Trailer Wire Connector
Traveling with a trailer isn't that easy. You have to keep things safe on the road, and you can do this by making sure that your trailer has active running lights, turn signals, and brake lights. For this, you need to tap into the electrical system of your SUV or pickup. To power up these lights, you have to use the right trailer wire connector.
Different trailer wire connectors
Trailer wire connectors come in different number of pins. Get a connector that has the right pins to support not just the three main lighting functions but also other power connections such as the 12V power supply for interior trailer lights. Your trailer wiring options include:
4-way connectors. These connectors have just the right number of pins for hooking up the three lighting functions, plus another pin for the ground wire. These are commonly used in standard light-duty trailers.
5-way connectors. Aside from hooking up the three lighting functions, extra pins are available for the ground wire and for another trailer function. These connectors are a common option for trailers that use surge or hydraulic brakes. To disconnect the hydraulic trailer coupler when in reverse, a wire is tapped into the backup lights. This switches off the trailer's brakes.
6-way connectors. These connectors provide pins for the ground wire and for the running lights, turn signals, and brake lights. The other two pins are used for other functions such as the 12v hot lead and electric brakes. The round ones are commonly used on horse trailers while the 6-way square types are typically applied on campers.
7-way connectors. Other than the basic hookup, additional pins are available for the 12v hot lead, backup lights, electrical brakes, and additional functions. These connectors may have flat or round pins.
Reminders and warnings when hooking up a trailer wire connector
- To keep the connector that's placed underneath the vehicle safe and intact, a mounting bracket may be used to support it.
- Some car owners wrap electrical tape around the twisted wires or use a wire nut that's typically found at home. Bad thing about this is that the nut may be unscrewed easily and the tape may not hold out for long. The automotive-style crimp connector is also not a good idea, as this can easily tear apart or break due to moisture and vibration.
- Use the right connector and make sure that it's locked or fixed in place properly. It'll also helps if you add some dielectric grease on the hitch connector. A film of this grease will keep the pins safe from corrosion.
Tips in buying a trailer wire connector
- Figure out the number of pins you need from the trailer wire connector, depending on the trailer functions that have to be powered up. With this, you can choose the right type of connector, whether it's a 4-way, 5-way, 6-way, or 7-way type. Different trailers may use different types of connector. You should know the specs and requirements of the trailer.
- Look for a trailer wire connector that provides some sort of circuit protection. The wires should be protected against moisture and vibration. The components should also be sturdy enough to withstand long use and heavy-duty towing.
- Know how the connectors are used. Some connectors don't require splicing or special tools. They can be plugged easily. The wires are even color-coded to make them easy for you to connect or figure out. Some universal connectors match many trailer applications. Check the labels to be sure that the trailer you have is one of them.