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Disconnect trailer wiring?

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  • Disconnect trailer wiring?

    I have been seeing some folks on here that say they disconnect the trailer lights from the towing vehicle at the plug before putting in or pulling out their boat. I have never seen this before. I was raised just backing in with them hooked up. Always worked for me. How many of ya'll actually disconnect the wiring before backing in? Why?
    2008 Carolina Skiff J16
    1994 Nissan 25hp


  • #2
    Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

    Very few do it here, I sold a boat not long ago to a guy from Michigan who says he always does, the theory being that it keeps a short from happening when being dunked in the water, specifically the possibility of a short going back to the tow vehicle. I've never done it because as soon as you pull the soaking wet trailer out of the water and plug the lights in to go home, the same thing occurs if it's going to at all.
    Love the life you live, live the life you love-Bob Marley

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    • #3
      Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

      That's kinda what I was thinking. Plug a wet connector to your vehicle. I just rewired my trailer and I made sure that I soldered the connections at the harness to the lights. I then pulled a shrink wrap tube over the connection and sealed it. Should be waterproof. I was just wondered because I see it alot on here.
      2008 Carolina Skiff J16
      1994 Nissan 25hp

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      • #4
        Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

        I used to. Once I forgot, and did blow a couple fuses. Then, I got LEDs, and they are truly the greatest thing since sliced bread.
        http://www.shareaproject.com/pages/p...,p,482,00.html
        Click above to view my 1542 jon boat project.

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        • #5
          Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

          Originally posted by bassboy1 View Post
          I used to. Once I forgot, and did blow a couple fuses. Then, I got LEDs, and they are truly the greatest thing since sliced bread.
          I am thinking about putting LEDs on my trailer. I just got my boat and I replaced one tail light as it was corroded all to heck. I also just rewired it with a kit last weeked because there was a short in it blowing fuses. Everything works fine now. I need to replace the other light because it is dimmer than the new one. I may just replace both with LED lights and keep the new one as a spare.
          2008 Carolina Skiff J16
          1994 Nissan 25hp

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          • #6
            Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

            LED's are the bomb and apparently bombproof because I had one fill up with salt water months ago and it still works, I keep checking it and thinking it'll be blown but it keeps on working.
            Love the life you live, live the life you love-Bob Marley

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            • #7
              Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

              I have also wondered this. We usually unplug it from the trailer and put the connector in a position where it wont go under the water. That way when you plug it back in its dry so you dont need to worry.
              2004 Caravelle 207
              5.0L Merc MPI - Alpha I
              Ballistic 17p 3Blade SS

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              • #8
                Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                In a perfect world, it would work but like today I was poking holes in the wires tracing a short with a meter and I'm sure at some point water will get in the tiny hole and cause an issue. If you dunk in salt water, be prepared to replace wiring harnesses every few years no matter what precautions you take.
                Love the life you live, live the life you love-Bob Marley

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                • #9
                  Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                  I have forgotten a few times to unplug, but most times I do. In reality there is a good 5-10 minutes before you are fully loaded and ready to hit the road before you plug them back in anyways.

                  Im not really sure it makes any difference, but Ill keep doing it. I dont have LED's BTW
                  '68 Alumacraft FD, '65 Johnson 6HP "The Sea Monkey"

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                  • #10
                    Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                    The hot bulb could pop when cold water hits it, but as long as your lenses are sealed water shouldn't touch the bulb, but on the other hand every single submersible light set I've owned eventually cracks, especially around the lense screws then water gets in there. I unplug mine too just my routine.
                    '90 Chaparral 2000SL
                    5.8 Cobra
                    '67 MFG Westfield Regal
                    80hp V-4
                    (No private messages)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                      A lot of the trailer lights are made so that the water doesn't actually get to the bulbs. I always leave mine plugged in when I load and unload. In fact I make sure they are plugged in at night when I load. It looks like a landing field when I pull onto the trailer. Some trailers have a hard time when you drive very far and have your lights on, like someone else said the bulbs get hot and then they can crack. If you are on the brakes a long time before you go into the water it will give you some problems too.
                      sigpic "Spend a little money, save a lot of time"

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                      • #12
                        Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                        Have never unplugged mine when loading or unloading. Been doing it over 30 years with no problems.
                        Any opinions expressed above are worth exactly what you paid for them!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                          It doesn't cost anything and couldn't hurt, so why not. Kinda like seatbelts: You may never need them. Great! But that one time you do if you are buckled, it helps.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                            Frank, got to say that everytime I look at your avitar it reminds me of watching television on your engine cover, what is it a mural of?
                            '90 Chaparral 2000SL
                            5.8 Cobra
                            '67 MFG Westfield Regal
                            80hp V-4
                            (No private messages)

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                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Re: Disconnect trailer wiring?

                              Originally posted by Shizzy View Post
                              I have forgotten a few times to unplug, but most times I do. In reality there is a good 5-10 minutes before you are fully loaded and ready to hit the road before you plug them back in anyways.

                              Im not really sure it makes any difference, but Ill keep doing it. I dont have LED's BTW
                              X2 for me and last year I forgot to unplug and burned an $8 fuse out in my truck. I always wash my boat off at the ramp if nobody is waiting or at the staging area when I pull my boat so a good 15-20 minutes has passed. My boat stays in the water three weeks a month so It gets a pretty green slimy ring on it. I found it easier to clean it off when I pull it and it's still wet than to wait until later, let it get baked on then have to clean it off. Been there and done that once too. I'm a slow learner but once usually is enough to teach me. By then I can plug the lights in and I'm good to go.
                              Chuck
                              "OWN-IT II"
                              1986 Four Winns Horizon 190
                              1982 Aqua Patio
                              50 Hp Two stroke

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