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Trailer/Caravan electrical socket - help needed please


studmuffin
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I am thinking of buying a lightweight caravan later this year and I don't know if my rear connector on my TD5 90 works, as in 4 years I have never had cause to use it. Its the single socket type.

Short of borrowing a trailer/ rear light set, can anyone give me an idiots guide to testing it, prior to dragging a caravan back home.

I have a Maplin cheapy multi-tester and an old type light bulb/probes type continuity tester if these help.

As always thanks in advance.

Barry

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multimeter set to 12v dc and a wiring diagram. stick the black probe in the hole for e pin marked earth and turn on your hazards, sidelights, wedge the brakes on and stick it in reverse, and probe all the other pins. if they all show 12v then its fine.

you either have a 12n socket (trailer lights only, no connection for the caravans electrics)

12N-towbar-wiring.gif

or the 13pin euro type

86066-oem-s-type-towing-equipment-13-pin

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The light bulb probe will be ideal to test the vehicle socket, just get someone to operate the functions from the drivers seat and secure the crocodile clip to a clean earth and probe each pin/socket in turn, if you do a Goggle search for the trailer socket/plug wiring diagram/colour code you'll know which wire goes where and if your wiring is correct. Trailer light socket/pin wiring is a 7 pin arrangement but a caravan setup is different.

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The light bulb probe will be ideal to test the vehicle socket, just get someone to operate the functions from the drivers seat and secure the crocodile clip to a clean earth and probe each pin/socket in turn, if you do a Goggle search for the trailer socket/plug wiring diagram/colour code you'll know which wire goes where and if your wiring is correct. Trailer light socket/pin wiring is a 7 pin arrangement but a caravan setup is different.

To me that is the only way to test lighting. Using a multi meter can give false readings

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Using a multi meter is ok for testing current, voltage, amps and continuity but the good old light probe is the only accurate way to test if it works, you're testing lights so you need a tester that has a light. One thing to remember, never plug the trailer or caravan plug into the vehicle socket with the vehicle lights on, I'll guarantee that you'll blow some fuses or bulbs on the trailer/caravan.

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The reason multimeters can be misleading is they don't put a load on so it won't show a poor connection. You can get a light board pretty cheap and by putting a plug in it shows if the socket has corroded / bent pins etc

Don't forget if you only have single electrics you won't have reverse lights and domestic power / battery charging.

If you are going to upgrade to twin electrics I like the right connections 13 pin socket.

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