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Troubleshooting Non-Working Exterior Lights on Refurbished 1965 Trailblazer Camper

Question:

My 1965 Trailblazer camper had perfect working brake, tail, and running lights when I purchased it 9 months ago. After much rehab, I had begun to paint the exterior and needed to relocate the camper, and after hooking up discovered that NONE of the lighting is working! Vehicle tests fine, so definitely the camper. Im guessing its a grounding issue, since none of the lights are working. Have sanded new paint down to metal and cleaned up connection of white harness wire to both frame and skin, but still no lights. Any thoughts?

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Expert Reply:

I agree that a grounding issue seems the most-likely cause for your refurbished 1965 Trailblazer camper's lighting issue.

If the camper was stored for a time after you re-worked the ground wire it is possible that corrosion has developed. We often suggest applying dielectric grease # 11755 at the grounding point both before and after securing the ground wire ring terminal to the trailer frame. The grease blocks moisture and grime that can lead to corrosion. You should not need a second ground to the trailer skin if the primary frame ground is good.

If by chance you installed a large number of new/additional lights on the trailer these may now require a stronger ground than the original lights did if the overall power demand is greater.

Also keep in mind that some trailer lights will have a wired ground lead while others will use their mounting hardware to make the ground connection. If your original or new lights are the type that ground through their hardware, and if they are mounted to one of the newly painted surfaces, then that could be part of the issue.

When re-wiring older trailers it is often easiest to use a junction box like # e99011 which provide a secure protected point for making all connections and these also enable you to run multiple grounds to the trailer frame to support the power required by all of the lights.

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