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How to Fix the Lights on Your Trailer

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How many times will you deal with a faulty component before you finally decide to replace it? If you're like most people, you will put up with a certain amount of disruption and annoyance before something finally makes you snap. You may have encountered this issue with your boat trailer, where everything is working correctly as you set out on a trip, but the lighting system is stubbornly absent when you return. As it's high time that you took action, what do you do next?

Where to Start

Assuming that the wiring on your boat trailer is relatively old and has not been recently replaced, then you need to tackle the job and swap it out. If you're reasonably dexterous, then you can do this at home, but if not, it's a job for your local boatyard.

Dealing with Wires

You should begin by removing all the old lights and disconnecting the wires. You will need to cut the cable ties along the chassis rails, as you will have to install new ones in their place. Once you've done this, thread the new wiring carefully underneath the trailer and secure everything with cable ties so that they don't hang down. Remember, this is a legal requirement, and you will also want to avoid any damage.

When the wiring is in place, use some cable strippers to cut off excess insulation at each end.

Fixing the Lights

Next, attach the number plate light on the proper side of the trailer so you can fulfil this legal requirement as well. Hopefully, you can take advantage of the existing holes from the old trailer lights, but if not, then you will need to drill some new ones. Securely attach the trailer lighting and make sure everything is in its proper place before tightening any bolts and screws.

Colour Coded

Each wire will be carefully colour coded so that you attach it to the proper place. This can vary from kit to kit, so you should pay attention to the wiring diagram you received with your new purchase. There will be different coloured wires for the left and right indicator, reverse, brakes, side markers, stop lamps and the all-important earth return.

Final Checks

Before you check to see that everything is working properly, make sure that you attach the trailer towbar to the car. You won't get a sufficient earth if you simply plug the connector to the back of the car.

Closing Touches

Now, all that's left is to test functionality, and you will need somebody else to help you do this, especially when it comes to the operation of the brake lights. Before you put everything away, apply some heat shrink to each joint and seal it carefully. If you don't have any of this, use electrical tape to repel any moisture in the future.