Preparing Your Vehicle To Tow
Part One: Electrical
In this series of educational articles we will help you understand and prepare yourself and your tow vehicle for your first trip with your new trailer, and provide you with the necessary information to arrive on pickup day with confidence that everything will be a smooth and stress-free experience. In this article we will go over the electrical connection required for your new teardrop trailer.
All of our trailers use a standard 7-way RV Standard plug, shown below is the trailer-side plug, this allows the necessary electrical connection to activate the trailer’s running lights, turn signals, and brake lights for the minimum functionality. Additionally, this style of plug allows for three optional functions: charging of the trailer’s battery from the vehicle’s charging system, electric trailer brakes, and reverse lights. Our trailers can take advantage of all of the standard and optional functions via the 7-way plug.
Trailer-side 7-way plug shown above. Your trailer includes this plug.
What You Need
Your tow vehicle will need to be equipped with a 7-way socket, it should look like the images below. This 7-way socket has 6 flat terminals oriented in a circle surrounding a center receiving terminal (typically two semi-circles). This is a plastic fitting with a plastic door, the door must be present and in working order to avoid safety issues when towing.
If your vehicle does not have this already installed, you will need to have a qualified mechanic install the 7-way socket on your vehicle before you can pick up your trailer.
Below you will find a general color-coded wiring diagram for the trailers. Note that your vehicle’s wire colors may not match what is shown below.
• Green Taillights
• Red Left turn / brake light
º White Ground
• Blue Electric brakes [optional]
• Brown Right turn / brake light
• Black +12 volt (charge line) [optional]
• Yellow Reverse lights [optional]
It is critical that you arrive to pick up your trailer with the correct towing equipment, we cannot assist in any vehicle-side equipment issues, the most common issues we encounter are incorrectly wired plugs, and incorrect plugs. Among the common trailer electrical connections, the 7-way plug that our trailers use and a 4-way flat plug are the most common; the 4-way flat plug is very common on passenger cars and lighter-duty SUVs, these will not work.
Trailer plugs are one of the most susceptible electrical components to corrosion, especially on vehicles over 5 years old and in parts of the country that use road salt, mag-chloride, or coastal environments. Do not assume the electrical connection is working.
One of the best steps of precaution that you can take before arriving on pickup day is to test your trailer connection to ensure that all functions are working correctly. You can do this easily with this inexpensive tool from Curt, simply plug the tester into your vehicle’s plug and test your turn signals, tail lights, and brake lights at a minimum.
Shown above, 4-way trailer connection. Incompatible with our trailers.
Shown above, 7-way trailer plug tester.