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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am shopping for a small trailer to tow, but my jeep will not arrive wired correctly. It will have a 4 plug trailer wire, for basic lights , like tail/brake/turn signals, that's it. But I want to addthe wiring to power my trailer so that it charges the onboard batteries while I drive to. Is this complex to do, and best left to a specialty shop? Or can I tackle it myself? I do want to learn more and do some stuff myself. But not mess it up either.
 

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It taps into your positive battery cable with a solenoid. You can get kits to do it. Not hard at all. You will want to change the plug to a seven pin round plug and you can add a trailer brake (advised) also.
You will be adding a ground wire, a positive power wire, and a brake controller wire. Not hard if you can read a wiring schematic.
 

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You still need the seven pin plug tho'. The four and five pin use the hitch ball as a ground and it's sporadic and a poor ground. Mostly because of the chrome. It will work fine for indicator lights but the charging system needs a better ground. And you may someday get a heavier trailer that comes with electric brakes.
Google the kits and schematic and educate yourself on how simple the job is. Charging a trailer battery from a car system is simple.
 

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As for wiring a charge wire, you could run something as simple as a fused wire, but it could drain your battery over time. What i'm doing with my truck is running that fused wire through a relay so it is only hot with the key on.
 

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Rik, I don't know who told you the the 4/5 pin grounds through the ball, but that is incorrect.

Heres some diagrams for trailer wiring...

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx
1 for left turn
1 for right turn
1 for tail lights
1 for positive power to charge the battery
Hitch ball for ground.
That is the way you wire it if you are going to use a four pin plug (old school)
That's what I was referring to.
Otherwise the fourth wire is ground if you are not charging. When I was a kid they didn't have the flat four pint connectors. You had a round four pin. Then somebody finally got smart and made a five pin. Then when electric brakes came along they made a seven pin.
And I meant a solenoid not a diode. The solenoid energizes when you turn the ignition on to allow battery power from the car battery positive to go to the trailer. When you turn the key off the solenoid drops out and the power is cut so you don't drain the car battery.
Pretty simple. You do need to fuse it on both sides of the solenoid. A simple starter solenoid or a heavy duty relay works. They sell the whole kit at Pep Boys.
 

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Since he wants to charge a battery i would really recommend changing to at least a 6 pin round and wiring it properly. It wouldn't wire a special 4 pin just in case you want to pull a different trailer.
 

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Yeah pretty much the seven pin is the norm that comes on most vehicles now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would use a round 7 pin regardless, even if only running basic lights. Just so everything would be compatible, as everything I own has a round 7 pin, my truck, motorhome, trailers, etc. Are all 7's. Thanks to you all, sounds pretty simple and I will do it myself. Looked a little Boler brand trailer today, cute, tiny, might work for me. It has been altered by the current owner, and has some nice upgrades.
 

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Did you take pics of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Of the trailer? No, we just went and saw it quickly, while out. It needs a few items repaired, but he has added an extra storage box on the back, plus upgraded to 2 batteries, and 2 propane tanks, plus a place to use an outdoor grill, new awning, a powered tongue jack, and a better roof vent with super fan for ventilation.
 

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Travel Trailer?

Everyone covered the electrics issue very well, but no one asked th weight of the trailer Kelowna has in mind. His JK has a very limited towing capacity. More generous for an Unlimited, which he may have. I tow a Yamaha Rhino with my 2dr JK and the 1100 lbs (sorry, don't know what that is in kilos) of Rhino and 800 lbs of trailer come close to the max towing weight allowance of my Jeep. You may find a pop-up tent camper in that weight range, but if you are thinking about a hard-side you may want to check your manual carefully to see what you can tow. Since you mention an awning, I'm guessing you are looking at something of some size. And check the tongue weight allowed. By the way, the Liberty I had before getting the JK was rated to tow 5000 lbs and had a max tongue weight of 700 lbs. I have no idea why the JK, with similar engine size, is so limited. Other probably do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The small, figerglass egg style trailers are lightweight, which I was I was looking at them. If you buy a 13 foot model especially, they weigh little and also have low tongue weights. And no I don't have the longer, unlimited, just a 2 door. Looked at a few last week on our holiday, want to call a guy back about his for sale.I considered a teardrop, but they are just too small, so will get an egg instead. Likely a Scamp, or Escape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
http://escapetrailer.com/ Looking at a used 15' Escape. Its a bit false in reality, as the 15' is really about 13' of actual useable space, they include the hitch length to. The one for sale is just a couple years old, been parked in a carport most of its life, and they just don't use it enough they said. Its been used 6 days in total.
 

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Barrie, that would be a nice one to pulll with a pickup truck. The main thing holding me back is if I would use it enough to even bother.



Same here Craig, I don't know if we would use it enough to justfiy the cost. We have a truck that would haul it easy enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
For most camping trips we will use the truck, and slide in camper, so we can also take the boat along. Only when we specifically plan to use the Jeep for offroading, would we then use the trailer to camp in. Actually think I have talked myself out of buying a travel trailer, but may occasioonally tow the jeep behind the truck and camper. We can still take the kayaks along with us for paddling.
 
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