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Author Topic: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)  (Read 619 times)

CamperMtb

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Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« on: February 23, 2020, 10:11:16 PM »
I just put a deposit on a truck camper but there was an issue when test driving.  This is a new camper and new vehicle.

When we plugged the lights in, they did not work. Did a bit of troubleshooting with no success, but then I turned my car off and the lights worked fine.  Car back on and lights did not work.  Even tried using a 7 to 4 pin converter and same issue.  Then backed up to another camper and had similar issue, though the lights did come on, but very dim.  We figured it was my vehicle since it was new and I hadn’t yet towed anything, so off I went to try to fix.  I’m 90 minutes away, so can’t just go back and forth testing.  I tested the 7 pin with multimeter and it tested fine as I would have expected: around 14v when the car is on, and closer to 10v with car off. I didn’t test the 12v post though, so will have to do that. Also hooked up to my boat trailer and lights worked fine.

Right now I’m thinking that when the car turns on, the camper draws more to charge it’s battery or run it’s fridge and that is too much for my vehicle, so lights not working.  Separately someone suggested running separate ground from camper to the car.

Any suggestions?

Camper: 2020 nuCamp Cirrus 720
Car: 2020 Ford F-250
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

lynnmor

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2020, 05:25:55 AM »
Do the ground wire thing and report back.

Rene T

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2020, 07:52:12 AM »
Is it a car or a truck?  You said it was a truck camper but then you mention a car.
No mater what it is, I would take it right back to the dealer. Sounds like you only put a deposit on it so you owe them the balance. They'll fix the problem pretty fast if they want their money.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 07:54:26 AM by Rene T »
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Back2PA

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2020, 08:30:38 AM »
Is it a car or a truck?  You said it was a truck camper but then you mention a car.
No mater what it is, I would take it right back to the dealer. Sounds like you only put a deposit on it so you owe them the balance. They'll fix the problem pretty fast if they want their money.

Agree, this is their problem not yours
Scott
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Larry N.

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2020, 08:47:06 AM »
Quote
You said it was a truck camper but then you mention a car.
His sig says the "car" is an F-250.

I agree that a fix under warranty would be the way to go.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 08:52:04 AM »
Based on research before I even put a deposit down on this camper, I definitely realize you shouldn't take delivery with any outstanding punch list items, and the tow lights is obviously a big issue to sort out.

At this point it is looking more like an issue with my truck.  The 12v pin for trailer battery charging isn't registering any voltage at all.  I did see that Ford issued a memo relating to this for the 2017 F-250s, though mine is a 2020.  I'll do a bit of research, but I'm suspecting I'll be making a trip to the local Ford dealership.
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

Larry N.

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 10:04:45 AM »
Quote
The 12v pin for trailer battery charging isn't registering any voltage at all.
Did you check its fuse?
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2020, 10:57:45 AM »
Did you check its fuse?

Yes, checked a number of fuses that could have been related and all fine.  The 12v pin is supposed to come on when it senses a trailer connected, but I guess it isn't turning on.  I'm going to see if the dealership can just take a quick look without an appointment.
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

Gizmo100

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2020, 12:14:32 PM »
I have a 2017 F150 and the trailer connection does not power up until certain conditions are met. Sorry I don't remember the details but it should be in your truck's owners manual.

I was working on a turn signal problem and turns out I had a another fuse panel under the dash on the passenger side.

Hope this helps
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CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2020, 03:48:33 PM »
I have a 2017 F150 and the trailer connection does not power up until certain conditions are met. Sorry I don't remember the details but it should be in your truck's owners manual.

I was working on a turn signal problem and turns out I had a another fuse panel under the dash on the passenger side.

Hope this helps

I did find the list of conditions, but basically the trailer is supposed to be hooked up and once you press the brake, the 12v pin should activate.  I just ordered an adapter that goes between the trailer and car that has a resistor in it since the problem could be caused by the low voltage LED lights not being recognized.  I stopped by the Ford dealership and the guy knew nothing about the 12v pin being activated.  Very frustrating, but hopefully when my order arrives Wednesday, I will be able to confirm the fix.
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

lynnmor

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2020, 06:25:13 PM »
The 12 volt charge pin and the lighting pins are apples and oranges.  The lights should work regardless if the charge line works.  How did that ground test work?

grashley

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2020, 08:44:07 PM »
If I understand, the truck lights work fine ---  until the camper is plugged into the truck.  A different camper gave similar results, but lights did come on very dim.  Using a 7 -4 pin converter with the same camper, the problem persists.  When plugged into the boat, all is fine.  Do the camper lights work even though the truck lights do not?

Since you said truck camper, I assume no trailer brakes  ::)  This may explain why no "trailer" is detected - there is none.

It sounds like a strange ground issue to me.

The battery charge is, as stated, a completely different issue.  The alternator generates DC power, which provides power to truck options (radio, A/C fan, lights) and charges truck battery.  If any alternator power remains, it is sent to the camper battery.  The truck may need to "sense" a camper to turn this circuit on.  This may be from sensing extra lights or sensing a trailer brake circuit.  Today, the trucks are so smart that simple things seem to become complex.
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CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2020, 09:08:31 PM »
If I understand, the truck lights work fine ---  until the camper is plugged into the truck.  A different camper gave similar results, but lights did come on very dim.  Using a 7 -4 pin converter with the same camper, the problem persists.  When plugged into the boat, all is fine.  Do the camper lights work even though the truck lights do not?

Since you said truck camper, I assume no trailer brakes  ::)  This may explain why no "trailer" is detected - there is none.

It sounds like a strange ground issue to me.

The battery charge is, as stated, a completely different issue.  The alternator generates DC power, which provides power to truck options (radio, A/C fan, lights) and charges truck battery.  If any alternator power remains, it is sent to the camper battery.  The truck may need to "sense" a camper to turn this circuit on.  This may be from sensing extra lights or sensing a trailer brake circuit.  Today, the trucks are so smart that simple things seem to become complex.

I just read my original post and see that it is unclear.  The lights on my truck were fine at all times.  The lights on the camper work when the truck is off, but not once I turn the truck on.  Under all conditions, there is no power to the 12v pin.  Based on other research, I believe that the truck needs to sense the trailer in order to send power to the 12v pin.  Right now I’m working on at least getting the 12v working and seeing if that works.  I understand that the low voltage LED lights can prevent the truck from realizing there is any load, so I ordered up the adaptor with a built in resistor.

And yes, it works fine with my boat trailer, but that has no use for the 12v pin.

What makes this all the more difficult is the fact that the camper is still at the dealership 90 minutes away so I can’t really try out any of my theories.
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

Hanr3

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2020, 10:34:53 PM »
Are you testing the running lights during daylight? The running lights on the camper won't come on until the truck running lights come on. Turn your headlight switch so the headlights are on all the time. Also check to see if the cab lights control the camper cab lights?

Any time the truck is hooked up to a trailer harness, you must tap the brakes before the truck will turn the trailer lights on and activate the 12v pin. Doesn't matter if its a 4 pin or 7 pin harness. Your in dash display will ding and flash a message that a trailer was connected. If your not getting the ding and flash, your truck isn't sensing the trailer.

Is the issue only with running lights? Are your brake and turn signals working on the camper?

My 2016 F150 senses the LED lights on my boat trailer without any issues and I get the ding and message the trailer is connected.
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CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2020, 10:47:34 PM »
Are you testing the running lights during daylight? The running lights on the camper won't come on until the truck running lights come on. Turn your headlight switch so the headlights are on all the time. Also check to see if the cab lights control the camper cab lights?

Any time the truck is hooked up to a trailer harness, you must tap the brakes before the truck will turn the trailer lights on and activate the 12v pin. Doesn't matter if its a 4 pin or 7 pin harness. Your in dash display will ding and flash a message that a trailer was connected. If your not getting the ding and flash, your truck isn't sensing the trailer.

Is the issue only with running lights? Are your brake and turn signals working on the camper?

My 2016 F150 senses the LED lights on my boat trailer without any issues and I get the ding and message the trailer is connected.

Yes, turned on lights and tested other lights and all had same result.  Also I did go for a drive with camper loaded and the owner of the dealership following me since he knew I had no working lights and they never came on.
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2020, 03:30:44 PM »
So just a quick update on this.  I bought an adapter with a built in resistor to go between my truck and the camper which I linked below.  I then plugged my tester into the adapter.  Once I pressed the brake and took the truck out of park, I got a notification that the trailer is connected and this was the first time that the 12v pin registered any power.

I can't say at this point whether this item will fix my issue since I don't have the camper here and it is 90 minutes away.  Ideally I would at least like to find a similar camper locally and see if I can recreate the initial issue and then install the adapter.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AFVOF3M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

sgtpappy1

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2020, 03:51:24 PM »
I think that adapter is going to fix your problem and hope it does  Happy trails!!

grashley

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 07:30:54 PM »
I think that adapter is going to fix your problem and hope it does  Happy trails!!
Welcome aboard, Snappy!

I think you have it solved since it now recognizes a "trailer", even if it weighs less than a pound!
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CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2020, 10:07:13 AM »
Picked up the camper yesterday and I can now confirm for sure that the adapter with the built in resistor fixed the problem. 
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

Kevin Means

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2020, 10:32:16 AM »
Hey, that's great. Good job on the fix. That's a sporty looking setup by the way.

Kev
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lynnmor

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2020, 12:09:28 PM »
Picked up the camper yesterday and I can now confirm for sure that the adapter with the built in resistor fixed the problem.

Apparently you have the truck lights disabled because adding lights wouldn't have the need for a resistor.

CamperMtb

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2020, 12:26:45 PM »
Apparently you have the truck lights disabled because adding lights wouldn't have the need for a resistor.

Boat trailer hooked up to my truck works
Another random trailer with on board battery that charges through 12v pin worked on my truck
Literally drive across the parking lot and hook truck camper up and lights did not work
Place resistor adapter between truck and camper and then lights do work

I'm not and electrician or a mechanic, but I'm going to give kudos to that adapter for fixing the problem.
2020 nüCamp Cirrus 720 sitting on a 2020 Ford F-250

Hanr3

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Re: Strange camper lights issue (brake, signals, running...)
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2020, 07:29:48 PM »
Glad you got a solution.
Although it sounds like the dealer needs to apply the related service bulletin.
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