RV Lifestyle & Repair Editors

Towing RV Tips: Verifying Tow Charge

RV Lifestyle & Repair Editors
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Duration:   9  mins

In this free video lesson, RVIA Certified Master Technician Steve Albright teaches you how to verify tow charge when coupling your towing RV to a truck or van. He begins by walking you step by step through the process of testing your tow vehicle for functionality. This includes checking that the taillights are fully operational for reversing, flashing, etc.

Once you’ve completed the tow vehicle check, you’ll want to verify that the tow vehicle is sending a complete charge to your towing RV. Steve explains what you should do if you find certain signals aren’t working on the trailer. This will involve testing each circuit that attaches the umbilical cord, or hitch plug, to the towing vehicle. Most hitch plug covers feature a diagram that displays the circuit configuration for your particular plug. If your cover does not have this diagram, you can also search online to find the correct diagram for your model.

Steve helps to demonstrate the troubleshooting process by using a voltage tester to check that each signal on the tow vehicle reaches the circuits in the hitch plug. If you find that a certain signal is not reaching your trailer’s lights, follow along with Steve to figure out where the problem lies. Take it slow, and you should have no issue getting to the bottom of it!

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2 Responses to “Towing RV Tips: Verifying Tow Charge”

  1. Daniel Damato

    Where do i find the link to the paperwork on plug diagrams? You held up a paper with the different diagrams.

  2. Kenneth Massengill

    I have 15 years experience as a master Auto Tech. Pretty good advise until he got to the 'failed' brake light. Neither of those wires were 'ground'. The brake / running / turn signal lamps are DUAL ELEMENT, one for the running light function, one for the brake / turn signal function which is much brighter. So the ground on that particular RV connects the metal base of that lamp to the chassis, along with all the other 12v circuitry on the RV. If the ground wire had failed, neither function of the lamp would have worked, but if you checked for 12v on both contacts for the bulb with the clip of your test light attached to a bare spot of the RV chassis, you would verify you have power but no ground to complete the circuit.

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