Tips and tricks

Tow vehicle circuit tester

A modern RV has many electrical circuits, both 12vdc and 240vac. With the low voltage circuits often a problem can be difficult to correct until you first identify exactly which circuit has the problem. Here I have constructed a simple testing device. Note...this test only relates to the 12vdc systems, never the 240vac systems. I ALWAYS ensure the RV is disconneted from the shore current (240v)  before doing anything with the electric systems. 240v systems in an RV can only be serviced or modified by a licensed electrician.

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1. Tow vehicle tester
1. Tow vehicle tester

You are all packed up ready to go, you carry out your lighting check, as you always do..right? and you find one of the circuits is dead. This can be a real pain...is it a simple bulb failure or is it something more serious?. For very little money you can construct your own circuit tester. All you need is a plug to suit your car/caravan and boat and trailer or what ever, lengths of wire in seven colours, a soldering iron and a plastic box to house it all in.

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2. Tow vehicle tester
2. Tow vehicle tester

Top view showing the labels describing each circuit. Note that the wires are colour coded to suit the standard for trailer connections. I used an old plastic lid from something to mount the connectors to, you can use anything non-conductive. A 7 pin strip terminal is secured to the top. For ease of use I have utilized some old PC parallel cable, it has multiple coloured strands and is ideal, I have also used old printer connectors to enable me to swap from one type of connection to another.

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The End
The End

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1. Tow vehicle tester
1. Tow vehicle tester

You are all packed up ready to go, you carry out your lighting check, as you always do..right? and you find one of the circuits is dead. This can be a real pain...is it a simple bulb failure or is it something more serious?. For very little money you can construct your own circuit tester. All you need is a plug to suit your car/caravan and boat and trailer or what ever, lengths of wire in seven colours, a soldering iron and a plastic box to house it all in.

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