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> Unplug boat trailer before launching?, New trailer, light issues
colanut
Posted: Sep 23, 2018 - 06:36 pm


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I bought a new boat, motor and trailer last year. With my old boat, I never unplugged the trailer when launching. Now my trailer lights are hit and miss as to when they work. I don't want any problems. For those that launch, what is more common? I changed all of my lights this year, as well, as there was corrosion on most of the bulbs. On Saturday, the lights all worked on the way up to the lake, but not coming home (until I went to back in my driveway, then they came on). I think my problem is my car plug, not the trailer, but still curious as I am getting a mixed response.

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Live_To_Fish
Posted: Sep 23, 2018 - 06:51 pm


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Sounds obvious, but if you have one, try a volt meter to see what it's reading, if the voltage is fine, my next thing would be to see if there is a good ground, or maybe it's faulty wiring. I had that happen on my boat trailer a few years after I bought it, so I just rewired it, and I rewired did it again this spring just to be safe as it doesnt take much time. The boat is over twenty years old now but I usually check the wiring every year, whether it be for splits, frays in the line, salt wear from winter storage, its better to be safe than have a pain in the @$$ later on. Also, I have never unplugged the lights when launching or pulling the boat out and never seem to have a problem, mind you I use the trailer twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall taking it out, so your situation may be different.Those are my suggestions, hopefully you can get her figured out. Also, you could call the dealer and depending what kind of warranty you have it might be fixable free of charge, an inconvenience, yes, but if it's covered than it would save a lot of work you shouldn't have to do already this soon after purchase.

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Elrik
Posted: Sep 23, 2018 - 07:43 pm


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If you have a painted trailer definitely check your ground. I put in new lights and had to be very specific with the ground wire placements to get them making enough contact with unpainted metal to ground properly and even after that I had one stop working mid trip (even though the connection was still super tight) and had to redo it to get it running again.

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Fishallday
Posted: Sep 23, 2018 - 08:58 pm


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I always unplug them before going in and try to do it first when loading up boat and last when leaving to give it the most time to cool and dry. Seem to have less problems that way.

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Goshawk
Posted: Sep 24, 2018 - 04:41 am


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The first time I launched this boat after the purchase, I didn't unplug but I did check both lights and noticed that there was a bit of water inside each one. So I've unplugged every time since then to prevent a water-caused outage. I also had the trailer re-wired 2 days after purchase because I didn't know when the wires were last check for any damage or rust.
I also had grounding problems on my painted trailer which was solved by drilling a small hole close to the coupler to attach my ground wire to a self-tapping stainless steel screw (covered by silicon sealer). No problems since then.

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thanh
Posted: Sep 24, 2018 - 05:28 am


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This cheap tester is very useful to isolate if it is a vehicle end or trailer end issue. Plug it into your car wiring and turn on your lights to see if it is all working.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/reese-to...r-0408259p.html

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Kerry
Posted: Sep 24, 2018 - 05:04 pm


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QUOTE (Fishallday @ Sep 23, 2018 - 08:58 pm)
I always unplug them before going in and try to do it first when loading up boat and last when leaving to give it the most time to cool and dry. Seem to have less problems that way.

Me too. I unplug beforehand as I used to have to replace at least one bulb from hitting icy cold water in the late fall with my old trailer.Not sure what the newer LED's are like but it only takes a sec and when I am done putting the boat back on at the end of the the day it is a regular reminder to do a circle check on all my running lights.
Kerry

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Seguin Fisher
Posted: Sep 24, 2018 - 05:37 pm


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I popped a few bulbs on my older trailers in the past, but with my new one I never unplug it, no matter what the water temps are. LEDs are way superior lights for trailers, almost no maintenance and they’re nice and bright for everyone to see you. If I had an older trailer, I’d pay extra and rewire it with LEDs just for the future conveniences.

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Fisherman
Posted: Sep 24, 2018 - 06:26 pm


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If you have the old style sockets, clean them, shiny clean, then add a good plop of vasiline in there, it will keep the corrosion away. As for the ground wire, I run a dedicated ground all the way to the back and across to both lights, no taking chances.

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Habadabao
Posted: Sep 25, 2018 - 04:37 am


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LED lights fixed all my problems .

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icecy
Posted: Oct 04, 2018 - 11:16 am


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I always unplug and never have a problem. I'd also unplug with LED lights. It is a cheap and easy solution. Just make it part of your regular rigging routine.

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Bayliner
Posted: Oct 04, 2018 - 06:45 pm


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My launch ramp is pretty close to me. I don't even bother plugging them in.

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Dbfish
Posted: Oct 04, 2018 - 07:20 pm


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I'm launching at least 60 times per season, always unplug my lights,.No issues with blown bulbs.

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sdcaller
Posted: Oct 04, 2018 - 07:24 pm


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I had problems with my trailer lights earlier this year.
Traced it to the plug on the trailer wiring where it plugs into the plug on the car.
Replaced the plug and all is OK again.

SDC

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icecy
Posted: Oct 06, 2018 - 02:28 pm


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QUOTE (Bayliner @ Oct 04, 2018 - 06:45 pm)
My launch ramp is pretty close to me. I don't even bother plugging them in.


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