How to Wire Trailer Lights

When you want to tow any kind of trailer, you need to ensure its trailer lights are functional. Setups related to electricity frighten many owners of vehicles away; they prefer to choose the experts at trailer shops to carry out the task for them, rather than attempting to discover how the process works. Once you know how to wire trailer lights, it’s pretty easy to do this yourself.

Nevertheless, in the most typical scenario on how you can wire trailer lights when you’ve purchased a brand new car, the one thing you are going to have to accomplish is to look for a factory installed connector on it and also get the proper safety belt to connect it with the trailer.

There are various types of connectors the trailer electrical sector makes use of. While the primary setup is a 4-way flat connector which features 3 male ends and 1 female, you might come across connectors with as much as 7 pins for additional features that demand to wire, including electrically actuated braking system, energy supply for a winch, and so on.

Types of Connectors

The 4-Way Connector

This’s probably the most typical connector. It’s 3 poles are for basic operations (turn indicators, running lights, as well as brake lights) as well as one pin for the soil. This connector is often used in most light duty trailers. On the automobile side, there’ll be a female connector, even though the trailer/RV harness is going to have a male connector. When wiring trailer lighting, be sure to route the harness away from something that might harm the wires.

The color codes for the 4-way connector are Green ( Brakes and right turn lights), Brown ( Running Lights and Tail Lights ), White ( The Ground Wire), Yellow ( Brakes, Left Turn Lights).

The 5-Way Connector

Trailers that are longer than fifteen feet and heavier in comparison to 1,500 lbs must possess a brake system – which indicates a further circuit for the hydraulic braking system. The fifth blue cable is actually intended for reverse lights; this connection is actually necessary to disconnect the hydraulic actuator or trailer coupler when the car is actually backing up, therefore deactivating the braking system.

The color codes for the 5- way connector are Blue ( The Reverse Lights), Brown ( Running Lights and Tail Lights), Green ( Brakes and Right Turn Lights), Yellow ( Brakes and Left Turn Lights), White ( Ground Wire ).

The 6-Way Connector

Besides providing simple features, this particular connector has two additional ports for (blue) electronic powered brake control as well as a 12V power supply (red or black).

The color codes for this connector are Black ( 12v Supply of Power) Blue ( The Reverse Lights), Brown ( Running Lights and Tail Lights), Green ( Brakes and Right Turn Lights), Yellow ( Brakes and Left Turn Lights), White ( Ground Wire ).

The 7-Way Connector

This connector possesses the functions offered by 6-way
connector ( electrical brakes, extra power supply, three primary lighting capabilities ), while using the seventh cable for backup lights. Essentially, it’s another 12V circuit generally used for a reverse lighting or overturn lockout for the trailer braking system.

The color codes for this connector are: Purple ( Backup and Reverse Lights) Black ( 12v Supply of Power) Blue ( The Reverse Lights ) , Brown ( Running Lights and Tail Lights ) , Green ( Brakes and Right Turn Lights ) , Yellow ( Brakes and Left Turn Lights ) , White ( Ground Wire ).

Wiring your Trailer Lights

Now that the various forms of connectors are known, you’ve got to figure out what connector you’ve got on your car to connect to the trailer. A lot of tow trucks and SUVs capable of towing trailers come equipped with trailer packages in the factory together with the United States Council for
Automotive Research plan, this plan united 3 major American
car manufacturers (Ford, Chrysler, along with GM) in their goal to advance automobile innovations. They created a general trailer connector which has been used on the vehicles created by them right from the 1990s. To figure out how to wire up trailer lighting, you want to find out whether your car has a factory-installed trailer package deal and if a plug-and-play T connector can be obtained for it on the marketplace.

Harnesses are offered by the aftermarket to join 2 connectors of any kind. Even in a situation where your car is not built with a connector, it might have a wiring plug centrally located in the back. Based on the build of your vehicle, the location might be different, either within the trunk or underneath the back floor panel.

You may want to inspect your vehicle completely or perhaps contact the manufacturer’s customer service to get information as to whether your car is actually built with it and then discover where it is situated. If there are definitely no provisions for trailer lighting, and you’re electrically inclined or even have a basic idea of how you can wire trailer lighting, you may think about splicing into your current wiring.

However, just about all wires, you will need, excluding the brake controller wire, link to the automobile’s tail lighting assembly. With this situation, you will require a pair of pliers and set of wiring taps.


It is essential to know, the type of connectors your vehicle uses and effectively test both the vehicle and trailer connection after wiring is done, to ensure it is done correctly.

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