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Discussion Starter #1
So I got this nice little caboose for $100. I want to set it up on my 84 1200 Interstate.

I'm going to start with this.

My bike came with a hitch installed. But I can't remember if it ever had the wiring. Doesn't now. Right now I have the trunk off. I have a 3 wire plug that I would like to use if I can. The black wire is running lights, the red is brake, and I know the green has to be turn signals but I can't get 12v out of it. If I turn on the flashers I can get approximately .06v - .11v flashing, so I assume that has to be the right wire. How do I get turn signals for the trailer, and what do I do for a ground for the trailer plug. Thanks.

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Discussion Starter #2
So I found this over on the left side. Is this for trailer wiring.

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That last pic is a little scary with bare wire. Looks like a wire was clipped and poorly repaired with a spade connector. You probably should address that before anything else.

Let's start with the trailer. What does it have for a connector/plug? Does it have separate turnsignals and brake lights or is there one bulb that does both? Do they work? Are you planning to use as is? Replace with a newer style? Upgrade to LED bulbs?

I would not use any of those plugs you have shown. I would go clean and fresh and use the wiring near the lights in the saddle bags using Posi-tap brand connectors to the right turn, left turn, brake and tail lights. You can find a good ground on the frame or run a ground lead straight to the battery negative post. You should also use a trailer isolator. This will connect the new leads described above to relays and connect a fused hot lead to the battery positive terminal. Depending on brand may include a pass thru for the negative/gravity lead as well. The isolator will provide the current for the trailer lights directly from the battery, removing that load from the bike's OEM wiring harness.

If your trailer has separate turns from brake lights it will be the same as the bike. You will need five wires going thru the trailer connector/plug. Very simple. If your trailer has a single bulb on each side that serves as both turn and brake light, you will need a so called five to four converter. The converter will pass the brake light to both trailer lights but when you activate a turn signal, will cause the corresponding light to flash instead of the steady brake light. This is not the same as the isolator. This is not complicated in fact you probably can buy a converter setup with the common four flat plug already.

This unit provides both a isolator and converter in one package. I am providing only as a detail for the installation instructions. There are many brands and solutions available.

 

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Nice buy on the trailer BTW. I would also check age and condition of tires as well as a disassembly of wheel bearings for inspection and hand repacking with grease - not just using a grease gun on the fittings if so equipped. Start with confidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That last pic is a little scary with bare wire. Looks like a wire was clipped and poorly repaired with a spade connector. You probably should address that before anything else.

Yes that does look scary. I love PO's repairs. Fortunately the wire that is stuffed into the spade was cut clean and not connected. I stripped it to stuff into the spade fore testing the plug. It will be repaired properly.



Let's start with the trailer. What does it have for a connector/plug? Does it have separate turnsignals and brake lights or is there one bulb that does both? Do they work? Are you planning to use as is? Replace with a newer style? Upgrade to LED bulbs?

Well. I don't know if you call it a 4 or 5 wire. Pics below of what I have. It's a mess. I have no problem with running all new lights and wiring. Undecided on led's or not. So I have a blank canvas to start with.

I would not use any of those plugs you have shown. I would go clean and fresh and use the wiring near the lights in the saddle bags using Posi-tap brand connectors to the right turn, left turn, brake and tail lights. You can find a good ground on the frame or run a ground lead straight to the battery negative post. You should also use a trailer isolator. This will connect the new leads described above to relays and connect a fused hot lead to the battery positive terminal. Depending on brand may include a pass thru for the negative/gravity lead as well. The isolator will provide the current for the trailer lights directly from the battery, removing that load from the bike's OEM wiring harness.

If your trailer has separate turns from brake lights it will be the same as the bike. You will need five wires going thru the trailer connector/plug. Very simple. If your trailer has a single bulb on each side that serves as both turn and brake light, you will need a so called five to four converter. The converter will pass the brake light to both trailer lights but when you activate a turn signal, will cause the corresponding light to flash instead of the steady brake light. This is not the same as the isolator. This is not complicated in fact you probably can buy a converter setup with the common four flat plug already.

This unit provides both a isolator and converter in one package. I am providing only as a detail for the installation instructions. There are many brands and solutions available.


Thanks for the great reply. I answered some in your quote above. I'm walking out the door for the day and will reply back later.

BYW. The trailer came with new tires, tubes, bearings, and a new Reese 5'' drop hitch and ball. Not bad all for $100.


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that last picture and light assembly tell me it is 4 wire, should be 5 wire.

the Left/Right bulbs are dual purpose, Turn and Stop.
So, you either need to add new updated bulbs so you can go with a separate Stop Lights, or have to use a 5 to 4 wire adapter which I hate with a passion.
 

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A good deal without a doubt.

First, I am good at spending other people's money. :)

I have had a few trailers over the years. I would clear out all the existing wiring and lights and start new. I rebuilt a Kompact Kamp two winters ago and installed new school bus lights from Superbrite LEDs with amber turns and separate brakes. I also installed a third high brake light with flash feature. New harness and good confidence.

My current trailer was also a four wire when I got it. I kept the red brake lights but upgraded to LED bulbs from SoCalMotoGear and then added amber Hyper-lites as turn signals.

Check the bearings. Based on my estimate of the age of that trailer, I expect the bearings have not always been well maintained. If you have the tools or a good local auto machine shop, I'd just press in the new races, hand pack the new bearings and again, start clean and fresh.

Those tires should not need tubes. Check the date codes on the tires. May look good but be wicked old. Again, can't be sure how this has been stored or used and a blowout on the Interstate is the start of a bad day. My current trailer had tires that looked new but were 20 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Forgive my ignorance. I suck at wiring,,,lol.

The trailer has 5 wires. How many wires do I have on the bike and where do I pick them up. What colors are they.

My plan is to go get all new wiring and led lights. Do I need a 4-5 adapter?
 

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a lot of folks are going to absolutely insist that you get an Isolator for the trailer wiring.
while this a good precaution, it is NOT absolutely necessary.......

I am also using a 5 wire, flat rubber trailer connector.

IF, you are good at wiring and keeping things CLEAN and secured.

I do NOT have any relays or an isolator on my bike or the trailer.

I wired Direct from the Left Signal light to the Trailer's Left Signal Light.
and Right Signal light to trailer's right Signal light.

The bike's Brake Light is independent of the Signal Lights,
and I installed separate Brake Lights on my trailer.

I followed Wire color on the bike, to Wire color on the trailer, and made it a point to keep the colors on the left side the same, and the right side the same. You can't go wrong doing it that way.

I did this specifically so there is no need for Adapters, or Isolators.
 

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Right now I have the trunk off. I have a 3 wire plug that I would like to use if I can. The black wire is running lights, the red is brake, and I know the green has to be turn signals but I can't get 12v out of it.



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What leads you to believe black is RUNNING lights or that red is BRAKE lights? … and no way is that one green wire gonna be SIGNALS.

That green is likelier the bike's GROUND. You should ease that boot back to see how those three are integrated into the harness.

Your 1200 has a BRAKE light, a RUNNING light, and TWO separate SIGNAL light circuits. That's 4 wires, and you need a GROUND as the hitch ball is not a good ground. That's 5 wire plug you'll need at minimum. I don't have books for the 1200s now, let them go with the bike last year, but Honda used GREEN for GROUND.

If you want to use a 4 wire plug, you'll need a converter. If your trailer has separate amber signals and combination running /brake lights, 5 wires.

If you aren't running a lot of trailer lights or if using low power LEDs, I don't think you need relays either.
 

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He made a good point.

I am only using 1 bulb for each function, and all of my Brake and Signal Lights are LEDs.

On my 1800, the Brake light wire is Blue.
I do NOT know if that is true for your bike.

But, all the other wire colors are standard to code.

So, for my Trailer, I bought a small spool of Blue Wire and ran it separate to the brakes.
And, I also used Wire Looms for everything, no exposed wires to any metal parts anywhere.
Not even at the hitch ball.


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Here is that same trailer, hooked up to the bike.
Look close, and you can see the loom crosses over the hitch.


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Only thing you could do more to is use a box cutter to trim those zip tie tails flush. :D
 
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