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Old 07-25-2022, 03:56 PM   #1
JasonL
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Wiring tow trailer lights

Hi gang, i have a 2020 Montana High Country 385BH. I am looking into adding tow trailer lights. Has anyone ever done this? My rig has the receiver, however no wiring connection in the rear for tow vehicle brake lights.

Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2022, 04:29 PM   #2
CM7018
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Your rig is probably only rated for 250 lbs, which is why there isn't a wiring harness. It's designed for a bike / kayak / platform rack that goes into the hitch receiver, not towing.
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Old 07-25-2022, 04:48 PM   #3
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I figured so but was going to balance load to prevent hitch load weight.
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Old 07-26-2022, 05:11 AM   #4
RMcNeal
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I have not done it since my hitch is only rated for 300 lbs., however, I would think you could drop coroplast in the rear corner and access the wiring for the tail/brake lights/turn signals there.
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Old 07-26-2022, 05:16 AM   #5
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I think that’s going to be my next step. Wondering if i balance load on trailer and tongue weight is less than 200lbs could the hitch handle pulling trailer and cart?

If not, i may look into beefing up the hitch.
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Old 07-26-2022, 05:34 AM   #6
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I think keeping the trailer under 300 lbs. is one side of the equation. You also have the force of pulling the load. I just added a front hitch to my truck from Reese. It makes it much easier for me to get my boat in and out of my side yard. There is a rated weight limit of 5000 lbs., 500 lbs. vertical load (tongue weight) and then 9000 lbs. line pull rating. You will likely need to beef up that hitch for towing or completely replace it.
Many states do not allow towing doubles also, so you may want to check into your state's laws before jumping on that wagon.
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Old 07-26-2022, 05:45 AM   #7
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Agree, i am not real comfortable pulling a 1200lbs trailer and 800 lbs cart on a 300lbs rated hitch. Beef up time!
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Old 07-26-2022, 06:40 AM   #8
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Most of these hitches if they are a 2" receiver are rated 300 Lbs Pin/3000 Lbs pull.
If you have the dinky little 1 1/4" hitch it would barely hold anything.
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Old 07-26-2022, 06:50 AM   #9
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So i may be ok pulling with less than 300lbs on hitch. I don’t plan on ever pulling more than a hour from the house. Not that it matters but would like to bring cart locally.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JasonL View Post
I think thatís going to be my next step. Wondering if i balance load on trailer and tongue weight is less than 200lbs could the hitch handle pulling trailer and cart?

If not, i may look into beefing up the hitch.
Just remember tongue weigth needs to be 10% to 15% of the trailer GVWR so if that trailer weighs any more then 2,000 lbs you are SOL.
IF the tongue wt is too light, that will normally result in severe sway. Look on youtube for all the trailers and cars upside down beside the road as a result of sway.
BEEFING up the hitch? If your trailer is 10,000 lbs, toy need at least a 1,000lb rated hitch. It's not a case of beefing up the hitch you also need stronger frame, axles, wheels, tires.
You need a proper tow vehicle.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:42 PM   #11
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So i may be ok pulling with less than 300lbs on hitch. I donít plan on ever pulling more than a hour from the house. Not that it matters but would like to bring cart locally.
Your rig is not set up to pull a trailer even if your tung weight is below 300 lbs. you will need additional support welded to your frame. I would have a professional give you some estimates. It can be done but will be a few $$ to make it happen correctly and safely.
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:39 PM   #12
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I found the rear trailer light wiring harness on the drivers side rear. I was able to remove the drivers side (left) rear skirting screws (where skirt attaches to at rear underbelly and very carefully pull back on skirting just enough to get my hand up behind the frame and rear wall opening. You should see the wiring harness going up from the rear frame to up into rear wall. I tapped into two wires for the left side turn, running lights and brake. I couldn't locate the right signal light wire so I pulled back the side / rear skirting on right side rear and found the right side turn signal wire and tapped it and ran a single wire to the rear hitch along with the 2 wires from the left side (for a total of 3 wires) and the 4th wire (white) tied to chassis ground for the 4 wire plug on rear of hitch. It was a bit of a PITA. I've seem some owners tap into the lights at the pinbox connections and run a trailer 4 wire cable under the trailer (tie wrapped to bottom fabric) all the way back to the rear hitch. I don't recommend pulling anything heavier than 2500 lbs / 250 lbs tongue weight with that factory hitch.
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:59 PM   #13
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As has been said, that hitch is not designed for towing. Keystone (read that as Lippert) has two options a towing hitch and a bike hitch. If it’s still under warranty, I would ask Lippert what they recommend. Just my $.02. If it’s out of warranty, I would still ask Lippert.
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fishin2dMax View Post
I found the rear trailer light wiring harness on the drivers side rear. I was able to remove the drivers side (left) rear skirting screws (where skirt attaches to at rear underbelly and very carefully pull back on skirting just enough to get my hand up behind the frame and rear wall opening. You should see the wiring harness going up from the rear frame to up into rear wall. I tapped into two wires for the left side turn, running lights and brake. I couldn't locate the right signal light wire so I pulled back the side / rear skirting on right side rear and found the right side turn signal wire and tapped it and ran a single wire to the rear hitch along with the 2 wires from the left side (for a total of 3 wires) and the 4th wire (white) tied to chassis ground for the 4 wire plug on rear of hitch. It was a bit of a PITA. I've seem some owners tap into the lights at the pinbox connections and run a trailer 4 wire cable under the trailer (tie wrapped to bottom fabric) all the way back to the rear hitch. I don't recommend pulling anything heavier than 2500 lbs / 250 lbs tongue weight with that factory hitch.
If there is ever a next time, either get your car dealer to show you where the wiring harness is that the factory installed and tucked away, or if they didn't do that, buy a standard kit from either your dealer (expensive) or an auto parts store (cheaper) for you vehicle. They just plug into the existing wiring.
You are still not safe or legal to tow though.
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Old 08-01-2022, 06:38 AM   #15
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The wiring junction for the rear lights is behind the left light.
I had to replace mine due to them filling up with water (warranty).
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:01 AM   #16
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I figured so but was going to balance load to prevent hitch load weight.
If you have the round taillights with the metal rings....they come right out and the wiring is right there to attach to. Then feed it down, remove the back strip holding the coroplast and wire away.

Just did it myself....but these guys are right. You're 250 or 300 lb hitch is not designed to pull anything. You'll be lucky if the constant bouncing doesn't break it off at the attachment points.

I just added a tow hitch and it took a serious amount of modifying, beefing up and welding to and on the old 300 lb utility receiver to get it to specs for towing 1400 lbs of a dual wheel motorcycle trailer that has dual receivers instead of a single ball hitch. The distance a single ball hitch has from the support brace is not going to have nearly enough strength to support the bouncing that it receives back there when you combine weight, pulling, bouncing and chucking all at the same time.

The difference between an accessory hitch receiver rated at 300 lbs and one that is actually capable of towing something is the attachment to the trailer.
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Old 08-18-2022, 05:49 PM   #17
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Hitch is now bolted to frame and reinforced with angle iron.
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