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Troubleshooting the Most Common Towing and Trailer Lighting Problems

Troubleshooting the Most Common Towing and Trailer Lighting Problems

Benefits of Proper Towing and Trailer Lighting

Proper towing and trailer lighting is extremely important for maintaining safety and visibility while towing. There are many benefits to investing in quality towing and trailer lighting equipment and taking the time to install and maintain it correctly.

Increased Visibility

The main benefit of proper towing and trailer lighting is increased visibility for other drivers. Trailer lights allow other vehicles to see your trailer from behind, especially when visibility is reduced at night or in bad weather conditions. Proper lighting makes your trailer edges and signals clearly visible to prevent accidents.

Compliance with Regulations

Most states and countries have laws and regulations regarding required trailer lighting. Proper towing and trailer lighting ensures you remain compliant and avoid fines or penalties. For example, in the U.S. trailers over a certain width are required by federal regulations to have side marker lights.

Enhanced Safety

With increased visibility and compliance, proper towing and trailer lighting improves safety for both you and other drivers sharing the road. Adequate lighting gives other drivers time to react and adjust to the size of your trailer. Additionally, proper wiring protects against fires, shorts, and other electrical hazards.

Less Wear and Tear

Investing in quality, durable lighting systems prevents frequently having to replace burnt out bulbs and damaged wiring. Sticking with trusted brands that offer warranties provides peace of mind that your lighting system will last overtime with proper maintenance.

Signaling Capabilities

Trailer lighting allows you to utilize helpful signaling capabilities:

  • Turn signals indicate when you are switching lanes or making turns
  • Brake lights illuminate when slowing down or stopping to alert drivers behind you
  • Hazard lights can warn other drivers when you pull over or are parked on the side of the road

Adequate Lighting for Tasks

Trailer lights provide illumination when connecting, loading, or doing maintenance on your trailer, especially if working before dawn or after dusk.

Installing quality, well-functioning towing and trailer lighting provides critical visibility and safety. Following regulations and properly maintaining your lighting system avoids risks and penalties when towing. The investment is small considering the enhanced safety and peace of mind proper lighting provides.

Choosing the Right Towing and Trailer Lights

Selecting the correct towing and trailer lighting involves considering factors like trailer size, types of bulbs, wiring, brands, and extra features. Follow these tips to choose lights that meet your visibility, compliance, durability, and budget needs.

Trailer Size

First, determine what lighting regulations apply based on your trailer size:

  • Small trailers under 80 inches wide require tail lights, brake lights, turn signals, and side reflectors.
  • Larger trailers over 80 inches wide also need clearance and identification lights.

Bulb Types

Next, decide on bulb types. Options include:

Bulb TypeBenefits
IncandescentInexpensive, easy to replace
LEDLong-lasting, energy efficient, versatile colors
HalogenBright light, compact size

LED lights are increasingly popular for their longevity and lower power consumption.


Pay attention to wiring gauge ratings, which indicate thickness. Heavier wire lasts longer. For small trailers, 16 or 14 gauge wiring is fine. Go larger if adding multiple lights.


Stick with reputable lighting brands like:

  • Optronics
  • Peterson
  • Maxxima
  • Anzo

Quality brands may cost more up front but last longer than cheap lights.

Additional Features

Consider convenient extras, like:

  • Light bars for increased side visibility
  • Split light capability to extend lights around trailers
  • Integrated turn signals
  • Waterproof LED strip lights

Matching Your Vehicle

Choose lights that integrate well with your vehicle. Check that the:

  • Socket type matches
  • Light placements align
  • Wiring connects properly
  • Controls sync up

Taking dimensions and electrical requirements into account ensures a smooth installation.

Kits vs Piecemeal

Finally, decide between pre-assembled kits containing all lights vs buying individual components. Kits provide convenience, while piecemeal allows more customization.

Do your research to find towing and trailer lights that match your trailer size, budget, and aesthetic preferences. Quality lighting greatly improves visibility and safety on the road.

Installing Towing and Trailer Lights Yourself

Installing lights on your trailer may seem daunting, but with proper planning and safety precautions, it can definitely be a DIY project. Follow these tips for a successful towing and trailer light installation.

Gather Supplies

You'll need:

  • Lights and wiring kit
  • Wire cutters and strippers
  • Voltage meter
  • Cable ties
  • Sealant or silicone
  • Drill with wire-running and screw-driving bits
  • Flashlight

Map the Wiring Plan

Diagram where wires will run and lights mount. Measure and mark locations.

Run Wiring

Run wires through frames. Use grommets when passing through metal to avoid fraying. Keep wiring away from moving parts.

Connect Lights

Twist positive and negative wires together securely and coat with sealant. Attach lights and test operation.

Mount Lights

Attach lights firmly using screws or bolts so vibration doesn't loosen them. Make sure lights are aligned and visible.

Install Connector

Choose a compatible connector to attach trailer wiring to vehicle:

  • 4-pin flat
  • 4-pin round
  • 5-pin flat
  • 7-pin round

Insert wires according to color coding.

Test Lights

Plug into vehicle and test all functions - brakes, turn signals, clearance and side marker lights.

Complete and Check Connections

Secure all wires and recheck connections. Look for loose wires and exposed copper. Use voltage meter to test.

With proper preparation and by following trailer lighting manuals, installing lights is very achievable. Work carefully to end up with a professional looking, compliant, and road-ready lighting system.

Towing and Trailer Lighting Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance keeps your towing and trailer lighting system functioning safely and reliably. Follow these tips to extend the life of your lights and avoid roadside headaches.

Inspect Frequently

Get in the habit of inspecting all lights before each trip. Check for:

  • Burned out bulbs
  • Cracked or broken lenses
  • Exposed or fraying wires
  • Corrosion or moisture

Replace Bulbs Promptly

Don't ignore burnt out bulbs. Replace them as soon as possible with the same type and wattage as recommended by manufacturer.

Clean and Polish

Use a quality plastic polish to clean and restore headlights and lenses. Clean off dirt, debris, and fogginess to maintain optimal lighting brightness.

Seal Connections

Prevent moisture damage and corrosion by sealing connections with dielectric grease or silicone sealant. Check that rubber plugs fit securely.

Check Grounding

Make sure trailer lights are properly grounded to the frame. Scrape off paint if needed to ensure a good ground.

Coat Wiring

Apply dielectric or silicone coating to wiring to prevent cracking and deterioration.

Have Extra Supplies

Keep spare light bulbs, fuses, connectors, and electrical tape on hand for roadside repairs.

Consider Upgrades

Improve visibility and durability by upgrading incandescent bulbs to LEDs or adding protective stone guards.

Test Lights Regularly

Every trip, test all lighting by operating brakes, signals, and Hazards. Fix any nonworking lights before departing.

Staying on top of inspections, cleaning, repairs, and upgrades keeps your trailer lighting working like new for maximum road safety.

Comparing Towing and Trailer Light Brands

When investing in towing and trailer lighting, it pays to stick with trusted brands that offer quality, durability, and good warranties. Here is an overview of some top trailer lighting brands.


Optronics manufactures a wide range of LED, incandescent, and combination lights. Their GloLight series features durable polycarbonate housings and weather-tight construction. Popular for RV use.


Known for advanced LED lights, Maxxima's offerings include:

  • ProBar flexible LED light strips
  • ThinLine flush mount LED lights
  • Waterproof marine lights

Maxxima uses high quality materials and covers lights with a 10 year warranty.


Anzo has an extensive catalog of affordable towing and trailer lights in LED, halogen, and incandescent designs. They offer complete wiring kits for easy installation.


Peterson manufactures heavy duty commercial grade LED lights. Key features include:

  • Durable die cast aluminum housings
  • Military specification wiring and connections
  • Epoxy sealed against moisture

5 year warranty on professional series lights.

Compare Light Types

OptronicsFull lineFull lineLimited
MaxximaFull lineLimitedNo
AnzoFull lineFull lineFull line
PetersonFull lineNoLimited

Do your research to find the right brand for your lighting needs and budget.

Troubleshooting Common Towing and Trailer Lighting Issues

Some typical problems with trailer lights include no lights working, dim lights, flashing lights, and lights only working intermittently. Here are tips for diagnosing and resolving common towing and trailer lighting issues.

No Lights Working

If none of the lights turn on, check:

  • Electrical connections - clean corroded or loose connectors
  • Wiring continuity - test for broken wires
  • Fuses and relays - replace blown fuses, faulty relays
  • Light power switch - ensure switch is on
  • Ground connection - lights need a solid ground to frame

Dim Lights

Dim or flickering trailer lights indicates an electrical issue:

  • Bad ground connection - corroded or loose ground
  • Insufficient wire gauge - upgrade to thicker wiring
  • Low voltage - test voltage output at vehicle connector
  • Dying bulb - replace old incandescent bulbs

Flashing Lights

If the lights flash erratically, the problem is likely:

  • Damaged turn signal flasher unit
  • Faulty ground connection
  • Crossed wires or short circuit

Intermittent Lights

If lights cut in and out, look for:

  • Corroded or oxidized connectors
  • Loose wiring or crimp connections
  • Fraying or broken wires
  • Faulty ground

Carefully inspecting connections, wires, bulbs, fuses, and switches can reveal the cause. Test with a multimeter to check outputs. Trailer lighting issues are often solves by replacing bad grounds, worn wires, or corroded connectors.

How to use your Amazon Prime to buy Towing & Trailer Lighting

Owning an Amazon Prime membership provides convenient benefits when shopping for towing and trailer lighting equipment and accessories online. Follow these tips to maximize your Prime membership for all your towing and trailer lighting needs.

Search for Towing & Trailer Lighting

Use the Amazon search bar to directly search for "towing and trailer lighting" or related keywords like "trailer LED lights" or "7-pin trailer wiring". This brings up the most relevant selection of products.

Filter by Prime Eligible

On the left side of the search results, check the box next to "Prime Eligible" to only see items included with Prime's free two-day shipping. This ensures the products you select will arrive quickly.

Compare Brands and Prices

Browse through product listings to compare top brands like Optronics, Maxxima, and Peterson. View product photos and specifications. Check prices and promotions for deals. Narrow results using the filters for ratings, price range, and product features.

Read Reviews

Reading through customer reviews provides valuable insight into real-world product performance. Pay attention to reviews discussing durability, ease of installation, lighting brightness, and quality of construction. This helps assess if the product will meet your needs.

Check Dimensions

For lights and wiring kits, double check that the product dimensions match your trailer. Inputting your vehicle details helps ensure fit and compatibility.

Add to Cart

When ready, add desired products to your cart. The "Prime" tag indicates which lighting accessories qualify for free expedited shipping.

Checkout with Prime

At checkout, your Prime membership gives you access to quick shipping speeds at no additional cost. This provides convenience when ordering towing and trailer lighting gear.

With its massive selection and Prime shipping benefits, Amazon is a top online destination for finding quality towing and trailer lighting products. Use Prime to conveniently purchase and quickly receive the lights, wiring, and accessories you need.

Hopkins Trailer Lights

Hopkins Towing Solutions offers a wide range of trailer lighting products to keep your tow vehicle and trailer safe and legal. Here are some of the products available:

  • Stop/Tail/Turn Lights: These lights combine the functions of stop/brake, taillight, and turn signals into one industry-standard light to keep you safe and legal. Hopkins offers a variety of options, including LED submersible trailer light kits for trailers under 80" wide and LED submersible combination trailer light kits with integrated back-up lights.
  • Clearance/Marker Lights: These lights are used to indicate trailer width and length and increase visibility. Hopkins offers a range of clearance/marker lights in various sizes, shapes, and colors.
  • Reflectors: Reflectors are an important safety feature for trailers. Hopkins offers a range of reflectors to keep your trailer visible to other drivers.
  • Tow Lights: Hopkins offers a selection of tow lights for temporary use when towing a vehicle.
  • In addition to trailer lighting products, Hopkins also offers trailer wiring solutions, brake controllers, RV levels, and other towing electrical products.

    Hopkins Trailer Light Kit C6423

    The Hopkins Trailer Light Kit C6423 is a combination trailer light kit with side marker lights designed for trailers under 80 inches wide. Here are some features of the kit:

  • The kit includes two stop/tail/turn lights, two side markers, a 20-foot wire harness with a 4-flat connector, a rustproof license plate bracket, and mounting hardware.
  • The stop/tail/turn lights are replaceable with model numbers B83 and B93, and the bulbs are replaceable with the standard #1157 auto bulb. The side marker bulbs are also replaceable with the standard #168 auto bulb.
  • The kit is designed to conform to applicable U.S. FMVSS108 and Canadian CMVSS safety standards and meet DOT requirements for trailers under 80" wide.
  • The square trailer light kit is ideal for use on utility, camping, snowmobile, and motorcycle trailers.
  • The kit works with 12V systems and stud mounts on industry-standard 2-inch centers. The ABS plastic housing and durable acrylic lens provide protection against corrosion.
  • Overall, the Hopkins Trailer Light Kit C6423 is a reliable and easy-to-install option for those looking to upgrade their trailer lighting system.

    How To Install Hopkins Trailer Light Kit C6423?

    Here are the steps to install the Hopkins Trailer Light Kit C6423:

    1. Disconnect the trailer from the tow vehicle and remove the old lights and wiring if necessary.
    2. Mount the stop/tail/turn lights and side marker lights on the trailer using the included mounting hardware. The lights should be mounted on the rear and sides of the trailer, respectively.
    3. Connect the white ground wire from the light kit to the trailer frame using a self-tapping screw.
    4. Connect the brown wire from the light kit to the running light circuit on the trailer wiring harness.
    5. Connect the yellow wire from the light kit to the left turn signal/brake light circuit on the trailer wiring harness.
    6. Connect the green wire from the light kit to the right turn signal/brake light circuit on the trailer wiring harness.
    7. Connect the 4-way flat connector from the light kit to the trailer wiring harness on the tow vehicle.
    8. Test the lights to make sure they are working properly. Turn on the tow vehicle's headlights and check that all the lights on the trailer are illuminated, including the stop/tail/turn lights and side marker lights.
    9. Attach the license plate bracket to the trailer if necessary.