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Is Lighting Required to Tow a Boat Trailer with a 2017 GMC Acadia


Hello, I need to pull a boat. In your video, which is very helpful, you mention in passing something about adding some kind of wiring for the trailer. I had a quick question: what? More specifically, how do I even begin here? I suppose that I would indeed need to connect some kind of wiring to the trailer so that the trailer brake lights would function. Then again, the whole raison dĂȘtre for this little venture was simply to pull the boat I purchased out of blind impulse during this era of Covid isolation. How necessary is it to install wiring for the trailer? Do I have a legal obligation to do so? How would I go about installing this wiring? What will my wife do when she learns I bought a boat out of boredom? Would it be best to allow a professional to do this? Would said professional install this wiring without me having to provide it? Do you sell this wiring? What would be the best way to hid this purchase from my spouse? Would it be best to allow the dealership to take care of these things for me? I apologize if Im asking too many questions. If you cannot tell, I have no idea what Im doing. Also I dont know how to operate a boat, I digress. Any aid you can provide regarding how to handle this situation concerning the wiring for the trailer would be greatly appreciated.


Helpful Expert Reply:

Thank you for all of the information and questions. It's never a bad thing to ask more questions when you are venturing out and doing something new. And at least your time in Covid isolation hasn't affected your sense of humor!

To kick things off you will need the trailer hitch like the Draw-Tite # 76023 you were looking at as well as some wiring to legally tow on the road with your 2017 GMC Acadia. If you were just moving the boat trailer from your shed to a lake on the same piece of land I'd say you're okay, but if you're out on the road and a police officer sees you driving without lighting on your trailer you could definitely get in trouble.

Since you could possibly already be in trouble for making a big purchase without consulting your wife let's try to keep the amount of people we are in trouble with to a minimum and get some wiring installed on your vehicle. Pretty much all hitch and wiring products we have at etrailer are easy enough to install if you have some experience or are a go-getter.

For your application you'll either need the 4-Way # 118720 (with bracket # 18144) or the 7-Way # 118276 (with bracket # PK12711U) and it all boils down to what kind of wiring you have on your boat trailer. If you have a 4-Way (4 connection points) on your trailer-side then go with the 4-Way. If you have a 5-Way or 7-Way then go with the 7-Way (for the 5-Way you also need the adapter # A75TB).

To finish your towing setup I recommend checking out the Curt Towing Starter Kit # C45534 which comes with a ball mount, hitch ball, pin & clip, hitch lock, and a cover for your hitch receiver. The 2" drop should be about right for your towing setup but I've attached a helpful article for ball mounts that you can reference to make sure this is correct.

That'll do it for the vehicle side of things. If your boat trailer doesn't have lighting or wiring then we have a variety of complete wiring kits like the Optronics Aero Pro LED Kit # TLL36RK which is perfect for trailers that will be submerged from time to time. I have attached some installation videos and helpful articles on towing that you can check out so that you'll be a pro by the time it comes to installing these things and towing your trailer.

Aside from that the only other tips I have for you are; unplug the trailer prior to backing it into the water, always tell your wife you are making a big purchase because she will find out sooner or later (in my case it's always sooner), and (my dad's personal favorite) don't eat yellow snow.

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helpful expert reply by:
Jon G

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