Trailer lighting


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Jen7222
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 7:11 pm
Location: Jenison Mi
Motorcycle: GoldWing 1985 GL1200 Limited

Trailer lighting

Postby Jen7222 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:44 pm



I own a Goldwing 1985 1200 gl limitied. It is fitted with a trailer hitch but there is no wire harness for lights.
Everything I have read so far talks about a particular type of wire harness. What is the best harness to use to protect the bikes lights and still prvide trailer lighting. Where can I buy one?
Thanks for the help



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littlebeaver
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Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:57 am

Jen7222, when I belonged to another site when I had my Kawa Nomad the owner of the site posted the powered converter that he used on his trailer lights, This converter takes all the weight off the electrical system by going to the battery then you will need to tie into the correct wires under the seat...I had one on my Nomad and I have one today on my Gl 1100, they are built well and have never failed me, cost alot but I found security by using it..here's a site for ya... #46255 http://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-46255-Pow ... 000CMKG6O.. You can try Auto zone or other Auto stores even RV places or places that sell trailers should carry them..$40 is less than I paid..

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NKYWinger
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Covington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade
2003 GL1800

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby NKYWinger » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:20 am

beav-
Thanks for the link! Looks like I'll be adding that during this winter's lay-up. With the minimal electrical reserve that our 1100's have, this seems a great way to go...I guess replacing the trailer bulbs with LED's would be another required addition....and no, I still haven't installed the braided stainless brake lines yest - have you?
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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littlebeaver
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Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:59 am

Why Yes, why yes I have and they work great....Both front and rear work great..I got new tires too and installed them check out my cool videos and they have music and all on my post, new tires came in I think you will enjoy it ..Jen I would shop around for this converter maybe you can find it even cheaper..Oh and there are many other types but I know this one and it's good...

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NKYWinger
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Location: Covington, KY
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2003 GL1800

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby NKYWinger » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:04 pm

Just ordered the Hopkins converter, Beav....I'd rather pay a little bit more for a quality product. It got excellent reviews at Amazon. Now I have to get my butt down to HF and get a trailer..... The hitch is mounted already, the converter is ordered - next up: trailer....
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

radionut
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Location: Kamloops
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800A

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby radionut » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:41 pm

So if you are off to HF to get a trailer, then equip it with LED lights, this will reduce the load on the bikes rather underrated charging system, and allow you to have power for nicer things, like heated clothes.
Just a suggestion
RY

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littlebeaver
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Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby littlebeaver » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:12 pm

That is a good idea..I never did it but then again I have 55 amps of power so it's no problem for me but its diffenitly a good idea if you don't have a alt. conversion like I do ...Very good advise...RY :D

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NKYWinger
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Covington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade
2003 GL1800

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby NKYWinger » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:24 am

Just to ease the load, I do plan on putting LED's on the trailer; not sure I will ever ride when it's so cold that I need heated gear.....but you never know! :D :D
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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sparrowhawwk
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Re: Trailer lighting

Postby sparrowhawwk » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:29 am

I've read through this thread twice and there appears to be some confusion about what a "converter" is. people seem to be mistaking it for an "isolator". A "converter" does just that. It converts the tow vehicle system that has separate turn signals to work a trailer system that has the brake and signal lights combined. They also make a version to work the opposite way with the trailer having the additional signals and the north american style vehicle having the brake and signal lights combined.

An "isolator" system is basically just a relay box that will take a signal from one wire function on your bike, say stop lights, and use the bike wiring only to trip the relay. The relay is just an electric switch that trips and takes the larger power load for the trailer brake lights directly from the battery, usually with a larger size wire than is stock on the bike. The purpose of this is to keep the total load lower on the stock wiring.

NOTE: Neither of these systems reduce the total load on your alternator!

Unless you are planning to put more that usual tail and clearance lights on the trailer to pull behind an 1100 or 1200 you are just wasting your money buying an isolator system. The 1500 is debatable because it went to a much smaller gauge wire system. Personally I have put thousands of miles on them also while running lights on a trailer and sidecar and using an electric vest. Around town this is a good load but on the highway it works fine. My friends 300,000 + mile 82 also runs a sidecar and tows a trailer for travel. No problem. One thing I recommend is putting any additional lights that are not needed during the day through an on/off switch to reduce the load when not needed.

I have wired more trailers to motorcycles than I care to think about and also build hitches for newer bikes. I know the Goldwing wiring colors well. :lol:

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littlebeaver
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Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby littlebeaver » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:48 pm

So are you suggesting running the wires direct to the existing wire system and not using a converter? Won't that blow a fuse or do you just increase the size of the fuse? that's why I use a converter in the first place so I don't have to up the size of the fuse..At least that was what I was told, and I was told that this is the safest way to go to protect my wires and lighting system...Hummmmm ...Nobody here is suggesting that it will reduce any power to the electric system that the stator produces.. :shock: I think the suggestion of adding LED lights is a good one it reduced over all power to the electrical system, now back when I was told about this they didn't have LED lights yet.. I don't know I'm not that much of an electric person but I trusted my Nomad site friend and its worked for me for many years with zero issues so I passed it on and I have never touched my fuse to my tail lights... :D I'm not positive but if the trailer lights were to short out some how, won't the fuse to the converter blow and not the lights on the bike..I am not sure of that..but I think that how it works.. :D Now if I'm wrong about this I apologize but it's the way I understood it.. :D when I wrote it takes all the weight off the electrical system[wrong] in the first post what I mean is all additional current through the tail wiring not the bikes whole system.opps..duh..I'm pretty sure I don't have the experience that Sparrow has but at least I gave you a place to look... :lol:

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sparrowhawwk
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Re: Trailer lighting

Postby sparrowhawwk » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:16 pm

littlebeaver wrote:So are you suggesting running the wires direct to the existing wire system and not using a converter? Won't that blow a fuse or do you just increase the size of the fuse? that's why I use a converter in the first place so I don't have to up the size of the fuse..At least that was what I was told, and I was told that this is the safest way to go to protect my wires and lighting system...Hummmmm ...Nobody here is suggesting that it will reduce any power to the electric system that the stator produces.. :shock: I think the suggestion of adding LED lights is a good one it reduced over all power to the electrical system, now back when I was told about this they didn't have LED lights yet.. I don't know I'm not that much of an electric person but I trusted my Nomad site friend and its worked for me for many years with zero issues so I passed it on and I have never touched my fuse to my tail lights... :D I'm not positive but if the trailer lights were to short out some how, won't the fuse to the converter blow and not the lights on the bike..I am not sure of that..but I think that how it works.. :D Now if I'm wrong about this I apologize but it's the way I understood it.. :D when I wrote it takes all the weight off the electrical system[wrong] in the first post what I mean is all additional current through the tail wiring not the bikes whole system.opps..duh..I'm pretty sure I don't have the experience that Sparrow has but at least I gave you a place to look... :lol:


Geeze man. You're making me have to think here. Ok. Yes it was the wording in the earlier post that had me a little confused, not that it doesn't happen anyway. :lol: Again though you are talking about a fuse to a "converter". Unless you are matching the two different signal systems between the bike and trailer you do not use a "converter. Also, a "converter" does nothing to take the load off of the bikes system. To do what you are talking about you use an "isolator". That takes the additional load off of your bike wiring and fuses. You are right in assuming a short in the trailer lights without an isolator will blow the bike fuse. This mix up is quite common until you understand what each of the items does which is why I explained their functions.

I'm certainly not going to tell someone "not" to buy an isolator, I'm just saying that if you don't use one it really won't matter. Also it never hurts on these older bikes to upgrade the fuse by 5 amps. If you look up the load capacity of the wiring gauge used you will see that it is overkill to start with. That is one of the reasons they were able to reduce the wiring gauge on the 1500's and later and still run the same items with no problem. Personally I have run those directly also with no problems but I can see where a person might feel more comfortable with an isolator in the system. I know the isolator manufacturer will like it better! :lol:

I think one post mentioned having gotten a "converter" before getting a trailer . Well unless the trailer comes without separate turn signals that was a wasted $40 or so. Myself I like to add the independent amber signals if the trailer does not have them because I feel they show up better.

By the way, don't ever worry about questioning anything anyone says just because they seem to have more experience. We all make occasional mistakes and need to be chastised accordingly. :lol:

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littlebeaver
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Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby littlebeaver » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:21 pm

Here is the Nomad site I used to belong to if you go to the Random section you will see this Powered converter of which I speak of, I listened to my friend there and had no problems....then you can decide if you want to up the fuse, or use this powered converter....You asked what the safest way was and I told you what I knew, again this powered converter won't take off any of the additional load to the entire electrical system but it is designed to protect your wiring ...at least that's what it reads ... :shock: :shock: http://www.gadgetjq.com/trailer.htm again I apologize for misleading anyone here if you feel I have.. :D

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sparrowhawwk
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Re: Trailer lighting

Postby sparrowhawwk » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:12 pm

littlebeaver wrote:Here is the Nomad site I used to belong to if you go to the Random section you will see this Powered converter of which I speak of, I listened to my friend there and had no problems....then you can decide if you want to up the fuse, or use this powered converter....You asked what the safest way was and I told you what I knew, again this powered converter won't take off any of the additional load to the entire electrical system but it is designed to protect your wiring ...at least that's what it reads ... :shock: :shock: http://www.gadgetjq.com/trailer.htm again I apologize for misleading anyone here if you feel I have.. :D


Ok, this is the last time I'll say this. Quit with the apologies already. Nobody is asking for one because there is nothing to apologize for. It's called sharing knowledge and I'm really glad you showed us this one.

Now, on to this neat little device you have found. With all the trailer hookups I have done I have never seen a powered unit like this one. It almost sounds like a combination of what I know as an isolator and a converter in one. Apparently one of the people I work with has and I'm looking forward to talking to him tomorrow and learning more about them. This has the potential to be an awesome replacement for the standard "converter" that has been used for years as they don't last very long. As usual with something new my curiosity wants to know everything about it so the search begins. If anyone here has found any information beyond the basic sales pitch please let me know. It will be interesting to find out what they mean by protecting the tow vehicle. Let's dig into this little sucker and figure out exactly what it does before I buy mine. :lol:

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littlebeaver
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Re: Trailer lighting

Postby littlebeaver » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:33 pm

I'm sorry for apologizing all the time it's a habit I developed after I got married :shock: , I get beaten regular don't ya know, oops I did it again I'm sorry for being sorry :shock: :lol: I didn't get my shock treatment today.. :shock: .. I have used this powered converter since around 04 or was it 06 I forgot , I'm sorry I forgot :lol: ha ha ooop's.....Yes it will give the lights back there the brightness they need, and it's a neat little gadget..I promise I won't apologize any more , but it was fun.. :lol: :lol: Sparrow I love you're work man...

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sparrowhawwk
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Re: Trailer lighting

Postby sparrowhawwk » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:05 pm

Awesome! Of course I had to start digging right away and lucked out. Found out this does exactly what a traditional Isolator combined with a traditional converter would do. The model I got the info from uses relays that in event of a short will trip themselves instead of blowing a fuse and then reset. It also just takes a minimal signal from the bike system and uses it to trip the unit to draw power directly from the battery as you mentioned. Somewhere in here it also changes the input from five wires to four at the trailer end like the traditional converter but hopefully more reliable. I am going out on a limb here but I believe this is seen by the manufacturer as simply a new and improved converter in the auto world. As far as I know only the motorcycle world has been using the traditional "isolator" units due to the limited power available and the number of powered accessories available. The amount of time you say you have been using yours with success is very encouraging. The traditional non powered converters are usually lucky to make it through one riding season.

I have never seen failure problems with the traditional "isolator" units and would still recommend them to anyone using a myriad of electrical accessories as the units we have been discussing only help with trailer light circuits. i wonder how long it will be before someone manufacturing these units sees the possibilities and adds the ability to power other things for motorcycles. I think that might be the "perfect" solution. From now on I will be recommending these to my customers when needed.

My Grandfather used to tell me that if I learned one thing in a day then the day was not wasted. Today has been a good day. Thanks :D

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NKYWinger
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2003 GL1800

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby NKYWinger » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:45 am

My Hopkins unit arrived last night; it looks like exactly what is needed. My old GL1100 won't see much of an additional electrical load and I can be assured of having a good source of 12V to the trailer lights. It sure looks like a quality product- glad I spent the $40...

Now I just have to figure out where to install the box and run all the wires nice and neat...
Of course, since I'm both a bubblehead AND a Navy Chief, that won't be a problem :lol: :lol: :lol:
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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littlebeaver
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Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Trailer lighting

Postby littlebeaver » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:16 pm

I was considering doing something a little strange [again]... Won't be the first time...being I have that plug fastened to my towbar or hitch frame I was thinking maybe I could buy myself two trailer lights like the one's on the trailers and fasten them to the back of the bike in a nice location and just plug the wiring into the trailer plug using a trailer male plug to supply the power to them as you would a trailer then when you go to hook up your trailer just unplug it and plug in the trailer..Hey I wonder if anyone has thought to do that before.. :shock: ..Think how nice and bright those would be and people will see those brake lights in the day time much better I think might look a bit strange but might not, if you get one of those really cool brake light strips, I just think outside the box again..... If i do this I will post a few photo's..Who knows maybe a video... :lol:




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