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 Post subject: Trailer harness type?
PostPosted: June 7th, 2015, 5:24 pm 
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My Concourse is in storage so I don't have quick access to it (coming out soon!) and my photo library doesn't have a photo of the trailer harness connector on the Chinook. Anyone have a pic or explanation of the connector? I'm just wondering if my trailer's connector will mate up to it or if I'll need a convertor.


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PostPosted: June 7th, 2015, 7:21 pm 
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I have some information for you based on the setup on my rig, which was stock when I got it. What was on the end of the coach wiring (that you would plug into the trailer connector) was a four-way flat connector. So if that's what you want you may be good to go. This is the typical connector for a "non-fancy" trailer (no brakes, no special power requirements).

I needed another wire (my trailer has surge brakes so I needed the wire that activates the solenoid on the trailer to release the brakes when the tow vehicle is in reverse). I also run with a 7-way round connector, not just because I need that extra wire, but because I find they plug in so much better.

There is one little "gotcha" if you need to add either of the "extra" wires (the reverse wire, brake controller wire, or 12-volt power wire). Ford has provided connectors for those (I had a camper kit with all the diagrams), but when I went underneath to hook them up.... wait a minute.... what are these OTHER wires already connected to them? Well, as I found out once I traced the wires, Chinook used the trailer connector wires to power the Chinook taillights and backup lights (I guess instead of running new wires back from the cab). This doesn't affect being able to use them for a trailer connector, but did have me stumped at first!

If you do need more than the four-way flat, and plan to hook up the other wires, I can post the diagrams.

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Last edited by Blue~Go on June 9th, 2015, 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2015, 2:38 am 
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Thanks, BG! :D

This trailer has the flat 4 connector. Just a motorcycle trailer with running/brake lights. That's interesting that Chinook used the Ford trailer harness for the coach. I'll try to remember to take photos of the coach wiring later this week. I did have photos of the hitch and rear steps but couldn't see the harness in any of them.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2015, 6:57 am 
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If you're curious, when you look under the coach, the Ford provided connectors (not the direct trailer connectors, but the Ford wiring connectors that one can tap for trailer wiring) are along the driver's side frame rail, around two feet or so ahead of the spare tire. There are two plastic "schnozzles" on the end of wires encased in black ribbed loom. I call them schnozzles - they are shaped slightly like submarine periscopes. The brown one is the four basic trailer wires, and the black one is the "extra three" (reverse lights wire, electric brake wire, and basic 12volt power wire) that you use for trailer connectors that are more than four wires.

I have attached the Ford Econoline trailer wiring info. Maybe you or someone else reading this in future can use it. If you look on page 4 you will see one area outlined in red plus circled. That shows the "schnozzles" Ford provided (and Chinook also used for taillight type functions on the coach - you can see wires going from there up into the left/rear taillight area on the Chinook).

Whole document as .pdf:

Attachment:


Just that section as .png image (the blue lines are crossing out the non-cutaway van that doesn't apply to us):

Attachment:
sketch kit excerpt.png
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Last edited by Blue~Go on June 9th, 2015, 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2015, 11:36 am 
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So I think what I'm hearing is that Chinook used the cutaway's harness to drive the vehicle/coach lights and there is a standard flat four wire trailer harness. But someone that wants electric trailer brakes would have to change the trailer connector plus tap into the harness that's running along the frame rail.

But the flat four wire connector jack is under the frame there somewhere? What's it near? I can't see it in under the Kwikee step from the photos I have which shows an armored harness going to the step with a red and a yellow wire going to the step motor. I'm going to assume the trailer jack/connector is to the left of the steps somewhere.

This would all be easier if I could get to my Chinook to look at it. :?


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1rv11.jpg
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PostPosted: June 8th, 2015, 12:20 pm 
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Hi Concourse,

Oh, isn't it so frustrating when you are away from your rig and trying to do research by "remembering" and looking at photos (wherein the part you want to see is always JUUUST out of frame?).

My four-way flat was just sort of stuffed up by the driver's side frame partway from the "shnozzles" back to the spare tire. Say, forward from the driver's side of the step bracket. Not hard to find at all once you look. And from what I have read that is the standard way. So unless yours has been modified, it's probably there.

Concourse wrote:
So I think what I'm hearing is that Chinook used the cutaway's harness to drive the vehicle/coach lights and there is a standard flat four wire trailer harness. But someone that wants electric trailer brakes would have to change the trailer connector plus tap into the harness that's running along the frame rail.


That's exactly it. Presuming you didn't want to keep the four-way flat (and there is no particular need as you can use adapters to go back to that if you need to), you would use those four wires (they are the ones that originated in the brown schnozzle) (they also drive the Chinook stop/turn/tail lights), and you would ALSO add in one, two, or three of the wires in the black schnozzle (backup, which Chinook used for the vehicle backup lights/trailer brake/12-volt power). For example, I needed the backup light wire, so I used that one wire from the black schnozzle, but not the other two. I could add the other two later if I wanted to since I used a 7-way trailer connector.

BTW, you don't need to find matching schnozzles. Those are there to make it plug and play, but there is no reason one cannot splice wires the normal way. IIRC, that's what I did.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2015, 12:28 pm 
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Duplicate removed.

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Last edited by Blue~Go on June 9th, 2015, 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2015, 1:19 pm 
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Thanks again, BG. You've put my mind at ease. I am considering camping this weekend and thought why not take a motorcycle too to do some riding this time? But then I wasn't sure the lighting harness was there and already had so much to do before I left so figured I wouldn't be able to pull off the trailer thing. Now I'm feeling better. Like you said, as many photos I have of details on the van and the coach plus lots of photos from various projects there is usually something like this harness just out of "frame" (no pun intended! :lol: )

Oh, and in searching around I found a lot of conversion harnesses for 7 pin which had the flat four plug to plug into the existing harness plus 3 pigtails to tap into the other schnozzle harness with the trailer brake wires. Made for a nice clean simple conversion.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2015, 2:13 pm 
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I really like the 7-way connectors. The one that goes on the vehicle is solidly connected (fastened to the vehicle), and the "lid" of it locks onto the part you plug into it (coming from the trailer). As you say, there are adapters. Actually, my trailer is a 5-way flat, but I have that "permanently" plugged into a 7-way round, which then goes into the fixed 7-way round on the Chinook. No more dangling, corroded, hard to plug in, flat connector! (And I can make it a "real" 7-way just by adding those other wires from the Chinook when I want to.)

'course anything like that is for after this weekend, when you just want to plug in and go!

I'll see if I can snap a pic of mine, just for the record.

Edited to add a couple of photos. Noonday sun, so sorry about the quality. You can see where I mounted the 7-way connector. I used two fasteners up through the bottom/backside lip of the bumper, which you can see in the second photo if you look for it. Since the trailer tongue is already to the left side of the step, I ran the wires over to that side. So far I haven't found any particular issue with that location. I like it better than a dangling 4-way.

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Trailer 7-way connector front.jpg
Trailer 7-way connector front.jpg [ 208.04 KiB | Viewed 1506 times ]


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Trailer 7-way connector back.jpg
Trailer 7-way connector back.jpg [ 166.47 KiB | Viewed 1506 times ]

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PostPosted: June 10th, 2015, 7:12 am 
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Thar she blows!

Right where you said it would be, BG!


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