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Wiring an In-Bed Northland Camper Using Camper and Truck Existing Wiring in a 2012 Dodge Ram 3500


I just purchased a used truck camper (1998 Northland) and need to get it wired to my 2012 Dodge Ram 3500. The camper has 3 wires coming out the front left green, brown, and yellow 16 or 18 gauge. The only thing being powered in the camper is a couple small lights, running lights, heater fan and small water pump for sink. Im curious the best way to wire this and also if its possible to just plug it into trailer plugs have 4 flat and 7 round? Or my truck has been wired for a canopy that has brake lights and interior light? Thanks for any info!


Expert Reply:

My recommendation would be to determine how your camper is wired and install a RV-Style trailer 7-pole connector on your camper wiring. Then use your existing 7-pole connection at the rear bumper of your truck to install an in-bed connection point to supply power to your camper.

To begin I suggest determining how your camper is currently wired. To do this you will have to apply 12 volt power to the lines that you have mentioned that are coming out of the camper in the front left corner to see which functions they support.

Typical wiring diagrams indicate that the green wire supply power to the passenger side brake and taillights, the yellow wire run the drivers side taillights and brake, and the brown wire supplies power to the running lights. Please test each of the wires on the camper to determine which wire serves each function. Determining wire functions according to color is not a safe assumption, especially for this instance since the trailer is used.

You will also need to determine how the lights, small water pump for the sink, and the small heater are powered. It would not surprise me if they are all run off the 12 volt power that is supplied from the truck connection point. However this might or might not be the case for your small heater, since it might require additional external power. Please trace the wiring for the interior lights, small water pump, and the heater in order to confirm how the wiring on your camper is configured.

Since it is likely that the small electrical devices in your camper are powered through the connection point to the truck I recommend using a 7-pole connection style that will supply 12 volt power to your camper.

Once you have determined the wiring functions that the wires on your trailer serve you can then install a plug like the Pollak Metal 7-Pole Plug # PK12702. You should note the positioning of the functions on the plug and make sure that they correspond to the proper pin locations. Depending on the wiring of your truck and camper it is unlikely that you will need to locate and connect the reverse light circuit. I have included a FAQ that shows typical wiring connection diagrams for both the vehicle and camper plug configurations.

Another wiring issue that you will have to track down is how the camper trailer wiring is grounded. Typically the ground on the connection point is run to a metal surface on the frame.

For a 7-pole connection point for installation in the bed of your truck I recommend using the Bargman 9 foot long 5th Wheel/Gooseneck 90 Degree Wiring harness # 50-97-410. This wiring harness is long enough to be installed in-front of the wheel on drivers side of your truck (9 feet long). Since that is where the wiring output is on your trailer, that is why I recommend installing the vehicle outlet in that location. To install this wiring harness you will connect to your existing 7-pole wiring harness and will offer a 7-pole connection point in the truck bed and retain the use of the 7-pole at the truck bumper. It is recommended to use a small amount of dielectric grease # 11755 at the connection point between the factory installed wiring harness and the t-one connector of this wiring harness.

I have included links to the parts listed above, a video showing the installation, and a couple of helpful articles for your reference.

expert reply by:
Rachael H

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