connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

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Old 28 Jul 2012, 04:53 am   #1 (permalink)
jim beam
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

On 07/28/2012 07:54 AM, micky wrote:
> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
> Everything worked.
>
> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>
> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
> the bulbs?
>
> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>
> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>
>
> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
> maybe it's burned out.)
>
> Thanks


a lot of modern cars have connectors for trailer lights already built
in. you simply buy the appropriate harness and plug it in. check under
the carpet in the trunk for a "spare" connector.


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Old 28 Jul 2012, 10:54 am   #2 (permalink)
micky
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Default connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
Everything worked.

But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?

Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
the bulbs?

Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.

**well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
lights, but that's irrelevant here.


I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
maybe it's burned out.)

Thanks
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 11:40 am   #3 (permalink)
micky
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 01:53:50 -0700, jim beam <me@privacy.net> wrote:

>On 07/28/2012 07:54 AM, micky wrote:
>> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
>> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
>> Everything worked.
>>
>> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
>> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
>> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
>> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
>> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>>
>> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
>> the bulbs?
>>
>> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>>
>> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
>> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>>
>>
>> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
>> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
>> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
>> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
>> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
>> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
>> maybe it's burned out.)
>>
>> Thanks

>
>a lot of modern cars have connectors for trailer lights already built
>in.


That's amazing. I posted earlier that if people knew how easy it was
to add a hitch, they might sell a lot more hitches, but in a year
since I bought this car, I've only seen 6 passenger cars with hitches,
3 of them at a ham radio hamfest. So they add t he wiring but
don't publicize how easy it is to add a hitch.

>you simply buy the appropriate harness and plug it in. check under
>the carpet in the trunk for a "spare" connector.


I've been under the carpet, and there is no connector. Thanks
anyhow, really. .

Also I thought this was relevant until I read your post a second time,
this car had no trailer hitch, and was owned by a little old lady (I
think. I have reason to believe what the car dealer told me.) .
..
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 01:09 pm   #4 (permalink)
Sleepmac
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

I have a "Hidden Hitch" on my '99 Camry 4-cyl. The hitch is rated I
think, at 2500 lbs. The Camry with automatic is rated to pull 1500 lbs.
If I remember correctly, I had Googled for trailer wiring harness for
that model car. I was able to buy a plugin harness. It plugged in right
before the right taillight. I run the trailer with the headlights on so
the trailer can be seen easier. Before I start driving I walk around
the car and trailer to see if every light is on. Been working great for
years.

I pull a 4 x 8 flatbed trailer. The car users' manual states to run a
trailer with the Overdrive switched off. That precludes any long
distance pulling, but overall works out fine locally.

In article <s9181892dsdsoi6i74nfa1j2aesjn0vskg@4ax.com>, micky
<NONONOmisc07@bigfoot.com> wrote:

> On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 01:53:50 -0700, jim beam <me@privacy.net> wrote:
>
> >On 07/28/2012 07:54 AM, micky wrote:
> >> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
> >> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
> >> Everything worked.
> >>
> >> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
> >> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
> >> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
> >> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
> >> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
> >>
> >> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
> >> the bulbs?
> >>
> >> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
> >>
> >> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
> >> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
> >>
> >>
> >> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
> >> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
> >> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
> >> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
> >> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
> >> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
> >> maybe it's burned out.)
> >>
> >> Thanks

> >
> >a lot of modern cars have connectors for trailer lights already built
> >in.

>
> That's amazing. I posted earlier that if people knew how easy it was
> to add a hitch, they might sell a lot more hitches, but in a year
> since I bought this car, I've only seen 6 passenger cars with hitches,
> 3 of them at a ham radio hamfest. So they add t he wiring but
> don't publicize how easy it is to add a hitch.
>
> >you simply buy the appropriate harness and plug it in. check under
> >the carpet in the trunk for a "spare" connector.

>
> I've been under the carpet, and there is no connector. Thanks
> anyhow, really. .
>
> Also I thought this was relevant until I read your post a second time,
> this car had no trailer hitch, and was owned by a little old lady (I
> think. I have reason to believe what the car dealer told me.) .
> .

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Old 28 Jul 2012, 09:26 pm   #5 (permalink)
Steve W.
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

micky wrote:
> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
> Everything worked.
>
> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>
> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
> the bulbs?
>
> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>
> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>
>
> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
> maybe it's burned out.)
>
> Thanks



First find out if the vehicle even has a tow rating. Many newer cars
don't. They are just not built heavy enough to handle even small trailers.
If it does have a tow rating then there should be a direct fit harness
IF it's a popular vehicle. Most of those plug into a connection
underneath the vehicle, usually either a separate connector or inline
with the rear lights. Depending on the model the harness may be nothing
more than some wire, or it could be a mess of relays and add-ons that
you need to supply power and ground to carry the load of the lights.

--
Steve W.
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 10:00 pm   #6 (permalink)
jim beam
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

On 07/28/2012 06:26 PM, Steve W. wrote:
> micky wrote:
>> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
>> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
>> Everything worked.
>> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
>> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
>> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
>> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
>> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>>
>> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
>> the bulbs?
>>
>> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
>> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>>
>> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
>> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
>> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
>> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
>> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
>> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
>> maybe it's burned out.)
>>
>> Thanks

>
>
> First find out if the vehicle even has a tow rating. Many newer cars
> don't. They are just not built heavy enough to handle even small trailers.


popular myth, usually completely untrue.

<http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/the-great-american-anti-towing-conspiracy/>

many vehicles sold in other markets have rated capacities which can be
substantial, but zero here in the u.s. even from u.s. manufacturers
like frod and g.m. that sell in europe with towing capacities, but don't
rate the same vehicle here. the festiva for example.


> If it does have a tow rating then there should be a direct fit harness
> IF it's a popular vehicle. Most of those plug into a connection
> underneath the vehicle, usually either a separate connector or inline
> with the rear lights. Depending on the model the harness may be nothing
> more than some wire, or it could be a mess of relays and add-ons that
> you need to supply power and ground to carry the load of the lights.


if it doesn't have a built-in connector, you can often get a "t"
connector if you look hard enough. it sits between the existing light
sockets, and the harness, and takes care of all the connections without
cutting or splicing. they usually also split two-color brake and turn
signals into the combined red brake/turn used on trailers.


--
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Old 29 Jul 2012, 06:37 am   #7 (permalink)
Steve W.
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

jim beam wrote:
> On 07/28/2012 06:26 PM, Steve W. wrote:
>> micky wrote:
>>> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
>>> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
>>> Everything worked.
>>> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
>>> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
>>> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
>>> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
>>> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>>>
>>> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
>>> the bulbs?
>>>
>>> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>>> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
>>> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>>>
>>> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
>>> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
>>> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
>>> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
>>> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
>>> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
>>> maybe it's burned out.)
>>>
>>> Thanks

>>
>> First find out if the vehicle even has a tow rating. Many newer cars
>> don't. They are just not built heavy enough to handle even small trailers.

>
> popular myth, usually completely untrue.
>
> <http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/the-great-american-anti-towing-conspiracy/>


Opinion piece in which the author himself demonstrates why vehicle tow
ratings matter.

>
> many vehicles sold in other markets have rated capacities which can be
> substantial, but zero here in the u.s. even from u.s. manufacturers
> like frod and g.m. that sell in europe with towing capacities, but don't
> rate the same vehicle here. the festiva for example.


Doesn't matter what the vehicle may be rated in other countries. What
matters is what it is rated for in the location it is used.



>
>
>> If it does have a tow rating then there should be a direct fit harness
>> IF it's a popular vehicle. Most of those plug into a connection
>> underneath the vehicle, usually either a separate connector or inline
>> with the rear lights. Depending on the model the harness may be nothing
>> more than some wire, or it could be a mess of relays and add-ons that
>> you need to supply power and ground to carry the load of the lights.

>
> if it doesn't have a built-in connector, you can often get a "t"
> connector if you look hard enough. it sits between the existing light
> sockets, and the harness, and takes care of all the connections without
> cutting or splicing. they usually also split two-color brake and turn
> signals into the combined red brake/turn used on trailers.
>



That would be the inline type I mentioned. You have to make sure that
the vehicle can actually handle the load though.
I have seen more than a few problems created from the extra light loading.


--
Steve W.
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Old 29 Jul 2012, 12:26 pm   #8 (permalink)
jim beam
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

On 07/29/2012 03:37 AM, Steve W. wrote:
> jim beam wrote:
>> On 07/28/2012 06:26 PM, Steve W. wrote:
>>> micky wrote:
>>>> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
>>>> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
>>>> Everything worked.
>>>> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
>>>> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
>>>> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
>>>> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
>>>> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>>>>
>>>> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
>>>> the bulbs?
>>>>
>>>> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>>>> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
>>>> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>>>>
>>>> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
>>>> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
>>>> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
>>>> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
>>>> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
>>>> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
>>>> maybe it's burned out.)
>>>>
>>>> Thanks
>>>
>>> First find out if the vehicle even has a tow rating. Many newer cars
>>> don't. They are just not built heavy enough to handle even small
>>> trailers.

>>
>> popular myth, usually completely untrue.
>>
>> <http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/the-great-american-anti-towing-conspiracy/>
>>

>
> Opinion piece in which the author himself demonstrates why vehicle tow
> ratings matter.
>
>>
>> many vehicles sold in other markets have rated capacities which can be
>> substantial, but zero here in the u.s. even from u.s. manufacturers
>> like frod and g.m. that sell in europe with towing capacities, but
>> don't rate the same vehicle here. the festiva for example.

>
> Doesn't matter what the vehicle may be rated in other countries. What
> matters is what it is rated for in the location it is used.


with respect to legal ratings, agreed, but with respect to engineering
ratings, it makes no sense. thus i'm questioning the origin of those
legal ratings.

fact is, and i've lived in europe so i've seen this first hand, they use
cars for towing all the time. and that's in a place where they have
legal restrictions up the wazoo, much worse than here.

the notion that seems to be unquestioningly accepted here, that you need
a honking great truck to tow something like a jet ski, let alone a
camping trailer, is just bizarre in engineering terms. the only real
difference in "capacity" there vs. here, is that almost all light
trailers there are braked. here, few are, and if they are, they're
usually electric, which is another bizarre anachronism we have given
that they don't modulate.

now, if a trailer is unbraked [which i think is retarded since it really
messes with dynamics] then sure, a larger heavier towing vehicle makes
some degree of sense, kinda. but to blindly and unquestioningly swallow
the garbage fed us that a car rated in europe for 3000lbs isn't
qualified to tow here is utterly ridiculous.


>
>
>
>>
>>
>>> If it does have a tow rating then there should be a direct fit harness
>>> IF it's a popular vehicle. Most of those plug into a connection
>>> underneath the vehicle, usually either a separate connector or inline
>>> with the rear lights. Depending on the model the harness may be nothing
>>> more than some wire, or it could be a mess of relays and add-ons that
>>> you need to supply power and ground to carry the load of the lights.

>>
>> if it doesn't have a built-in connector, you can often get a "t"
>> connector if you look hard enough. it sits between the existing light
>> sockets, and the harness, and takes care of all the connections
>> without cutting or splicing. they usually also split two-color brake
>> and turn signals into the combined red brake/turn used on trailers.
>>

>
>
> That would be the inline type I mentioned. You have to make sure that
> the vehicle can actually handle the load though.
> I have seen more than a few problems created from the extra light loading.
>
>



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Old 11 Aug 2012, 02:26 pm   #9 (permalink)
micky
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:09:34 -0400, Sleepmac <mac121sleep@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>I have a "Hidden Hitch" on my '99 Camry 4-cyl. The hitch is rated I
>think, at 2500 lbs. The Camry with automatic is rated to pull 1500 lbs.
>If I remember correctly, I had Googled for trailer wiring harness for
>that model car. I was able to buy a plugin harness.


Do you remember if the harnes require attaching a wire to ground
somwhere, or if the ground was IN the harness?

I didn't want to spend the money for plug-in when doing it myself
only involves soldering 3 wires and finding a ground somewhere.

> It plugged in right
>before the right taillight. I run the trailer with the headlights on so
>the trailer can be seen easier. Before I start driving I walk around
>the car and trailer to see if every light is on.


Good idea.

> Been working great for
>years.
>
>I pull a 4 x 8 flatbed trailer. The car users' manual states to run a
>trailer with the Overdrive switched off. That precludes any long
>distance pulling, but overall works out fine locally.


I see it does say that in the 2000 manual also, to prevent overheating
iirc,, but I think that may be an overwarNing. (not overwarMing) Once
the car is going 60, it's good to be in the highest gear I think, and
elsewhere in the same manual it says to use overdrive except in some
limited circumstances.

To get to 60, I just accelerate more slowly than I would without a
trailer (previous car, but also a 4-speed automatic. There's nothing
about overdrive that would be different here)

The trailer provides more drag, but I think it's the speed the car is
going that matters most which gear one should be in. At the least
this deserves more inquiry.

The previous car, a LeBaron, only accepted a class I hitch which is
rated only for 500? pounds. All I had was a simple Harbor Freight
4x8' trailer and a bedroom dresser on it, but I went from Dallas to
Baltimore with no trouble. Didn't even realize it was there most of
the time. I didn't take xways much, but that's because xways are
boring, and I like to see towns and cities. And I can still do 60
most of the time on US Highways that arent' limited access. . On the
xway the only thing to see is trees and it's too easy to get up to
70mph without noticing.

The tach should have interesting info too. If it's barely any higher
at cruising speed with the trailer than without, I think that means
overdrive woudl be okay.

Anyhow, I think it also matters if one has 300 pounds behind him or a
traler and 1500 pounds. The lighter the load the farther I would go.

>In article <s9181892dsdsoi6i74nfa1j2aesjn0vskg@4ax.com>, micky
><NONONOmisc07@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 01:53:50 -0700, jim beam <me@privacy.net> wrote:
>>
>> >On 07/28/2012 07:54 AM, micky wrote:
>> >> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
>> >> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
>> >> Everything worked.
>> >>
>> >> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
>> >> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
>> >> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
>> >> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
>> >> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>> >>
>> >> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
>> >> the bulbs?
>> >>
>> >> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>> >>
>> >> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
>> >> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
>> >> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
>> >> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
>> >> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
>> >> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
>> >> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
>> >> maybe it's burned out.)
>> >>
>> >> Thanks
>> >
>> >a lot of modern cars have connectors for trailer lights already built
>> >in.

>>
>> That's amazing. I posted earlier that if people knew how easy it was
>> to add a hitch, they might sell a lot more hitches, but in a year
>> since I bought this car, I've only seen 6 passenger cars with hitches,
>> 3 of them at a ham radio hamfest. So they add t he wiring but
>> don't publicize how easy it is to add a hitch.
>>
>> >you simply buy the appropriate harness and plug it in. check under
>> >the carpet in the trunk for a "spare" connector.

>>
>> I've been under the carpet, and there is no connector. Thanks
>> anyhow, really. .
>>
>> Also I thought this was relevant until I read your post a second time,
>> this car had no trailer hitch, and was owned by a little old lady (I
>> think. I have reason to believe what the car dealer told me.) .
>> .


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Old 11 Aug 2012, 02:48 pm   #10 (permalink)
micky
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Default Re: connecting a trailer harness to a late model car

On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 19:00:25 -0700, jim beam <me@privacy.net> wrote:

>On 07/28/2012 06:26 PM, Steve W. wrote:
>> micky wrote:
>>> With my '95 Lebaron, I just connected the trailer harness to the tail
>>> and turn signal lights directly** and there was no problem.
>>> Everything worked.
>>> But with late model cars, there are all sorts of extra parts (sensors
>>> etc.) between the tail light and turn signal switches and the
>>> respective light bulb filaments. Is there ever a possibiltiy of
>>> overloading any of these parts, by doubling the load on them, by
>>> connecting the trailer lights in parallel with the car's rear lights?
>>>
>>> Or can I just attach the harness straight to wires that go straight to
>>> the bulbs?
>>>
>>> Especially on a 2000 Toyota, which has a bunch of these extra parts.
>>> **well, I used diodes to separate left from right brake/turn signal
>>> lights, but that's irrelevant here.
>>>
>>> I'm especially concerned because I think I damaged my previous car's
>>> alarm by connecting the trunk in parallel with the door locks, instead
>>> of adding another relay. I would have thought if the output could
>>> handle door lock solenoids on both sides, it could handle the trunk
>>> solenoid too, but it seems it couldn't. (I"m going to send that
>>> back to the manufacturer to be reset, and maybe that will fix it, but
>>> maybe it's burned out.)
>>>
>>> Thanks

>>



Please, all, forigve me for taking so long to get back to you.

>> First find out if the vehicle even has a tow rating. Many newer cars


Thanks. There aren't many cars I will buy since they have to be a
convertible. Before I started shopping, I made sure there was a hitch
made for the Solara. I was pleased that it was class II instead of
class I like the Lebaron took.

>> don't. They are just not built heavy enough to handle even small trailers.

>
>popular myth, usually completely untrue.
>
><http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/the-great-american-anti-towing-conspiracy/>


I'll take a look.
>
>many vehicles sold in other markets have rated capacities which can be
>substantial, but zero here in the u.s. even from u.s. manufacturers
>like frod and g.m. that sell in europe with towing capacities, but don't
>rate the same vehicle here. the festiva for example.


Very interesting. If I had two cars, maybe one would be a little
sports car, but since I only have one, it's the biggest late model
convertible I can find, not counting the Rolls Royce. I woulld like
to marry a girl with a pickup truck, but the odds are against it.

>> If it does have a tow rating then there should be a direct fit harness
>> IF it's a popular vehicle. Most of those plug into a connection
>> underneath the vehicle,


Underneath. I admit, I only looked in the trunk, not there. Well,
I've looked there but not when I was specifically looking for a
connector. My bet is that this is mostly true for trucks and SUVs.
Do they really do this for passenger cars? I'll look again when it's
not so hot out.

(I've read that trailer hitches used to be a truly optional accessory
on SUV's but that they are thrown in almost all the time now by
dealers, and if they're going to do that, might as well pre-wire them.
OTOH, I've looked for a year now at passenger cars and only seen 6
with trailer hitches, 3 of which were at a ham-radio swap meet.
There are probably more in western Maryland and maybe more even
farther west. )

> usually either a separate connector or inline
>> with the rear lights. Depending on the model the harness may be nothing
>> more than some wire, or it could be a mess of relays and add-ons that
>> you need to supply power and ground to carry the load of the lights.


Relays would actually be good. If the tail lights are powered by
relays, any overload created by the trailer lights would at most
damage the relay (but it wouldn't) compared to output straight from
some microprocessor, where an overload can damage a transistor in an
integrated circuit. An IC that does 20 other things and costs a lot
of money to replace. The remedy a taillight powered straight from a
microprocessor is to use a relay whose primary doesn't draw much more
current than the taillight did (and most won't. Certainly the ones
made for autos and auto burglar alarms won't) and connect both the
taillight and the trailer taillight to the secondary of the relay.
>
>if it doesn't have a built-in connector, you can often get a "t"
>connector if you look hard enough. it sits between the existing light
>sockets, and the harness, and takes care of all the connections without
>cutting or splicing. they usually also split two-color brake and turn
>signals into the combined red brake/turn used on trailers.


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