Brake Light and Turn Signal Not Working

by Madeline (Jacksonville, NC)

Question: We have a 2002 Citation travel trailer that we just bought. The right side light does not work – no brake light or turn signal. We have changed the bulb but still nothing. Any suggestions?

Sounds like you are not getting any voltage to the right side. I would try a few simple things first. Remove the cable between the truck and the trailer and make sure that the connections are clean and tight.

Try using the right hand signal again, if that did not clear the problem, start wiggling the cable (you are attempting to determine if there are any lose wires/connections that attaches to the back of the connector and goes towards the back of the trailer. If still no resolution it is time to look for a blown fuse in the trailer.

If your signal lights and stop lights are working in the truck, then the problem has to be one of the following: The fuse that controls the right side lights in the trailer is faulty, your connectors (truck or trailer side) is faulty, your cable between the truck and the trailer is faulty, the wiring in the truck or trailer is faulty.

Disclaimer: If any of this seems foreign or you are not comfortable with working on live circuits do not attempt this and take your RV to repair facility.

Here are some steps to take to isolate the problem:

Truck connectors and cable:

Tools needed: Automotive Test light (best) or Volt meter (set to 12 volt range)

You may have to have the truck running for this step. Engage the right side blinker and disconnect the cable between the trailer and the truck. Take your test light and find a good ground and use the probe to alternately touch each of pins inside the connector. The test light should alternately go on and off – if not your problem is in the connector.

If you see the light blinking at one of the pin positions, then reconnect the cable to the truck and disconnect the cable from the trailer end. Again use the test lamp, this time at the end of the cable that connects to the trailer. Check for the same thing as you did on the trunk end. If you see the same thing – then you have eliminated the truck connector and cable as a problem source.


Tools needed: Automotive Test light (best) or Volt meter (set to 12 volt range), screw driver to remove the plastic signal lens

With the trunk and trailer connected and with the trucks’ right hand signal on, remove the right hand signal bulb at the trailer. Find a good ground and again use the test light probe and carefully check for voltage inside the socket.

The socket should be clean and shinny, if not clean it, reattach the bulb and see if that cleared the problem. Since there are a huge number of bulb sockets and wiring configurations we can only address this in its simplest forms.

First start at the bulb contacts – there may be 1 or 2 or even 3 contacts. Touch each to see if the test light lights. If the wiring and socket are good then you your test light should light at one of the contacts. If it does not, then the socket could be the problem.

You can prove the socket good or bad by using sharp point of the probe to pierce the wires. If the light comes on when you pierce the wire then the socket is bad. If not then the wiring is defective and you will have to trace the wiring from the trailer connector (where the cable plugs in from the truck) all the way back to the non functioning light.

Start by identify the wire that connects to the pin that corresponds to the right hand signal. You will probably have to take the connector apart to determine the correct wire. Take this opportunity to tighten the connections. Trace that wire all the way to the right side signal light. This maybe difficult if the wires are buried in the frame or are covered by protective sheathing.

Best of luck with your problem and please let us know how it was resolved.

Brake Lights

by Jill (Chino Valley, AZ)

Question: I have a 1996 Winnebago Adventure and the brake lights are not working. Checked the fuses and all seem fine. Where do I look next?

Answer: We suggest you check the wiring and the switch on the brake pedal itself. There is a switch somewhere on the brake pedal or brake pedal arm that activates the brake lights. It could be out of alignment or broken.

Or it could be that a wire has become loose or broken somewhere between the brake pedal and the lights, or between the battery and the brake pedal. It would be best if you have a diagram of the wiring for your RV, and a voltmeter or continuity tester to isolate the problem.

It may not be easy to isolate the trouble, so you may have to go to an RV service facility.

Reader: We did check the bulbs, but they are all good. Having some difficulty finding the brake switch on the brake pedal