With Easter and Queensland school break around the corner, many families prepare for a camping holiday getaway. Part of getting setup for camp, is to upgrade from a tent and move to one of the many used camper trailer options currently on the market.
I was recently asked to fix a few things on a 1974 Jayco Dove camper to make it road worthy, for the new owners.
There were a few little surprises along the way, that can add unexpected costs, that I thought I would share with wary camper trailer buyers.
No wiring on one of the side running lights
One common issue on old campers is no running or clearance lights. The running lights usually fire up when you flick the lights on in the car. There are two on each side and two on the rear (these double as stop lights).
If one light is out, it is usually a bulb. If all the lights are out it is usually a rusted out earth screw on one or more of the lights. The running lights are often connected together, so if one is not earthed to the body they all fail.
This was the case on our Jayco camper. But on removing the light lenses I discovered that one light fitting had no wiring at all. I inspected the forward cavity and found no trace of the wires. I had to run a cable from the other side of the camper and splice it into the clearance light wire, coming from the trailer plug.
No Brake Wiring or Brake Magnets
Their were no working brakes on the Jayco. Although the camper was set up with electric brakes, on closer inspection the brake pads were shot and there were no brake magnets inside of the hub drums. As well the wiring that drives the electric braking system were completely removed.
I installed a completely new set of brake backing plates, magnets and pads. Then ran the correct sized wiring from the drawbar to both wheels. The handbrake cable and adjuster were also replaced and the whole braking system tested and adjusted.
It is worth noting the style of brakes on your potential purchase (electric is common), because there can be other cost implications. For example – Electric brakes require a brake controller to be installed into your car, in order to tow the trailer. You will need to budget at least $300 for this requirement.
In the case of this Jayco a simple controller was installed on the trailer drawbar to allow any rated car to tow the camper. These units don’t offer as many features as the in car version, but are fine for lower weight towing.
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www.etrailer.com Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. Alright, today on This Old Trailer, what we are going to do is install electric brakes. Right now this trailer does not have any brakes on it whatsoever, so it has two drag axles. So the first thing that we need to do is go ahead and take off the rear wheels. And then we will go ahead and take off the hubs. At this point we will take off the dust cap on our axle. And basically what you want to do is on this particular unit we have an EZ Lube cap, so it fits kind of tight. It is a good idea to go ahead and rotate the hub and lightly strike it and then I will just back it off with a ***** driver behind the flange. And then pry it off. Alright, let us wipe off the excess grease on the end of the spindle here and we will get to our tang washer. And we will release it so we can back off the castle nut. Alright, we have it cleaned up a little bit. Now right here, this is the tab I was talking about. That is our tang washer. Take this. Push it down flat to the flat spot on our spindle and then you can take the castle nut off. 1:07 Alright, at this point we can go ahead and just remove the entire hub assembly. Alright, now we can go ahead and clean up the spindle so we can have a nice clean area to work with. And then we will start reassembly. Alright, now that we have everything out of the way we can see what is going on. What is going to …
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www.etrailer.com Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. In this addition of This Old Trailer we are going to wire up the lights on this trailer. Previously we had hooked up electric brakes and you can see, right now we have the junction box installed on there and we have wires ran for electric brakes. We have nothing for the actual tail lights themselves. That is what we are going to start on today. :30 We are going to hook up our 7-pole wiring harness with the molded connector, and we are going to hook that up to our junction box that we I installed on the frame. Inside the junction box the colors are labeled, so we will match the wires from the connector color for color with the junction box. :46 Now what we are going to do next is hook up our wires from the trailer into the junction box itself. Now there are some differences in the code, this is where you go by function not colors of the wire. Yellow is going to be the left turn on the trailer, and it is going to be red on our junction box. Right turn is going to be green on our trailer and that is going to brown on our junction box. Brown is going to be running lights on our trailer and that is going to go with green on our junction box. Now we can go ahead and secure all our connections with the hardware. All right, lets go ahead and run the wires down through the frame, back towards the tail lights. We will use the preexisting holes in …
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www.etrailer.com Videos are provided as a guide only. Refer to manufacturer installation instructions and specs for complete information. Today we are going to show you part number 90185 from Tekonsha. This is their Prodigy controller right here. This is actually Tekonshas most popular brake controller, the Prodigy. And this is what you get in the box. Obviously you get the brake controller itself. Then you get the pocket that holds the brake controller especially if you have to transport it between 2 different vehicles. You also get the permanent mounting bracket which is actually nice and takes up less room. You also get the hardware to install the brake controller to the dash and to the bracket. A few **** connectors are in there to use for any wire connections. Speaking of wiring, it comes with a universal wiring harness that will plug into the back of the brake controller then you run your lines to the various circuits in the vehicle. Also to help you out it comes with a little informational DVD. What we will show you next is the actual pocket that you can install on the vehicle, it actually mounts up like this. The brake control simply just slides inside. Spread the little clips out a little bit and it goes into the ***** holes and that pretty much holds everything in place. On the backside here is where the harness plugs into. It is pretty simple. Slip it underneath the holder and you just push it together and it snaps in place. So in other words, if your are going …
AL-KO Electric Brakes for Caravans and Horse Floats are the best product of its kind on the market. This video shows you the best set up and use for AL-KO Electric Brakes.
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Electric trailer brakes require this when brakes are installed and original drums are being reinstalled. Magnet and shoe surface must be lathed for optimal brake performance. Magnet surface requires a special boring bar and bit to lathe surface in one cut without having to adjust bars and angle.
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