under one nut. For example, on the left side green for the LH stop/turn light, there is a green for the tail light (wire 1), a main green hot wire coming up the wall (wire 2) and a short jumper wire (wire 3) under one nut. The short jumper wire # 3 then attaches a LH rear red wall clearance light (wire 4) and a wire heading over the the RH side of the camper (wire 5.) under it's separate nut. So if you pull out the wires at the tail light, you may not have pulled enough to get the jumper wire connection.

OR, the area where your 2 wires are joined, the first red marker light has bad corrosion at its joint. That would shut down every red light down stream. Pull out the closest red marker light and check the connection.

I have also seen that jumper wire to be long wire, it would head to the side red clearance light, join it and then go up top to the 5 red marker lights.

Here are the 4 wires going up the rear wall from the bottom of the wall


Here is the whole wall. Yes we were restoring this rotted situation. Ugly pics for sure




The LH & RH red light, they drill at an angle through the wall from the back wall to get the wire over there

This pic with the wall rebuilt and the lights on in test mode may help show the wires better




The front wall, would be a separate green and white wire feed. Check at the 7 wire cable, are there 2 green camper wires joined to one green from the 7 wire cable? One of the camper greens goes to the back wall the other green to the front wall. Again, this is when there is no glass fuses in the DOT lights. If your has those fuses, then the front and rear wall can still be 2 separate green feeds, they just split after the glass DOT fuse rather then the 7 wire.

Here is a front wall all part from a 2004 T2475. Green and white go up the front wall. This is to feed the 4 amber front area lights. 2 amber on the top front wall and one amber per LH & RH side wall at the front of the camper.


In this camper front wall case, the main green/white feed would land at a LH side wall amber light first, then jump up to the top front LH wall amber, jump over the the top RH front wall amber, then jump down to the front side RH wall.




And yes, you are supposed to be able to see the front amber lights from a front and side direction.(the back area wall also) Sunline would do the 2 front wall ambers up top and 2 side wall ambers half way up the wall as they could not mount the corner ambers lights on a 45 degree mount at the extreme corner to see both directions.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:29 AM   #9
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This post by Sunline Fan may help. He is restoring a 1979 camper. In this case, the front wall and the back wall, the DOT wires seemed to come out of the lower to middle of the wall and went up. This jumps to a page in the post, the rest of the post may help too.

Your 86 camper might be close to the same, or by 86 they stopped doing the DOT light glass fuses, not sure, you will tell us

https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...tml#post147094

His, 79 for sure had the DOT fuses. See here
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Old 02-19-2023, 09:27 AM   #10
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Happy Sunday everyone!

I finally fixed the lights by going from fixture to fixture until I found two that had corroded connections. I replaced the two tail lights and all marker lights with LED sets from Amazon.

One of the tricky parts was to find in which sequence the lights were connected and where the cable tree split into the front and back circuit. For the sequence, I attached here a rough draft - may it help someone else. As for the split, I found it hidden underneath the duct. The connection was made with wire nuts and there were no fuses.

Thank you for your help. I'm sure I'll have more questions during the next steps (brakes, propane plumbing, etc.)
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File Type: pdf Sunline Wiring.pdf (41.2 KB, 5 views)
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Old 02-19-2023, 01:17 PM   #11
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Glad it worked out.
Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 02-19-2023, 09:13 PM   #12
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Hi Jarno,

You did well hunting this down. Glad you got it sorted out.

And a big thanks for reporting back, and for your sketch. It will help others in the future. We all learn something new here at Sunline Owners Club.

Thanks,

John
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Old 06-11-2023, 04:27 PM   #13
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Hi there, other than replacing light bulbs and changing out outlets in my home, I’m electrically challenged, and as a new Sunline owner, I’m quite intimidated by the idea of anything electrical! Y’all definitely seem to know what you’re talking about here.
I’d like to change out the interior bulbs with LEDs, and my running lights are not lighting up and need new bulbs ( according to the previous owner). I don’t want to damage anything electrical and am hoping you can direct me to a good source, make and model numbers, etc.
Thanks in advance,
Tammy
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