FAQ: Lighting & Electrical
FAQ provides basic trailer parts information for the DIYer or business owner. For more information, please call Dexter toll free at (877) 973-3632.
Yes. The 6565 Tekonsha Current Monitor is designed to assist in determining whether the tow vehicle’s wiring is working properly.
What Tekonsha tester is available to test a brake control installation when a trailer is not available?
The 6565 Tekonsha Current Monitor will assist in the installation, setup, and troubleshooting of an electronic trailer brake controller.
The Tekonsha 6562 7-way RV Trailer Emulator is also a valuable tool to have for brake controller installation. However, it does not feature as many testing features as the Tekonsha 6565.
- Improper vehicle wiring
- Defective or improper wiring of the vehicle end connector
- Broken, dirty, or corroded vehicle end connector pins
- Vehicle lighting function connections and connectors (left and right stop/turn, tail, and backup)
- Check pertinent vehicle fuses
- Check for any wire chafing, shorts, or open/exposed wire
- Check your power source, as well as the in-line fuse and battery terminal connections
- Check your ground source and connection
- Check all wiring connections as well as your connectors; also check any splices to the lighting circuits.
- Check for any wire chafing, shorts, and open or exposed wire
- Check your ground source and connection
- Double check and confirm the brake controller is properly connected to the power and ground
- Check pertinent vehicle fuses and circuit breakers
- Check wire for any chafing, shorts, and open or exposed wire
- Adjust the gain/voltage output
- Check the brake wire at the vehicle end connector
- Consider testing the brake controller with the Tekonsha 7585 bench tester
The current should be 6 amps for one axle, 12 amps for two axles and 18 amps for three axles.
You should first confirm your brake controller is factory designed for 3-axle operation. After doing so, also confirm that the controller is properly leveled. If both of these areas check out, then it is possible you may have a faulty or defective controller.
The 6562 Tekonsha emulator will simulate electric trailer brakes on a trailer and will also check the electrical continuity of the 7-way RV connector. This affordable tester allows for quick and easy testing of both the brake controller and the vehicle end connector.
The 6562 has a built in “load module” that is specially designed to accurately simulate the electric trailer brakes.
The feature function of the 7585 is that it will check to see if the brake controller is functioning properly independent of the vehicle wiring.
The 8010 is specifically designed to quickly aid identifying problems with trailer wiring.
The 8010 is excellent for helping you identify opens, shorts, and incorrect wiring. It also does a great job of testing right and left turn, tail marker, brake, and back-up lights. The 8010 also has the capability to test the trailers battery voltage.
The auto-test function of the 8010 will toggle through each test option and test the complete wiring circuit.
Yes. The 8010 allows for manual testing of the circuits. After pushing any of the manual buttons the circuit will flash 11 times to allow the tester enough time to walk around the trailer and confirm all lights that are functioning properly and identify those that are not.
FMVSS stands for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
FMVSS 108 regulates all automotive lighting, signaling, and reflective devices in the United States.
There are many benefits of LED lights including the following:
- LED lights illuminate faster. At 65 mph LED lights will illuminate a full car length faster.
- LED lights are more resistant to shock and vibrations, which are the most prevalent destroyers of incandescent lights.
- LED lights are sonically sealed and thus provide greatest moisture protection.
- LED lights have an extended life span when compared to incandescent lights.
- LED lights generate less heat and are less dangerous to work with.
Required trailer lights may include marker/clearance lights, identification bars, stop/turn/tail lights, reflectors, license plate lights, and backup lights.
Clearance lights are used to indicate the width and height of the vehicle; these lamps must be mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle, as close to the top and sides of the vehicle as is practical and possible.
Side marker lights are used to identify the length of the vehicle. They must be mounted as close to the front and rear of the vehicle as is practical and possible.
According to FMVSS 108, ID bars are needed when a trailer is over 80” wide in the United States. These ID bars incorporate the same lights as typical marker/clearance lights, but must be centered at the top of the trailer and spaced 6” to 12” apart.
P2 refers to the minimum standard for marker/clearance lights. This P2 standard requires that the light has a spread of 45° from the centerline of the light on each side.
The PC standard requires that the light has a spread of 90° on each side.
When mounted on the corner of the vehicle at a 45° angle, this allows pointing of the light to the same angles as would be with separate side marker and clearance lamps. The PC standard reduces the amount of lights on a vehicle, which creates a reduction in the cost to build the trailer, as well as lessens the potential for future maintenance and repair.
No. Currently only P2 and PC are recognized under FMVSS 108.
Stop/turn and tail lights keep motorists informed, making sure the traffic behind you is aware of your vehicle and trailer. Stop/turn/tail lights must always be mounted on the rear of your trailer and in working condition.
The amber reflectors must be positioned toward the front on each side of your trailer and as far forward as practical. They must face sideward and range between 15” to 60” high.
The red reflectors must be positioned toward the rear on each side of your trailer facing sideward and range between 15” to 60” high.
If no permanent structure on your trailer exists to allow installation at the above range of heights, the height shall be as close as feasible to the indicated heights listed above.
No. There are specific requirements for approved license plate lights. In order to illuminate the tag properly, most license plate lamps have specific designated requirements and are typically not installed more than a few inches from the tag.